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Worldwide Gastronomy Habits & Trends

Healthy comfort foods : what are the best options?

ByPratiksha Sharma

Mar 8, 2022

What are comfort foods?

Comfort foods are simple, home-style food that brings comforting thoughts of home or childhood. Comfort foods are anything that a person uses to feel better. Similarly, It also provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone and is usually easy to prepare. There are varieties of comfort foods around the world. Let’s look at some of the healthy comfort foods that are popular around the world.

Healthy Comfort foods- Chinese brunch

1. Mac and cheese

What screams comfort more than mac and cheese? Exactly, Nothing. Macaroni and cheese—also called mac and cheese—is a dish of cooked macaroni pasta and a cheese sauce, most commonly cheddar. It can also incorporate other ingredients, such as breadcrumbs or meat. Preparing mac and cheese is easy and faster too. This rich and creamy dish may not totally come under the “healthy” category sometimes. But hear me out, there are a lot of recipes around the internet that decrease the calorie value of this dish. You can check one healthy comfort food recipe here.

Comfort food- Mac and cheese

2. Healthy Comfort foods- Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup is exactly what its name suggests. The soup base is made from chicken, made by simmering in water and adding other various ingredients to give it its rich flavor. The classic chicken soup consists of a clear chicken broth, often with pieces of chicken or vegetables; and of course noodles. It is one of the most popular healthy comfort foods for winter. Chicken noodle soup is high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, all of which can help your immune system when you’re sick.

3. Whole Wheat Pancakes

Pancakes remind everyone of home. Whole-wheat pancakes have higher levels of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and riboflavin and are one of the go-to healthy comfort foods. The whole wheat pancakes are light, fluffy, and taste amazing. You can prepare it from scratch or just use the batter mix and prepare it in a few minutes, as simple as that. You can serve it with toppings of your choice.


4. Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken in gloomy days is the epitome of comfort and happiness. It is a type of curry cooked with chicken and a tomato and butter sauce that has been seasoned. Its sauce is well-known for its thick consistency. In some cases, the cream adds a silky smooth, creamy texture to the curry sauce. It began as a curry in the Indian subcontinent. It is usually served with rice or roti(flatbreads). The preparation may take more time than other comfort foods. You have to marinate the chicken for hours or even overnight for that amazing flavor. A spice-infused yogurt marinade made with fresh ginger, garlic, lemon juice, and spices is the key to tender, flavor-infused chicken. In addition, Turmeric, garam masala, chili powder, and cumin are the spices used in Butter Chicken.

5. Kimchi Stew (Kimchi-jjigae)

Kimchi stew is one of the most-loved of all the stews in Korean cuisine. It’s a warm, hearty, spicy, savory, delicious dish that pretty much everyone loves. It is made with kimchi and other ingredients, such as pork or seafood, scallions, onions, and diced dubu. It is one of the most common stews in Korean cuisine. The flavor profile of kimchi jjigae is a combination of spicy, tangy, and umami. The heat comes from gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes) and gochujang (red pepper paste), while the lactic acid bacteria in fermented kimchi and its brine provide a pleasant sour note. Kimchi Stew is relatively easier to cook compared to any other Korean dish. This recipe from Maangchi is my personal favorite.

6. Healthy Comfort Foods- Sopa De Ajo

Sopa De Ajo is one of the Spanish healthy comfort foods. It is a traditional garlic soup. This dish hails from Palencia, a city in the region of Castilla y León. Another ingredient that goes on this dish is bread. After the bread is cut into chunks, it’s served soaked in a broth of paprika and garlic, and topped with a poached egg.  It is then laced with garlic and sherry. Sopa De Ajo has different versions around the world with a similar recipe with small changes and different local names. It is especially popular as winter comfort food.

7. Healthy Comfort foods- Thukpa

Thukpa is a Tibetian-Nepali healthy comfort food. The Nepalese version of Thukpa in general has a predominant vegetarian feature and a bit spicier flavor. The protein ingredients of the dish have vegetarian alternatives according to availability, such as beans, chickpeas, gram, kidney beans, tofu, paneer, etc. Coriander leaves, spring onion, or green garlic are the popular Nepalese choices of garnish. Thukpa soup is high in protein and carbohydrates, as it contains chicken as well as other healthful ingredients such as mushrooms, carrots, and noodles. In the winter, the pepper and ginger aid to increase immunity.

8. Spaghetti and meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a spaghetti, tomato sauce, and meatballs dish popular in Italy and the United States. Combinations of pasta with meat extends back at least to the Middle Ages. And are described in modern Italian cookbooks as maccheroni alle polpette and maccheroni alla chitarra con polpette (translated as “spaghetti with meatballs”). They are particularly popular in southern Italy. This dish is a nutritious trifecta, with iron and protein from the meat, lycopene from the tomato sauce, and energy-producing carbs from the pasta. You may reap the benefits without going overboard if you stick to small quantities and lean beef.

9. Tosta Mista

Tosta Mista is a Cheese and ham toasted sandwich. It is Portugal’s most popular sandwich. It’s a popular snack, light lunch, brunch, and even breakfast option. Although just three components are important for the basic Tosta Mista – bread, ham, and cheese – there are as many “alternative flavors” of Tosta Mista as there are localities in Portugal. Exactly like its name, it is very easy to prepare. Just choose a good brand of bread, cheese, and ham. And your simple easy comfort snack is there.

10. Kebab

Kebab is a type of cooked meat dish that originated in Middle Eastern cuisine. Many different variations are popular all around the world. A kebab is any of a large variety of grilled meat dishes in Indian English, Bangladeshi English, Pakistani English, and the languages of the Middle East, other regions of Asia, and the Muslim world. Some meals originating from Middle Eastern kebab, such as Chinese Chuan, may have various names in their respective languages.

Kebabs are made from cut-up or ground meat. Occasionally with veggies, and a variety of other ingredients depending on the recipe. Although kebabs are traditionally cooked on a skewer over an open flame, some kebab dishes, such as tas kebab, are baked in a skillet in the oven or served as a stew. Mutton or lamb is the most common meat for kebabs, but regional recipes may contain cattle, goat, chicken, fish, and, in certain cases, pork due to religious restrictions.