Healthy comfort food recipes?

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Friday

Moderator
healthy comfort foods people like?
Miso Soup!

Super easy (so of course I’m going to write a lot). Super healthy. Super fast.

- Dashi (HonDashi)
- Miso Paste

Boil however much water = how much soup you want. Add dashi. Boil. Turn off heating element. Stir in miso paste. Voila. Done. That simple.

Fancy it up with extra stuff if you desire. It takes an extra 90 seconds,
maybe, if you’ve got it on hand. But the glory glory hallelujah :smug: happy = those first 2 ingredients.

- Wakame (optional) Dried seaweed
- Tofu (optional) use soft or silken firm
- Fish Cake (optional)
- Green Onion (optional)
- Daikon Sprouts (optional) radish sprouts
- Sweet Scrambled egg wedge (optional)
- Fried Bean Curd (optional) Inari wrappers sliced into strips work great
- Kitchen Sink (optional ;)) really, I almost never add anything.
The ratios are on the containers they come in (and it’s reeeeeeeeally worth buying 1 jar of dashi, and 1 plastic tub of miso paste, both for quality & massive savings rather than instant packages...especially as you’re using teaspoons of Dashi & tablespoons of Miso Paste... those containers do dozens and dozens of servings). Dashi is like bouillon, it keeps forever as long as you keep it dry. Miso paste is fermented, and keeps a lot like mayonnaise or cheese. As long as it’s in the fridge & covered, months of perfectness, and theoretically years... I’ve just never in my life taken longer than 6mo or so to go through a tub of it.

In the US there are 4 main kinds of Miso Paste.

White - Shira - Sweet
Yellow - (doesn’t have a Japanese name, very American) - Mellow*
Red - Aka - Salty/Robust
Mixed Red & White - Awase - Balanced

* Used in sooooooo many vegetarian & vegan recipes it’s often in the fancy-pants organic section of the grocery store, instead of the Asian section. Assuming you have an Asian section. We have Asian markets out the wazoo up here in the Pacific Northwest, so our grocery stores follow suit; Asian, Mexican, Italian, Indian, & Kosher usually share the same aisle, unless Italian has its own aisle to itself, and our bigger stores add a U.K. & MidEast shelves. If your area doesn’t have an Asian section, or Asian market? Check out Amazon.


The kinds I use
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Tornadic Thoughts

MyPTSD Pro
For me, @Kopykat , there's way too many to list, but I enjoy making things like chickpea tofu (made with chickpea flour and water, since I'm not all that fond of soy products) and using that to make a tofu scramble in place of eggs. I add lots of greens/onions/bell peppers/herbs/nutritional yeast and whatever else strikes my fancy in the moment. Scrambled eggs used to be a major comfort food until I changed my consumption habits to my now whole food plant-based vegan style. Finding ways to mimic some the favorite flavors while meeting my nutritional needs and preserving and maintaining improved feelings of wellness has been a long but interesting and very fruitful process.

Egg salad is another one I loved, but now make it using chickpeas and kala namak black salt (adds the egg-like flavor). Chickpeas also make my old favorites of chicken salad/tuna salad/and curried chicken salad possible, too.

Chickpea blondies....my new favorite dessert. Made with chickpeas, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, and dairy-free chocolate chunks/chips. Yum and then some!

Quinoa is my new favorite in place of rice. Can even be made into a breakfast cereal of sorts. There's also ways to make it into a flat bread. It has very little, if any, flavor on it's own, so it easily absorbs whatever you season it with. Oh...and mung bean thread noodles rock my "I want Chinese take-out" taste buds, big time. Top them with my favorite sauteed goodies and a little drizzle of toasted sesame oil and yum!

Cauliflower bbq "wings" in place of chicken wings.

Alfredo sauce made with soaked raw cashews with some added sauteed mushrooms/onions/garlic/broccoli served over gluten-free pasta or zoodles (noodles made from zucchini).

Nice cream made with frozen bananas....depending on what else in in season, I'll add fresh berries. Other times I'll add some cacao powder and a little nut butter with a pinch of vanilla bean. Can be made in the food processor or with a handy little machine called Yonanas. Scored one at a thrift shop for $3. Blenders work, too, but it's more of a smoothie/milkshake consistency rather than soft serve.

I make a lot of fresh juice, which is also comforting knowing that I could never eat that much stuff in one setting, but can easily pack it into a glass of some damn tasty juice, and I save the juice pulp to make various flat breads/cookies/muffins/pizza crust/etc. So many possibilities. Found the Jack LaLane power juicer at a thrift shop, too, for just a few dollars.

The walnut "meat" for tacos and such is a great addition to the spaghetti scene, too. So glad I learned that. Smoked paprika can add more flavor than I knew was possible. Funny how I learned most of my old favorite animal products were favorites due to the seasonings added to them, not the actual product itself. That made it much easier to mimic my favorite flavors.

That's all my brain can come up with in the moment. Hope there's some yumminess in there to be found for you, too. Peace.
 

