Comfort Foods?

IMG_20090112_0039If you are in Chicago you are well aware of the bitter cold, the snow, more snow, and then more again… Freezing pipes, frozen locks, slipping on ice, chairs on the street, rocking your car…Taking walks, going to the beach and swimming, bike riding, running outside… fill in the blank are for, it will be nice when! We now are in the let’s hang on the couch, netflix, and COMFORT FOODS!

One Friday afternoon I was at Dragonfly (by the way super cute) and one of the women in the store talked about it being a great time to put on her baggy sweats be on the couch with a bag of… Sound familiar? Well if this is you, I thought I would include some of my favorite comfort foods on these cold wintery days, when it is feeilng better to stay in then go… just about anywhere.

I hope you enjoy! Please leave a comment and let me know what you liked, and what your comfort foods look like these days.

This soup is so yummy, it could be a dessert.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH & PEAR SOUP IMG_0072

From MARIANNE WREN Clean Eating

Serves 6. Hands-on time: 10 minutes. Total time: 35 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

2 firm pears (such as Anjou), peeled, cored and chopped into 1-inch chunks

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1-inch chunks

3 tsp olive oil, divided

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

Pinch each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

. cup low-fat plain yogurt for garnish, optional

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional

Pinch fresh grated or ground nutmeg forgarnish, optional

Nutritional Bonus: Just 1 cup of cubed butternut squash has a full day’s supply of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Foods high in carotenoids – including carrots and sweet potatoes – are easily spotted by their brilliant hue, as beta-carotene is an orange plant pigment.

INSTRUCTIONS:

ONE: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a roasting pan, combine pears and squash. Drizzle with1. tsp oil, toss to coat, then spread out to cover bottom of pan, allowing for some overlap. Roast in oven, uncovered, until squash begins to brown and soften, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

TWO: Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat remaining 1. tsp oil on medium. Add onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until onion is softened and golden in color, 3 to4 minutes. Add pear-squash mixture and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

THREE: Using a hand blender or upright blender, purée mixture until smooth, about 45 to 60 seconds. (NOTE: If using an upright blender, work in small, cooled batches to avoid scalding. Then return to saucepan on low until reheated.) Garnish each serving with yogurt, pumpkin seeds and nutmeg,

I prepare this weekly, it is so tasty, I use whatever hearty veggies I have, including mushrooms.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas

( I use it on high and in less then 4 hours it is ready)

Author: Liz DellaCroce | The Lemon Bowl

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time:  8 hours

Total time:  8 hours 10 mins

  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 3 cups

Satisfying and comforting Indian inspired vegetarian dish packed with protein and full of flavor thanks to warm spices.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cauliflower – cut in florets
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts – quartered
  • 1 sweet potato – peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper – diced
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas – drained
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce – low sodium
  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • ½ cup chicken broth – low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne – optional
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • plain yogurt, cilantro, sriracha and scallions – optional garnishes

Instructions

  1. Place vegetables, chickpeas, tomato sauce, coconut milk, chicken broth and spices in the slow cooker and heat on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
  2. Before serving stir in green peas to warm.
  3. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  4. Serve over brown rice or grain of choice (or on own) with yogurt, cilantro and scallions. Sriracha doesn’t hurt either.

Notes:

Salt amount will depend on curry powder. We use a salt-free curry powder so we ended up adding about ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. If you’re not using a salt-free curry powder, you may need less.

IMG_0272Red Curry Soup with Purple Kale

From Post Punk Kitchen

Notes: Since curry pastes vary from brand to brand, start with 2 tablespoons and add more from there. If you would like to use brown rice, that’s fine! Just let it boil for 20 minutes more before adding the sweet potatoes and kale.

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced medium
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 cups basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste
1 bunch purple kale, pulled from stems and torn into bite size pieces
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 can lite coconut milk
1 tablespoon agave syrup
Juice of one lime

Optional: fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

  • Preheat a 4 quart soup pot over medium heat.
  • Saute onion in oil with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes or so, until translucent.
  • Add garlic and ginger and saute a minute more.
  • Add rice, vegetable broth and salt, cover pot and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, lower heat to simmer. Mix in 2 tablespoons curry paste. Add kale and sweet potatoes. Cover pot and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.
  • Add coconut milk, agave and lime. Taste for salt and flavor. Add more curry paste if you like.
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately, or even better let it sit for 10 minutes to give the flavors a chance to meld. Top with fresh chopped cilantro if you like.

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