Three Healthy Comfort Foods that will Cure Homesickness

One of the hardest parts of going back to school definitely has to be the lack of homecooked meals. Most of us end up resorting to fast food solely because we don’t have the time or willingness to cook on our own. It’s often hard knowing where to start with cooking, and if (and this is a big IF) some courage is mustered up to make something, most of the time, it’s not the healthiest. But I’m here to tell you that there is actually a way to take some cult favourite recipes and incorporate a bit more nutrition, all while maintaining their warm and comfy feeling!

Breakfast

Breakfast sandwiches are definitely a delicious and filling way to start the day. The sausage and bacon sandwiches from Tim Horton’s are a weakness that can pull anyone in. However, a healthy alternative can easily be made right in your own kitchen.

To start, try replacing white English muffins with whole wheat instead. This will add more fibre into your breakfast, and it doesn’t taste all that different. Next, try replacing the protein from the sausage or bacon with an egg. If you’d still like to incorporate some meat, you can opt for salt-reduced turkey bacon. For cheese, ditch the processed Kraft Singles, and try something more natural, like aged cheddar, which provides bacteria that is beneficial for digestive aid. Lastly, avocado as a spread not only tastes great, but has so many health benefits. If you want to make your sandwich extra jam packed, it’s always great to add more vegetables, like spinach!

Lunch

Mac and cheese is undoubtedly one of the most notorious comfort foods. Kraft Dinner is pretty hard to beat, but I promise once you try this homemade version, you’ll never go back.

The base for the cheese sauce is quite simple. All you need is butter, flour and milk (check out a recipe online for precise measurements). Once it’s all combined, slowly add shredded cheese over low heat. Choose whole wheat, spelt, chickpea, or any other non-white pasta for the macaroni. A way to make it even tastier is to add some spices like paprika, garlic salt or pepper. You could very well stop here, but why would you? In a separate pan, sauté some garlic, onion, mushrooms, broccoli, and tomato. These vegetables aid in fibre, vitamin B, calcium and most importantly, they taste great! Combine the sauce, pasta and veggies and a lovely lunch is served!

Dinner

A tasty dinner option that’s fun to make at home are taco bowls. Not only are they yummy, but they’re so easy to switch up and customize!

A great meat base is ground turkey rather than ground beef. Turkey is leaner, meaning there is less saturated fat, preventing cholesterol build up in the arteries. As for cheese, shredding your own is a great alternative because you can avoid any unnecessary additives. Beans, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce and corn are just a few examples of healthy, easy, and delicious bowl-fillers. A healthy tip: replace iceberg lettuce with romaine or spinach instead. Iceberg lettuce has a high water content, so it’s not as nutritiously dense as darker leafy greens. Top off your bowl with some greek yogurt, homemade salsa and lime as a replacement for fatty sour cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

These recipes won’t only make you feel like you’re at home, but they’ll be sure to fill you up and keep your wallet a little fatter. If you’re still lacking motivation, try making these meals with some company! Designating some nights to cook with your roommates or friends will easily make the process more enjoyable. Plus, company always makes the food taste better! Bon appetite!