Kopykat

MyPTSD Pro
@Friday i totally wanted to make miso soup, but was afraid to make it and I couldn’t find an ok base recipe. It also took me a long time to find miso paste. I’ll have to find dashi now. I do love it. I’ve seen recipes w mushrooms, green onions, kale, spinach, etc but never a good base recipe so thank you! I’m more of a baker but I want to find better and healthier foods in general. I’ve been sorta experimenting w that in baking.

@Tornadic Thoughts can you send me the blondie recipe or any other dessert recipe you’re fond of? One of my best friends has been trying vegan (at times vegetarian) for about a year and I’d like to make stuff that’s supportive of her lifestyle that I know people have actually tried.

Also is making your own tofu difficult? That sounds really intriguing and I would totally try that!

@Friday and @Tornadic Thoughts thank you both for posting, that got me really excited to look into more healthier recipes! Yay cooking !!
 
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Friday

Moderator
I’m more of a baker but I want to find better and healthier foods in general. I’ve been sorta experimenting w that in baking.
You’re going to laugh your socks off at me if you’ve got a steam injection oven :bag: But if not? >>> OMFG.

Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread by Ken Forkish

M
y absolute fav basic bread recipe is in there, and all it requires for truly crusty perfect bread just like a pro steam bakers oven = a 4qt cast iron Dutch oven! :D I seriously almost peed myself I was so excited with what I could now make. :inlove: 6 loaves later it paid for itself. I initially trained in wood fired pizza, so I can make flatbread for days, but my dad is the baker in the family all precise & calculated...I’m more the throw it at fire, taste, adjust, & go. Which, as you know, isn’t how baking works. My dad and I in the same kitchen is pure comedy, because we are fundamentally opposed to each other’s food style.

Combining the above? Baking and cooking? Sandwiches are big ticket comfort food for me. So many different moods!

- There’s a coastal Spanish thing that’s half a slice of crusty bread (above), toasted, rub with garlic clove (crazy how half a clove just grates itself on the texture of the bread), bite the end off of a cherry tomato & rub with tomato, drizzle with olive oil, and top with one thin slice of ham (if desired). Serrano ham is bliss, el cheapo whatever thin sliced ham is still freaking awesome (and prosciutto -oddly- isn’t as good? Which is sacrelige, I know. Yet oddly true. Serrano or Whatever ham works a treat). From someone who grew up with meat on sandwich = piled high, I loooooove finding Sammie’s where it’s just a whisper thin slice for happiness.

- Bruschetta.
>>> Super classic baguette slice or half a bread slice, basil pesto smear, tomato slice, & pecorino romano or Parmesan sprinkled over the top, run under the broiler // fresh version, drop of olive oil (to stick the leaf) slice of tomato well peppered, slice of fresh mozzarella.
>>> Complete Protein = Can of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed. Half a thinly sliced purple onion, olive oil, & salt. Let marinate for about an hour & mash it about a bit, and top on crusty bread slice.
>>> 5% of a steak, 100% of the ahhhhh... 1 midrare ribeye (bbq’d smokeh and wonderful, or pan seared, etc.), portioned, can make 20 or more of these! = 1 cm slice about silver dolllar sized, minced fine. Dot crusty palm sized bread slice with mayo (or horseradish, or aioli, or chimichurri, or bleu cheese butter), smear finely minced steak, garnish with fire roasted red bell pepper or white onion or both, and pile on fresh peppery watercress or arugula. If you need more fat in your diet, a thin slice of avocado goes lovely. It still only calories out at about 200. Because the high cal stuff is just dabbed, but the flavor intensity makes it feel like more.

- TraderJoes NOT Butter Chicken Masala
1 bag of frozen chimichurri rice
1 box of roasted red pepper & tomato soup

Dump both into a pan and stir... and swear to blazes, it tastes like a badass butter chicken masala. (But doesn’t, but does, but doesn’t, but DOES). Sans butter, cream, & chicken. I don’t know how they do it. Pixie dust, maybe, or crack cocaine.
 

Kopykat

MyPTSD Pro
@Friday that sounds amazing. I love baking bread in my Dutch oven!! My dad in the kitchen is a joke, he once tried to grill a frozen pizza, burnt the bottom and the top was still frozen. Lol. Those sandwiches sound great. I think I really have under estimated sandwiches.
 

Tornadic Thoughts

MyPTSD Pro
Glad to share. Here's the chickpea blondie recipe:

Instead of spraying the pan with non-stick stuff, I just greased it with coconut oil, instead.
Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies | Ambitious Kitchen
I also tried a version with sunflower seed butter and fresh black raspberries....they were a bit too moist, though, so I had to bake them longer, then they dried out and got quite crumbly, but were still tasty. Next time I'll use some of my dehydrated berries instead.

Here's the chickpea tofu recipe:
How To Make Chickpea Tofu - 3 Ways
I found it to be super easy as long as I pay close attention during the stirring process...if not, it can go to hell rather quickly. lol

Another fun dessert-like thing I like to do is to get some medjool dates, remove the pits, and put either walnuts, cashews, or peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter) in them and close them back up, then melt some of the non-dairy chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand) in a double boiler - must stir them to get them to melt together smoothly - and dip the dates in them, then stick them on a plate with parchment paper and stick them in the fridge to cool/harden. They are so good! It's my go to when I'm craving reese cups, especially.

