May 28, 2020

During stressful times we all crave some comfort. Whether that comfort comes in the form of spirituality, family, exercise, or food it’s something that makes us feel good. It may remind us of a childhood memory, a relative, and for some of us, it could be nostalgic or a way to find our spiritual strength.

For me, comfort comes in the form of food. Usually, I get comfort from cooking for my family and friends. These days I find more and more comfort from cooking and creating recipes for all of you as a part of my Y family.

When it comes to comfort food, cookies, or muffins baking in the oven, macaroni and cheese cooking on the stovetop, fried chicken, meatloaf, pancakes, or waffles may be the types of foods that you find comforting. For me, two different meals that help me find my happiness are omelets and chicken noodle soup! Today I’m going to share with you why those two dishes are so comforting to me, and how you can add them to your family’s plates.

Cooking for the First Time

You see, the reason I love omelets so much is that they were the first thing I learned how to cook when I was about 10 years old. I was taught by my uncle who I idolized. He wasn’t a professional chef, but he could cook a mean omelet and a great cup of coffee (something I didn’t learn about till I was about 16). I still love to make a French press with an omelet on a Sunday morning and think about all the fun times I had with him. Now, he lives on the West Coast but we still talk often. Such great memories!

Omelets may seem difficult to make but are pretty straight forward and simple. Scramble up a few eggs in a bowl, and decide what you want to fill the omelet with. Maybe it’s some veggies, of course, some cheese (my go-to’s are cheddar or swiss), maybe some ham or sausage, leftover potatoes, or whatever you like. Cook up the eggs, add your filling, fold it over, and slide onto a plate. If you’ve never made an omelet before, try our recipe for a Basic Omelet.

How to Stay Warm in New York

For some, chicken soup is the comfort food that beats all comfort food. For me, the memories associated with it are of my grandmother and my mother making a big batch for the holidays. And since I grew up in New York, it was always made the minute there was some snow in the forecast or someone in the family got a cold. The house always smelled so delightful with the aroma of the soup slowly cooking.

Chicken soup takes little effort but makes big bowls that your family will love. One of the best parts is that you’ll most certainly have some leftover chicken that you can make into chicken salad, a chicken pot pie, add it into a stir fry, make nachos or quesadillas, or even make a chicken chili! Our Chicken Soup recipe is one you’ll be making over and over again.

 

If you’re eating comfort food, try to think about what it is that brings those feelings into your heart. Share them with your loved ones, and find out what their favorite comfort food is! Ask them, “Why does it comfort you?” You might be surprised by their answer! I know for me, it’s all about the memories of cooking and who I share them with.


By: Chef Gary Appelsies, MS
Director of Healthy Eating

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