A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is comfort food to some. It even got attention a few years ago from a popular NBA team when served pre-game.
Last year showed us how important food is, especially if you can’t visit your favorite restaurant or get your favorite foods at the store. Bread baking became epic as did sales of chocolate, alcohol, cereal (yes, cereal) and snack foods.
The 24 hour a day school/work/be at home showed us what we really craved. Perhaps you're eating foods that are familiar to you or are using this time to try out new brands.
I’ve heard from numerous friends who’ve been frustrated by errors in their online grocery orders and received way too many of a particular item or a substitute for which they have no idea what to do with. Or worse still, too many of an item that their family simply won't eat. Well, that's certainly not been a comfort!
Our days and nights have become crossed and we are faced with the inevitable challenge of what to eat. Meal fatigue has set in.
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; she likes to include a little bit of this and little bit of that. She included greens, avocado, hard boiled eggs, beet hummus and pita.
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 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.
Our days are still long and we're still look forward to having something good to eat (and fortunate to be able to do so). I'm stretching my creativity to come up with tasty ideas for our table. An ongoing work in progress.
Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food company. Pat's Granola is sold online at www.patsgranola.com and is also available at several Northeast Ohio businesses including:
Troubadour Coffee Roasters www.troubadourcoffeeroasters.com
Sports and Spine Physical Therapy www.sportspine.com
Local Flavors Shoppe www.localflavors.net
Rittman Orchards and Farm Market www.rittmanorchards.com
Locle Box www.loclebox.com
Market Wagon Northeast Ohio www.marketwagon.com
Made Cleveland www.madecleveland.com
Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport www.clevelandairport.com