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Keep Calm and Cook These Comforting Meals

Bon Appetit

Cooking is considered to be a meditative practice. In fact, Beyond Blue describes cooking as “meditation in disguise”. It’s an easy way to focus on one task and get out of your head (and all of the stress and worry that resides in there).

During these unprecedented times, we all most likely have more time at home than usual (especially for those in self-isolation) so we need to find things to occupy our time (and mind!), and cooking is a great option. While cooking might not be your favourite thing to do each day, you might find it more enjoyable with a bit more time on your hands.

We’ve curated a list of recipes below that will be worth the effort (trust!) and hopefully inspire you to get in the kitchen a little more.

Cookies

There’s arguably nothing more comforting than a warm chocolate cookie, but this recipe for Tahini, Rye & Chocolate Cookies by Green Kitchen Stories is a little different from a standard choc chip biscuit. Made with a base of buckwheat flour, these cookies are filled with tahini and chocolate to create a rich, decadent treat.

One-Pot Chicken

Bon Appétit is the place to go when you’re lacking dinner inspiration. So, a quick perusal will give you a tonne of cooking ideas. But, there’s one dish in particular that looks completely comforting and nourishing — it’s the One-Pot Chicken and Rice with Peanut Sauce by Molly Baz. Loosely based on Hainanese chicken rice, this recipe doesn’t take you hours and is filled with peanut-y goodness.

Pasta

Oh delicious pasta, the perfect meal for literally any occasion. While there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashion spag bol, it can be nice to try something new in the world of pasta. This Caramelized Shallot Pasta from Alison Roman for NYT Cooking is super duper simple but delivers on taste. There’s also something relaxing about slowly caramelising the shallots for 20 minutes.

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If you are one of the bajillion* people who asked for the pasta recipe from my Feast or the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve dinner, I HAVE OBLIGED. There are jammy, caramelized shallots, an entire tune (or can) of tomato paste and a whole tin of anchovies because I am nothing if not loyal to a theme and my own personal brand. The sauce (which is really more of a paste) makes enough for one batch of pasta and a whole jar leftover to do whatever you want with (smear it onto toast, scramble it into eggs, serve as a condiment w roast chicken, WHATEVER). Finish it w raw garlic and parsley bc not everything needs cheese (!!!). Yes the anchovies are mandatory, if you don’t care for them what are you even doing here? No but really, find another pasta. Sorry! Recipe for sticky caramelized shallot pasta in this weeks @nytcooking column 🌹🍝 and that’s amore 📸 @graydonherriott props @kalen_k_ *at least 9 people

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Vego

For something hearty but meat-free, Yotam Ottolenghi is the best person to turn to. His Chickpea and Herb Fatteh for NYT Cooking is filled with herbs, spices chickpeas and leftover bread. Ottolenghi recommends serving the popular Middle Eastern dish with eggs for brunch, or as a main dish alongside some cooked veggies.

Noodle soup

Diving into a bowl of ramen is pretty damn comforting, so making it from scratch surely has to provide some relaxation. This ramen (called I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Vegetarian-Ramen) by Andy Baraghani for Bon Appétit is a great way to ease yourself into ramen making as it’s vegetarian, so you don’t have to deal with any stock-making as yet.

Nutella Cake

Noshing on a slice of cake is always a good time, especially when it’s Nigella Lawson’s Nutella Cake (insert drool here). Not for the faint of heart, this cake is filled with Nutella, extra hazelnuts and Frangelico. While it’s pretty damn rich, it’ll definitely fix any sweet cravings you may be experiencing.

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