Welcome 2014 & Roasted Cauliflower, Radicchio & Arugula Salad

2014_resolutionsYikes, where did the time go? The days and weeks from mid-November through the end of December were a marathon of decorating, shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, wining and dining. And just when we’re ready for a well-deserved break, we are bombarded with the question, “What are your New Year‘s Resolutions?” The first week of January is not a time to make lists and plans; it is a time to flop down into a comfy chair and let out a big pheeewww.

We can blame it on the Romans. Somewhere around 150 BC, the Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, the god of new beginnings and transitions. While it would be unfair to call him two-faced, Janus did have two faces. One looks back into the past and the other looks forward to the future. Janus became the Romans’ symbol for resolutions and change.

Whether we want to or not, when the New Year rolls around, many of us start to reflect on the past and consider our prospects for the future. Blame it on the howling winds and snow that drive us indoors. We cozy up to the fire with a cup of tea but, instead of reading a good book, we dream up ways to improve ourselves. We can’t help it; it’s that time of year.

In spite of good intentions, those resolutions are broken more often than not. By the time the ground hog pops out of his den, most of us have given up on our promises and returned to old habits. But why the big failure rates?

Many, may be even most, New Year’s resolutions are made on the fly. After a six-week binge of holiday parties, we resolve to change the first bad habit that pops into our head on New Year’s Day. But before you go out and invest in a juicer and a case of kale or a set of free weights, consider your priorities. From there you can determine your goal for 2014 and the best ways to achieve it.

Too many resolutions are linked to deprivation. Operative words include stop, quit, lose and give up. Think positive, focus on the end results and actions to achieve that result. If you’d like to be ten pounds lighter, don’t resolve to lose weight. It’s not only negative; it’s vague. Instead, explore ways to reach your end goal, like dance every day for thirty minutes. The exercise will help you shed the pounds and you’ll have fun doing it.

If you need to save money, forgo restaurants and take-out in favor of a family fun night. Make homemade pizza or Chinese food and play games or watch movies together. Or swap recreational shopping for a game of soccer with your kids or a walk with your favorite neighbor. In other words, adopt a new positive habit to achieve your goal.

Don’t let one slip-up take you down. Most smokers quit four, five or more times before they finally become smoke-free. Learn from your setback and develop a new and improved plan for success. Wishful thinking and pure, dumb luck will not achieve your goal. Commitment and a plan will.

If you haven’t set a new goal for 2014, you still have lots of time. It may be the world’s oldest holiday but, around the globe, New Year’s is celebrated at different times. It was first observed about 4,000 years ago on March 23rd in ancient Babylon. The New Year falls on January 14th if you follow the eastern orthodox calendar and at the end of the month in China. Or wait until September and celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Hebrew New Year. The dates may vary but throughout the world the New Year is a time to celebrate a new beginning.

I wish you happiness and success in 2014 and bon appétit!

Roasted Cauliflower, Radicchio & Arugula Salad
Roasted cauliflower and bitter greens come together for a great winter salad. Enjoy!
Serves 8

cauliflower_arugula_radicchio_011 head (about 2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1-2 inch florets
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sherry vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
About 2 tablespoons capers
About 1/2 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 head radicchio (about 8 ounces), cut into thin strips
About 6 ounces arugula
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
About 4 ounces Pecorino Romano, shaved or grated

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the cauliflower with just enough equal parts olive oil and vinegar to lightly coat, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and spread in a single layer in a roasting pan. Tossing once or twice, roast at 425 degrees until browned and tender, 30 minutes. Cool in the pan. When the cauliflower has cooled, add the capers and olives and toss to combine.

cauliflower_arugula_radicchio_02Meanwhile, put about 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a large bowl with the shallot and garlic, season with salt and pepper and whisk until well-combined.

When ready to serve, add the radicchio, arugula and parsley to the bowl and toss to combine. Transfer the salad to a large platter or individual plates, arrange the cauliflower mixture on top of the greens and sprinkle with Pecorino Romano.

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One Year Ago – Old Fashioned Pot Roast
Two Years Ago – Pasta from the Pantry
Three Years Ago – Tartiflette – An Alpine Casserole with Cheese & Potatoes
Four Years Ago – Four Cheese Lasagna Bolognese with Spinach
Five Years Ago – Curried Chicken and Lentil Soup
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? Feel free to share. Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2014

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