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Five Alternative Comfort Food Recipes

We all have that list of comfort foods that can really turn around a crummy day, mend a broken heart, or nurse an illness. I’d be lying if I didn’t have mac and cheese or peanut butter pancakes on my short list. But every now and then we need some new and fresh flavors that can give us that same familiar feeling of a traditional comfort food.

Over the years I’ve compiled a few recipes that satisfy any craving, cure any cold, and even appease small children. As an added bonus, they might be something you’ve never tried and they’re relatively easy if your kitchen skills aren’t quite Gordon Ramsey level. If nothing else, they may answer the dreaded, “what’s for dinner?” when you’ve exhausted all your usual suspects.

Tortellini Sausage Soup
Serves 6
For times when chicken noodles from a can aren't cutting it.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
372 calories
15 g
69 g
25 g
21 g
10 g
347 g
956 g
5 g
0 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
347g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 372
Calories from Fat 228
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g
39%
Saturated Fat 10g
49%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 69mg
23%
Sodium 956mg
40%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 5g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A
73%
Vitamin C
8%
Calcium
31%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 package pre-made tortellini, filling of your choice
  2. 1 lbs ground sausage (mild or spicy)
  3. 3 cups water
  4. 2 cups milk
  5. 1 large chicken bouillon cube
  6. 1 can diced tomatoes
  7. 1 cup frozen spinach
  8. 1 TBSP minced garlic
  9. 1 tsp sage
  10. 1 tsp oregano
  11. 2 tsp dried onion
  12. 1-3 tsp red pepper flakes
  13. Salt & pepper to taste
  14. 1/2 cup parmesan
Instructions
  1. Brown the sausage, adding in the garlic, sage, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the water and bouillon cube, followed by the oregano, onion, and red pepper.
  3. Add tortellini and boil until the pasta is plump and floats to the top.
  4. Mix in the spinach and tomatoes.
  5. Reduce to medium heat and stir in milk. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add in parmesan.
  7. Serve with shredded mozzarella and red pepper.
Notes
  1. This can also be made in the crockpot. Brown the meat then add all ingredients but the dairy.
  2. Cook on high heat for 1 hour, or low heat for 3-4 hours.
  3. Mix in milk and parmesan prior to serving.
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calories
372
fat
25g
protein
21g
carbs
15g
more
Dayton Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/
Cornbread Waffle Tacos
Serves 6
A Tex-Mex variation of an old classic.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
542 calories
65 g
115 g
22 g
20 g
9 g
260 g
1027 g
7 g
0 g
11 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
260g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 542
Calories from Fat 192
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g
34%
Saturated Fat 9g
45%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 115mg
38%
Sodium 1027mg
43%
Total Carbohydrates 65g
22%
Dietary Fiber 6g
25%
Sugars 7g
Protein 20g
Vitamin A
14%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
19%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 2/3 cup milk
  4. 2 chicken breasts
  5. 1 bottle barbecue sauce
  6. Coleslaw salad mix (or shredded cabbage)
  7. 2 limes
  8. 1/2 cup white vinegar
  9. 1 TBSP honey
  10. Salsa verde
  11. Sour cream
  12. Sharp cheddar
  13. Diced green onions
Instructions
  1. Boil, bake, or cook chicken breast in crock pot, then shred and mix with barbecue sauce.
  2. You can also use pre-packaged barbecue chicken or pork to save time.
  3. Mix both boxes of Jiffy cornbread according to the package directions.
  4. Grease waffle iron and pour batter into iron to create cornbread waffles (allow to get crispy).
  5. While you make the waffles, juice the limes and mix with the vinegar and honey in a blender.
  6. Toss the vinaigrette over the slaw mix and set aside.
  7. Once your meat is ready and your waffles are finished, construct your taco!
  8. Scoop your pulled chicken onto your waffle, then cover with slaw and the toppings of your choice.
Notes
  1. If you are in a time crunch, use a crockpot for the chicken and add barbecue sauce once cooked.
  2. You can substitute for pre-packed or restaurant pulled chicken or pork, or a rotisserie chicken.
  3. Instead of a homemade vinaigrette, you can search for a honey-lime salad dressing for your slaw.
  4. If waffles are too tedious or you don't have a waffle iron, you can also bake in ramekins then top.
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calories
542
fat
22g
protein
20g
carbs
65g
more
Dayton Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/
Lazy Shrimp Boil
Serves 8
A taste of the bay right here in the Midwest.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
253 calories
20 g
145 g
12 g
17 g
6 g
220 g
847 g
3 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
220g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 253
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
19%
Saturated Fat 6g
28%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 145mg
48%
Sodium 847mg
35%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 3g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
6%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 lbs peeled, deveined frozen shrimp (tails off if you can find it)
  2. 2 large smoked sausage links
  3. 1 lbs baby red potatoes
  4. 2 cans corn
