My birthday was this past Sunday. I turned 30. A new decade and hopefully and new sense of self. As I talked about last week, comparing myself to others had set in, and my life felt empty. When I have moments like this, I turn to food for comfort. Don’t we all have our comfort foods?
Food nourishes our bodies and gives us nutrients that we might have been lacking. It makes our tummies feel warm or might even fill the void in an awkward situation. I don’t know a person who doesn’t have a specific food that they always turn to when things aren’t going exactly how they wanted them to.
Throughout this past week I have really felt overloaded by stress, anxiety, feeling of failure, and lacking success: all feelings a lot of people deal with. What made it worse is that on Saturday night I realized that I lost my wedding ring. It was not insured. All of this just added to my feelings and as the evening before my birthday drew to a close I wasn’t sure how the next day would go.
However, I was comforted with my favorite thai food, chocolate, and Prosecco. These foods helped me to remember how cared for I am. As you know, I love the idea of people gathering around a table to eat good food, not mediocre or subpar, but food that helps nourish who we are as individuals and comforts the heart.
Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself being hugged tightly by someone who loves you… that is comforting food. A good friend of mine left me a message on my birthday saying that, “birthdays are the day that friends and loved ones get to tell you how much they love you.” Her message, like many others, brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know if you have people who tell you that you are loved or comfort you when you are down. Sometimes I don’t always feel like I do.
These pains are not easily covered, but you can comfort them with your favorite meal. It might even be hot dogs, but whatever the food is, know that you are cared for, loved, and this is a space where we invite all of you to our table.
I love to feel comforted by macaroni and cheese. Here is my recipe.
- 1 Package Brown Rice Pasta (cooked to package instructions)
- 1 Yellow Onion (Diced)
- 2 C. Grated Cheddar Cheese (Or Combination of a Sharp + Softer Cheese)
- 1 C. Milk (or your choice of Dairy Free "milk")
- 1 C. Frozen Peas
- 1 C. Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 12 oz. Artichoke Hearts
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper
- PreHeat oven to 375 F.
- Follow the instructions for cooking the pasta.
- Over MedHigh heat, place olive oil in a saute pan. Then add your diced onion. Sauté until translucent, add your spices (garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, pepper).
- Add your milk. Bring to a boil.
- Remove pan. Add cheese and stir until melted.
- Pour over the cooked pasta.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and peas. Mix.
- Pour into a oven-safe casserole dish.
- Cook for 20 min.
- Serve hot with your favorite drink.