On this final eve to end all eve’s this year, I want to take a moment to remind everyone to just take a big, full breath and breathe.
Then I want you to think of just one thing that happened to you this year that was positive. There were 365 days in this calendar year. I’m certain you’ll remember something.
There’s a quote by Harlan Ellinson I have on my desk that reads, “You must never be afraid to go there.” I’ve been reflecting on these words these last few weeks given the state of our world and how negative and anxious the current climate has become. I’m no Pollyanna, but I’d like to counter all of that with the fact that I am still here, with a voice and opinions and beliefs and the last time I checked, I can still express all of these. That quote has always reminded me that nothing is without risk or pain or suffering and bravery and courage are the rewards for pushing ourselves passed our self-imposed limits. So are new truths that we will never know unless we take the leap to “go there.”
I’ve been thinking also of how worn and tired I’ve felt lately, like I just stumbled my way through a mad dash to the finish line. And then I am reminded, too, that there is never really a finish, only rests along the way. It is the way of life to give us these bold and scary opportunities to face fear in our lives, to give us a reason to rise with purpose, just the way it is natural for the ebb and flow of the oceans of time to throw us a small life raft every now and again so we can float and just catch our breath. We need these spaces in time to reflect, to heal, to listen to one another, and to offer in hope. Nothing ever changes without first taking stock of ourselves.
One thing I look forward to every new year is being able to hit the “reset” button. Clean slate, a fresh start. With that comes the chance to nurture ourselves back to good health, getting reacquainted with what it means to be healthy both in body and in mind and also in spirit. So what if triple the amount of people are on your favorite trail or packing the gym. Go join them, give them a thumbs up even to acknowledge that we’re all in this together. Make choices that work for you. Wake up your soul so everybody can hear it. And when it’s time to replenish, be good to yourself. Rest. Eat good things, like this brussels sprout and broccoli tart. Feed yourself not only through food but through knowledge and wisdom. Keep finding opportunities to “go there.”
May your 2017 be full of promise, sacrifice, strength, beauty and moments that remind you how truly great you are. Happy New Year, my friends.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots, (about 1 cup), thinly sliced
- 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 1/4 cups brussels sprouts, (about 6 each), roots removed and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli crowns, (about 3.5 oz), sliced
- 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
- 3 Tablespoons of your favorite dry, crumbly cheese (parmesan, feta, cotija)
- 2-3 Tablespoons minced fresh chives
- Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a microwave safe dish, melt butter for about 30 seconds.
- Add olive oil to a medium skillet and saute shallots over medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- Add in brussels sprouts and saute another 1-2 minutes until just barely softened.
- Next, add broccoli and continue sauteeing until bright green, soft but still crisp.
- Toss in spinach until wilted.
- Turn off heat and remove from burner. Mix in carrots, season with salt.
- Place puff pastry on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with pan spray. (I like to put the floured side down and take a rolling pin to flatten out the creases but this is optional)
- Brush pastry with melted butter, reserve any remaining butter to brush the pastry during the last 5 minutes of baking.
- Spoon filling into the center of the pastry, leaving about a 1/2" border around the outside.
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, butter with remaining melted butter and return to oven for 5 more minutes. Rotate if it appears to be puffing and browning unevenly.
- When done, sprinkle with cheese and chives.
- Cut into four portions and serve.
This easily serves two people with extra portions for breakfast the next day. Or double the filling and make both sheets of puff pastry and feed two generous portions per person for a family of four.
If you want to make this dairy free, just substitute olive oil for the butter and omit the cheese.