Oxford dictionary definition of comfort food:
- 1.food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is comfort food to some. It even got some attention a few years ago from a popular NBA team when served pre-game.
Perhaps your comfort food is ice cream. A single scoop, please.
Or, a bowl of soup. What's your favorite? Chicken noodle, vegetable, tomato?
Cookies? These chocolate and nut topped almond shortbread cookies are family favorites.
Last year showed us how important food is, especially if you couldn't visit your favorite restaurant or get your favorite foods at the store. Bread baking became epic as did sales of chocolate, alcohol, ice cream, cereal (yes, cereal) and snack foods. The 24 hour a day school/work/be at home showed us what we really craved as a way to feel safe and comforted.
Perhaps you're eating foods that are familiar to you or are using this time to try out new brands. Our days and nights became crossed and we were faced with the inevitable challenge of what to eat. Meal fatigue set in, as we were asked "what's for dinner" when we'd hardly finished eating breakfast!
I asked my sister Susan for ideas of what she’s made her daughter when faced with a case of the hangry child. How about a homemade egg McMuffin? Fruit and veggie plate; grilled cheese and tomato or bacon. Nuts, cheese and pretzels; ham and cheese roll ups; PBJ; Graham crackers, honey and cream cheese; bagel bite with cream cheese, sliced cucumber, chopped tomato.
Susan and I can typically make a meal out of whatever we have on hand and usually make it taste good.
Susans lunch plate includes a little bit of this and little bit of that...greens, avocado, hard boiled eggs, beet hummus and pita.
With fresh tomatoes in season, I've opted for a plate of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Especially good on days when it's been too hot to cook.
Here’s a few other ideas:
Small plates with cut up veggies, cheese, pita, yogurt, crackers, bread, nut butter, honey, granola, chunks of apple, pears or bananas have sustained us.
Open faced sandwiches (great for when you may be short on bread) have been popular with my kids. Try hummus, tuna, cheese topped with veggies and pickles (we love pickles).
English muffin or pita pizzas topped with whatever cheese you have, chopped tomato or tomato sauce and a dash of oregano has been a welcome lunch. I’ve even added salsa, if I had it, for a Mexican pizza.
Smoothies are a way to enjoy fruits (and veggies) with your choice of milk. I’ve even topped it with granola for a hearty spoonable breakfast or lunch.
Got eggs, milk and bread? Turn these into omelettes, pancakes, French toast or sandwiches. Breakfast for dinner has been on our table more times than not.
And I’ve been known to roast a pan of sweet potatoes or carrots as a "whatever" dish. Tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and a drizzle of balsamic glaze right before serving—it's filling and delicious.
A baked stuffed potato is also a delicious one dish meal. Try stuffing the potato with chili, cheese, veggies, or even granola.
As we morph into a return to in person work or school, our days are still long and we still look forward to having something good to eat (and are fortunate to be able to do so).
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland food and lifestyle company.
Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at selected Northeast Ohio businesses including:
Troubadour Coffee Roasters www.troubadourcoffeeroasters.com
Sports and Spine Physical Therapy www.sportspine.com
Local Flavors Shoppe www.localflavors.net
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport www.clevelandairport.com
Locle Box www.loclebox.com
Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com
Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com
Nature's Oasis Lakewood www.naturesoasis.com
Happy Cows Group Share Happy Cows Group Share
The Corner at The Van Aken District The Corner at The Van Aken District
Sweet Bean Candies Sweet Bean Candies
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