Hello from snowy Massachusetts and happy February! Once again, I didn’t have class yesterday due to another snowstorm, but after a very late Super Bowl celebration (yay, Patriots!), it was much appreciated. Who else is snowed in? We got over 3 feet early last week, and yesterday another foot (at least) was added to the pile…yuck!
Clearly, I’m not impressed. Even though I’ve lived through these snowy, frigid New England winters my whole life, it doesn’t mean I have to like them! Anyway, being snowed in has its perks…I’ve gotten a little extra sleep, had some time to catch-up on homework and wedding to-do’s, and have had some extra time in the kitchen, which I never mind at all. However, on the flipside, the freezing cold temperatures outside always lead me to crave comfort foods, so lately I’ve been on the search for a few lightened-up versions of my favorites.
Last week, we were craving soup, so I made this corn chowder from one of my favorite blogs, Iowa Girl Eats (the only changes I made were substituting-in unsweetened almond milk instead of regular milk, cutting the potatoes down to 3 cups, and using turkey bacon in place of regular). This did NOT disappoint. It’s gluten & dairy-free, but full-of flavor. The cauliflower-based broth is genius, and using bagged hash-browns helps cut down on the preparation time!
After the soup was devoured (and we froze some!) we got even more snow. Naturally, more snow meant more comfort food cravings, so a bowl of pasta did the trick.
Contrary to belief, pasta doesn’t have to be considered a “cheat meal” or a “bad option”. It’s all about portions and choices. I’m hooked on brown rice pasta; it’s a good source of protein, fiber, it’s wheat-free, comes in a bunch of different shapes, and lastly it’s not mushy at all. I’ve found it in nearly every grocery store (recently I bought Tinkyada brand and I’d recommend it), and I’d chose it over white pasta in a heartbeat. My favorite thing to do when I am craving pasta is to steam or roast a bunch of broccoli and/or cauliflower (or any vegetable you prefer) and add it to my bowl as my “base”. Then, once cooked, I add my pasta, parmesan, and sauce/toppings. Adding an ample amount of vegetables to the base of the bowl helps fill me up without having to go overboard on the pasta, yet I still end up feeling completely satisfied when the meal is done.
Lastly, for the Superbowl, I made these mini-garlic monkey breads (I made them on New Year’s, too). They were a hit at both parties, and are incredibly addicting. If you need a simple party recipe, make these! I altered the recipe only by using a different method for cooking the dough: I cut each biscuit into quarters, and then added the dough into muffin tins by pressing 5-6 pieces into each tin and then placing one additional piece of dough in the middle on top. (I did this instead of tying them into knots). Either way will work!
I’m off to class; I hope you all have a terrific start to February!
What’s your favorite comfort-food?
Anyone else snowed in?
What’s your favorite way to spend your day if you’re stuck inside?
I love lounging in pj’s and baking!