What better time of year to indulge in something warm and comforting than the colder months of the year. Cozy up on the couch with a bowl of soup made with seasonal root vegetables or savor a rich and creamy risotto.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you probably don’t want to sip on a simple bowl of chicken broth with a few vegetables floating on top. You’re looking for those satisfying dishes made with fresh ingredients that will warm you up from the inside out. And, those delightfully delicious meals don’t have to be synonymous with cheap imitation processed food or greasy fast food chains. You know what you’re craving, and I’ll show you how to make it at home without sacrificing any of your resolutions!
There is always a place for comfort food at my table, but I’ve put together a few recipes for those of you who are more adventurous in the kitchen. So get yourself in the mood, put on some soothing music and let’s get cooking.
Starting with a classic, risotto is that luscious and creamy rice dish that keeps you coming back for more. Right at the top of my list is this Classic Italian Risotto made using perfectly crafted RiceSelect® Arborio Rice sautéed in shallots and minced garlic all simmered in broth.
Organic Tip: The beauty of warm rice dishes is that you can easily make them organic by swapping in RiceSelect® Organic Arborio Rice and ingredients you’ve picked up from your local farmer's market or your vegetable garden at home.
Although there is nothing like a velvety bowl of traditional risotto rice, there is so much more to this dish. Make it your own creative outlet for self-expression by using ingredients that intrigue your taste buds. I love this Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Risotto using natural colors found in nature, creating a thin line between art and food. This gorgeously vibrant dish is a prime example of how cooking can be just as much of experimentation in color and aesthetics as it is in delicious complementing flavors.
Right alongside warming rice dishes, I love to curl up and ward off the cold and winter blues by spooning up one of these hearty, satisfying, and enriching soups. When I need a bit of Vitamin C, my go-to is the velvety texture and rich taste of this Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup made with just a few ingredients but overflowing with flavor. I just love orzo recipes made to warm you up.
When I’m craving something packed with spices and vegetables like a pearl couscous recipe, I turn to this Lentil Turmeric Pearl Couscous Soup. Made with RiceSelect® Pearl Couscous with Turmeric, lentils, and vegetables for the sustenance I need with a dash of superfoods, I almost forget it’s a vegetarian recipe!
Part of the beauty of cooking at home is the opportunity to explore and experiment with new seasonings and marinades from different cultures and deep-rooted local cuisines, to give comfort food dishes that extra burst of flavor we’re looking for.
Oftentimes, the simplicity of a basic combination like rice and beans can be an ideal foundation for wonderful dishes like this Instant Pot Caribbean Rice and Beans dish with grilled jerk eggplant. Making the jerk sauce from scratch creates smells and flavors I couldn’t even dream up, served alongside a sweet, savory, and zesty blend of rice and beans that are just plain good for the soul!
Jambalaya, quintessential to Creole southern cooking, is the perfect starting ground for a meal seasoned to perfection. I’ve swapped out traditional white rice for RiceSelect® Royal Blend with its enticing mixture of colors, textures, and tastes. The blend of white rice, brown rice, wild rice, and red rice effortlessly makes this Shrimp Jambalaya a classic in my kitchen.
An essential for warming comfort meals, I like to think of fried rice as a canvas, one day I might choose to make it a simple dish using leftovers, and another I turn it into a fusion of Asian flavors packed with umami tastes like soy sauce, pork belly, and kimchi. Follow my recipe or make it your own with this Filipino Pork Sisig served over a bed of garlic kimchi fried rice.
Did I mention how much I enjoy filling my house with savory aromas? The deliciousness flows from these elevated oven-bakes for a true multi-sensory experience.
A cross between a rich stew and roast chicken, this Moroccan Spiced Roast Chicken with Pearl Couscous & Chickpea Stew is a comfort meal par excellence. A bed of seasonal root vegetables like sweet potatoes, fennel and rutabaga are topped with chicken marinated in a ras el hanout spice blend all roasted to perfection. I served them alongside a savory blend of couscous and chickpeas sauteed in the pan drippings. Are you salivating as much as I am just thinking about it?
And, there’s no reason pizza can’t be sophisticated in your kitchen. One of my favorite plans is to set the scene any night of the week with fresh homemade pizza crust made with red quinoa, topped with a creamy Alfredo sauce, sliced mushrooms and crispy pancetta over the top. I highly encourage you to try it yourself in this Mushroom Pancetta Quinoa Pizza.
With a bit of inspiration, join me in experiencing the true pleasure of variety in all of your meals, down to your favorite classic comfort food recipes with a wide range of RiceSelect® varieties. Go ahead, take pride in that first delicious bite of your next unforgettable, homemade meal!