Make your home page

Chef Wendell: Autumn comfort food

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When today’s world stresses you out, do you seek “comfort food” or alcoholic beverage to calm your nerves?  During, anxious and emotional times, we naturally seek comfort or escape by consuming traditional foods and beverages that make us feel good…temporarily. When we feed our mood with healthy food, we feel great and the world troubles fade away. Rather than alcohol, chocolate cake, greasy burgers and fries, here is a delicious recipe full of vitamins that will lift your spirits.

1st Segment: Preparing fall vegetables for master soup. Fall veggie nutrition. Why do we seek comfort from food?

2nd Segment: Preparing entrée and continue nutritional discussion. Brussels sprouts and butternut squash are vitamin powerhouses.

  • Everybody goes to their favorite comfort food or beverage when stressed or when they get the blues. What’s yours?
  • The comfort foods we crave are artifacts from our past…memories of happier times. By eating foods that remind us of those times, we symbolically consume that past happiness.
  • When we feed our mood with healthy food, the world troubles fade away.
  • “Feel good foods” release dopamine: cake, pie, milk chocolate, cookies, deep fried foods, junk foods. (sugar, salt, fat)
  • Alcohol: instant escape with a price to pay the next day.
  • Brussel’s Sprouts are exceptionally rich sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, K, A, Fiber, B-vitamins, Zeaxanthin. Whew!
  • Butternut squash-more vitamin A than a pumpkin and holds B-complex, iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
  • Fiber-Dietary fiber is considered to be a key component in healthy eating.
  • Fiber plays an essential role in your digestive, heart, and skin health, and may improve blood sugar control, weight management.

Chef Wendell’s Fall Vegetable Master Soup Recipe

  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil, olive oil or butter from grass-fed cows
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into thin circles
  • 3 stalks of chopped celery
  • 1 package baby bella or stemmed shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1-pound butternut squash cubes
  • 1 pound trimmed Brussels sprouts, stem trimmed and then chopped
  • Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste

Remember to:

  • Add oil to a large soup pot, turn on medium heat and add the onion, celery, squash, bay, mushrooms, and carrots. Sauté till soft, not browned.
  • Pour in the vegetable stock, pureed pumpkin and diced tomatoes with juice. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer 20 minutes. Stir often.
  • Too thick, add more stock. Too thin, no big deal
  • Cool and then freeze for future use.

Enhance the versatile master soup recipe with:

  • Pasta and parmesan for an Italian twist
  • Quinoa, brown rice or favorite grain
  • Bits of chicken breast for protein
  • Tempeh or meat alternative for our vegetarian friends
  • Tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter and Sriracha for Asian flavor
  • Chopped green onions taste good on top of most anything