It’s the Simple Flavors in Life …

Posted by on April 1, 2009 | 15 Comments

This cold has really knocked me out. So much for a relaxing vacation to revive and renew! I have officially been “I don’t want to be on the  computer” sick for 10 days now (3 of which were during our vacation). But, I am not whining (okay, much), because, not once have I lost my appetite. Yes, I am probably gaining weight as I lump around the house with coughing fits. The only thing is, my senses are a bit dulled, I have no interest in creating recipes and I can’t really taste subtle flavors. I just want simple food with my favorite flavors that my taste buds can always recognize. Which made me realize something. My favorite foods to make and eat really are the simplest ones.


On that note, I am going to ask you to play along, as I would love to share and receive some more simple “comfort” food ideas. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Steamed broccoli sprinkled with Sea Salt (sometimes with a drizzle of rich oil, like coconut)
  • Steamed Butternut Squash (yeah, I cheat with the pre-pack when they are on clearance) – the topping varies, but there is always cinnamon and a pinch or two of salt. I sometimes stir in ground flax, nut butter, or a little coconut oil.
  • Brown Rice Cakes or Homemade Bread slathered with Nut Butter (almond butter from TJ’s being my absolute favorite) and sprinkled with Cinnamon; if I am craving sweet, I drizzle on Honey. My husband loves it PB & J style.
  • Frozen Peas with Mayo stirred in and a few shakes of Herbs. I usually add some other veggies (carrots, corn, etc.) and also like this with pasta (ooh, and small strips of ham if available) for a super simple pasta salad, with extra peas of course. I usually use vegan mayo, but like the natural stuff too.
  • Orange cut into segments and sprinkled with Cinnamon. (Can you tell from this blog that I like oranges just a bit? I mean seriously, even though I totally botched these photos they still look so good …)


  • Graham Crackers slathered with Leftover (homemade) Frosting. Come on, they don’t all have to be healthy do they?
  • Frozen Mango Chunks when I am hot (good for a fever!). It is just like rich and fruity popsicles.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and Vegan Carob Chips savored together.
  • Frozen Banana blended with Frozen Blueberries and a bit of Almond Milk to reach the right consistency. Toss in whatever else you like, this is just the perfect base in my book.
  • Leftover Rice (brown or white) with a pat of DF Margarine (Earth Balance) melted in, or some coconut oil, pinch of salt, and a little nutritional yeast (that combo yields a nice buttery-like flavor).

Now tell me yours! What are some of your favorite simple foods to nosh on when hunger strikes and you just don’t feel like really cooking. Is it a simple fruit or veggie? What about basic pastas? Are you a tortilla freak? What soothes your sweet tooth in a pinch? Do you have some spices or seasonings that just do it for you? Please do tell! I am dying for some more ideas and I am sure you all would love some new ones too.

As a side note, in terms of a simple soup, I wanted to thank you all for voting for my Dairy Free Creamy Potato Miso Soup for No Croutons Required, it won!  Not only that, but Whole Foods picked it up for their Best Meal of the Week on their blog while I was away. Hmmm, soup, that sounds nice right now.


Filed Under: Tips, Ideas, and Deals

Comments (15)


  1. Elisabeth says:

    For me, comfort is always noodles and margarine with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rice in substitute of the noodles always does the trick as well.

    My next best comfort food is cottage cheese. It has to be my specific favorite kind of cottage cheese though–Friendship 4% California Style Cottage Cheese, or their 1% Whipped. Their cottage cheese is beautiful…flavorful and not rubbery like some.

    If it’s a simple dinner that I’m looking for, I saute some zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and mushrooms in a touch of olive oil and veggie (no chicken) broth, and eat it with a side of cottage cheese.

    Buttery crackers with almond butter smeared on them. Or, make it even better with a little nub of sharp cheddar and apple on top…yum!

