Cook Your Troubles Away

I’ve had a rough week. The funny thing about that is, a few years ago, said rough week would have thrown me into a tailspin. Anxiety would have gurgled up and spat me out into a person who couldn’t get anything accomplished.

Now, I have changed. I have become a person that I love. I respect myself, appreciate myself, and take little for granted. I don’t hold grudges (well, not to the same degree I used to anyway), I see no point in vengeance, I try to look at the positive despite that being really hard sometimes, and I know that I alone can have an impact on how I handle a situation.

So after my rough week, I decided to cook my troubles away.

For the last number of years, Chef Husband has been in charge of the kitchen. I’m a pretty good cook, but he has always gotten quite a bit more pleasure out of cooking, and he definitely likes food more than me. In the last month, I’ve been finding my way around the kitchen more, and having quite a few successes (and I’m not going to lie.. there have been a few disasters). i feel rejuvinated, and I realize that as much as Chef H loves to cook and is a bit of a control freak in the kitchen, he appreciates my help and likes not cooking every meal.

I may have to make some significant dietary changes again. My biopsy results came back with weird results – nothing serious, but it’s a toss up at this point as to whether it’s Acid Reflux or the more daunting unknown Eosinophilic Esophagitis. I get rebiopsied in 3 weeks and should have a definitive answer one way or another then.

But back to cooking the troubles away.. a long time ago, we had this amazing chili like concoction that was lovingly known as “Bean Stuff”. I have no idea why I had a desire to eat this comfort food, but I did. So I made this beautiful nutritious (mostly) supper for the family.

2 cans of Maple Baked Beans (14 oz each)
1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
1 onion chopped (optional)
1 pound ground beef browned
1/2 pound of bacon cooked and chopped
3/4 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp worchestire sauce (gluten free)
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp salt

Put it all in the slow cooker, stir, cook on low for 4 hours. (I need to thank Serben Free Range for making the best bacon in the world that went into the above and below recipes. Good bacon is second to none!!)

And voila, a beautiful meal (with plenty of leftovers). I love the additon of lentils into this dish for nutritional value, and taste. It’s sweet without being too sweet and has a great flavour. We served it with a bun recipe from Jules Shepard’s Free For All Cooking – one of my favourite cookbooks ever.

To top it off, I made egg muffins this morning. They’re so easy and so good. To make 12:
12 eggs beaten
a variety of additions (think mushrooms, peppers, bacon, sausage, onion, cheese, etc).
In our case we made:
4 mushroom, yellow pepper, bacon
2 yellow pepper, bacon
6 bacon
Put the additions on the bottom of the muffin pan, add the egg mixture almost to the top, and cook for 20 minutes at 350. So easy, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, delicious guaranteed!

To celebrate the fact also that it warmed up 40 degrees (from -40 to +1 in a week), we went sledding together – an amazing fun outdoor activity that resulted in some very happy children!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julie j.
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 09:51:59

    What a wonderful, positive post! I love it!


  2. Jules
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 15:26:42

    Sorry for your rough week – I completely understand! Glad though, you have an outlet for your stresses! Baking has always been that for me – it can be extremely cathartic to meditate in the kitchen over food lovingly prepared for family and friends. Hoping this week is much better for you (but keep up the great cooking!)! :)~jules


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