Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let's Get Comfortable

Whether you're dealing with a cold/flu, studying for mid-terms/finals or trying to stay warm, we often think of comfort foods.  Some comfort foods are reasonably healthy, but others may be high in Calories, sugar, fat, and/or salt.  Remembering to think 'big picture' we know that all foods can fit.  However, if you are home sick in bed or trying to cram all night, you still want to have energy and give your body the nutrients it needs to function at it's best. 

Think hearty chili or soup made with lean meat, beans, lentils, vegetables (potatoes, carrots, squash, peas, zucchini, tomatoes...) or amp up your mac and cheese with tuna and broccoli (for example).  Protein keeps us satisfied for longer and most of us aren't getting the recommended number of vegetable servings each day.  I will continue to say it, but yes "healthy food tastes great".  You may have to learn to use different herbs, spices, oils, and ingredients, but there are many ways to provide that warm, satisfied feeling without pulling out the ramen noodle soup, potato chips, or store bought cookies.

We have a sunny day today and our snow has almost melted, however we still know that winter is here.  With that in mind, today I'm asking:

What is your go-to comfort food?

I really enjoy soups this time of year.  This past Sunday I tried the recipe below - Beaker's Vegetable Barley Soup.  It used ingredients I already had in the house which I think counts as comfort food because then I didn't have to face winter layers and chilly winds.

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked barley
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with
1 zucchini, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans,
1 onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1. Pour the vegetable broth into a large pot. Add the barley, carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, garbanzo beans, onion, and bay leaves. Season with garlic powder, sugar, salt, pepper, parsley, curry powder, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 90 minutes (I cooked it in the slow cooker on low for about 7-8 hours). The soup will be very thick. You may adjust by adding more broth or less barley if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.