These were pretty darn delicious, too:
The Best Fudgy Black Bean Brownies - Brooklyn Farm Girl

I eat this for breakfast rather than for a dessert:

Slice some bananas into bite size pieces on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, then sprinkle with cinnamon, then bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. Don't bake too long or they get liquid-like. Let cool a few minutes before serving. To me, they taste like a gourmet pastry.

Your friend is very fortunate to have someone in their life who is actually interested in wanting to cook things she can comfortably eat and digest. Kudos to you for being such a mindful friend.
 

Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
Lentil Soup

Crock pot is best for it.

Soak a bag of lentils overnight, rinse and place them in the pot. Add some chicken broth, (or veggie broth if you are vegan). While you heat the lentils and broth to a boil, saute up some onions and garlic. Add those and some sliced carrots and celery (leaves included) to the whole thing and bring to a boil. Simmer for several hours. You will need some salt in it, unless you are on a salt free or low salt diet. I usually add about a tablespoon, but then if the broth has salt in it, no need for that either.

You can dress it up with some roasted red bell peppers, corn, or whatever else you have around that seems it would enhance the soup.

I serve it with European Black Bread. Or what is called Pumpernickel. If you want something on the bread, hummus is great stuff and much healthier than butter!
 

Kopykat

MyPTSD Pro
@Tornadic Thoughts have you tried vegan brownies with avocados in them?

I try to be supportive and mindful. I have some dietary restrictions and in general as trying to be healthier and lose weight and I get a lot of push back for that and I know she gets push back for being vegan which is BS. And I like to try new things.
 

Tornadic Thoughts

MyPTSD Pro
I haven't made my own yet, @Kopykat , but I did try some at a place in another town a while back before I became a whole food plant-based vegan consumer. Delicious! I remember thinking, "Damn....if healthier food options can be made to taste THAT good, why the hell aren't we surrounded by it?"

Push back is a never ending thing, it seems. I tend to get a hell of a lot of it in the area I live in that strongly indicates I choose a vegan lifestyle simply as a way to flaunt my so-called privilege, or to have a chance to be "militant" towards others, or as a way to simply be a pain in the ass in all the places that don't recognize food sensitivities or provide vegan options. Not many take the time nor wish to consider where I was in my suffering vs. where I am now in the health arena.

But I also remember when I was still consuming all the things that made me so sick, miserable, and chronically ill, I'd often think of vegans in that same light, unfortunately, and was only able to view it any differently once I was catapulted by emergent medical circumstances into directly living and experiencing it on a daily basis myself.

I'm surrounded by big ag farms and so-called "humane" farms around every turn, so there's absolutely no escaping it. The most I can do is keep educating myself, being my own best walking billboard, and actively advocate and try to share genuinely helpful information whenever I can in hopes of others realizing how incredibly beneficial and life changing it could be, be it personally and/or environmentally.

Most days, though, it's not worth the energy it takes just to be made to feel like shit....again, especially when surrounded by folks already determined to disagree regardless, and by those who thrive on heckling and saying highly insensitive shit in response, so I just stay home and do my own thing in order to healthily nurture both my mind and my body.

Other days, especially when I'm feeling even more outcast and emotional than usual, you may find me on the side of the road crying and apologizing to all the livestock on behalf of the human race. The words humane and slaughter were never meant to be used in the same sentence, in my heart. I just wish I'd paid closer attention much sooner...but it is what it is.

On a really good day, I'll be traveling out and about with samples of my own homemade gluten-free vegan goodies w/ a copy of the recipes and trying to advocate at local restaurants/food trucks/fundraisers/etc. for folks to please consider food sensitivities by entertaining the idea of offering vegan selections on purpose, other than the typical salad that consists of lettuce/tomato/cucumber (if you're lucky), and onion. That menu option gets really old after a while. I even have a carrot suit that I'll wear to help emphasize the plant-based ideas, and it's become quite the ice-breaker/conversation starter, whereas before, I'd be much more quickly dismissed.

I also make it a point to call/visit/send a thank you note/write reviews online/etc. to the places that DO cater to people who choose not to consume animal products/gluten/etc. and who put more genuine effort into offering things I can actually eat. I feel like the proverbial kid in the candy shop when those moments arise and often shed a few happy tears as it's so incredibly rare around here.

I remember thinking that kicking cigs to the curb many years ago was the most difficult thing I'd ever encounter, addiction-wise, until the diet changes became necessary. Unlearning all that highly inaccurate info I'd been taught my whole life that lead to me being grossly malnourished while also being grossly overfed, while also trying to re-learn how to healthily nurture this meat-coated skeleton has been quite the journey and has now claimed the spot of being the absolute most difficult thing to date that I've attempted and managed to accomplish. Much respect for the efforts of anyone trying, as it's not easy by any stretch of the imagination.
 
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