Whether you’re feeling under the weather or temperatures have plummeted outside, there are certain foods that the body just needs or craves. Lately, for me it’s been soup and casseroles. My little family has been sick for almost two weeks. We’re on the mend now but it’s been a long road. I quickly grew tired of feeling horrible and reliant on OTC meds so I decided to get in the kitchen and kickstart our wellness journey with simple, warm in the the belly, comfort foods.
Chicken tortilla soup: This recipe is on Pinterest and made in the Instant Pot. It’s delicious, spicy, complex in flavor yet simple to make. Did I mention it requires only one pot? Easy on time and the wallet so it’s an all around win! I put half a pack of chicken tenderloins in the instant pot and added the following: a can of fire roasted salsa, 48 oz box of chicken broth, half of a chopped yellow onion, spices and tomato paste. After it cooks you add the corn and black beans to warm through. I enjoyed mine with a squirt of lime, shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips. This soup was so tasty and alive. It made my face and throat feel happy. The BEST part is that the total prep/cooking time was a little over 30 minutes but the flavors tasted like they had simmered together all day.
Chili: I browned ground chuck with garlic powder on the stove and mixed in diced tomatoes, mild chili seasoning and a can of kidney beans. I proceeded to cook this low and slow all day in the crockpot. I determined it to be a little bland after a taste test so I ended up adding almost every spice in the cabinet to include smoked paprika, chipotle, chili powder, southwest seasoning, etc. My goal was to incorporate more flavor without too much heat for the little. It turned out to be awesome in a bowl with Frito corn chips and shredded cheddar cheese.
Stuffed bell pepper casserole: I needed a little break from soup and decided to make a casserole. This idea is also Pinterest inspired and meant to be a simplified version of stuffed peppers. I made boil in the bag rice x 2, cooked the ground beef with onion, chopped up two bell peppers and incorporated that with a can of diced tomatoes and a half cup of shredded cheese. I mixed everything together in a greased casserole dish and baked for 30 minutes. I removed from the oven, sprinkled another cup of cheese over the top and broiled it for just a few minutes until nice and melty. Yummo and baby approved.
Broccoli cheese soup: For this I went rogue and threw a bunch of stuff together that I thought would be good. I sautéed half of a chopped onion with olive oil and garlic pepper seasoning. I roasted chopped carrots and baby gold potatoes in olive oil and salt and pepper for 45 minutes. Once slightly cooled, I added this and the onion to a can of broccoli cheese soup, cheddar cheese soup and 2 can fulls of milk. I let this cook on medium low heat and then simmered for 30 minutes or so. I added two slices of Sargento smokehouse cheddar and a handful of mozzarella. (Running a little low on cheese at this point so had to be creative). I seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. This was very super cozy in a bowl with crumbled ritz crackers.
Cookies: My favorite dessert. Cookies are easy, hard to mess up and can be enjoyed for days on end. This flourless peanut butter cookie recipe can also be found on Pinterest and consists of only a few ingredients that you likely already have on hand. Thus, I make it a lot. The whole family (dog included) loves these. They are best enjoyed right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk. Fluffy little peanut butter pillows. What could be more comforting than that?
Reader, I hope that this post finds you well. Sick or not, I hope that these simple ideas and recipes inspire you to get in the kitchen and make something warm to get through the cold days of winter. Please feel free to share your favorite comfort foods in the comments. Happy cooking!✌️💜🍴
Mood Ring Kitchen
I’m a self teaching home cook and aspiring foodie entrepreneur. I enjoy coming up with creative ways to prepare flavorful food such as snacks, desserts and everything in between. Cooking is a way for me to challenge myself and satisfy curiosities about different ingredients.
The hope is to produce something thoughtful, memorable or every once in a while maybe even wonderful. I enjoy following my “gut” and exploring new recipes that can be comforting, exciting and nourishing. Above all else, I enjoy exploring the emotions surrounding food and writing about those experiences. 😝👩🍳👩💻