    I could talk all day about comfort food. =)

  2. jenn says:

    whenever i don’t feel well, i always end up making instant cream of wheat. when i was little, i used to have it every morning with more maple syrup than actual grains. i cut back a bit, but maple, brown sugar, and some raisins and i’m good to go. my dad knew the perfect ratio of milk to mix to produce the optimal amount of lumps (i demanded lumps, but not lumpy… i was strange and hard to please). i still haven’t mastered that, but my version is pretty good.

    whenever i want a simple dinner (which is often given my busy college schedule), i go for poached eggs sprinkled it with paprika, salt, and pepper. i cut my bread into mini toast-points and dip away. it’s quick, delicious, and the perfect energy-boost to keep me going when i’m feeling drained.

    i’ve also been known to open a jar of peanut butter and eat it with a spoon when i’m feeling down. that might be a problem, though. =)

  3. Angela says:

    steamed cauliflower with pesto! I’ve been known to eat half a head in one sitting 🙂

  4. Christina says:

    When I was little and I didn’t feel well, my mom would make me a bowl of plain pasta, with butter and parmesan cheese. Growing up in an Italian household, it was REALLY rare to eat pasta like this. We usually drowned it in different sauces, with vegetables, seafood, meats, etc. So, to eat it plain always brings me back to a little girl, laying on the couch, home sick from school.

    I also like toast with a little bit of cinammon and sugar if my tummy is upset.

  5. Vegetation says:

    Aww feel better soon! I hate colds with a passion!

    My go to meals are quinoa and rice pasta with a simple marinara sauce and any kind of white potato dish usually with steamed broccolini or sauteed spinach on the side.

    I don’t really have a sweet go to, but if my throat hurts it has to be icecream!

  6. I am sure you know what I’m going to say… CHICKEN SOUP! The ultimate in comfort food. Here is mine:

    And of course I have to mention my garlic cure:

    It is so common for people to get sick after (or even during) a holiday. Your body finally gets time to rest and so everything you have been suppressing running the crazy life we all lead get a chance to come out. Just let it out. Rest, drink fluids and when you get better, you will feel better than you ever remember feeling. Patience… and chicken soup!

  7. Marianne says:

    This sounds like me last week – I was sick with some kind of cold, had no taste, but was still hungry. My problem is, when I have no taste, I don’t want to eat, because it seems like a waste to not be able to taste the food.

    I made a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup to nosh on with some cheese sandwiches. Simple and tasty.

  8. Sarena says:

    I am sorry you still don’t feel well! Hopefully it has just about run it’s course! For me, first things first…oatmeal! Second it is frozen grapes…especially when I have a cold. They are just so refreshing and full of juiciness. For my kids, it is noodles (like no yokes) with butter and salt. For my husband, it is normally rice pudding. Now I am hungry!

  9. RunToFinish says:

    ohh man hope you start feeling better soon…but seriously thanks for the ideas you just gave me on foods

  10. Ricki says:

    Sounds like you’ve already got quite a repertoire of dishes. . . hope you’re feeling better (well by now you probably are–this comment is so late!) 😉

    I have rice cakes, too, with almond butter, but I love them with a slather of blackstrap molasses on top–yum. And miso soup.

  11. Maggie says:

    I hope you’re on the tail of the sickness. Maybe the oranges will help some, they look beautiful!
    Bread with butter (EB since I don’t keep butter in the house) tops my list, I also love melting chocolate chips in the microwave and stirring in sliced bananas or strawberries. There isn’t a cupcake out there that can beat that.

  12. My favorite pick-me-up, “tastes so wonderful”/comfort food of late is roasted chickpeas. These are so good and good for you, it’s amazing. You just rinse and drain a couple of times. (I leave them in the can while I am doing this, just using the lid as my strainer.) Then spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with some sea salt and seasoning of your choice (I use some cayenne pepper), and bake at 450 for about 20 to 30 minutes. I have to keep myself from eating them all in one sitting. They are that good!


  13. Stephanie says:

    I love simple things too.
    Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries are probably one of my favories. Oh and Roasted Asparagus Spears!

    I’ll try to get both recipes posted later this week over on my blog 🙂

  14. Andrea says:

    I really like dipping carrot sticks into hummus for a quick “meal.” Quinoa soup with potato and cauliflower is simple, fast and delicious. And I love a bowl of homemade granola with non-dairy milk.

  15. Libby says:

    Ok, this is a guilty pleasure that I haven’t blogged myself: last Thanksgiving, I froze the extra grease from my turkey in an ice cube tray to use as a base for making gravy. Except if you throw one in with instant mashed potatoes instead of margarine, the result is so savory good you forget they’re instant. Ultimate comfort food. Shhhhhh….

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