Comfort Food Recipes for When You Need It

I freaking love food. I love eating it, experimenting with new recipes, and trying a variety of new dishes from different cultures. Food isn’t just 3 meals a day for the sake of vitamins and minerals to me, it’s also a way to express myself creatively and indulge in a bit of care for myself and those around me. Honestly speaking, indulging in a bit of culinary goodness, whether in cooking or simply eating, every once in a while is not only delicious but greatly helpful to my mood.  Everyone has different tastes, but if you ever are curious about recipes, you’ll find a variety of recipes catered to your preference below; Soul food, sweet desserts, and Pranay and my personal recommendations can be found below. Bon appetit! 

  1. Soul Food

The term “soul food” was coined in the 1960s and is a branch of African American cooking especially popular in the South. These foods are iconic in their strong flavors, often fatty, salty, sweet, and spicy. Although they may not be the most healthy, they are absolutely delicious. 

Creamy hash brown potatoes,  Iva’s peach cobbler, Cream of Mushroom Soup are just a glimpse at the 28 soul food recipes that can be found here. You’re bound to find something that you like, check it out!
  1. For those with a sweet-tooth

Everyone’s favorite comfort food is a bit different, and some people love sweets. If that’s you, try out some of these amazing recipes or simply get some from the nearest grocery store. Some highlights from this list are Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies (along with the classic recipe), Warm Chocolate Cake with Berries, and Dark Chocolate Mousse.
  1. For vegans

If you have restrictions to your diet, there are still plenty of recipes out there to indulge in. This list from Greatest highlights 35 treats you’ll love. From “outrageously fluffy vegan pancakes” to a “vegan avocado melt with coconut bacon”, this list doesn’t lack variety at all.
  1. Kevina’s Recommendations:

My personal go-to comfort food is ramen. My parents do not approve, oops, but when enjoyed in moderation (1 time a week) it’s okay! If you’d ever like to try some, I have a couple of recommendations. 

  1. For everyone: Nong Shim Shin Ramyun

This is great and suitable for many different tastes because of its relatively familiar flavor. It’s not too spicy and has a mild seafood hint of flavor. Nong Shim Shin Ramyun is relatively easy to find and can be found at most grocery stores like Walmart and Target. 

  1. For the spice-lover: Samyang Ramen

Samyang is one of the most infamous brands in the world of ramen. They offer a large variety but are perhaps most known for their classic spicy chicken-flavored ramen. Emphasis on SPICY. This stuff brings serious heat. However, if you love spice, you’re bound to love this. You can find it at many Asian grocery stores such as Lotte and H-mart, as well as on amazon (although it’s quite expensive on there due to high demand)

2. Ice Cream

This is classic comfort food that everyone knows about. My personal favorite is mint chocolate chip and strawberry but whatever your favorite flavor is, go ahead and have some if you need it. Everyone has their favorite brands and flavors, but some personal recommendations would be Ben and Jerry’s and Coldstone. Ice cream is also not the healthiest, so if you desire, I highly recommend Yasso for a healthier alternative. They sell frozen yogurt commercially but make it taste exactly like ice cream without the guilt.  Furthermore, shoutout to @cocos_creamery! They are a small business created by some friends of mine and they create some of the best homemade ice creams in terms of texture, flavor, packaging, and customer service. Definitely check them out!

Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt – Mint Chocolate Chip Bars – 4ct … › yasso-frozen-greek-yogurt-mint-cho…

  1. Pranay’s Recommendations

As an absolutely outrageous foodie, it’s extremely tough for me to pick just one comfort food. Nothing tops the Indian food I get at home, as it’s been a staple for me all my life and never fails to remind me of a better time. And like many others, I also have a huge sweet sweet tooth. I generally limit this category to when I really need it because moderation is important but also because it makes it feel just that much better on the occasions where I do indulge.

  1. Starting off with the most effective pick-me-up, we have brownies. Everybody knows them, they’re chocolatey, soft, chewy, and easy to make. This is actually one of the first recipes I learned to bake on my own, and over the course of many years I have perfected it. For a simple from-scratch brownie recipe(if you don’t already have your own) check out this link: I highly recommend adding chocolate chips or chunks as well. If you’re more of a boxed brownie person, that’s totally cool as well– the back of the box knows what’s best. If I really feel like taking it a step further I’ll take a brownie(middle pieces all the way) and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some whipped cream and some honey bunches cereal. 
  2. Banana Bread! I’ve always been a huge fan of banana bread; it’s sweet, easily modified, and super simple to make. I like to eat it for breakfast or for dessert(topped with some vanilla ice cream, of course) with some chocolate chips, cinnamon, and tiny chunks of apples mixed in. I personally go for the eggless version to accommodate my family members, here’s the recipe:
  3. If you are interested in any simple and traditional Indian Cuisine, Daal Makhani is a great place to start. This is an extremely rich and flavorful butter and cream based lentil soup which is served great with rice, bread, or directly with a spoon. Plus, it’s vegetarian and can be easily made vegan with a couple substitutes. You might also be surprised to find out that the spice level of this dish can be simply modified to fit your preferences. Here’s a recipe!

Give any of these a try, and watch your mood lift. Pro tip: Get some exercise after. Not only will it undo some of the damage done by an ice cream sundae, but it’ll also release an extra dose of dopamine in your brain to make you feel great.

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