Comfort Food

79 comments

Hello friends :)

Another dreary and rainy day in Southern Ontario! I guess after our picture perfect summer, we were bound to have a rude awakening this Fall.

I have to admit, the weather has been negatively affecting my mood in a big way.

I am feeling so sluggish, down in the dumps (which is not like me at all), and I’m really struggling to find motivation to workout.

I knew a workout would make me feel a million times better today, but I just couldn’t get motivated. I went on Twitter to plea for encouragement because my Twitter friends always cheer me up and remind me how lucky I am to be able to move my body.

@Merrberruns said, ‘Don’t even think about it, just get out the door!’

And I thought to myself, That is brilliant.

Within 10 minutes I was out the door. I told myself just get out there and move, enjoy the Fall leaves, and be thankful you are not injured or sick.

I took off like the wind, with the cold wind at my back, and a kick to my step. This isn’t so bad, I reminded myself. I even might have smiled at one point!

And then in the blink of an instant, I slipped on some wet leaves and landed butt first on the sidewalk.

Ouch.

I sat there for a moment and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I realized that the fall wasn’t a bad one, but my ego sure was bruised!

And then the Heavens opened up and it started to pour on me as I sat there.

Can I get a rain check please?

I stood up, dusted myself off…and called it a day 2 minutes into my run.

And that is all she wrote!

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Despite the less than desirable run, FOOD always cheers me up!

I know ‘they’ say you aren’t supposed to use food for comfort, but I say bah-humbug to that!

From the age of 11 until 25 I struggled with an eating disorder and food was the enemy. Now food is a huge source of pleasure in my life and I’m not afraid to admit it.

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Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (but originated from Casa Moro)

Ingredients:

For salad:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 pinches of Sea salt
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley (I used dead parsley, lol)

 

For tahini dressing:

  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup diced canned tomatoes
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste (I used spicy Herbamare)

 

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool. Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini and canned tomatoes, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. Add in pepper and sea salt to taste. To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss gently. Serves 4.

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At what point do you admit that your Italian Parsley is dying?

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You don’t. Turn a blind eye my friends. We work with what we got!

Unfortunately, I hated this tahini dressing.

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Ok, hate is a strong word… I despised it!

It was much too bitter and over powering for my taste. I guess I prefer my tahini in small doses.

I added canned diced tomatoes (1/4 cup or a bit more) since I had some in the fridge to use up. I also added lots of pepper and Spicy Herbamare.

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Lo and behold I LOVED the dressing after these easy modifications. Whew.  The beauty about cooking is that you can keep tasting things and adjust them as you go along. With baking, it isn’t so easy to change things once you mix everything up.

These also cheered me up…

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Thanks Karly!

I beg of you, do not skip the red onion in this salad. It made the entire dish!

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I like to let my butternut brown a bit, so I cooked it for about 35 minutes.

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Getting close…

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Yes.

It turned out MAGNIFICENT. I’m in love, love, love with this dish.

I’m going to cuddle up with this dish all Fall and hide under a blanket until the warm sun returns. If you don’t see me for a while, you’ll know where I am.

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As for that run, I will try again tomorrow.

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

Maya October 5, 2010

This is one of my FAVORITE recipes. I first saw it on the brilliant and so well written blog Orangette (orangette.blogspot.com) I’m glad you tried it! Tomorrow’s run will go brilliantly!

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Lily @ Lily's Health Pad October 5, 2010

Oh no! sorry about your derailed workout. The gods really were against you on that one. :-(

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 5, 2010

Have wanted to try this for a while – i think it sounds amazing. Not the kind of food I normally consider comfort food, but it needs to be. ;)

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Katie October 5, 2010

What a run…but you tried and that is all that matters. Thankfully, we are blessed with a new day every 24 hours to make up for bad ones in the past. :-) Have a wonderful bright and cheery day tomorrow!

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Exercise and Eat October 5, 2010

Beautiful lunch! Sorry you fell…and then got rained on! Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!

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Jessica October 5, 2010

I have definitely had runs like that. Way to listen to how you were feeling.

Your food is always art.

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Clare October 5, 2010

Sometimes that desire to not work out really means your body wants to stay warm, eat well, cuddle up..take your rest when you can-you never know when you’ll need those added energy stores..and enjoy! Your blog makes my day!
Clare

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stacey-healthylife October 5, 2010

That’s such a sad run. Hope you behind is feeling okay. :(

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JenATX October 5, 2010

I’m in a funky mood as well :-/ I can’t think of any workout that sounds appealing to me honest… Maybe I will try a run?

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diana October 5, 2010

hmm… butternut squash with tahini dressing, very interesting.

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Lisa October 5, 2010

What a run! One time I thought I was being a super cool runner and then I tripped over my own feet and almost fell right on my face. Talk about a reality check. ;)

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Steph@stephsbitebybite October 5, 2010

I know what you mean! I just cannot get myself to go for a run, I think it’s almost been a week now. And like you, I will be enjoying comfort food tonight…I’m thinking gingerbread pancakes :)

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Erin October 5, 2010

Tomatoes and tahini sounds like a brilliant combination!

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Kailey (SnackFace) October 5, 2010

What an amazing meal! That sounds like perfection on a day like today. It’s been so gloomy outside, but I try to tell myself that cold-ish, rainy weather reminds me of San Francisco. It actually kind of helps!

I also wanted to say thank you for being so open and honest about your history with an eating disorder. It’s women like you who help me to be open and honest about my own history with such struggles. It especially helped me write today’s post, so I just had to let you know that you are helping women around the globe!

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Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies October 5, 2010

That dish sounds lovely!! Looks it, too. Boo slippery leaves! I almost fell on my face today…but luckily recovered…I’m sure I looked like a flailing mess though. haha At least, even with your spill, you got out the door!!

