These healthy comfort food recipes have love and balance in mind. They are intended to be comforting and mindful of dietary and caloric preferences. The recipes are meant to be cooked with minimal fuss and are full of opportunities to try something new. I cook. Then I love. Then I share. I food good.
Al Pastor Tacos
- 3 pounds pork loin (sliced into 1/2 inch slices)
- 2 Tablespoons Achiote paste (or adobo, if you can’t find it)
- 1 shallot
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 pineapple (cored and peeled)
- 1 red onion (diced)
- fresh cilantro
- Corn tortillas
- Lime wedges
- Pickled jalapenos
- In your blender, place chipotles, shallot, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, oregano, chili powder, and salt. Liquify.
- Add marinade to large resealable bag along with the pork. Marinade overnight.
- Place grill over high heat. Slice pineapple into 1/2" rings. Grill pork for 3-4 minutes a side or until charred. Grill pineapple for 1 minute a side or until just marked. Do the same with the corn tortillas. Chop pork and pineapple, serve on tortillas adorned with the onion, lime, jalapenos, and cilantro.
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 pound Ground Chicken Use Lamb for a more traditional flavor, or half Italian Sausage for some funky awesomeness
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 Onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
- 1 quart low sodium beef stock
- 4 tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1 pound Mixed Vegetables
- 4 cups Cooked Sweet Potato * Cooked Spaghetti Squash great here too
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 4 oven safe bowls or a 12” cast iron skillet
- Put large dutch oven over medium heat. Dice onion and put in dutch oven along with butter and pinch of salt. Sweat 4-5 minutes. Mince garlic and add to onion, cook for another minute, and remove from pot. Set aside.
- In same pot, brown meat until cooked, 7-8 minutes, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once cooked, add in tomato paste and cook out for another minute. Add in cooked onion and garlic, mixed vegetables, Worcestershire Sauce, red wine vinegar, chopped rosemary, corn starch (combined into the stock), and stock. Bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn broiler on high. Mash together the sweet potato, cheese, garlic powder, and pinches of salt and pepper. Turn stew off heat and fill oven safe bowls/baking dish. Top with the mashed sweet potatoes and broil for 2-3 minutes or until slightly brown. Serve immediately. Your bowl will be hot.
Chicago Chopped Salad
- 8 oz Ditalini pasta*
- ½ cup turkey pepperoni
- 6 cups lettuce (iceberg and spinach work great)
- 1 cup cherry tomato
- 1 cup roasted red pepper
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup olives (green or black)
- 1 avocado
- 2 lemons**
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard**
- ¼ cup olive oil**
- 4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese (optional)
- Boil salted water in pasta pot; cook ditalini until very al dente, 7-8 minutes.
- Chop veggies (tomato, red pepper, cucumber, olives, avocado) into uniform cubes and quarter pepperoni. Roughly chop lettuce.
- Juice lemons into bowl, add in Dijon. Whisk in olive oil, season with salt and pepper.**
- Assemble Chopped Salad. Eat. Enjoy. Repeat.
**The classic chopped salad has either a mayo based poppy dressing or a classic Italian dressing. This lemon vinaigrette is just a little lighter, but just about anything works.
- 1 Pound pasta*
- 1 Pound ground meat (Turkey Sausage great here**)
- 28 Ounces crushed tomato
- 4 Cloves garlic
- 1 Onion
- 1 Cup White wine (Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper flake
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning (Mine is equal parts basil/oregano/parsley)
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add in ground meat, season with salt and pepper, and brown, ~8-10 minutes.
- As meat browns, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. As it heats, dice onion and mince garlic.
- When meat has browned, remove from dutch oven. Add in onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, then add in garlic to dutch oven. Stir for 1 minute, then add in wine, tomatoes, herbs, pepper, and meat. Bring to simmer.
- As sauce simmers, drop pasta into boiling water; cook for 8-10 minutes or per package, drain pasta once al dente, put back in pot with 2 tablespoons oil to prevent sticking.
- Check seasoning on sauce*** and serve over the pasta, garnished with parmesan cheese.
Tomato Minestrone Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 small one)
- 1/2 cup diced carrot (about 1 carrot)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 15 ounces cannellini beans (thats one can)
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Italian bread (for sopping)
- Black pepper
- In a dutch oven over medium heat, add in olive oil, then sweat onion/carrot for 6 minutes along with a heavy pinch of salt. Add in zucchini and garlic for another minute, then add in bay leaf, stock, drained beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer the soup for 10 minutes, then served, garnished with the basil, cheese, bread, and grinds of black pepper. Yeah, its really that easy.
Italian Wedding Soup with Italian Sausage
- 12 cups Low Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Stock (Quality matters here; if you have homemade, use it here!)
- 1 shallot
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 lemons
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 thick Parmesan rind
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 ounces short cut pasta
- 4 ounces baby kale or escarole
- 1 pound bulk sweet Italian Sausage
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
- Chop the shallot and lemon into quarters (reserving some lemon for later garnish). Smash the garlic.
- In a slow cooker or instant pot set on high/simmer, pour in the stock. Add in the shallot, lemon, garlic, black pepper, Parmesan rind, a handful of parsley, and bay leaves. Cook on high for at least 4 hours.
- Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, draining 2 minutes shy of the recommended time. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside.
- 20 minutes before the stock is ready, make the meatballs. Form the sausage into 1/2 ounce balls (about a centimeter wide). In a wide sauté pan set over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, brown the sausage on all sides, 7-8 minutes.
- Finish the soup: strain out the soup into a large bowl or other appropriate vessel. Discard the stock solids and return the broth back to a simmer. Once simmering, add in the greens and sausage and simmer for 4-5 minutes along with a pinch of salt. Once the greens are wilted, the soup is ready. Serve in a wide bowl with a bit of pasta on the bottom, topped with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 Cups Cooked butternut squash* (that’s about 2 pounds frozen/uncooked)
- 1 onion
- ½ cup Diced celery**
- ½ cup Diced carrot**
- 1 quart low sodium chicken stock (vegetable stock great too)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Optional garnish: sunflower seeds, pomegranate arils, sherry vinegar
- Dice onion/celery/carrot. Sweat in a large dutch oven over medium heat with the butter and a pinch of salt for 5-7 minutes.
- If using frozen squash, defrost the butternut squash in the microwave. If using roasted, pull out 4 cups.
- Once vegetables are sweated, 5-7 minutes, add in squash, maple syrup, chicken stock, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to simmer.
- Once simmering, blend soup using stick blender to desired consistency.
- Add in thyme, ancho chili, and corn starch (pre-mixed with 3 tablespoons of water). Bring back to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- If serving warm, serve immediately. If chilling (which rocks), chill for at least 4 hours. Remove thyme, and serve topped with optionals (highly recommend sherry vinegar and sunflower seeds).