Gluten Free Lentils and Sausage Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on December 31, 2012

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I am not a superstitious person. I believe that we are the architects of our own destiny, that it is we who shape our futures, and that we create our own good (or bad) fortune by the way we live our lives. (Just ignore that sound of someone knocking on wood!)

But I also like to hedge my bets.

In many cultures around the world it is believed that eating certain foods at the New Year will increase good fortune. If we can eat something delicious AND stack the odds in our favor – that’s not really superstitious, that just makes for good sense!

Traditions around the world have a few food items in common that are believed to be lucky and bring good fortune in the coming year. These good luck foods include legumes, cooked greens, pork, grapes, fish and cake. There is nothing arbitrary about these food choices, each has significance and symbolizes something specific.

Legumes which include peas, beans and lentils symbolize money with their coin like shapes and are said to ensure financial success.

Cooked greens such as kale, cabbage, and collards also symbolize good financial fortune as they represent folded paper money. Supposedly the more greens you eat, the better your financial rewards. I can think of no better reason to eat your greens than to ensure a prosperous New Year!

Pork symbolizes forward progress. Pigs are constantly moving forward sniffing out food and eating pork will ensure you move ahead with your goals for the coming year.

Fish also symbolizes forward motion as they swim forward as well as abundance since they swim in schools.

Round cakes represent coming full circle, it symbolizes the old year coming to a close. I like to think that having a piece of cake means I can end off on the old year and start the new one fresh. Just make sure your cake is gluten free or your chances of good luck go right down the drain!

Consuming grapes symbolizes surplus. Technically you are supposed to eat 13 grapes, one for each month of the year and one extra for abundance. I see no reason why the grapes can’t be taken in the form of a glass of wine but one may want to exercise caution in the form of surplus in that case, a little wine is fine, too much may mean you start your New Year off with a hangover – not the kind of fortune we are looking for.

Of course good luck is one side of the coin, the other being bad luck which means there are certain foods to avoid at New Years. Lobsters move backwards so eating them on New Year’s Day may cause setbacks for the coming year. Chicken and other fowl are thought to cause regret or dwelling on the past as they scratch backwards. Also it is believed that consuming foods with wings may cause your luck to fly away.

As I said, I like to hedge my bets so I try to include as many good luck food items into my New Year’s Day meal as possible. This Lentil and Sausage recipe is simple (always a good start to any year) and packed with good luck foods such as lentils, pork and greens. Eaten with a glass of wine and some gluten free cake it should ensure a prosperous, lucky 2013!

Thanks to all of you, 2012 was a very good year for me. I appreciate all of you so much; your emails, comments, and tweets are what I look forward to every day.

Here’s to making 2013 an even better one. I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year. May 2013 be the year all your dreams come true!

Gluten Free Lentils and Sausages
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Gluten Free Lentils and Sausage Recipe

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 celery rib, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package Hurst Family Harvest Old Word Lentil Soup Mix
6 cups water
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
hot sauce to taste (such as Tabasco)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 Italian sausages

Directions

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Rinse and pick over the lentils. Add to the pot along with the enclosed seasoning packet and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Prick the skins of the Italian sausage and brown the sausages on all sides, about 5 -6 minutes. Add about ¼ inch of water to the skillet, cover the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook until the sausages are cooked through, 10 – 15 minutes. Cover with foil to keep warm.

After the lentils have simmered for 30 minutes, remove the cover on the pan, stir in the kale and vinegar and cook until the kale is wilted and the lentils are tender, about 10 minutes. If you want you lentils soupier, you can add more water. Taste the lentils and season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Slice the sausages on the diagonal and serve on top of the lentils.

Servings:

A gluten free recipe that serves 6 – 8 people.
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Alta December 31, 2012 at 11:01 am

Love lentil and sausage soup! This sounds so cozy when it’s all cold and rainy like today. And I didn’t know about the no lobsters or chicken on New Years Day thing! All the more reason to have a steak! LOL

Reply

Carol Kicinski December 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Thanks Alta! Happy New Year to you!

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Alisa December 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Happy New Year Carol! This looks so warm and comforting, yum!

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Carol Kicinski December 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Thank you Alisa, Happy New Year!

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Maggie January 2, 2013 at 8:35 am

This is so interesting Carol! I definitely had the grapes covered :) Yay! 2012 was a major year for you, I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings. xo

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Carol Kicinski January 2, 2013 at 11:16 am

Thanks and Happy New Year Maggie!

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Hallie @ Daily Bites January 3, 2013 at 9:27 am

Great comfort food, Carol! :)

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Carol Kicinski January 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Thank Hallie and Happy New Year!

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Alana January 13, 2013 at 4:00 am

Great, healthy and simple recipe, Carol. Quick question ; I noticed that you included the kales with the lentils ; is it OK if I cooked them separately, and then seasoned them lightly with some salt and pepper? And what brand of Italian sausages do you recommend?

Happy New Year,
Alana

Reply

Carol Kicinski January 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Hi ALana. Yes, you can cook the kale seperately, no problem. To be honest I do that because my hubby is not much of a kale fan (try as I might).I like Boulder Italian Suasages (no MSG, preservatives, nitratesm corn syrup, gluten, etc) and what ever the brand is they sell at Costco. If you can’t find those I belive Johnsonville makes gluten free Italian sausages.

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