New Family Favorite Comfort Food Recipes

by Mel on October 22, 2013

It’s getting cooler and I’ve been in the mood for some home cooked comfort food!  But, sometimes I get in a huge cooking rut!  I have my “go to recipes” and cook the same old thing every week.  If you find you are in a cooking rut, try these new comfort food recipes your kids will love.  Bonus, these recipes may become new family favorites!

 

Pepperoni Pizza Pocket

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing

1/2 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

4 to 6 leaves fresh basil, torn

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 pound pizza dough, divided into 4 balls

2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella

12 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced

Grated Parmesan, to taste

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add in the tomato paste and sauté for 1 more minute. Stir in the diced tomatoes, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Add the torn basil leaves and bring to a slow simmer. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes while you make your pizza pocket.

Roll out the dough balls on a lightly floured surface into 4 equal rounds. On half of each round, layer some mozzarella, and then some pepperoni slices. Fold in half, covering the filling, and then fold the outer edges up and crimp the edges with your fingers to seal. Place the pockets on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

 

Grilled Chicken Taco Pizzas

Ingredients

For the Taco Seasoning:  (or you can use packaged taco season as a time-saver)

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the Pizzas:

1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 16-ounce tube pizza dough

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1 avocado

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon diced red onion

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup fresh salsa

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

Directions

Make the taco seasoning: Mix all of the ingredients with 1 tablespoon each salt and black pepper in a bowl.

Prepare the pizza: Mix 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning and the canola oil in a shallow bowl. Pound the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Add the chicken to the bowl, turning to coat, and marinate 30 minutes.

Preheat a grill to medium high. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Let cool, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll out each on a floured surface into an 8-inch round. Brush with canola oil, sprinkle with taco seasoning and grill until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes per side; remove from the grill.

Mix the cheeses in a bowl, then sprinkle on the crusts and top with the chicken. Return the pizzas to the grill, and cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the avocado, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, red onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Top the pizzas with the avocado mixture, salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

 

Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies

Ingredients

Vegetable oil cooking spray

Pot Pie Filling:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 small store-bought rotisserie chicken breast, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup meat)

1 cup broccoli florets, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces, steamed (about 2 ounces)

 

To Assemble:

All-purpose flour, for dusting

Two 10-inch round unfold-and-bake frozen pie crusts, thawed

1 large egg

 

Special equipment: 12-cup mini-muffin pan; 3-inch round cookie cutter; 2-inch round cookie cutter

 

Directions

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 12-count mini-muffin pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

For the pot pie filling: Melt the butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, Parmesan, chicken and broccoli.

For assembly: On a lightly-floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Using the 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 pieces of dough. Using the 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out another 12 pieces of dough. Press the large rounds of dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon the sauce into the pastry.

Combine the egg and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl, using a fork. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture and place the remaining pieces of dough on top. Lightly press the edges of the dough together to seal. Press around the edges of the pies using the tines of a fork. Brush the tops of each pie with the beaten egg. Cut a 1/2-inch-long slit into the top of the pies using a paring knife. Bake until the tops are golden and the filling is bubbling, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.

 

Ravioli and Zucchini Lasagna

Ingredients

2   medium (about 1 pound total) zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1   package(s) (26 ounces) frozen large cheese ravioli

3   teaspoon(s) olive oil

1   small onion, chopped

8   ounce(s) lean ground beef, 90% fat free

1   jar(s) (26 ounces) tomato-basil sauce

1   cup(s) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/4   cup(s) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with paper towels. Grease 2-quart ceramic baking dish. Heat large covered saucepot of water to boiling over high heat. Add zucchini and cook 5 minutes. With tongs or slotted spoon, remove zucchini to prepared cookie sheet to drain. Return water to boiling. Add ravioli and cook until ravioli rise to top.

Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned; transfer to small bowl. In same saucepan, in remaining 1 teaspoon oil, cook beef over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes or until browned, breaking up beef with side of spoon. Stir in tomato sauce and onion; heat to boiling. Drain ravioli; return to saucepot. Add meat sauce to ravioli in saucepot and stir until combined.

In prepared baking dish, arrange half of zucchini; top with half of ravioli, then half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layering of all ingredients. Bake 20 minutes or until hot in the center and golden and bubbly on top.

 

I hope you ENJOY!

Mel

Mel

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I always look forward to expressive my passions in life to others and helping people make lasting changes. I live a busy life like the rest of us with kids, work, and everything else that can get in the way. Making time for exercise, and making good decisions about what we eat can often be a challenge. We sometimes lack the motivation and momentum to make lasting changes in our lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to really get my life in order and have some simple strategies to help you do the same. Mel’s favorite product is African Mango 1200
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