Move over tomatoes, you’ve got some tough competition. This might possibly be my favorite recipe of the summer. Not only is it easy to make, nutritious, and full of flavor, but you don’t even have to turn on your oven. Plus strawberries are loaded with vitamin C, folate, fiber, potassium and antioxidants. This week was hotter than hot in Nebraska, so I’m very thankful that I didn’t have to turn on my oven to make these little bites of heaven. At least my air conditioner had the decency to break down before the heatwave and not during it. Don’t you love it when life doesn’t go as expected?
I have to be honest and tell you this past week was difficult. I was supposed to go on vacation, but that fell through. Trust me, that’s a long story. Things broke down including my air conditioner, treadmill, and coffee pot. (Out of the three, the coffee pot was the one I was most worried about…Priorities, people!) Plus it seems like many people I know and love are facing some difficult life challenges right now. Things like failed relationships, failed startups/businesses, losing loved ones, and the list goes on. I needed a bit of happiness in my life this week and creating lovely food always cheers me up. Seriously, how could the combination of strawberries and basil not make you happy?
I guess you could call this my version of comfort food. So often we use the term “comfort food” to describe unhealthy foods that we like to consume in large amounts. Typically, it’s those foods we know aren’t healthy (I’m looking at you potato chips) but we label it a “comfort food” because it makes us feel better about eating it. It’s a label designed around making you feel less guilty when eating it. So when life gets you down, I think it’s important to find comfort foods that are easy to make, taste great, but do offer some nutritional benefit without the guilt. For me the comfort comes in the preparation, amazing flavors, and the memories shared around food. Friday night I had the opportunity to spend an evening with friends, which was much needed. We shared a meal together at a local French restaurant and not only did we eat the best chicken smothered in cream sauce I’ve ever had, we shared our frustrations and struggles. I’m not sure if it was as much the food that was comforting, but the conversation and memories made. What are some of your favorite comfort foods?
- 1 loaf Trader Joes Ciabatta Bread (sliced)
- Trader Joe’s Chevre Log With Honey – Goat Cheese, 1 container (8 oz ea.)
- 2 containers fresh strawberries (sliced however you want!)
- 5 Tablespoons TraderJoes Balsamic Glaze (I’m estimating the amount, don’t measure out 5 TB- simply squirt from the bottle)
- 1 cup fresh Basil leaves
- Wash strawberries and then slice however you want. Set aside
- Wash and chop fresh basil. Set aside.
- Evenly slice bread and smear a small amount of goat cheese on to each slice. Add strawberries, balsamic glaze, and top with fresh basil.