Food For Comfort

In these strange times, let’s look at some good options for hunkering down inside.

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It’s hard to tune out the growing pandemic that the world is facing right now. Some parts of the world have been forced into isolation and many are stocking up at the grocery store for ongoing quarantines. 

STOCKING UP

Let’s start with the obvious one – non-perishable foods.  Tinned tuna, veggies and fruits as well as legumes, pasta and grains will all go a long way. Oh, and tinned tomatoes! We recommend San Marzano for the most flavor. 

Frozen pizzas are also a good idea. One hack we love is throwing fresh herbs and freshly grated cheese on frozen pizzas. It really takes them to the next level. Of course, not everyone has access or the means to grow herbs, so try adding crushed red chilis and or dried oregano to yours. Hot sauce also tastes delicious on pizza. 

One hack we love is throwing fresh herbs and freshly grated cheese on frozen pizzas.

Switching gears, did you know that it’s entirely possible to make beef jerky without a dehydrator? Flank steak works well and the protein packed snack will keep you going (and chewing) for a while! Of course, freezer meals are wonderful to have during a time like this. Hearty soups and chilis freeze well, but you can get more creative and make butter chicken, chicken tenders and more!  

PANTRY MUST-HAVES

A well stocked pantry means you’ll be prepared to cook when you get inspired to make a new recipe. Let’s start with must-have pantry liquids. It’s hard to beat sherry vinegar. Anytime you need to add a great tasting acidic component to dishes, reach for a bottle of this. With its nuttiness and caramel notes, it brightens and deepens flavors at the same time. Add a dash or two into a pot of beans, marinara, and soups, or drizzle on fresh asparagus, sliced tomatoes, and in salad dressings. 

Similarly, a good olive oil can take ingredients to the next level. Whether you're roasting a chicken or baking bread, make sure to have a bottle of good extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on hand. Another great type of oil to always have kicking around is one with a higher smoke point and more neutral flavor than olive oil. We like grapeseed. Lastly, in the liquid department, coconut milk is a wonderful base for curries and stews, and ideal for lactose intolerant people.

Whether you're roasting a chicken or baking bread, make sure to have a bottle of good extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on hand.

In the dry goods department, all-purpose flour, panko bread crumbs, and Kosher salt are must-have pantry items. Every home cook understands the need for all-purpose flour. It is needed to make a roux, as well as numerous stews, soups and sauces. Panko crumbs are a Japanese style crispy coating that are perfect for anything that needs a little crunch – from chicken nuggets to a binding agent for meatballs and fish cakes! 

Don’t forget about good salt. Once you say goodbye to iodized table salt, your homemade food will instantly taste better! Kosher salt is made of bigger crystals that won’t dissolve like the tiny ones in iodized salt, preventing over-salted food. It is also free of that funky iodine taste. You should be using Kosher salt in everything you’re seasoning, even if it’s just for pasta water. 

Once you say goodbye to iodized table salt, your homemade food will instantly taste better!

FINDING CALM AND IMMUNITY

There can be a fair amount of anxiety that creeps up during these unsettling times. Scientific studies have suggested that there are a range of foods that help to combat anxiety. These include salmon, almonds, yogurt and dark chocolate. Green and chamomile teas are also very calming. For that unpleasant time of year, known as flu season, you’ll also want to keep your immunity up with lots of Vitamin C (fresh squeezed orange juice) and moderate amounts of alcohol.

Adding matcha to any smoothie is a great way to introduce this ingredient into your diet.

Another secret weapon for increased immunity and overall health is matcha. Traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, matcha is made from ground green tea leaves. Although typically prepared by whisking with warm water, it is quickly becoming a hot ingredient with chefs and can be used in a variety of recipes. Adding matcha to any smoothie is a great way to introduce this ingredient into your diet.