Before you start reading this, a warning: I started this post as a paean to how much fun it is to cook and eat a nice meal -- but it quickly devolved into yet another woe-is-me whine about my stupid menopausal self.
I can't help it.
I have an assignment from AskPatty to cover the LA Auto Show, which opens to the press tomorrow -- and there is a dress code. Unfortunately, I have gained so much weight in such a short time that nothing fits, and I will likely spend most of the money I am earning from the assignment to purchase clothes. This will likely upset my husband, who is already furious with me for getting fat again.
I am crying as I type this, because I feel so helpless. And out of control.
I know what I should be doing: Exercising (a lot!). Cutting calories. Cutting carbs.
But my to-do list the last few weeks has been long, and I decided to skip the gym while I try to catch up (at least, until I've finished my posts from the Auto Show).
More disturbing has been my complete inability to stick to any kind of diet. I feel hungry. ALL THE TIME. And the foods I am craving are exactly the ones that are adding to my misery. For years, I could take or leave sweets... but now, I am finding them impossible to resist. I know from experience that tomorrow, when I'm at the LA Convention Center, there will be lovely sweet temptations everywhere... and this year, I will probably give in.
The sad thing is, the last few days have been fun, because I've been cooking -- which was my creative outlet of choice before I started this blog. I think that's why I liked being a vegan this summer: It forced me to try a lot of new recipes.
Right now, I'm trying to navigate the intricacies of planning meals for my husband (who is sticking with the vegan regimen), my daughter (who only seems to like beef stew and roast chicken) and myself (feeling guilty no matter what I eat).
I guess you could say I'm suffering from dietary schizophrenia. But now that I'm talking about cooking (and not the weight I gain from eating the results), I'm feeling a bit better.
I made this fabulous vegan stew over the weekend (which I found on the Whole Foods Market website). It was so flavorful and filling that even non-vegans will be satisfied.
Ethiopian Style Chickpea Stew
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Stir together paprika, salt, allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, coriander, cayenne, fenugreek (if using) and ginger in a small bowl; set spice mixture aside.
Read the rest of the recipe on the Whole Foods website here.
DISCLOSURE: I have no affiliation with any of the companies listed in this post and received no compensation of any kind for writing it.