- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 4-6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or finely minced
- 3 slightly heaping tablespoons chili powder
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt (or more to taste)
- 8 oz. can organic tomato paste (only ingredient should be tomatoes)
- 16 ounce can organic tomato/marinara sauce (make sure there are no additives)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
- 4 sprouted grain rolls or 8 slices Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, toasted
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Sloppy Joe, Slop Sloppy Joe, And Uh ...
Good evening, Gnawers! Well, it has been sort of a rough day. No biggie and nothing I can't handle ... I've just been feeling more emotional and such than is normal for me this week, I guess. In the spirit of being honest, I have to share that I was having major urges to say "screw it" to this whole new eating plan today. I have no idea what got into me. I have truly been loving this lifestyle change. I love the food. I love the cooking. I love the blog. I love the way it makes me feel. I love all of it. Still, something in me wanted to use some choice expletives and run for the hills today. As I thought of what I would eat if I were to go for said hill running, nothing sounded good at all. This made me think a bit deeper (which I was also not in the mood to do). Doing so helped me realize that my urges to bolt had nothing to do with food (surprise, surprise), and rather with the fact that I am a little worn down and avoiding dealing with some feelings. This is the second time this has happened since I started all of this, which is making me realize there is a pattern. It turns out I do run to food (or at least I used to) when I am avoiding feelings big and small. I share this with you even though it makes me feel very vulnerable to do so. I share this with you because I suspect that many of you do the same thing or have had similar experiences. I am learning how to cope with crappy feelings in a new way and hope that you will be able to do so as well. Keep in mind, I am a psychologist. People often think that just because psychologists and those in the mental health field went to school for forever and talk to people about these things all day long means that we always have it all together. Wrong. It just doesn't work that way. We are people too and we are all learning on our own journeys as we go. We may have a little more education and experience around the subject, but we are regular peeps and have to figure our own stuff out from time to time too. Such is life.
Sooooo, needless to say, I had absolutely no interest in cooking dinner tonight when I got home after 9:00 PM. I thought about skipping dinner or eating some random snacks out of the fridge, but that just didn't seem right. Thank God for this blog and for you guys. I felt like I needed to stay accountable and actually cook one of the meals I had planned for the week. This isn't just about me anymore. So, that is exactly what I did.
I am really really really glad that I went through with it. I found peace as I chopped my veggies. I turned on relaxing music rather than the TV and just allowed myself to cook at my own pace. The house began to smell delicious. One of the first ingredients to cook was the onion, which instantly filled my house with a yummy rich smell that reminds me of my grandma's house when I was a little girl. I always think of the story my mom shared with me about my grandma when I start cooking with an onion. Apparently, my grandma would quickly throw an onion in the pan right before my grandfather got home so it would smell like she had been cooking for hours. My grandma was the best. I like to think that she would be proud of me if she were still here today.
Anyway, I actually enjoyed cooking dinner once I got into it. I made Vegan Faux Sloppy Joes from a recipe for "Snobby Joes" the I modified from the Post Punk Kitchen Website. Their website really does rock and I highly recommend checking it out. I can't help but smile when I think of sloppy Joes because I immediately think of Adam Sandler singing "Lunch Lady Land" while Chris Farley dances around with giant food dressed as the lunch lady. CLASSIC.
The meal turned out to be SO delicious and I was really glad that I took the time to cook. I tried to find sprouted grain rolls at the store the other day, but didn't have any luck finding them. So, I served my Faux Joes on toasted Ezekiel Bread. They were just as yummy. I garnished the plate with romaine lettuce, but ended up putting the lettuce on my sandwich to make it even more scrumptious. These really were awesome. Kid friendly too. I will be making these many more times!
Vegan Faux Sloppy Joes
1. Put the lentils and water in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and allow to simmer to about 20 minutes or until lentils are getting soft. Drain and set aside.
2. About 10 minutes before lentils are done cooking, preheat a medium to large soup pot or sauce pan over medium heat.
3. Add oil, onion, and green pepper and sauté until they are softened and becoming translucent (about 7 minutes).
4. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or so, making sure you do not burn the garlic.
5. Add the cooked lentils (make sure you drained the water!), chili powder, oregano, and salt. Stir well.
6. Add the tomato paste and tomato/marinara sauce and stir well. Allow this mixture to continue to cook over medium heat for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Meanwhile, toast the kaiser rolls or bread.
8. After 10 minutes, add maple syrup and mustard to pot. Stir and allow all ingredients to heat through.
9. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes so that all of the flavors can mingle and intensify.
10. Serve on rolls or bread as a sandwich or open faced. Eat up and enjoy!!!!
It paid off to push through today and I even got a great meal out of it. As for the feeling I have been avoiding ... eating crappy food is not going to help. It would only make things worse. I know this. I feel a hell of a lot better knowing that I made good choices, and there are a million other ways to sort through the feelings in a positive way. All good things. All good lessons. All good all around.
I hope that you are each making it through your own weeks and journeys right now. You are definitely on my mind. A special thank you goes out to one of my readers, Dana, for introducing me to the Post Punk Kitchen website and for all the great info she has been providing me this week! Like I have said before ... I could not do this without you guys. Thinking of you and hoping your tomorrow is a fabulous one! Until next time, Gnawers ... take very good care of you!!!