A New Year’s Celebration to a Healthier You!

I am so looking forward to the new year. I love the celebration with friends and family, followed by time spent on deciding my intentions for the year ahead. Once I know my goals, I love finding ways to kick start the new year. As you ring in 2014, here are some new recipes and traditions that I hope will bring you health and prosperity.

For your New Year’s Eve Celebration, Pomegranate Champagne Punch is a great starter.  When hosting a dinner or celebration, I like to greet my guests with a special drink. I love this one because it is delicious with or without alcohol, plus it just looks so festive! Another bonus is that pomegranate juice is loaded with antioxidants.

Pomegranate Champagne Punch
For a nonalcoholic version, combine 2 1/2 cups lemon seltzer and 2 cups pomegranate juice.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups champagne
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup seltzer
  • 1/2 cup citrus vodka
  • Lemon twists, for garnish

Directions

Combine champagne, pomegranate juice, seltzer and vodka in a large bowl or pitcher. Serve over ice with a twist of lemon.

 

This year for New Year’s Day, I am going to partake in the southern tradition of enjoying black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread. These southern classics are said to provide luck and prosperity. Who doesn’t need that, right?

According to folklore, this New Year’s Day tradition dates back to the Civil War, when Union troops pillaged the land, leaving behind only black-eyed peas and greens. Rich in nutrients, these were the humble foods that enabled Southerners to survive and offered renewed hope for good things yet to come.

Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of this theme including:

  • Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money.
  • Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.

Whether you choose to follow the Southern New Year’s tradition or not, black-eyed peas are a good source of nutrition. Low in fat and sodium, while high in potassium, iron, and fiber, black-eyed peas contain no cholesterol. A one-half cup serving of cooked black-eyed peas counts as one ounce of lean meat.

I like this recipe adapted from Terry Walters because it’s simple and comforting, and paired with my Gluten-free Corn Bread, it’s a healthy way to kick off the new year.

 

Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas adapted from Terry Walters

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch collard greens (save time with frozen!)
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • Water as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (save time with canned or frozen!)
  • Dash of apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Remove dry ends from collard green stems and chop leaves into bite-size pieces. If using frozen, skip to step 2.
  2. In large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until soft. Add collard greens and stir until they turn bright green and wilt. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, to keep greens from burning.
  3. Add black-eyed peas and vinegar and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

 

Gluten-free Corn Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix – my favorite gluten-free baking mix
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup pure cane sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 egg

Directions

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and blend. Pour batter into 8×8 pan.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Download Recipes Now!

If getting eating healthier is on your 2014 resolution list, I’m here to help. Over the next few weeks, I will be offering simple recipes, tips and my Online 4 day Detox. So stay with me, while I show you how to make clean eating delicious and so easy that you will be able to stick with it for life!

Cheers to 2014!!

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