I think everyone has a different definition of what comfort food is. Some people feel cozy after a giant order of Chinese food. Others might want their Mom’s pot roast. And still others might prefer a sundae from their favorite ice cream shop. I get it, we all have our own thang, and that’s cool. But that all being said, I have to believe that there is a large chunk of us that want the exact same thing out of our comfort food—warm, cheesy, gooey pasta. Ya with me?
I just, can’t imagine food more comforting than a big bowl of gooey, warm carb-a-licious pasta. I’ve heard there are people out there that don’t like pasta, but I’ve never met one in real life, and I’m not sure I actually want to, either.
Does. Not. Compute.
I do think that, pretty universally, comfort food solidly falls into the “not-so-healthy” category. There is something about the decadence of a splurge meal that makes the whole world seem shinier and happier. I know emotional eating gets a bad rap, but if a reasonable-sized serving of macaroni and cheese can make a crappy day feel better? I’m all for it.
And the truth is, as varied and drastic as folks’ comfort food of choice is, I highly doubt anyone will ever say, “Oh my gosh, I had the worst day ever, I really wish I could have a big garden salad, that’d make me feel so much better.”
And if they do, they’re lying. No one has ever comforted by bowlfull of romaine.
But I think there is a way to make comfort food healthier. Take this cheesy, gooey pasta bake for instance. Whole wheat pasta mixed with four cups of fresh spinach is slathered in a silky parmesan cream-less cream sauce. To add more flavor (and still keep it light and healthy), I used lower calorie and fat Italian chicken sausages and sundried tomatoes. This is how you do comfort food healthy!
Next time you find yourself in need of some comfort, maybe skip the ice cream sundae and try your hand at this cheesy bake instead. You’ll get your comfort food without setting your healthy lifestyle onto the back burner.