I am a stress eater and holiday time is my trigger. Without an eating plan the rabbit hole to pantry carbs grows larger as my list of things to do grows longer. To combat my trigger, I make sure to take the time to prepare and cook healthy food and avoid buying low density carbs. 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.
But is it possible for a stress eater to stop at one delicious popover cheddar roll in the middle of holiday season? Can I relax into a meal and feel content with eating one roll or must I eat the whole bag? Is it safe to invite bread back to the table?
At this time of the year I feel like Lucy next to Ethel working the assembly line quickly wrapping each piece of chocolate before the next piece moves down the conveyer belt. No time to relax let alone keep chocolates out of my mouth. Between tree up, house decorated, stockings filled, gifts collected and wrapped before the 25th. No pause between tasks causes stress induced eating.
To avoid mindless eating from the pantry I try to keep a fridge stocked with colorful foods for a healthy quick refuel and for making dinners. The perfect December day starts with prepping dinner ahead of time which allows me to pace and shop knowing a healthy dinner awaits me at home. 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. I’ll be greeted with the fragrance 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.
I finish the shopping 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. So, what was I doing looking at the baskets of specialty breads at the market? And how did the cheese encrusted popover rolls get in my cart? They’re for my family, I rationalize…
At home I place the popovers in the oven to warm. If I’m going to have ONE popover than I’m going to enjoy it. The rolls start to glisten and I remove them with the stew. I split off the top breaking up the crusty, cheesy parts and laid the broken pieces on the bottom of the stew bowl. I poured the stew over the bread letting it soak in the sauce flavors. One bite at a time I scoop a spoonful into my mouth 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 to dinner with stew more often.
Beef Stew Recipe with Fresh Market Cheesy Popover Rolls
Add the following straight into a Dutch oven or heavy pot
- 2 quartered medium onions
- 3-4 quartered medium potatoes
- 3 stalks chopped celery stalks
- 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.
Or cook at 250 for 3-5 hours to allow the protein to break down and tenderize.
Remove from oven and adjust liquid. 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.
Make sure you have plenty of cheesy popover rolls to soak up the flavors of a great winter stew!