Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feed a Cold

I'm always trying to feed people to make them feel better.  Bad day at work?  Brownies coming right up!  Feel sick?  Chips and sweets delivered to your door.  But I know that all this comfort eating is teaching a lesson to my daughter.  A lesson that has caused me to struggle with my weight for most of my adult life.  When you eat to comfort yourself, you start to think you need a lot of comfort.  I'd really like to stop the vicious cycle of emotional eating by teaching my daughter to use for food for fuel and health.  Not to mention, I don't think feeding an ill person chocolate chip cookies, loaded with empty calories is contributing to actually getting them back to a healthy state.   (I know!  I don't want to believe it either!)

So, this weekend, when faced with a sick husband and daughter, I decided there must be a happy medium.  I wanted to comfort and pamper them, and I wanted to help their poor bodies heal.  So we had a weekend of super healthy eating.  Yes, the food is still comforting and some of it has a decent amount of calories, but it was mainly chosen because the calories that were being consumed were contributing to strengthening their bodies, while still giving them a bit of emotional comfort.  I thought I would share some of the menu with you.

Saturday Lunch:  Creamy Tomato Soup.  Full of vitamin C.  We didn't have any sore throats, so the acid didn't bother anyone.  And does it get anymore comforting than tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches?  I don't think so.  I got the recipe on Angela's blog a few months ago and it's now a family favorite.

Saturday Dinner:  Roast Chicken and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes.  Roasting chicken gives the whole house a wonderful, cozy smell, and I knew there was Chicken Soup in our future, so the leftovers would be used up.  Mashed potatoes with a little sour cream and a dash of horseradish (not too much!) are not only delicious, but the horseradish shrinks nasal tissues and helps decongest stuffy noses.

Sunday Lunch:  Homemade Chicken Soup.  (I got my recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family) You've read the studies and there is something to the Old Wives Tale about the healing properties of chicken soup.  Since it was Valentine's weekend, I used a small heart-shaped cookie cutter and cut the carrot slices to look like little hearts.  Even if it isn't Valentine's Day, it's a nice little touch that is sure to make even the most miserable patient smile.

I now have a recovered family.  A few sniffles left, but everyone woke up on Monday feeling loved and on the road to recovery.  Now I think I'm coming down with it.  Who's coming over to cook for me?

P.S.  Don't forget to add my travel tissue cozies to your sick weekend!  Not only do they slip nicely into your purse, you can take into your bed.  The bright patterned material makes them easy to find in the tangled sheets and you won't bump your sore head on the corner of a box of tissues when you fall asleep.