Friday, May 6, 2011

Comfort Food, It's Not Just a Winter Thing

Just saying "comfort food" brings satisfying thoughts.  All these food memories or imprints from my childhood leap into mind.  When I would get sick, my mom would grill a gooey peanut butter and jelly sandwich for me.  To this day, I love, not a toasted PB&J, but a grilled PB&J.

Everyone has their own comfort food favorites.  I did my own informal survey.  My husband leans towards the rib sticking mac & cheese, pasta with pesto or pizza.  Another male friend said mashed potatoes and turkey.  I asked several girlfriends and they leaned towards bread, a quickie mart sandwich or ice cream.  In researching this article, sure enough the Cornell Food and Brand Lab studied our comfort food preferences by gender:
"Results showed most men prefer hot meals to snacks. Most women considered their favorite comfort foods to be ice cream, chocolate and cookies. The three foods most men considered to be their favorite comfort foods were ice cream, soup and pizza or pasta."
Cornell's conclusion is men feel pampered with their comfort food choices.  Women, who also enjoy hot meals, think of the work associated with putting such a meal together and therefore lean towards the quick fix.  The ladies choices are hassle free with little clean up.

Whatever the case, our collective comfort food choices are not what you call slimming choices.  And therein lies the challenge.  We all are going to fall for our favorites now and then, but how do we do it healthier way?  Several magazines are doing a pretty good job at reinventing the comfort food standards.  But they usually are published in the winter issues.  My trusted Southern Living Magazine recipe editors surprised me with an early spring version of Chicken Pot Pie with lovely leeks, carrots and new potatoes.  I highly recommend it.

Photo: Jennifer Davick, Southern Living
To further the "healthiness" factor we used left over roasted grass fed chicken from a previous meal and we used all organic veggies from our farmer's market. 

If you are willing to put in the work it's well worth it!  It will beat Swanson's or Marie Calender's any day and won't have nearly the saturated fats, sodium and preservatives.  Here's a link to the recipe:

Southern Living's Chicken Pot Pie recipe


  1. I so agree, my comfort food choices are totally seasonal and there seem to be comfort foods for every season. In the summer, it's hamburgers on english muffins and corn on the cob. In the fall, it's apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Winter comfort foods are many, but chicken soup is the ultimate for me, accompanied by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And who can pass up a fluffy pile of mashed potatoes? I like mine with my mother's cabbage roll recipe. Mmmmm....I'm heading to the grocery store right now!!

  2. AnonymousMay 06, 2011

    ...But did you also use cream? Or Half and Half? :-) A must! Homemade Chicken Pot Pie, my favorite comfort food; effort be damned! P.S. That is one fabulous looking crust.


  3. No cream and no half and half! Just chicken broth and a little flour. I promise you, you won't know the difference!

  4. This California girl's favorite comfort food? Definitely Mexican. Anything tasty wrapped in a tortilla with lots of savory sauce, tomatoes and melted cheese!


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