A recent tragedy in my life has me thinking about comfort food.
On Sunday, my family and I had to put Figaro, our 17-year-old kitty down :(. It was absolutely awful, but he was old and had been on a slow decline for a while. The poor guy had about every medical problem possible, so we knew it was time.
That photo was taken of Figgy a couple years ago, when he was still a little plump and had some pep in his step. He had lost more than half his body weight when we took him to the vet last week.
Anyway! On to a more positive note.
When dealing with hardships like this, I either have absolutely no appetite, or turn to food to make myself feel better. I guess you could say I’m an emotional eater.
Most people have their favorite comfort foods. Macaroni and cheese and pizza are probably my go-tos. I’d also guess that most people associate comfort foods with not so healthy foods. Well, I made a discovery this week: comfort food can be healthy!
So what’s my healthy comfort food? Greek salad.
I’ve realized I always turn to a Greek salad when I’m dealing with some type of a crisis. It sounds so random, but it’s true. When my mom had a major terrifying surgery, the only thing I could even think of eating was a big Greek salad topped with gyro meat from ‘It’s Greek to Me‘ in Minneapolis:
When Mike’s dog Bella died, we went out to our favorite Greek restaurant ‘Athenian Room’ to celebrate her life.
I’ve had a hard time thinking about Mr. Fig over the past few days, and have just been craving Greek salads. I’ve made my own version for dinner the past couple of nights.
I’ve been using chopped romaine lettuce, sliced cucumber, grape tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, crumbled feta, and roasted lemon chicken to make the perfect comforting Greek salad. I even made my own dressing using olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, garlic and chopped olives.
So if you’re ever going through a hard time, or just having a rough day and want to turn to pizza and nachos, try to think of a healthier dish that is equally as delicious. Even if it’s a big less convenient, it’ll be worth it. I don’t know about you, but I never feel better after over-indulging in greasy food. A healthy comfort food can make you feel better about the difficult situation, and about yourself!
Before we get into the debate over which vegetable cooking method is the best/healthiest, I need to announce that I have a new roommate!
Everyone meet Lyra. Lyra is actually not a new pet for me. I got her for my 11th birthday in 2001! She’s obviously lived at my childhood home for the past 12 years, but I decided to take her back to Sioux Falls with me during my last trip home. She’s getting old and is tired of being tortured by the two big dogs that seem to rule that house. My mom says moving into my apartment is like moving into a retirement home for Lyra. She’s a happy girl!
How do you like to cook your vegetables?
I know there’s a lot of debate over the healthiest ways to cook vegetables. I found this article on TIME.com that lists the alleged healthiest methods for cooking veggies. Some of the methods seemed pretty obvious; steaming, boiling, grilling. However, one that caught my eye was microwaving. Isn’t that so weird?
Their point is that the shorter cooking time in a microwave actually preserves some of the nutrients in the vegetables. So bizarre. Not that I’ve never microwaved vegetables, but microwaves don’t necessarily scream healthy to me.
I’m a big fan of roasting my vegetables. I typically tend to stick with roasting or steaming, but if I’ve got the time I almost always go with roasting. There’s just something about getting a little crisp on the veggies that’s so good!
Speaking of roasted vegetables, I had my fair share with my dinner this evening.
Carrots, green beans, corn, and broccoli seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I roasted these vegetables at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes. Enjoyed alongside a couple thin, boneless pork chops!
My food was just not photographing well tonight. I blame the steam rising from the vegetables. It might not look pretty, but it was certainly tasty. Pork is up there on my list of favorite meats.
Back to the veggie debate, I remember during a health class I took in college my professor said if you do cook vegetables in something, like butter, oil, or even water, all the nutrients in the vegetable will end up in that liquid. Meaning if you cook broccoli in butter, you need to consume the butter in order to get the nutrients from the broccoli. Sounds a bit strange.
No matter how they’re cooked, I love pretty much all vegetables and will eat them any way, any day.