What’s Your 2009 New Year’s Resolution? & Salmon with Lentils

As the old year rolls out and the new year in, there is lots of talk about resolutions. Millions of people across the country will promise to deprive themselves of guilty pleasures or strive to be better human beings. What about you?

To get you started on your list, here are the top ten promises made, kept and broken every year:

1. Top of the pops and perennial favorite, we start the list with getting healthy. Millions begin each new year with all good intentions to get fit. Every January diets are started, gyms are joined and we pledge that this is the year we will really, truly get in shape.

2. We are pushed and pulled in so many directions that we sometimes neglect the very people we love the most. Work, commuting and heaven knows what else have a nasty habit of keeping us from what’s important and leads us to the ever popular resolution to spend more time with family.

3. Quitting smoking is still high in the top ten list. Smoking continues to decline so with any luck this resolution will become obsolete in a year or two. We can only hope.

4. Coming in at number four is giving up drinking. Rumor has it that this resolution’s popularity may be the result of holiday excesses.

5. I’m particularly fond of number five, enjoy life more. Why not pledge to embrace all the good things life that has to offer in 2009? It might just be the best year ever if you greet each day with a smile and good cheer.

6. With the economy in a horrendous mess, number six has never been so important. Millions will pledge to get out of debt in 2009.

7. Some do it for their job, others for the sheer joy of having new skills or knowledge, regardless of the rhyme or reason many vow to learn something new every year. I think it is a wonderful idea. I love learning new things, solving problems and tackling new projects.

8. Like countless others, you may pledge to take a vacation this year. Whether you go back to a favorite get-away or explore a strange new land, a vacation can you give you a new lease on life.

9. There has never been a better time to help others. Think about practicing random acts of kindness or doing good work for worthy causes in 2009. Resolving to help others is wonderful pledge for the new year.

10. We round out the list with getting organized. I don’t think I have ever vowed to get organized on January 1st. No, I wait until tax time to make that pledge. (So far it’s not working!) I have no trouble getting things done and meeting deadlines; it’s the filing and tidying up loose ends that gets me every time.

The frightful truth is that 97 percent of New Year’s resolutions are not kept. That’s a whole lot of broken promises. I think I’ll take it easy on myself. I’ll resolve to enjoy life, especially with family and friends, learn a few interesting, new things and do my best to help others. (I’ll wait until April to worry about getting organized.)

I wish you all a happy, healthy and rewarding new year. Enjoy all that 2009 has to offer!

Bon appétit!

Seared Salmon with Lentils and Spinach
Lentils symbolize good luck in Italy and are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day. Try this salmon, lentil and spinach combination for a happy, healthy and lucky start to 2009. Enjoy!
Serves 4-6

1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup lentils
1 bay leaf
2 cups (more if needed) chicken stock
1 pound fresh baby spinach
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 pounds center cut salmon fillet, skin removed and cut in four pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

1. Heat a little olive oil in a medium sized pot. Add the onions, leeks, celery, carrots, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the lentils, bay leaf and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. If the lentils get too dry, add a little more stock or water. Remove the bay leaf, add the spinach and lemon juice and toss until the spinach has wilted and is well combine with the lentils. Season to taste.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

3. Heat an oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Put a little olive oil to the pan, swirl to coat the pan and add the salmon. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the fillets and place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through to desired doneness. Spoon a mound of lentils and spinach on each plate and place a salmon fillet on top. Serve immediately.

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Feel free to visit my other, cleverly named blog, Susan Nye’s Other Blog, or website www.susannye.com. You can find more than 200 recipes, links to magazine articles and lots more. I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2010

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