The Tart of No

by Holly on April 20, 2011

in balance,goals,recipes,seriousness

If you must know the truth, here it is: I am a passive aggressive, Midwestern-born pushover.

In the familial vein of my Minnesotan ancestors, a stone-faced amalgamation of tough Swedes and Germans, “no” is not a word commonly found in my vocabulary. “Yes.” “Sure.” “I’d be happy to!” “Of course.” “I would love nothing more!” “No problem, even if saying yes will stress me out, cause me to regret this and want to pull every last strand of kinky curly hair off my head.”

Those are words I mutter often.

And that is why I added saying no to my list 2011 goals.

I’ve never ever been good at saying no.

I want to help people.

I like to help people.

I need to help people, because for me, it is selfishly part of my own self-worth.

It’s why I perpetually rewrite every English paper my college-age sister sends me to edit even if it means getting up an hour earlier in the morning. It’s why I commit to weeknight activities with 8 different people when I clearly know there are only 5 weekdays to be filled. And it’s why I tell myself I can balance work, working out, blogging, freelance writing and maintaining my always teetering sanity along with writing guest posts + articles for other bloggers, editing friends’ resumes, saying yes to happy hours and offering to help others in every which way I can.

But eventually, something is going to crack.

And that egg is usually me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am no saint. In fact, in an act of teenage angst-ridden rebellion, I once stole a plastic necklace, key chain AND t-shirt from Disneyland.

Yes, Disneyland.

I stole from the happiest place on Earth. And lied about it later. This, I am not proud of.

However, I am proud of the fact it happened when I was young and I’ve grown up a lot since then. Despite that, I still have trouble shaking my people-pleasing “YES!” syndrome – just today, my therapist and I had a very long discussion about this all too common phenomenon.

Why we (because I know others out there like me exist) continue to sub-consciously believe in the depths of our complex brains that saying no to others is somehow wrong or mean just plain silly. Really. Because every time I sit down with my most wonderful therapist, she reminds me that saying no to others is actually saying yes to ourselves. Every time she says it, the proverbial light bulb goes off in my Everythingtarian head once again.

Yes, I deserve to go to yoga class and skip happy hour with friends if I want to.

Yes, I deserve a Friday night to do nothing more than watch 5 episodes of Friday Night Lights.

Yes, I deserve an entire day to sleep in, drink coffee and make a tart for the very first time.

And so I did.

This past weekend, I accomplished all those things and refused to feel guilty or selfish for it.

So, I was sore for 3 days following the toughest yoga podcast I’ve ever done.

So, I woke up on Saturday morning realizing I had indeed watched 5 hours of TV when I could have done something useful like doing the dishes, cleaning my apartment or catching up on responding to emails from blog readers.

So, my tart leaked.

It didn’t matter.

My relaxing weekend where I firmly said no to offers to hang out, go out and eat out and instead, said yes to myself (and that most lovely Planned Parenthood ladies brunch) felt really good.

So good in fact, I am deeming this roasted vegetable tart, “The Tart of No.”

Roasted Vegetable Tart (also known as “The Tart of No”)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 onion, sliced
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
2 1/4 cup spelt flour
1 t salt
3 t turbinado sugar
3/4 cup cold butter or Earth Balance spread
1/3 cup ice cold water
2 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
1 t crushed red pepper
1 t garlic powder
sprinkle of salt + pepper
1 – 2 ounces parmesan cheese*

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

On a baking sheet, coat the tomatoes + onion in olive oil and 1/2 t salt. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, sift together flour, 1 t salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, cut in the butter with your hands until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Add your ice cold water, and gently mix until the pie dough comes together. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Take out your dough and roll to 1/4-inch thick to fit your tart or pie pan with an inch or so of overhand. Flute your pie crust (see instructional video here) and fork the bottom of the crust in order to allow air to escape. Parbake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Spread your roasted vegetables evenly over the pie crust. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and seasonings and gently pour over the vegetables. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees until tart is light golden brown. Immediately grate parmesan cheese over the top, slice and serve.

Makes 8 servings

Disclaimer: Say no to anything and everything you want…except this tart recipe.


Jessica April 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Your tart might have leaked, but it looks delicious :)

Jess April 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm

That tart looks so yummy! YES to saying NO–I learned to say no this year really, and it radically changed my life–for the better!!

Erica April 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm

I have a tendency to over yes and over commit myself as well. I have a belief in my head that I can be in 10 places doing 20 things at the same time. And saying No every once in a while? Feels amazing (although sometimes I still feel guilty about it). The tart looks totally interesting. I’ve never made anything like this. I want to the roasted tomatoes alone too ;)

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 21, 2011 at 12:58 am

Did you consider the irony that a “tart” probably says yes a lot more than no? ;)

Seriously – good for you! Saying no is pretty damn liberating. (But I’ll totally say yes to your tart.)

Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] April 21, 2011 at 1:42 am

Yumm!! Looks delicious :)

Lauren April 21, 2011 at 5:47 am

I want to try this tart!! The only thing that scares me is the crust but I think I could get over that. :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 21, 2011 at 5:57 am

Good for you, Holly!

I am the queen of yes, the midwestern roots, accomodating, say yes when I should say no..but I’m getting better…but it’s a work in progress. Glad you are making some strides.

And the food..oh, I’ll say yes to that :)

Katie April 21, 2011 at 6:25 am

This tart looks amazing!!!!

I am always saying ‘yes’ I am just too nice with a huge heart, so I have always been that way , I have tried to work on that too ; )

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 21, 2011 at 6:45 am

That looks really good. I kind of wnat to eat eggs just so I can eat that!

