How to Celebrate Chinese New Year on Meatless Monday - vegetarian recipes

How to Celebrate Chinese New Year on Meatless Monday

February 23 2015 Meatless Monday 

How to Celebrate Chinese New Year on Meatless Monday
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The festival marking the start of the Chinese new year began on Thursday, February 19th with families reuniting, fireworks exploding, and decorations everywhere. Special dishes are eaten on New Years Eve and throughout the sixteen day festival, with certain foods believed to bring good luck for the coming year. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but the way you prepare and serve them matters as well. Dumplings, a classic Chinese dish dating back more than 1,800 years, are traditionally eaten on New Years Eve. They generally consist of minced meat and finely-chopped vegetables but can be made with just vegetables and can be boiled, steamed, fried, or baked. Legend has it the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations the more prosperous you will be in the New Year. Arrange your dumplings in lines instead of circles - circles of dumplings can mean your life will go round in circles, never getting anywhere. Spring rolls actually get their name from being eaten during the Spring Festival celebrating the New Year. Filled with vegetables, meat, or something sweet, theyre fried so that they have a golden-yellow color, which makes them resemble gold bars and become a wish for prosperity. Niáng?o, glutinous rice cakes, are another popular New Years dish. Made with sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and lotus leaves, the name relates to getting higher year after year. So whether youre a child wanting to grow taller, a student wanting better grades, or an office worker wanting a promotion, you definitely want to try niangao. Then there are longevity noodles - not hard to figure out the symbolism there. Longer than normal noodles and uncut, they can be fried, or boiled and served in a bowl with broth. And finally theres good fortune fruit such as oranges and tangerines. As you can see there are many ways to enjoy a Meatless Monday during the Chinese New Year while encouraging luck and prosperity. Predictions are also part of the Chinese New Year season, and heres one many culinary experts are making: Asian cuisine will rise in popularity in 2015 . Its easy to see why Asian cuisines are getting all the attention, wrote Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Friedas Specialty Produce . They are mostly vegetable-centric with bold flavors, and that resonates with consumers who want authenticity, as well as healthy food choices. She thinks shoppers desire for increased protein will motivate them to try more vegetables like Brussel Sprouts, cauliflowers, and artichokes. Meatless Monday also plays a part in this surge in popularity of plant-based protein, she noted. Meatless Monday is gaining enough popularity that some restaurants add special items for Mondays and some schools incorporate it into their lunch menus. Dare we predict continuing popularity for Meatless Monday in this new year of the sheep?   Many will certainly approve of that trend, including sheep. The post How to Celebrate Chinese New Year on Meatless Monday appeared first on Meatless Monday.

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