Friday , May 20 2022

Healthy Eating – Nourishing Good Fortune

 

By Betsy Bruns

February 1st, 2022, is the Chinese Lunar New Year (LNY) commencing The Year of The Tiger.

It is said that Tiger years bring times of change, this year even more so because 2022 is a Water Tiger. Water is associated with sensitivity, creativity, and openness to change. Water is also powerful. It can conquer fire and go around any obstacle in its path without losing its way. Water can form canyons and move mountains.

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, Chinese neighborhoods and villages adorn streets, storefronts, and homes with scarlet decorations. The color scarlet is associated with wealth and good fortune. Some of the traditional foods eaten for good luck are dumplings, noodles, sweet rice balls, fruits, and vegetables.

Last month, in celebration of the Western New Year, I shared gifts of good fortune with friends and family in the form of black-eyed peas and collard greens. I borrowed this tradition from my husband’s family. My father-in-law came from a Mississippi farm where food was absolutely fortune. His family had to plan for it, seed it, work hard for it, and at the dinner table, protect it from 18 siblings who might try to swipe it from his plate.

Black-eyed peas and greens are said to bring good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year, which is a tradition that traces back to the Civil War. Black-eyed peas and greens are both economical and nutrient rich — sensibly, they became a staple for Southern soldiers’ survival during the winter. There are some people who even believe that you should consume exactly 365 peas — one for each day of the coming year.

The tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens with cornbread on New Year’s Day is said to bring the following riches:

Greens – (collards, mustard or turnip greens, cabbage, etc.) symbolize the green of “dollar bills” and will ensure you have a financially prosperous New Year.

Black-eyed peas symbolize “coins” and point to monetary gain.

Cornbread, with its yellow hue, represents “gold.”

Whatever food traditions you honor, it is my wish that they nourish you with good fortune, good health, and support you in all opportunities that come your way.

Fortune Stew with Coconut Collards & Black-Eyed Peas 

This stew is an “east meets west” warming twist on the southern greens and beans tradition. Coconut milk ads a richness that is complimented by sweet potatoes which also add richness.

Ingredients

Makes 8 servings

Water for cooking the beans

1 pound of dried black-eyed peas

1 large yellow or sweet onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped, or 2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 cups vegetable broth or water

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 large bunch of collard greens (about 6 to 8 large leaves) stemmed and cut into 1-inch strips

2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into bite sized chunks (about ¼ inch)

Directions

Cook black-eyed peas in a large pot. Soaking is not essential for black-eyed peas, but cooking time can be shortened if they get a quick soak in hot water (as opposed to a longer one in cold water, like other beans). Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, tilting the lid slightly to allow steam to escape, and cook for up to an hour or until tender.

Drain cooked peas into colander. Open can of coconut milk and add a spoonful of the top layer of cream into the same large pot that was used for cooking beans. Sauté minced garlic in the coconut milk/cream over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add chopped onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes.

Add 4 cups of vegetable broth/water and remaining coconut milk to onion and garlic mixture. Stir until combined and cream is melted. Add salt, pepper, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until combined. Add cooked black-eyed peas, collard greens, and sweet potato. Simmer over low-medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes chunks are soft. Check seasonings and adjust as needed.

Serve with corn bread.

Easy Cornbread Muffins 

Golden Sweet Homemade Cornbread Muffins for Lunch

Ingredients

Makes 18 Servings

2 cups cornmeal

2 cups oat bran

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups unsweetened apple juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Sift cornmeal, oat bran, and baking powder together.

Add apple juice and stir until just mixed.

Spoon the batter into 18 nonstick muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Recipe and photo by Betsy Bruns

Recipe and photo PCRM

Betsy Bruns is a plant-based health coach and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner. When she isn’t making healing food taste like comfort food or helping clients tap away stress and cravings with EFT, she’s soaking up nature and dreaming of ways to make life more delicious for all beings. Visit www.Vegsetter.com.

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