  5. 2 bottles of a lager of your choice
  6. 1 cup water
  7. 1/2 stick butter
  8. 3 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
  9. 2 bay leaves
  10. Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Clean the potatoes and boil whole, in peel, in beer and water.
  2. Add in Old Bay, bay leaves, and butter.
  3. After potatoes are softened, cut the sausage links and add to pot along with the corn.
  4. Once the potatoes begin to break apart, add in frozen shrimp.
  5. Cook until shrimp are soft, hot, and bright pink. Remove bay leaves.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with more Old Bay.
Notes
  1. Fresh shrimp can always be used to liven the recipe, but frozen are often cheaper and easier to find.
  2. If you do this in the crockpot, do not add the shrimp until just before serving. Allow to cook through.
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calories
253
fat
12g
protein
17g
carbs
20g
more
Dayton Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/
Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
Serves 8
This one takes a little more prep but it's totally worth it for the incognito veggie stash.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
368 calories
19 g
114 g
23 g
23 g
14 g
254 g
423 g
3 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
254g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 368
Calories from Fat 205
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g
36%
Saturated Fat 14g
68%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 114mg
38%
Sodium 423mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 19g
6%
Dietary Fiber 4g
15%
Sugars 3g
Protein 23g
Vitamin A
40%
Vitamin C
101%
Calcium
24%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 box no-boil lasagna
  2. 1 rotisserie chicken
  3. 1 jar alfredo sauce
  4. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  5. 1 steamer bag of frozen broccoli
  6. 1 steamer bag of frozen cauliflower
  7. 1 jar sundried tomatoes
  8. 2 cups fresh spinach
  9. 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  10. 1 TBSP minced garlic
  11. 2 tsp oregano
  12. 1 tsp parsley
  13. 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  14. 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Heat alfredo sauce, cream, garlic, and a pinch of salt/pepper in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Chop steamed broccoli and cauliflower together in a food processer until "riced." Set aside.
  4. Shred rotisserie chicken.
  5. Line large glass pan with sauce mixture until whole bottom is lightly coated. Cover with noodles.
  6. Coat noodles completely with a layer of sauce. Add in tomatoes and shredded chicken.
  7. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Top with another layer of noodles, again coating with sauce.
  8. Spoon in riced veggie mix, then layer with fresh spinach. Top with more noodles and sauce.
  9. Continue to alternate layers of noodles, sauce, chicken/tomatoes/cheese, and veggies.
  10. On the top layer, pour remaining sauce over noodles, ensuring everything is covered corner to corner.
  11. Top with parmesan, breadcrumbs, oregano, and parsley.
  12. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes, or until noodles are soft.
Notes
  1. I suggest making this the night before and allowing to set in fridge overnight to ensure no-bake noodles are softened.
  2. You can make many additions or substitutions for the recipe, including completely vegetarian.
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calories
368
fat
23g
protein
23g
carbs
19g
more
Dayton Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/
Pumpkin Curry
Serves 6
Spicy, warm, and the perfect vessel for chicken or veggies.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
144 calories
11 g
45 g
4 g
17 g
2 g
220 g
132 g
6 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
220g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 144
Calories from Fat 35
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 2g
10%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 45mg
15%
Sodium 132mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 6g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A
200%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
11%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 chicken breasts, cubed (optional)
  2. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. 1/2 diced onion
  5. 2 tsp minced garlic
  6. 1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  7. 1 can diced tomatoes
  8. 1 TBSP garam masala
  9. 1 tsp ginger
  10. 1 tsp turmeric
  11. 1 tsp nutmeg
  12. Salt & pepper
  13. Optional: golden raisins, shredded carrots, shallots, chickpeas
Instructions
  1. This can be a chicken or vegetarian recipe. If using meat, cube chicken and brown in a pan with 2 TBSP olive oil. Salt and pepper.
  2. Add in garlic and onion, browning until onions are soft.
  3. Reduce to a medium heat and mix in water, pumpkin puree, and tomatoes.
  4. Mix in dry seasonings and any other optional ingredients you desire.
  5. Remove from heat and fold in yogurt.
  6. Serve over steamed rice or with naan.
Notes
  1. This is a non-traditional take on Indian curry. You can adjust the spice by withholding or adding garam masala. You can also increase the heat with cayenne pepper.
  2. I prefer mine with chicken and golden raisins.
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calories
144
fat
4g
protein
17g
carbs
11g
more
Dayton Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/

 Do you have a go-to recipe that’s a little outside the box?
Is your family open to trying something other than the classics?

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