Comfort food. Just saying those words you start salivating, as your minds drifts off, daydreaming of bowls of creamy pasta, giant chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven, mounts of mashed potatoes smothered in rich gravy, warm apple crumble topped with ice cream melting on the sides. I’m making you drool aren’t I? Good! For me, comfort food comes in a bowl and requires only a spoon or a big slice a bread for eating. In short, comfort food is just this recipe: a thick, rich, savoury bowl of cheezy broccoli soup.
Often times when we think of comfort food, we think of unhealthy or even dirty food. But my friends, I am here to tell you there is no need for such name calling. Comfort food can be just that, comforting and delicious and oh yes, totally nutritious. It’s all in the way you prepare the food and the ingredients you use. I refuse to feel guilty about the foods I eat or serve my family. Guilt and food just don’t go together in my book. Pleasure and food, do!
Following a plant based diet, I feel like I have an edge over others because my food is wholesome, natural and nourishing from the start. All I need to do really, is combine them in delicious, mouthwatering ways without adding too much of the unnecessary stuff. Like this soup for example, the main ingredients are:
- potatoes – well hello vitamin B6, potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid. Oh and potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity;
- carrots – did anybody say beta-carotene and fiber. Carrots are also a good source of antioxidants, are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and B8, as well as pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.
- broccoli – let me see some hands for dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium and copper. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin and selenium.
Now that’s a pretty good start if you ask me! Add some soaked raw cashews, a little herbs and seasoning, some nutritional yeast for that cheezy flavour and you’ve got yourself a lip smacking, belly loving, soul satisfying meal.
Speaking of comfort, and before we move on to the recipe, let’s get into our little mindful moment of the day…
Mindful moment – your comfort zone
In my last post, I talked about the “accomplishment mindset” and how setting small tasks for you to accomplish everyday builds that positive mindset and sets you up to reach your higher, loftier goals.
Now I want to talk about your comfort zone.
What is a comfort zone? Well, according to the Cambridge English Dictionnary, a comfort zone is a situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested.
Deep down inside, you know that if you continuously stay within the confines of your comfort zone, you won’t achieve the greater goals you set for yourself. But how to move out of your comfort zone without feeling completely frazzled and overwhelmed only to eventually give up… This is key here.
It comes back down to your task list.
Once you’ve settled nicely into your three first tasks and you’ve maintained their daily application/practice for a set period of time (I generally use a rule of 2 weeks as I find it is a good indicator of my willingness to apply change. You can read this great article here on the 21 day myth), review them and see how you can push them a little further. This could mean to replace a task that has become easy or second nature by a more challenging task or increase the value/duration of a task.
Let me give you an example.
In my previous post I told you my three basic tasks after a life altering event: shower, brush teeth, meditate for 10 minutes. Once I new I was well enough to do those every day, I increased my meditation to 20 minutes and I replaced brushing my teeth (which luckily, became a habit again) with a 30 minute walk.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I did not want to go for a walk. It took every once of willpower out of me and sometimes, I needed to bribe myself. But I did it anyway, even at -30°C or in pouring rain. And that attitude reinforced my “achievement mindset”. Everyday, by choosing to follow through with my list of 3 tasks, I made my “achievement mindset” stronger. And it got stronger because I was willing to comfortably step out of my comfort zone. I say comfortably because I didn’t go for drastic changes. I didn’t say, well ok then, now that I shower everyday, I’m gonna start training for a triathlon! I kept it within a reasonable increment that challenged me but didn’t overwhelm me.
I encourage you to do the same. Once you’ve mastered the daily application of your first three tasks, review them and see how you can comfortably step out of your own comfort zone. And do not give up. There are greater achievements waiting for you…
And now, unto the cheezy brocoli soup recipe
This recipe calls for soaked cashews. Here are my two tips when it comes to soaked raw nuts:
- when I know I’m going to make a recipe that uses them in the evening, I soak the nuts first thing in the morning as I get myself and my toddler ready for the day. Once we’re all ready, I drain the nuts and put them in a container in the fridge. And yes, I do set a timer in order not to forget.
- soaked nuts freeze very well. When I buy raw nuts in bulk, I soak half the bag right away, allow them to dry on a sheet pan over paper towel, then pop them in a freezer bag. So when I need them, they are ready to go in no time and can be used straight out of the freezer.
I hope you and your family enjoy this comforting bowl of soup. Don’t forget to leave me a comment at the bottom of the post. And let me know if you are enjoying these little minduflness tips.
- ⅓ Cup raw cashews
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 4 medium yellow potatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 broccoli heads
- 2 Cups of water
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 tsp granulated garlic
- ½ Cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbs yellow prepared mustard
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 Cups water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 2 tsp Himalayan salt
- Soak cashews in water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
- Peel and thinly slice the onion, potatoes and carrots (it will cut down on your cooking time).
- Wash the broccoli and cut into bite size florets.
- In a large pot set over medium heat, add the olive oil and the onion. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, carrots and 2 Cups of water. Stir.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat.
- Allow to cook covered for at least 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli florets.
- When vegetables are done and tender, remove most of the broccoli and set aside.
- Remove the pot from heat, add the soaked cashews, paprika, granulated garlic and nutritional yeast and with a hand blender, blend the vegetable and nut mixture.
- Once the mixture is blended to creaminess, add the 4 cups of water, vegetable bouillon cube and the two mustards.
- Bring the pot back on to low heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and salt to taste.