This pandemic has altered everyone’s life around the world, resulting in huge changes in routine and habits. While it’s a new normal, and people are beginning to look for positivity, there’s no shortcut to cure hunger pangs! ‘Wake up; it’s food o’clock’ is something you must have heard your belly sending signals to your brain.
With nothing better to do throughout the day, even people who never had anything to do with the kitchen have learned the art of cooking. And because of lockdowns and distress, munching, snacking, and fancy recipes become a part of your everyday. That being said, nothing can replace comfort food. Comfort food is something you resort to when you are feeling low, under the weather, or just want to enjoy some simple, tasty food. If your list of comfort food consists of fresh roti served with warm dal makhni from a casserole, or a hot case of biryani, then you are not alone! However, here is a list of foods that are interesting enough to cook and eat, and have all the qualities of comfort food!
1. Pineapple chicken casserole
Pineapple chicken casserole is a suitable dish for dinner. It is packed with nutrients and soothes your craving. Take some cube-cooked chicken, pineapple tidbits, chopped onions, one tablespoon soy sauce, and chowmein noodles. Preheat your oven, grease your casserole, and spread a layer of boiled chowmein noodles, then layer all the ingredients over noodles. You can add spices according to your preference. Cover both layers with one more layer of noodles. Now bake with an additional topping of green onion and cheese. Try it. Your kids would love it.
2. Easy and quick meat pie
You might have a lot of French Dip and sometimes leftover roasted meat. Here is the recipe you can put to good use. You can also add few vegetables to make it extra delicious, drenched in creamy cheese sauce. To left over meat, add canola oil, some chopped onions and green pepper, two sheets of pie crust, and half a cup of Mexican cheese. Preheat the oven, shred the meat with a fork, heat oil, fry meat with onion and pepper, and adjust spices according to your taste. Place a crust in greased dish, shred cheese over it, evenly pile it with vegetables, spread the pie sheet over it, top it with cheese, and bake until golden brown. Serve it with a dip. You can freeze and reheat when desired.
3. Thai red curry chicken and vegetables
This curry has a complex flavor without heaviness. For veggies, you can choose peas, peppers, and carrots. Chestnut is a good option for adding. Cut half chicken breast into pieces add half a cup of coconut milk and spices (only salt and black pepper are preferable). Mix veggies in chicken. You can cook or bake them until the chicken changes its color. Coconut milk leaves a creamy structure that flavors it well. You can also use curry powder for better taste.
4. Pizza potato toppers
This quick and easy recipe is an economical treat for you. Prick potatoes with a fork and tender them in the microwave. Take half cup beef mince, add some veggies, i.e., carrots, onion, peas, or capsicum. Adding spices, cook them well in a frying pan. Split the potatoes lengthwise, flake potato center, fill it with mince mixture, top it with mozzarella cheese, and now heat it until cheese melts. Enjoy these toppers as a snack with tea or coffee, or store them in a hot box for the episodic craving.
5. Caramel & White chocolate popcorn
Lockdowns can be the best time you spend with your family. Every weekday is a holiday. Caramel and white chocolate popcorn is the most suitable course at the time of watching a movie, and kids are longing to have something in hand at this time of entertainment. So pause the movie and run to the kitchen to enjoy your family moments. Melt butter, add a cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, white chocolate, and corn syrup. Bring it to boil for few minutes. Add cooked popcorn over this syrup and mix it well. Bake it for 20 minutes, and your crispy caramel white popcorn is ready to eat. Now resume the movie and enjoy your family time.
6. Chicken piccata and rice
Rice is the most common and loved staple in the world. During quarantine, rice is the best option when you are not interested in spending too much of your time in the kitchen. You can offer this dish for lunch and dinner. In a big skillet, pour oil and golden fry chicken breast, season it with salt and pepper, and put it aside. Now add one onion, ginger garlic paste, stir it and add soaked rice, pour black vinegar and bring it to boil with water. Cover and simmer till the rice turns tender and dry, garnish it with parsley, lemon slices, and fried chicken, cook for five minutes more. Your dish is ready. Serve hot from the casserole when needed.
7. Hash browns
The best weapon which a mom has is a potato. No matter how old is your kid, potato is something everyone enjoys. Peel the potatoes and rinse twice in cold water, spread them on the dry cloth to clear excessive water, flavor it with spices, onion powder, and corn starch. Mix it and shape them like hash browns. Heat the oil in a pan, fry them both sides until crispy golden brown. Now, what are you waiting for?
8. Missi roti
This roti is a Punjab specialty, cheap on the pocket, and a favorite in winter. Take the basic ingredient besan or chickpea flour, add ginger, green chili, methi, and dry spices and make it a dough with the help of water. Roll the dough ball. Cook it on a griddle top it with butter or ghee. Serve it with raita or chutney. You can store it in a casserole to lock its aroma and keep it hot.
9. Easy spaghetti carbonara
Nothing can satisfy you like Carbonara in quarantine craving. Boil spaghetti, drain it out in skillet, add fried bacon or shredded chicken, and toss both ingredients well with dry spices. Add Parmesan sauce and eggs, mix them well. Pour it out in the hot box, place glowing coal on it and close it tight to seal the smoky smell. Enjoy this while sitting on the balcony and enjoying rainy days.
10. Sweet potato and cauliflower salad
Fill your bowl with colors of nature. Salads are best in quarantine when there are no workouts and walk. It’s simple to make, just take 2 boiled sweet potatoes, add florets of cauliflower, spice it, and sprinkle some vinegar and olive oil for taste. Eat it raw or bake it, as you wish.
During these uncertain times, you tend to turn towards things that make you feel comfortable. Pandemic also taught us how to survive with limited stock or think up a decent meal out of whatever you have available in the kitchen. Remember, the key to great food is keeping things creative. Having comfort food is a way of telling your body that everything is A-OK. Cooking is important for self-care and a powerful way to comfort your loved ones too.