New Year’s Day Traditions: Cabbage, Black-Eyed Peas, & Pork

There are many food traditions for New Year’s Day celebrations, depending upon where you live and your culture.  But one thing is for sure, the food you eat on New Year’s Day is supposed to symbolize the closing out of one year and the bringing of luck for the upcoming year.  I’m not sure there’s much evidence for that claim, but it is fun to have an annual tradition to get you focused on a new year.

The most common New Year’s Day food traditions in the U.S., particularly in the South, are sauerkraut, black-eyed peas, and pork.  I’m not a big fan of sauerkraut, but I don’t mind cabbage too much, depending upon how it is prepared.  As far as beans and pork, I love them both.

Today’s recipe is a take on Cabbage Rolls.  I was preparing a Cabbage Roll recipe a couple years ago, but decided I was too lazy to go to the trouble of rolling all the ingredients into a roll and watching kids get frustrated that their rolls were falling apart.  Furthermore, I couldn’t “hide” the fact that they were eating cabbage.  I invented a new dish, Naked Cabbage Rolls.  While the original did not contain beans, I think black-eyed peas or white beans would be a wonderful addition to this recipe, in keeping with a New Years tradition.  You can also use ground beef, sausage (or a combination of the two), or chicken for the meat.  (Since I made this dish so long ago, I do not have a picture.  Perhaps I will serve it this Sunday to firm up our luck for the next year! 🙂  )

Do you have any New Year’s Traditions, food or otherwise?

Naked Cabbage Rolls

Meat: Use the combination here, use one or the other, or substitute for diced chicken. You can also use white beans or no beans at all. The possibilities are endless for this dish.


  • 1/2 cups white rice
  • 1/3 heads cabbage, shredded
  • 1 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 pounds Italian sausage, ground
  • 1/2 cups onion
  • 1 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 cans black-eyed peas
  • 1/2-1 cups water


1. Cook rice according to package directions. Shred cabbage, if necessary.

2. Brown meat, garlic, and onion; drain grease. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans and cabbage; add water in order for cabbage to steam. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, until cabbage has wilted.

3. Bring sauce ingredients to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into meat and cabbage pan; mix together until well combined.

4. Serve with a great cornbread.

Sauce Ingredients (Naked Cabbage Rolls)


  • 1 (8oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper

Try Corn-free Millet Cornbread for a tasty corn and gluten alternative.

Happy New Year!

May you be richly blessed in 2012!


Shared at Monday ManiaSimple Lives Thursday, Homestead Barn Hop, Real Food 101, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, and Pennywise Platter Thursday.

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5 Responses to New Year’s Day Traditions: Cabbage, Black-Eyed Peas, & Pork

  1. Yum, this totally caught my eye!! Will give it a whirl soon. thanks for adding my ‘cornbread’ recipe…I love that recipe!! I am featuring your cabbage salad today…I am totally addicted to it!

  2. Pingback: 2012 Outlook & Our Allergy Home Meal Plan | The Willing Cook

  3. Elise says:

    This looks way easier to eat than the traditional (as I know it anyway) cabbage roll. Looks yummy too. I’m saving this recipe to try.

    • Cook says:

      It is a lot easier and my family loves it. I need to get a picture up of the recipe. When you can throw a lot of healthy ingredients into a single pot and come out with something delicious, it’s a huge success!

  4. Alea Milham says:

    What a delcious meal! Thanks for sharing this recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

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