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 }

Jess Muhlbier October 5, 2010

Outch, sorry to hear about your fall! That’s never fun. Alas, sometimes we just gotta dust ourselves off and try again ;) You always have the right attitude.

As for this dish…oh my, it sounds incredible! Chick peas and sweet potatoes are two of my favourite things! Yummers! I cannot wait to make it..perhaps this weekend ;)

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Ricki October 5, 2010

This is one of my favorite salads of all time! (It was also posted on Orangette, which is where I found it). Your version looks great. And it is, indeed, wonderful comfort food! Sorry to hear about the fall. . . but sounds like this salad made up for it. :)

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Jenna October 5, 2010

Sorry you had such a rough day! Sounds like you turned it around though with this tasty meal :).

Question: Do you have any tips for peeling butternut squash? I always have so much trouble peeling it for some reason! Maybe it’s my peeler. Do you have a super strong peeler or tips you’d recommend?

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Sheri October 5, 2010

Again Angela another recipe you have posted that I cannot wait to try! Looks so good!
Sorry to hear that your run did not turn out like you planned.

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kaila October 5, 2010

that fall totally sounds like something i would do lol! im always tripping over stuff. the squash salad looks amazing. winter squash i is my favorite part of the season. so good—and definitely a comfort food in my eyes as well.

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape October 5, 2010

That dish looks seriously good! Love all the new ways of using squash that I am encountering :D

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Sara October 5, 2010

Awww, sorry to hear about your failed run! That really stinks, but at least you can say you tried! Things weren’t meant to be ;) I do agree, however, that the rainy, gray weather makes it hard for me to wake up and keep my mood up all day. I find myself yawning when I should be energetic.

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Jan October 5, 2010

Funny-I was going to ask you to please write a new chickpea recipe. Thank you so much-You read my mind :)

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Bridget October 5, 2010

I’ve been slacking off on working out recently, but that’s chaninging today! I’m actually about to head to the gym.Hopefully I’ll stay motivated
Sorry about the tumble :( I can relate. If I had a dollar for every time the pavement met my ass lol…

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Leah @ Why Deprive? October 5, 2010

That looks so good!! Im in love with butternut squash. I will definitely have to try this.

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Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 5, 2010

Oh, ouch!!! That definitely isn’t a way to start a run. You’ll get your groove back. Maybe your body just needed this break and the weather made sure you got the message.

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Amber K October 5, 2010

Sometimes my workouts seem to turn out exactly like that. I think God is telling me that, no really, just take a break today!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 5, 2010

I’m loving all the fall inspired recipes you’ve been posting lately!

Bummer about your run. :( But at least you found the motivation to get out there! Hopefully tomorrow will be better running weather!

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 5, 2010

Healthy comfort food at its finest!

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Hope October 5, 2010

Mmm chickpeas are my favorite kind of comfort food! And anything with red onions is delish in my book!
Sorry about your fall! I had that happen recently, my shoe broke as I was brisk walking past a huge row of traffic! I landed flat on my face in front of everyone wait for the lights to change!! Shameful!
Better luck tomorrow!

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Wei-Wei October 5, 2010

Working out… bores me. I’m serious. Especially at the gym – I can’t even concentrate for more than 2 minutes before I have to switch machines. It’s SO annoying! Love the new plugin by the way :)

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Lana October 5, 2010

Definitely comfort food!!! I’m down in Texas and we don’t have very many squashes in the stores yet :( I’m just drooling over yours and keeping an eye out for them down here!!!

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Eimear Rose October 6, 2010

If you’re feeling uncharacteristically sluggish and blah, it might be worthwhile getting some blood work to check everything’s ok. Running plays havoc with iron because you squish red blood cells everytime your foot strikes the ground, so your dietary needs are increased. While vegans typically are no more prone to anemia than meat-eaters, athletes are definitely more prone. B12 and folate are also important in making red cells, you can get those levels checked too.
That or the darker evenings can take its toll on mood and energy levels (I find anyway).
Hope you’re back to you energetic self soon!
I’m not a big tahini fan either, but the butternut looks delish:)

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Casey Thomas October 6, 2010

OH I always reach for root vegetables if I want something comforting! So delicious and satisfying!
Oddly enough I just shared this recipe with another awesome blogger in need of comfort, so maybe you too would like it…it’s sooooooooo amazing and so comforting :)
http://lifestyleraw.blogspot.com/2010/01/serious-comfort-food-without-feeding.html

Hope you have some wonderful runs in the next few days with no slips!

Casey

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thefruitpersuit (Sabine) October 6, 2010

I bought a squashy yesterday and was trying to come up with ways to put it to use, this recipe sounds ah-maz-zing, so thanks! Here in Holland, butternuts are rare and you won’t find any in supermarkets, you really have to look for it. I ate it once but with a bunch of other vegetables, so I am excited to find out what it actually tastes like.

ps: yay for possibly related posts!

xx

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jenna October 6, 2010

maybe your mind and body are telling you something. Maybe you just need a bit of break from running and should look into a different form of exercise?

this dish looks so warm and delish!! perfect for a rainy evening! :)

Today will be better!! :) sending you happy vibes!

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Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) October 6, 2010

Mmm, this looks like a delicious fall recipe! I love anything with squash :)
xo
Kris

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Amy @ purewellnessamy October 6, 2010

Sorry you’re down in the dumps! This weather definitely inspires “blanket-couch-movie” more than a run outside. Oh, and I believe that whole food can be considered comfort food–it makes us feel good and nourishes us? What can be more comforting than that?

