January 27, 2017
We’ve been all about comfort food lately. It’s typical at this time of year, as cold and flu season takes hold, and cold weather demands warming meals. (And some of us will need comforting this weekend if our Super Bowl team isn’t victorious!)
Chicken soup is a classic - and so much better homemade. One of my favourites is made with lots of garlic, jalapeño and tons of lime - and topped with avocado and salty, briny feta - it’s so limey it’s called Mexican lime soup with chicken. I eat bowls of this in the bleak midwinter when I’m not on a beach in Mexico.
There are many ideas of what kind of chicken soup should be administered as cold remedy - spicy soup laced with garlic and chilies is said to clear nasal passages, even temporarily (certainly chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C), and while egg noodles are traditional, barley, brown and wild rice deliver complex carbohydrates, fibre, and more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It also works well as a cupboard cleaner - I toss in all manner of small pasta shapes, whatever needs using up, or grains, which are inexpensive and so good for you.
Soup and a tuna melt reminds me of my childhood - they’re so easy to make: mash a drained can of tuna and moisten with mayo, add salt and pepper, and some chopped celery and/or green onion, if you like. Spread on toast (I like the grainy kind) and top with shredded cheese, then pop in the toaster oven or microwave just long enough for it to melt. This is equally suitable for dinner when you need something quick and comforting.
And for those fighting the sniffles, a smoothie loaded with whole fruit is my favourite thing - thick and soothing for sore throats, loaded with vitamin C (especially if you use berries and toss in a small handful of baby spinach or even parsley - no one will know it’s there) and with the benefit of fibre from the whole fruit, it beats juice hands-down. Plain yogurt adds protein, a ripe banana adds sweetness, and I love that in the middle of winter you can still buy bags of virtually any kind of frozen fruit you like - which works best in a smoothie anyway. It makes a great after school snack, and I even like taking one with me in an insulated to-go mug.
Have a great week, everyone.
As an internationally recognized chef who hails from the Prairies, Dale Mackay is working with Co-op to give Co-op shoppers and food lovers recipe ideas...
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I’m a fan of the roast chicken. Not only is it simple, versatile and delicious, it makes the best leftovers.