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Rocco Rocks the Comfort Food February 28, 2011

I was excited to win a (signed) copy of Rocco Dispirito’s brand-new cookbook Now Eat This! (150 of America’s Favorite Comfort Foods Under 350 Calories) from Ryan over at NoMoreBacon. I’ve loved watching Rocco on the Biggest Loser as well as on Top Chef, and one of his special skills has been “lightening up” normally calorie-heavy dishes. And I am a person who certainly enjoys comfort food. In fact, Comfort Food is practically my middle name. When I got the book in the mail, Juniorette flipped through it and put a Post-It note on the page of every recipe she wanted me to make. Fried chicken! Mac and cheese! Brownies! All under 350 calories? For real?!?


Tonight I decided to make Rocco’s Tortilla Soup with Avocado and Cilantro. (<— sorry, we do not like cilantro in our house) It was awesome. Delicious. Fast. And EASY.  I cannot even begin to describe how easy. That, my friends, is a combo that cannot be beat. And under 350 calories per serving? Yow. We are going to be dipping into this book OFTEN.

I have to admit I fiddled with the recipe a teeny bit. I took out the cilantro. I added some black beans (fiber can’t hurt, right?). It was YUMMY. The whole family gave it a giant thumbs up.


Thanks, Ryan! Thanks, Rocco! TOTAL WINNER.

 

Comfort vs Comfort Food August 17, 2010

spreading the love

This event from yesterday impacted me so much that I am double-posting part of it from the food blog. Here’s what happened:

the problem was, I didn’t get enough sleep last night. I went to bed really late and got up unrested and so that was the wrong foot. It’s a Monday after a nice celebratory weekend. I went to work and the poor guy I had to work with was just a miserable soul in a lot of pain. I felt for him, and his pain leeched into me.

So by 11:30am I was just feeling terrible. Exhausted, cold (SO cold!), sad, lonely, (this is my not-so-social work place, as opposed to my super buddy workplace) and just DOWN. I began plotting all the ways I could comfort myself at lunchtime. I would take myself to this restaurant across the street that has ginormous portions of comfort food. I told myself I’d “forget” to bring my camera. YIKES.

But I was trying to be mindful. I was trying to recognize the fact that I was actively planning to use food for non-food distress. (even though hunger was part of the mix too) I teased it out in my head. I told myself, I could go to a soup place instead, and that way I could take care of cold, hunger and comfort all at once. That was a really good first step. Then I felt willing to bring my camera.

THEN I had a REAL stroke of genius. (ha!) I remembered that it was Monday, the only day of the week when Mr. McBody and I work about 2 blocks apart from each other. I texted him. “Lunch?” He had already eaten, but he said he’d come meet me. I waited on the street corner and man, I was never so happy to see someone. I really felt like he was literally saving me from a binge.

And it was like: OMG. I wanted comfort. And I got REAL LIVE human comfort. How fantastic was that!! He gave me the biggest hug. And all of a sudden I didn’t even need the soup. I was warm! I was loved!

We went to my favorite salad bar place and he sat with me while I ate my salad and listened to my woes and then gave me another big hug. And then I felt like I could make it through the afternoon.

I actually can’t stop thinking about this and I credit the reading of Savor (which I love) – about slowing that moment down, being mindful, and saying, what do I REALLY need?

I was hungry. I needed food. But what KIND of food?
I was cold. I put on my jacket.
I was lonely and needed comfort. I called out for my dear spouse, who luckily was close by.
I was tired. I had a cup of coffee because I couldn’t really go for a nap at the moment. But it taught me that going to bed early is key.

I was so ready to go and get some plate of SOMETHING to deal with all those things when in fact it would have helped none of them, not even the hunger, because it would have most likely been something regretful that I would then feel physically and emotionally bad about.

I’m learning! I’m really learning.

 

New Comfort Food: Pesto Roasted Cauliflower November 29, 2009

One of the great things about leading WW meetings is that I have to pay attention to all these elements of the program that are really, really helpful. This morning I said something along the lines of finding new foods or new ways of enjoying old foods, to keep things “fresh.”

I’m still sort of on the sick side. I’ve got pretty low energy and a sore throat. Yesterday I was surprised at how much I felt like eating. I wanted real comfort food, like mashed potatoes and pudding. Baby food.  I realized that if I keep going too long like this, without exercising, soon I’m going to be in trouble.

So on the way home from the meeting I stopped at the Farmers Market. I spotted a cauliflower. I didn’t really think about it much. But I brought it home, chopped it up and put it in the over (425) for half an hour. When the buzzer went off, it was crispy and browned, crunchy and yet soft on the inside. I mixed it with a little jarred pesto and put it in a big bowl. OH WOW. It was like… the best comfort food ever. I was so happy. And it happened spontaneously. This was one of the few things we discussed in today’s meeting and it felt so good to just implement it in a way that satisfied my need for comfort and yet is still really healthy.

Now, a nap. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

 

 
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