Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Cook Through Your Anxiety!

That will totally be the title of a self-help book in the next two or three years. Don't worry, I have no intention of writing it.

Thinking about food, as I did in my last post, makes me think about food, and on Monday night I took a close look at what I had in my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. I couldn't even face my over-stuffed spice shelves, and what I had was SO. MUCH. that I'm not going to list out everything. Just know that it was A LOT, and even after going on a cooking binge, it's still enough that I don't need to go shopping for almost a month (but don't worry, that didn't stop me -- more below).

I came up with no less than seventeen recipes that I could make without having to go shopping. When I say I could eat for a month, I wasn't kidding. On Tuesday, feeling anxious about my sons' food issues, the upcoming election, poverty, the environment, and pretty much everything else, I made: vegan, gluten-free sourdough bread (in my Instapot, no less), chocolate beet cake, tomato sauce, vegan chili, and lentil soup. That's just me cracking my knuckles -- seriously, I have twelve more dishes to go -- and the fact that I needed to do some homeschooling and other general parenting. The latter included a phone call with the nutritionist, during which it was decided that they both need a lot more protein. So, budget conscious though I'm trying to be, I spent more money than I'd like to confess to on animal protein sources. As I watched my husband and son devour one-fifth of what we'd spent in one sitting, I started to wonder if the mathematics of better food needed fewer times really works out when you're talking about two growing boys. 


I think even this picture is giving a good idea of the awesome texture of the cake and the for-real red velvet color.

(I'm making meat for my sons because they need it. And before someone wants to get on me for not giving them vegan sources of protein, please know that one of the things that seems to be bothering them is, yep, beans. Soyfoods, probably because of the fermented nature, seem to be bothering them less, but that's not cutting it for their growth. Before you say at least give them vegetarian options, they both have issues with dairy and one of them has issues with eggs. And to anyone who wants to argue that their growth and general health isn't worth what I'm feeding them, we don't have anything to discuss.)

Perhaps you'll be surprised to hear that stress-cooking doesn't actually make your stress go away. To really burn through stress, I need to move around, but I was confined to my home both Monday and Tuesday. By the time I got back from shopping I was ready to jump out of my skin, but then I found that my body bars (36 and 15 pounds) had arrived much earlier than I'd thought. Woo hoo! As soon as my husband cut them out of the boxes for me I did what I had been promising myself I'd do: deadlifts and squats (36 pounds) and overhead presses (15 pounds). Oh, my! You know how your body can just scream for something it hasn't gotten for a while? That's how I've been feeling for a very long time, but when I picked up those bars, the delicious ache in my muscles told me that it was finally getting what it needed. 

With the prayer that I will be able to avoid food shopping for, I don't know, a week, I attacked the kitchen this morning, making chicken soup stock and then chicken soup. (Did I mention we roasted a chicken last night? It happened.) After a little calculus and chemistry with the boys -- highlight of my day, I kid you not -- I think I'm going back for vegan, gluten-free mac and cheese and squash pudding. Or we'll see what else we can come up with that I can fit in the fridge.

Off to make someone an egg and vegan cheese sandwich on gluten-free bread,

Deb in the City

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