When we say comfort food, what we often have in mind are lakes of cream, oozy elastic cheese, and as many carbs as possible in one huge plate. But for the health conscious, our definition of comfort food is something different. Comfort food should be something that we are excited to prepare and cook and be able to eat and share with our friends and family. It should be something that brings a happy, nourishing and delicious experience!
A lot of people who are new to a plant-based diet may think that the food is always plain and unappetizing. Honestly, that’s not the case. You can go as creative and colorful as you want! All you have to do is follow these steps in order to make sure that everything that you prepare will always be healthy and can also be considered as a comfort food.
Shop for ingredients that look enticing. Plant-based food isn’t just green, people! Look for colorful, fragrant and seasonal produce. Try new things often! I highly recommend skipping the supermarket sometimes and go to a local food market instead, where you can smell and feel the products. This adds to the experience of being excited about what you’re going to prepare and cook for the day. You can even chat with the vendor about the sourcing of the produce. Educate yourself with better alternatives and strive for an ethical and sustainable way to eat. Be excited about your purchases and plan ways on how to make the most out of it in every meal.
Enjoy being in the kitchen! Pour yourself a glass of wine or brew a cup of your favorite tea while you prepare your meals. Be mindful of following the recipe while creating a delicious meal, whether you are cooking for yourself, friends or family. However, don’t forget to be spontaneous and adapt the recipe to your own preferences. If you think adding a little extra pepper or chili will do the trick in pleasing your taste buds, do it! If you also think that switching one fresh ingredient to another is better, do it! Always remember that cooking is all about preparing what’s right for you and eating what you really love. Not only that, but it’s all about having fun and being creative. Don’t take things too seriously!
Use What’s Familiar
Put your food into your favorite plate, a plate that you usually use for special occasions or an old bow that reminds you of dinner at grandma’s house. Eating from that plate will make your meal feel special and comforting. Don’t forget to eat somewhere you feel happy too! Maybe, you like eating curled up on the sofa, or under the tree in a park. Whatever makes you feel cozy and comfortable, do it!
Celebration Even In Solitary
Whether we choose to eat alone, or because of irregular work shifts that cause us to eat alone– enjoy the moment. Use this opportunity to experiment on a new recipe or get creative with ingredients. Even if you mess up a little, nobody needs to know! Cooking for yourself is actually very rewarding, from the process that you did all the way through eating the meal. Relax, enjoy the food and savor every bite!
Even if there’s nothing to celebrate or there’s no occasion, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy cooking for friends and family. Turn each meal into a catch-up, a celebration, or simply just for conversation. It feels amazing to cook for family and friends because it’s fun to see them enjoy the food that you prepared from scratch. Don’t forget to set up the table too. Add fresh flowers and plenty of serving spoons so everyone can try new dishes. Most of our memories are the happiest with family and friends all gathered to enjoy a meal. Associate positive memories with food and develop a holistic attitude towards it in order to have a sense of comfort with each and every meal.
Change the way you see comfort food and it can be any healthy food that you can enjoy eating without the guilty feeling. Sometimes, I even have a celebratory meal that I always cook in order to celebrate even the smallest achievements. When I’m feeling a little down, I treat myself to a hearty meal that can lift up my mood almost instantly. I also treat cooking as a way to ease any stress or bad feelings that may have accumulated because of a busy week. That way, I can see healthy food as a means of living a happier life and not just a healthy one. Always remember that being healthy is holistic.