Make the family a lucky meal for the New Year

NewYearMealBy Lois Villemaire

If you are looking to start the new year off with a bit of good luck, there are many ideas for ingredients to use in a meal based on traditions around the world.

For example, in Chinese cuisine, "fish" sounds like the word for "abundance"; pomegranates represent good luck in Turkey; leafy veggies are eaten because of the resemblance to paper cash in many countries; and lentils, as they plump in water, mean growing wealth in Hungary. Also, the golden color of cornbread makes it popular for the new year and adding corn kernels as gold nuggets means extra luck.

I selected a combination of these foods to create an easy, healthy, and lucky New Year's meal.

1. Easy Oven Baked Salmon - moist and delicious. Easy clean-up.

Salmon filet
Non-stick cooking spray
Aluminum foil
Olive oil
Salt/pepper/oregano/lemon pepper/your favorite spices

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and fold up edges.
Season salmon.
Top with drizzle of olive oil.
Bake for about 10 minutes.

2. Avocado Lemon Salad - serves 4

1 ripe avocado
1 cup boiled green lentils
1 lemon
4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
3 tbsp dried cranberries
1 cup spinach leaves, chopped roughly
Salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine juice of the lemon with olive oil to create dressing.
Combine all other ingredients in a serving bowl using some of the spinach as a bed, add dressing and lightly toss. Top with extra seeds and cranberries.

3. Prepare package of cornbread as per directions. Add cooked corn kernels to the batter before baking.