OK, so I know it’s the new year and I imagine the blogosphere is filled with conversations about habits to break, how to make this year the best year of our lives, and the perfect diet to melt off the holiday pounds. And my guess is that a certain word, which I have vowed to not mention in my own New Year’s blog (you know, the one that starts with an r) has probably already outworn its welcome.
While I acknowledge that setting an intention to change is a valuable component to personal growth, at this time of year I also become aware of how I can accidentally use my intention as a way to become too serious about myself. Sometimes it’s just my intention to eat more simply that can make me really hungry and feel deprived! Funny how that works.
My solution in these situations is to make sure that every intention for change comes with a healthy dose of celebration. So while the traditional holiday season is behind us, the question now becomes: How do we bring a sense of celebration into the new year and into our new intentions?
As I have a wedding dress to look smashing in (in just six months), one of my intentions this year is to, well, look smashing in my wedding dress! For me, part of accomplishing this goal includes increasing my already-hearty dose of vegetables. I love playing around and exploring yummy new ways to enjoy a variety of veggies. Below is one of my favorite approaches to preparing fennel root. For many of you this may be a totally new vegetable to add to your repertoire; it’s one that I feel is underrated in this country. However, it’s relished by the Italians, and since my fiancé Jim and I just booked our honeymoon to Italy, what better way to acknowledge this gastro-wonderful country than by spreading the word about fennel?
Caramelized Fennel with Goat Cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (organic sugar, maple syrup, or agave)
1/4 cup soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds to garnish
In a large pan, heat the olive oil at a medium temperature until it starts to shimmer. Add the onions and sauté until they start to brown, about five minutes. Add the sliced fennel bulb and continue to sauté for a minute, then add the salt. Continue to sauté until the fennel becomes tender. Add the sweetener and continue to sauté, adding a splash of water if everything is beginning to stick too much.
When the fennel is nicely caramelized, top with dollops of goat cheese. Allow the heat to soften the goat cheese. Remove from heat and garnish with the pomegranate seeds (and/or chopped fennel top).