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Food That Comforts Without The Discomfort

Nothing brings people together like food. So, pour yourself a glass of wine and let the feasting begin.

There is no denying the immense pleasure achieved from comfort food, as it’s called comfort food for good reason. The pull between enjoying a delicious meal and indulging in an irresistible dessert does not, however, have to include a calorie overload. You can still revel in some of your favourite dishes and enjoy that boost of comfort we all crave.

Heighten your senses and delight your palate with some of my personal picks from a harvest Butternut Squash Soup to Mac and Cheese. Nothing screams comfort food quite like a classic Italian pasta dish with meat sauce -- “Bolognese” with your preferred choice of pasta or a traditional Lasagna. A fully loaded pizza (yes, pizza), a quintessential summer favourite, is delicious all year-round. Or try making your seasonal pie with hearty mushrooms, sausage, and broccoli rabe (aka “rapini”), topped with caramelized onions and let the party in your mouth begin.

How about throwing everything into a roaster or slow cooker for one-pot roasts loaded with seasonal vegetables from carrots to celery stalks, and don’t forget to side with a plate of creamy mash potatoes. You can hold the calories by mashing potatoes and using low-fat butter and milk (hold the cream or use just a bit of butter) or replacing potatoes altogether with cauliflower instead.

From savoury to sweet, we cannot forget dessert. Pumpkin spice and everything nice as a pie or a beverage, and don’t forget to sprinkle some cinnamon. For a lighter sweet course, apple slices drizzled in caramel sauce and sprinkled cinnamon does the trick or full throttle apple pie, hold the pie crust – yes, you can!

Now here is the best part, you can still indulge in any of these choices by making healthier choices without jeopardizing taste, after all, isn’t that the point? Try replacing regular cream or milk with a low-fat option, cut the cheese with lighter selections, or make your own pizza sauce with fresh tomatoes (hold the preservatives, please). You can also try making your own pizza dough with flour and low-fat Greek yogurt or work with flatbreads and multigrain wraps as delicious alternatives.

The best part is the simplicity of these dishes; all Chef-at-Home approved and easy-to-make from concept to table. Get cozy, and let’s eat. Bon appetit!

Nadia Cerelli-Fiore


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