Jenny Jones: Top 5 Comfort Foods I Love to Make
5 Potato Pancakes
“I love potatoes. A perfect day for me would be hash browns with breakfast, potato salad with lunch, potato pancakes for dinner, and a midnight snack of potato skins. And I’ve always had a thing for Mr. Potato Head. Growing up in a Polish family, “placzki kartoflane” were my dad’s specialty. I always helped by grating the potatoes by hand but today a food processor does all the work. My healthy potato pancakes are never greasy, unlike some of the ones I’ve been served in restaurants. I want to rub those into my hair for a hot oil treatment. Don’t try that in a real restaurant to make a point—they will escort you out. So avoid an ugly scene and possible jail time and make your own healthy, never-greasy potato pancakes.”
4 Pan Pizza
“I seriously don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pizza. The four best words you can hear are, “Let’s get some pizza!” Why do we love pizza so much? It’s really just bread with stuff on it, isn’t it? But… it smells so good… it’s melty and cheesy… and they bring it right to your house. You can eat it in your pajamas. What could be better? Homemade—that would be better. OMG! Homemade pizza is so much better than delivery. I refuse to live without pizza so I had to find a way to make it healthier… and easy to make. My pan pizza recipe is easy, with no kneading, no work, and no kidding—it is crazy good! Make your own pizza at home. It will be healthier and you can still eat in your pajamas.”
3 Nachos for Dinner
“Why do so many comfort foods involve cheese? I’d like to eat cheese every day. I’d also like to dance like Beyonce so there are two things that aren’t going to happen. But I have found a way to get my cheese fix by using reduced fat cheese (I swear you won’t know the difference). These nachos are awesome and healthier than any you’ve ever had. I use reduced fat tortilla chips (not fat free unless you like cardboard wafers) and reduced fat cheese, then homemade refried beans, ground sirloin, and lots of antioxidant-rich peppers and onions. These nachos are healthy enough for dinner! Could there be anything better? Yes. The nachos cook on foil so there’s no cleanup. Is there a downside? Yes. I will never dance like Beyonce.”
“It seems that when some of us are depressed, we crave fried dough. And I get that. I had a fight with my ex-boyfriend once and I stormed out of the apartment, slamming the door behind me, and drove to the nearest donut shop. “I’ll fix him,” I thought. “I’ll eat donuts and come back with even bigger thighs than I left with.” Back then donuts were always fried but not any more. I make my own now (oven-baked) and they’re light and made without butter or saturated fat and they are so good! Fried donuts are unhealthy. So was my relationship with my ex. So I’ve moved on to a wonderful man who loves me more than anything… except maybe those donuts. I think he loves my donuts more.”
1 Mac & Cheese
“Where comfort foods go macaroni and cheese is the Big Kahuna, the Grand Poobah, the Big Cheese if you will, because it gets the job done. Noodles and melted cheese put all your problems to rest. But it can create new ones when you realize you just ate a half pound of saturated fat that leads to heart disease and now you’ll probably die young. That causes stress and when you’re stressed, you crave comfort food so you eat more mac and cheese. It’s a viscous cycle, my friends, but I’m here to help. You can make delicious, low fat mac & cheese in about 15 minutes using reduced fat cheese. But that doesn’t mean you can eat the whole thing in one sitting. I’m not admitting to anything—I’m just saying it’s a bad idea.”
You can find all these recipes and more at JennyCanCook.com.
Eating healthier foods is very difficult to do, especially when we’re bombarded with a plethora of unhealthy food choices just about everywhere we go. We were able to get in touch with New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman so he could share his 5 Strategies for Eating More Plant Foods with us.
Plant foods are great, but from time to time its nice to indulge, so check out Mar Yvette’s Top 5 Grilled Cheese Recipes!