As you know, we’re spending a lot of time indoors. It’s an uncertain time, which means it’s more important than ever to enjoy some hearty meals.
Food is universally unifying, isn’t it? It can be simple fuel, or a simple pleasure. It can be healthy and nourishing… and sometimes less so.
Right now, we’re all turning to food. It’s a comfort, to have it in our cupboards and in our stomachs. I realise that I’m in an incredibly privileged position right now, with plenty of food in my home and the ability to comfortably buy more – as well as the luxury of being able to write about my favourite comfort foods.
In these uncertain times though, reading can be as comforting as food, so that’s why I’m writing this post. I want to share my go to comfort foods, and I’ve love to know what yours are too.
I have a very strong sweet tooth and a slice of cake with a nice coffee has been a sweet respite from hours of working from home. So far, I’ve made a successful banana bread and a somewhat less successful eggless version.
Flour, sugar and eggs are a bit hard to come by at the moment, so if you’re not able to knock up a quick banana bread like everyone else… then that’s fine! Supermarkets are still stocked with pre made versions (everyone seems to be buying the pre-made mixes as well) and a little hit of something sweet is exactly what we need right now.
I recommend having something for elevenses, or even the recently discovered Swedish concept of Fika!
I tend to stick to the usual Indian or Thai curries, and in the middle of the week I’m also trying to stand by my flexitarian ways. Subtle, creamy spices blend with a variety of vegetables and a tin of chickpeas or beans make a great, protein rich addition.
Now, if you can’t get your hands on coconut milk, here are some alternatives:
- Creamy plant based milks, like cashew
- Full fat milk
- Heavy cream
- Oat milk, mixed with cornstarch
Also, rice can be hard to come by, so if you want that carb hit I recommend:
- Cauliflower rice
- Cous cous
- Naan or other flatbreads (I’ve found that naan is still widely available)
Stews and pies
Who doesn’t love a good stew? Rich flavours lead to filling finishes, and leftover stews can easily be repacked into a tasty pie!
Now, once again, I sometimes like to make a vegetarian version of a stew, and my butternut squash and white bean recipe is no exception. These comfort foods may be traditionally associated with autumn and winter, but right now, we need something cosy and heartening.
Risottos are adaptable and most importantly, dependable. They can take a bit of time to make, but patience definitely pays off! What’s more, you can tailor the other flavours to suit the seasons. For example, colder months may call for butternut squash (although I like it all year round) while spring may call for peas and asparagus.
If you can’t find any risotto rice (like arborio), here are some alternatives:
- Basmati rice
- Pearl barley
- Israeli/Giant couscous
- Sushi rice
Ahh, pizza! This is a food that, thankfully, has not been in short supply! I normally buy pre-made pizzas at the supermarket but I intend on making my own dough and toppings during our extended lockdown.
What’s more, a local Italian restaurant is delivering at the weekend and their pizza is amazing. We’ve ordered a couple of times as a lockdown treat, so I’m glad to be doing a little bit to support local businesses.