It's not new news that I comfort eat. But I can tell you with 100% certainty that my Whole 30 (ok, 19) experience changed my eating habits forever, in that I don't reach for food FIRST when I need comfort. I surround myself with friends or just ask for what I need. Food doesn't necessarily have that Calgon-take-me-away power it used to. Which is both strange and a relief.
However, let's say you've had a horrible week and feel like someone stabbed you in the uterus. You want a comforting meal that is tasty, has lots of nutritious vegetables and warm savory flavors that basically rocks. Look no further, friends. This is the easiest dinner and you can get everything at Trader Joe's.
Start with a tub of mushrooms. Wash em. Cut em. Put em in a pan with some butter. I don't care how much you use. More is directly correlated with comfort, in my book. While those are going, start the water for the pasta. We use Trader Joe's brown rice pasta. It's tasty and does not -- I REPEAT DOES NOT -- taste like whole wheat pasta, which is just the nastiest of the nasty. Brown rice pasta tastes like pasta. So boil your water. Then put a whole bunch of pasta in there (2/3 of the bag for us)
Now. Get a roasted chicken. Fine with me if you want to get it at Safeway or Costco. I roasted one yesterday afternoon and halved it last night before bed. Because that's what people do the night before a D&C. Duh. I picked the chicken off half of it, then chopped it into a 1-inch or so dice (like I measured!). When the pasta is done, drain it, then pour in some olive oil and the chicken. If you're like me and roasted your chicken at home, it will be frustratingly undercooked, thus the need for additional uh, warming up. Let that sit for 1-2 minutes. THEN. Break open the jar of Trader Joe's Alfredo Sauce. Pour the whole dang thing in. Then the mushrooms. Stir.
Open a jar of Trader Joe's Roasted Red Peppers. Drain, then cut into ribbons. Or dice. Whatever floats your boat. Add those. THEN add 1-2 cups of fresh spinach last. Stir until the spinach is just wilted. Add sea salt and tons of pepper. If you're feeling daring, add a bit of lemon zest (which makes it extra magical).
Plate and grate fresh parmesan on top. Prepare yourself for an awesome, tasty, hearty comforting meal that makes you think tomorrow is going to be a better day.
*Thanks for the well wishes. Today went OK. It was pretty painful (see aforementioned stabbing of uterus), but there was NOT a dentist-style suction instrument involved, for which I was extremely grateful. I had near panic attacks over what that would sound like. Also, I'm not bleeding like a stuffed pig like last time, so I'm super thankful for that. It's over. I expect to continue to alternate between being fine and sobbing my eyes out all weekend.