I hope things are a little sunnier for you today, even if there are clouds in the sky :-)

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Annie@stronghealthyfit October 6, 2010

I appreciate your honesty in this post :-) It’s nice to hear you aren’t superwoman every day- I mean that in a friendly way. That meal looks absolutely delicious!

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Cathrine October 6, 2010

Living in Norway (and being Norwegian) I can certainly relate to dreary, rainy days in Ontario. The last couple of weeks I’ve also been struggling to work out outdoors, and if I REALLY can’t get myself out the door, but I feel the need to GET MOVING, I will work out indoors, and ‘mentally’ try to convince myself that my indoor workout is more enjoyable than any outdoor workout! I do this by trying to combine my indoor workout with another INTEREST i have. For example, at home I have a stationary bike machine (Oh, I wish I had a treadmill!), and although I find that ol’ bike a bit boring, I will place it in front of my computer screen, and (e.g.) watch FAVORITE TV-SERIES and MOVIES online (www.surfthechannel.com is one good resource) while I work out. Or I will make VIDEO PLAYLISTS from my favorite YouTube Channels, etc. I think the key is to pair the workout with something that you LOOK FORWARD TO, something that keeps your mind PREOCCUPIED and/or STIMULATED. Watching (or listening to) something that RESONATES with you can really boost your energy!

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faith @ gracefulfitness October 6, 2010

I fell yesterday in yoga class doing something that I shouldn’t have because of an injured shoulder. Ego bruised, lesson learned!

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Steph (@ mediterraneanmiss) October 6, 2010

This recipe looks fantastic. I’m adding it to my fall must-make series <3 It has all the right ingredients, and as its coming from here I know it'll be out of this world.

Speaking of falls =\ I totally bailed in front of my boyfriend right before we started dating. We were doing a 10k walk/run and decided to bring it in with a sprint right at the end. Into a puddle I slipped, rolled and flopped. It was very attractive but hey – it worked ^~ four years later and we're still going strong. I've since learned not to cut corners! Hahaha.

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Marathon Bound Gal aka Grace October 6, 2010

Been there done that with this motivation thing. Drives me batty because when I have no motivation to workout, I pretty much have no motivation for anything else. Ugh! Totally get you gal!

What a simple but absolutely devine looking dish! Can’t wait to make it!

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Lizzie October 6, 2010

Urgh . .. . Angela!! I said no more yummy recipes!! My kitchen is crying now – in part b/c it feels so naked missing half it’s stuff and not fulfilling it’s true purpose . . to bring your recipes to life :)

OK, ’nuff of the theatrics. This looks amazing. Definitely going to have a go at it soon! Hope your run went better this morning.

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Carolyn @ lovinlosing October 6, 2010

Ouch! That’s no way to start a run. It sounds like a perfect day to cuddle in a warm bed.

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melissa October 6, 2010

falling sucks! I’m glad you are okay:) Good for you for listening to your body. I feel a shift too once the seasons change.
I officially know what I’m making for dinner tonight..yum!

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Tracey October 6, 2010

I definitely know how you feel. I have been in a slump as well. The cold, damp and dreary weather doesn’t help. I sometimes lose my motivations and begin to get down. The hardest part of getting back into the swing of things is starting to move. So good for you for pushing yourself out the door. Don’t worry that it was only for two minutes. Congratulate yourself for summoning a little motivation. I think it’s normal to feel this way sometimes. That’s when I call a friend that always knows how to lift my spirits or just force myself to take a walk outside. Having a dog helps because I know he counts on my for activity so that helps motivate me to at least take him for a walk. Keep your head up, this time of year is always hard with the first week of cold weather. You’ll find your inner motivation again. I do like the idea of trying a new class. That has worked for me in the past as well! Good luck, you’re a great person. Just because you didn’t work out in a given day, look at all the other great things you did accomplish!

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Claire @ Low Impact Fashionista October 6, 2010

I can totally relate, when I was recovering from a hip injury there were days I would step out the door run 2 blocks and turn my run into a leisurely walk. I couldn’t even fathom running for just 20-30 minutes! Everybody has these days and a little healthy comfort food won’t hurt you a bit :)

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janet October 6, 2010

I hated this dish the first time I made it.. while all other bloggers seemed to be in love with it. I may retry to make it with your modifications, though!

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Theresa OBrien October 6, 2010

I want to eat that right now! OMG it looks truly amazing! I love all of the creative recipes you post. Thank you :) Now if only I had the courage to quit my office job and pursue a more fulfilling career path, like you did, so I would have time to make them all!

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Andrea October 8, 2010

Hi Angela – I just discovered your website (thru a link on Sammie Kennedy’s blog site) and your AMAZING recipes!! I just tried this one last night and I loved it….& so did my carnivore of a husband :-) I can’t wait to try more of your Fall recipes over the next few weeks!! I love your site & how personal, open and fun you have made it!!

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Ajali August 8, 2013

aww this one really touched me when you said you’ve suffered from an eating disorder and how food was the enemy……….I understand your healing. I am in my learning stage of learning how to cook, prepare food and eat in a manner that doesn’t jeopradize my health. Suffered from the disorder for many years. It feels good to see people who’ve made it out in a positve way. Thanks for the inspiration……… lol at the fall, that was nature telling you to follow your intuition. You should have listened to that gut feeling to not do it. :)

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Caro November 17, 2013

My friend sent me the link for this recipe a couple of months ago so we could try and I just finally made it for us… AMAZING!!!!! It has now made the list for frequent meals and will be making a big debut to the rest of the family on Thanksgiving.

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