You are going to hear more about this soon (read: gripe, complain, etc), but I agreed to do a Whole 30 food challenge in July. What’s Whole 30? Check out my PInterest board on the topic and you’ll see very quickly. 🙂 I love food. I love cheese, chocolate, bread, sugar (four of the main things banned from this program). Even some of the “healthy” foods I love aren’t allowed: oatmeal, beans and lentils, hummus, yogurt, etc. Enough about that for now. I’ll detail the benefits of doing Whole 30 soon. For now, I’m going to grieve a little bit in advance for the foods I won’t eat and fill this week’s meal plan with tastebud-satisfying, ultimate comfort foods. You in?
For years, I considered this dish one that only my great-aunt Lois could make. Would that I had kept that opinion! Why? Because it’s way too easy to make, and therefore consume an insane amount of calories. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing this casserole tastes. It could easily gain top billing on your list of ultimate comfort foods. Just try it.
It’s been years since I made a good lasagna, but it’s one of my top comfort foods. I was going to go with a classic meat lasagna, but then came across this recipe. Holy artichokes, this is the perfect combination of two amazing comfort dishes: spinach-artichoke dip and lasagna. I’m a new fan.
I don’t like tater tots. Weird, right? But I love this casserole. At least, I did when I was 20. I don’t think I’ve had it since then, but I saw it posted on Facebook a few days ago and thought, “Why not?” Maybe my kids will like it, too. (Recipe note: this particular recipe calls for everything low-fat. Forget that. Use whole milk, whole fat dairy. Maybe I’ll write a more in-depth explanation at some point, but suffice it to say for now, fat is not the enemy. I’m not saying that this dish is particularly healthy, but don’t knock out the fats. Another note: I always skipped on the prep time and dishes by pressing the hamburger right into the casserole dish first, then layering everything else on top. You’ll have to adjust your cooking time to make sure the hamburger cooks through.)
ONE DISH creamy mac and cheese. A family-favorite and always tops the list of ultimate comfort foods. I like that the green chiles are added at the end, so you can easily dish out some for the “my tongue is burning!” toddler before adding them in.
What’s better than a loaded baked potato? How about one that’s been made into a twice-baked casserole, filled with creamy, cheesy, bacony goodness? (I guess to make it truly twice-baked, you’d have to bake the potatoes rather than boil. I might do that, to add a roasted element to the dish.)
Another great hybrid of ultimate comfort foods: pizza and grilled cheese. Genius! Are you still making the same old boring grilled cheese sandwiches? There are so many variations! I’m liking the looks of this one. Add ramekins of extra pizza sauce to the table for dipping, too!
Saturday: Eat a salad as you bloat around the house a la Garfield after the week of calorie-dense, carb-loaded, cheesy comfort foods. Better yet, break up this post and and choose 1-2 per week. Yeah, that’s smart. And pin it for July, when i’m making you sad (inspired?) with my Whole 30 meals.
Until next time!
Your literary voyager and helpful house-elf,