I’ve conditioned myself to believe that modern day woman does not eat bread. Can a December stress eater pause long enough to enjoy a roll without eating the whole bag?
At this time of the year I feel like Lucy standing next to Ethel on the assembly line trying to wrap the chocolate before the next piece rolls down the conveyer belt. The December to do list of, tree up, house decorated, and gift buying before the 25th can lead to stress eating. Like Lucy, I find myself popping the overflow of chocolate into my mouth just to keep up. Without an eating plan the rabbit hole to pantry carbs grows larger as the day grows shorter. To avoid mindless eating in front of the pantry I try to keep a fridge stocked with colorful foods for healthy refuel and for making dinner.
A perfect December afternoon out shopping starts with prepping dinner ahead of time. The fragrant stew that’s been cooking for hours in my kitchen will smell divine as I walk in the door, kick off my shoes and ready the house for evening. The flavors of garlic, onion, a dash of vinegar, brown sugar, melded together with a good cut of beef that’s spent a lot of time releasing flavor into slightly mushy potatoes, tiny carrots, and even smaller pieces of celery will greet me.
It’s been a good afternoon of pacing and shopping without stressing. I’m relaxed, in my favorite European style market picking up a few things before dinner. I do better on the scale without sugar and starch so I’m avoiding those aisles. I’ve conditioned myself to believe that modern day woman does not eat bread. If I want to stay good on the scale bread stays out of my kitchen and away from my table.
So what was I doing looking at the aisle of specialty breads at the market? And how did the cheese encrusted popover rolls get in my basket? Because nothing compliments a slow cooked stew better than bread, and these large cheesy popovers look delicious. They’re for my family, I rationalize…
On my way home I wonder if a stress eater can limit herself to one popover in the middle of holiday season? Can I pause long enough to enjoy the roll without eating the whole bag? Can I invite bread back to the table?
Setting my intent to enjoy one roll I place the popovers in the oven to warm. The rolls start to glisten and I remove them with the stew. I split off the top breaking up the crusty, cheesy parts and lay the broken pieces on the bottom of the stew bowl. I pour the stew over the bread letting it soak in the sauce flavors. I’m going to enjoy this. One spoonful at a time I savor each bite savoring the food I’ve prepared. We talk about the day enjoying a real dinner together. Finished with the first bowl I went back for another scoop. Pause. Savor. I gaze over the few remaining rolls and remember my intent. I return to the rest of my popover and pull out the thick mushy center and add a little butter. Just a little, it is a week night. It’s so moist. I’m stopping at one but notice no one gets up to leave before the popovers are gone. We linger long enough to draw close to contentment. My internal conveyer belt slows to still, relaxed enough to invite bread back to my table.
The next day I’m good on the scale. I’ll take it.
And…invite a popover with stew to dinner more often.
Beef Stew Recipe with Fresh Market Cheesy Popover Buns
Combine the following in a Dutch oven or oven safe pot with lid:
2 quartered medium onions
3-4 quartered medium potatoes
3-4 diced carrots
3 stalks celery finely diced
1 lb. of London broil, or top round roast, or beef tenderloin, cut into bite size pieces
In a large bowl combine:
1 T paprika
3 T harissa
1 T brown sugar
1 ½ t salt
3 T of Tamari, or Braggs Amino Acid, or Worcester sauce
6 T ketchup
1 ½ C chicken broth or water
1 t cider vinegar
Mix the liquids together and pour over meat/vegetables. Cover the Dutch oven with aluminum foil. Place the lid on top of the foil.
Cook at 350 for at least 2 hours.
Cook at 250 for 3-5 hours to allow the protein to break down and tenderize.
Remove from oven and adjust liquid. Add chicken broth if the stew if too dry for your tastes. For a creamier broth place ¼ cup of broth in a ramekin dish and add 2 t of cornstarch, mix well, and pour over stew and stir. Return the stew to oven for at least 30 minutes to thicken the broth. Remove from oven when desired consistency is achieved.