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Allison @ Food For Healing October 5, 2010

what luck hey! lol must have been a sure sign to just go back inside where its warm and rest ha

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 5, 2010

Sorry for your blah run- tomorrow’s a new day! Now you can just think about this..any run after that one is bound to be better :)

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Lisa October 5, 2010

Mmmm! Yummy! I can totally relate to you girl about the bad weather bringing down your mood. The last couple days I have felt crappy as well. Hopefully the sun comes out soon! Hang in there!

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Christy October 5, 2010

I’m sorry about your run, I think I would have taken the rain as a sign and called it quits too!
And that recipe looks amazing! I will have to try this soon! :)

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Angela October 5, 2010

Have you ever tried freezing herbs? I tend to only buy them for a certain recipie but find that I never use an entire bunch and it ends up going bad. I’m going to try it next time I buy some as I hate wasting food – even herbs!

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Nicole (Picky Nicky) October 5, 2010

Sorry to hear about your fall, gald you’re okay though!
And I’ll HAVE to try that salad, as I love chickpeas, tahini and squash!

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Jess October 5, 2010

the weather is making me down in the dumps, too!

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 5, 2010

Oh no! That sounds like a really crappy workout. I would have cried for sure.

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Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 5, 2010

Every time I come to your blog, I want to go grocery shopping for a plethora of veggies. This looks great!! Sorry to hear about the fall and missed workout- but hey, there’s always tomorrow!

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Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA October 5, 2010

Wow, that looks great.

Cold, dreary weather really gets me down, too. Which is one of the reasons I live in LA now!

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Heather (Heather's Dish) October 5, 2010

oh man, i HATE falling! that sucks…but at least it’s a good story to tell :) and fabulous food to make!

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) October 5, 2010

What a wonderful dinner indeed!!!

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elyssa October 5, 2010

sometimes you just have to listen to the signs the universe is sending you! but you have to make it out the door to see the signs. last week i went to the gym. i arrived. i realized i had forgotten my socks. strike 1. then i realized my ipod was out of battery. strike 2. i began to cue into the signs that my legs weren’t in top shape either – and back home i went. point is, i had to go to the gym to end up at peace with where i wanted to be – back on the couch :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2010

haha LOVE your story!

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Amanda October 5, 2010

Hahaha that running story turned out more epic than I expected! Glad you weren’t hurt! I know I have days like that too. It’s nice to laugh at yourself and life sometimes, no?

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rachel October 5, 2010

that looks like the PERFECT way to beat the depressing weather blues. we have been having a lot of rainy gloomy days as well. i’m ready to see some sunlight now!

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Jenny October 5, 2010

Sorry about your run!

I think that there are 2 ways of using food for comfort

1) Eating way too much of things which aren’t actually going to make you happy for more than a few seconds, and that you’re going to feel guilty about eating later (example from my own life, eating a whole multipack bag of mini kitkats yesterday – didn’t even feel that good when I was eating them). Mindless eating which benefits absolutely no one.

2) Enjoying good real food and using it to cheer yourself up after a bad day.

The first is bad, the second is good, and you definitely did the second today. I unfortunately get stuck on the first, even though the second one makes me much happier in the long run.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) October 5, 2010

this looks awesome! love the sauce,the roasted squash, delish!! you can cook for me anytime, ill do all the dishes :)

“I am feeling so sluggish, down in the dumps (which is not like me at all), and I’m really struggling to find motivation to workout. “– Nothing a glass, or 3, of wine can’t fix :) Loved your comment to me…haha!!!! I read it driving (at a stoplight) and my daughter asked me what was so funny b/c i was laughing so hard!

Falling on your butt totally sober…hey girl, better than you can laugh than cry about stuff like that. Trust me, I am plagued with little things like that…all the time. I guess we’re just lucky that way :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 5, 2010

I hear ya on the bad mood stuff girl! Today was pretty miserable (although better than yesterday – I had a BAAAD case of the Monday’s!) and I swear it’s all about the weather. Good for you for getting out and going for your run though – even though it was only a couple of mins. And I hope you’re not feeling too sore after the slip!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 5, 2010

That looks SO good!!

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Lauren October 5, 2010

Awww, you poor thing! But I truly believe that the universe sends us signs and this was definitely God’s way of saying, “not today.” There was definitely a reason for this failed run. Just think of it that way! And if the reason was to spend more time on this glorious dinner creation, than I would say that’s a pretty valid one. :)

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Krystina October 5, 2010

This looks so comforting and tasty.

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Holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 5, 2010

Sometimes workouts just aren’t meant to be — I KNOW you’ll have a good run tomorrow. There have been days where I forget my gym clothes, bring the wrong shoes, forget my exercise shoes, slip and fall, bang my knee into something, stub my toe, etc. That is how I know I need to just go home and rest!

The salad looks great — although I can’t eat red onion. Something about it does not agree with my insides.

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Cara Craves... October 5, 2010

That dressing looks so good.
Food for comfort is a good thing, especially when it’s nourishing food!

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Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl October 5, 2010

I had to smile when I read that you didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when you fell. I inevitably fall EVERY.SINGLE.WINTER and I know the EXACT feeling you’re talking about. Good job on calling for a rain check and cooking up a delicious lookin’ meal instead :)

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Laura October 5, 2010

Angela,

I am a devout practitioner of Asthanga Yoga, and generally practice every day. Sometimes I resent the schedule, very seldom, but I do. Today however, I broke my foot leaving the studio where I teach. I am despondent. Will not be able to move my body for days and weeks. I just wish I could get up and do SOMETHING. I really experience the world through my body, and I get so depressed when it’s not working. So use it while you can, and enjoy it. Then relax and make that yummy food you’re so good at. I’ll be looking forward to reading all about it!

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