Amy B @ Second City Randomness April 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

that looks awesome. But I would say no to the tomatoes.

Or since I go out of my way to please others, I may just take what you serve me and pick them off when you’re not looking. Either/or.

brandi April 21, 2011 at 8:17 am

i love this :) the tart looks awesome, and this is something we all need to remember sometimes. it’s NOT a bad thing to say no. we have to have time for ourselves, too.

chloe@ 321delish April 21, 2011 at 8:32 am

the colors in that tart make me want to say YES! Not saying NO often enough is easy to recognize…but what I think it important is recognizing WHY you don’t say no, and I think you hit the nail on the head. You have got to give yourself (we all do!) credit for knowing what we want, when we want it, how we want it and WHY!

Thanks for reminding us all that it is OK to stick to our own guns. Always gota look out for #1

Evan Thomas April 21, 2011 at 8:38 am

I have a problem with being a “Yes, man”, too, only without the Jim Carrey kickback money. I just hate to disappoint. It’s a wonder I don’t get more dates with a reputation like that.

mammaeverythingtarian April 21, 2011 at 8:46 am

great post but….i think the yeshelpingpeoplepleaserpersonality is either heriditary or bestowed upon you by your strict yet unconventional catholic upbringing. Dont ever stop blogging!

Erin @ Big Girl Feats April 21, 2011 at 10:33 am

It’s like you took the words right out of my brain, Holly! One of my 2011 goals is “Say No in order to Grow.” It’s one of the hardest things to learn but over the past 6 months, life has handed me a really excellent way (cancer, yep!) to recognize that putting yourself and your needs/wants first is NOT selfish. Still working on the guilt thing – I had that catholic upbringing and my Mom is a midwesterner, so it’s a tough nut to crack!

Great post! Good for you for spending Friday Night with Tim Riggins ;)

Danica April 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

I am so glad you took some “you” time ~ we all NEED that…..but, next time, can you invite me over to eat that tart with you or maybe let me take a piece home?! LOL….It looks and sounds AMAZING!

XOXO! Miss ya,


Angharad April 21, 2011 at 10:47 am

That is one beautiful tart missus and all these photos are glorious.

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) April 21, 2011 at 11:21 am

Hell yes, sister. I feel like you’ve written this post for me. I have SUCH a hard time saying no, that I often over-book myself and get burnt out. And then I feel guilty if I bail on plans for a lil me time. But you’re so right – saying “no” to others, can me saying “yes” to ourselves. Love all the roasted veg action in your tart!

Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me April 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

Came across your blog and wanted to say hello! That tart looks delish! Roasted veggies are the best.

Susan April 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I like your egg analogy and I can totally relate. When I finally “crack” it tends to be more internal too. I break down inside and don’t let others see it before I clean myself up (kind of like the yolk leaking inside of your oven instead of out on the counter).

Jen April 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I need to learn how to say no. I say yes to everything and then bitch about it.

Megan (Braise the Roof) April 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Good for you for putting yourself first! I just had to reschedule something for tonight because I knew it would majorly stress me out (there’s a massive pile of laundry glaring at me from the corner of my bedroom that needs to be addressed). Although your people pleasing nature didn’t come from your Swedish side…us Scandinavians are stubborn mother f’ers (and proudly so, btw). ;)

Madeline - Greens and Jeans April 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Damn us and our “yes” saying mothers passing this on to us! Someday I’ll get better at this whole “no” thing…

emily (a nutritionist eats) April 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I really need to add that to my 2011 list as well. I am on the verge of cracking, but I think this weekend will save me. Then it will be back to cracking. :)
Hope you have a long weekend!

Emily April 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Ok, what yoga podcast?? I need to know so I can kick my booty with it this weekend. Please and thank you xoxo

P.S. You can say “No”, if you want to ;)

Frances April 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

i think not being able to say “no” has something to do with being a girl in a very girl unfriendly world.

i’m in the same boat.

way to go, saying no. also, way to go TART RECIPE!

my little celebration April 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

How could I possibly say no to that tart? Well done, good friend. Well done.

Alison April 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm

It’s like you read my mind! I just did a post on the same thing (saying NO) on my own blog. It’s like saying yes is the plague and we’re all over-extended victims dying in our own helpfulness.

I’m also from the Mid-West and I do think it’s something that we’re taught to do/say when asked a question. Help someone. Do what you can. I think the “if you can help” part got dropped off a long time ago.

The hardest thing for me is that I WANT to say yes. I want to help edit or run the event or go for coffee or whatever. I do certain things very well and I want to see the job done right, you know? But we all need to know when to step back.

(I also have the never ending pile of dishes in my sink. Is it a Mid-West thing?)

Pure2raw twins April 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

tart looks fabulous!! And glad you took some time for yourself and not feel guilty, I hope to do the same this weekend :)

Mackenzie @ Eat. Exercise. Evolve April 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Your food photography is often very alluring…

I really want roasted tomatoes + onions now.

Mackenzie @ Eat. Exercise. Evolve April 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

Also, what yoga podcast did you do that left you sore for three days? Must have!

natalie (the sweets life) April 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm

i really need to work on the art of saying no as well!..esp if it means i get to make this tart! :)

Naomi( April 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

that looks incredible!

Katie April 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm

1) Friday Night Lights is the shiznit! We watched 2 seasons VERY quickly.

2) That tart looks so fabulous, and reminds me of France. Le sigh.

3) YES, no!

sara April 24, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Just out of curiosity, where do you get your yoga podcasts? I love your blog. You so articulately put into words so many of the emotions and thoughts that flash through my scatter-brained head.

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