Where nutrition is concerned, I’ve always believed variety is important. When I plan menus each week, I include several different main courses. I’ll plan one meal around beef, another with poultry, one for pork, one for seafood, and one meatless dish.
I also keep our pantry stocked with staples — including canned meats — so that when “real life” interferes with my meal plans, I can quickly put a delicious meal together in minutes.
One day recently — a day I’d planned for seafood — I gave my husband a choice.
What would you like for dinner? Salmon croquettes? Or Tuna Casserole?
Both are favorites around our home. I expected him to vote for the salmon, and I was already mentally preparing the meal in my head. Dill sauce. A green salad. Probably mustard greens with bacon for a side dish.
I was very surprised when he replied.
Seriously? He’d rather have a 5-minute, throw-it-all-in-a-pan-and-be-done-with-it dinner than a delightful, delicious plate of golden salmon croquettes smothered in a rich, creamy sauce?
Yes. Tuna Casserole. It’s been the butt of many jokes, but the truth is, everybody loves it. At least, everybody in my family…everybody I know, in fact. It’s so quick and easy to make. It’s good. Best of all, it’s the sort of dish that does more than satisfy hunger. It makes us feel good. It’s “comfort food” at its best.
There are, of course, dozens of recipes for Tuna Casserole, but don’t mess with mine, please. “Tuna and Noodles” — that’s what we called it when I was growing up — was the first dinner dish I learned to cook.
I cook noodles. I open a can of mushroom soup. I open a can of tuna. I add in a little milk and butter, and sometimes I’ll toss in a few peas, too. The one change I’ve made over the years is that I now use whole-wheat noodles, but other than that, I still make it the same way I’ve always done.
I’ve read recipes that call for crushed potato chips on top, or toasted bread crumbs, or Parmesan cheese. I know some folks add canned mushrooms, and some people even add Velveeta cheese.
Speaking of cheese…that’s another favorite “comfort food” around our house. Macaroni and Cheese. I’d also have to count Nachos and Jalapenos as my personal favorite, but I’m a little weird that way.
Whenever we’re needing comfort from life’s stresses, from a bout of miserable weather, or just because, most of us do turn to favorite foods. Maybe it’s an old-fashioned, family heirloom recipe that’s been passed down for generations, or maybe, like our Tuna Casserole, it’s a “quick fix” that can be ready in no time.
I’ve browsed around a bit and found a link to some favorite comfort foods you might enjoy.
What’s YOUR favorite “go-to” comfort food? Please share recipes, photos, and links!