11 Menus comforted by class
With the stress of everyday life and the turmoil going on around the world, we like to find different ways to escape and relax. Some people find comfort in traveling or reading a book; others turn to the food that takes us back to better times.
Comfort food reminds people of their grandma’s cooking, or a Sunday dinner with their parents. Comfort foods are self-explanatory — they comfort people from stress, dieting, or hardship. Foods like soup, pasta, pot pie, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate chip cookies wipe every worry away, even if they aren’t healthy.
Not only is comfort food popular in home and at restaurants, it’s also trending in weddings. Many focus on making their wedding menu gourmet, but guests appreciate the familiarity with common dishes like hot dogs, cheeseburger, donuts, or ice cream cones. Serving these foods give guests a laid-back atmosphere, while also serving them nostalgic treats.
The comfort food trend conflicts with the popularity of eating healthy. Without a doubt, the fat, sodium, and carbohydrates in comfort foods are the furthest foods from a healthy diet. To solve this issue, chefs are altering traditional comfort food recipes to be better for their customers. This eliminates the struggle between wanting your favorite food but also trying to stick to your diet.
Modernizing comfort food brings back its popularity. Whether chefs are creating healthier comfort food dishes or adding their own taste twists, the new comfort food creations are becoming instant favorites. Take a quick look below at some modern comfort food examples:
- Veggie Mac and Cheese: Martha Stewart featured a healthy twist on the traditional macaroni and cheese. This version is made of ricotta cheese and pureed squash are a healthier alternative to high-sodium cheese. This dish has all the creaminess and taste of beloved mac and cheese, but it’s more guilt-free. If you’re looking for more substinance, then add veggies to turn this side dish to an entree.
- Apple Cheddar Grilled Cheese: This recipe, from Jennifer Pallian of Foodess, mixes different flavors to become a delicious and unique combination, all while keeping the familiar taste of grilled cheese. The sweet taste of the apples compliments the sharpness of the cheddar cheese, and the arugula and onions take this grilled cheese to the next level. Your guests and customers will love this modern twist on a favorite quick meal.
- Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs: Kristin, from Iowa Girl Eats, shared her healthy take on spaghetti and meatballs. Instead of using pasta, she used roasted spaghetti squash, which naturally can shred into strands. This dish can also be served inside the spaghetti squash’s shell, just add prepared meatballs and marinara sauce and then top with cheese. This twist will surely surprise and impress guests’ taste buds.
- Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo: Pinch of Yum provided a surprising recipe that transforms cauliflower into the comfort of alfredo sauce. Cauliflower with garlic, butter, broth, olive oil, and cream comes together to make a creamy and savory sauce identical to traditional alfredo. This savory dish will surely satisfy any alfredo craving, without the added cholesterol. Your customers will love the taste, and appreciate the healthier option for lunch or dinner.
- Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy: EatingWell created a healthier alternative to chicken-fried steak. This easy-to-make recipe is almost a replicate of the traditional comfort food. However, this recipe uses healthier ingredients, and avoids deep-frying. Instead, these are pan fried which helps you control the grease better. Pair this savory dish with collard greens and “Mock” Garlic Mashed Potatoes for an unforgettable, yet healthy, meal.
- “Mock” Garlic Mashed Potatoes: This simple recipe is a twist on mashed potatoes, a beloved yet carb-filled comfort food. Cauliflower is the superhero of eating healthy because it can take on many different textures. When combined with cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken base, and pepper, the outcome is delicious and identical to mashed potatoes. You can add different ingredients like cheddar cheese or rosemary for a whole new twist.
- Apple Pie (Baked into apples!): This innovative dessert recipe from Chronicles of a Domestic Dilettante is all about cutting carbs, because it eliminates most of the crust and adds more of the apple. Baking apple pie directly into apples is creative and delicious. It will also surely impress your guests with its adorable charm and decadent taste. Your guests will be so pleased with this gourmet dessert that they won’t even realize that it’s healthier for them than standard apple pie.
- Harvest cake: Sara Kate Gillingham of The Kitchn created a recipe for her daughter’s birthday cake using vegetables and maple syrup as the main source of sugar. The cake is similar to a carrot cake, but includes zucchini, carrots, and beets. This harvest cake is a great way to have all the comforts of cake, without all of the added sugar.
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookie Bars: Comfort food is all about nostalgia, and no other meal brings back childhood memories like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Brown Eyed Baker created a new twist on this classic dish by turning the flavors into a cookie bar. Guests will love this recipe because it has everything from a common comfort food and turns it into a fun, delicious dessert.
- Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies: The ultimate comfort food dessert is chocolate chip cookies. Who doesn’t love eating soft, chewy, warm homemade cookies? Probably someone who was trying to eat healthy. But have no fear! Chelsea’s Messy Apron created a chocolate chip cookie recipe that won’t lead to any guilty feelings. Oat flour, brown sugar, and dark chocolate come together to make this recipe delicious and healthier than your standard cookie.
- Greek Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes: People love pancakes, but they don’t love the calories. Emily of Not Your Average College Food created a decadent Greek Yogurt Blueberry Pancake recipe to fix this problem. This recipe reduces the carbs of pancakes by using greek yogurt as the main ingredient. This also adds more nutrients and probiotics to your breakfast. Although Emily chose to put blueberries in her pancakes, you can put whatever you desire to make your ideal pancakes and enjoy comfort without the guilt.