Grandma's Comfort Foods

Debra Frick

Today I went through my mother's recipe file to try and find a recipe my brother was looking for. We had gone through the cookbooks that we had and tried the Internet but we could not find the recipe that we remembered. Now I know that a lot of you are thinking that comfort food, by the mere definition, are calorie laden. But you must remember that comfort foods were also made from scratch without a lot of preservatives and made with fresh ingredients. If you cook a double batch, you have two dinners for the time and effort of one. Plus if you look at the price of comfort foods in terms of freshness and whole food nutrition, they certainly are much better than the fast food chicken nuggets that we all buy.


There are a lot of good books out there on once a month cooking and how to freeze and store fresh foods but I believe there is a whole generation out there that has no idea of the recipes that our mothers use to cook. These are perfect for the "cook, freeze, re-heat" lifestyles that we all live nowadays. So I am going to pass on some of my mother's and my aunt's "secret recipes" that they used to make for us. All can be made and frozen then reheated. Most taste great the first night but are even better when reheated. Besides you can still have comfort food even when on a diet, it is all in the amount you eat, everything in moderation.

Stewed Tomatoes

  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ad
  • Basil or oregano

Roughly chop the tomatoes set aside. In medium skillet, saute onions and bell peppers and garlic. Add the salt and pepper to taste and then add the tomatoes and basil and oregano. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about half and hour.

Mom used to serve this with meatloaf or chicken. It is a great side dish by itself but it also can be frozen and used for the base of chili or spaghetti sauce.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 can of mushroom soup
  • Half a cup of milk
  • A half a container of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • Half a cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 can of peas or a can of peas and carrots
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Half a package of wide egg noodles
  • 2 cups of crushed potato chips

In large mixing bowl, mix the tuna the soup and the fresh mushrooms, carrots and peas. In a medium saucepan, parboil the noodles until they are soft but not fully cooked. Drain noodles. In a casserole dish, put the noodles first and then on top add the ingredients from the bowl. Top with the crushed potato chips and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until the chips are turning golden brown and the noodles are cooked.


Mom's Fresh Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 recipe of stewed tomatoes, doubled
  • 1 pound of lean hamburger or ground turkey
  • 1 pound of ground mild or spicy pork Italian sausage or turkey Italian sausage
  • 1 pound of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • Half a tsp. of Italian seasonings
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In skillet, cook hamburger or turkey and the Italian sausage and then drain. In large sauce pan or Dutch oven, heat the tomatoes and add the Italian seasonings. Add the cooked meats and the mushrooms and let simmer for a couple of hours. Serve over spaghetti noodles. Pass the Parmesan cheese and the garlic bread please.

Mom and my aunt would also double this recipe and, while they were waiting for the sauce to cook, they would boil some lasagna noodles and mix this up this quick filling for it.

  • 1 container of cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Half of a cup of parsley or fresh spinach chopped
  • 1-cup mozzarella cheese

Mix all of the ingredients listed together in a medium mixing bowl.

When the sauce was ready, they would layer noodles first the cheese filling the sauce in a foil pan until they had two complete layers. Top with more mozzarella cheese and Parmesan. Then they would freeze this so they would have another complete dinner waiting for them. All they had to do was pop it in the oven for about 30- 45 minutes until heated through.

Hamburger Goulash

  • 1 lb. of hamburger
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 block of Velveeta Cheese
  • Small can of mushrooms
  • Two cups noodles
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Brown hamburger drain and rinse then return to the pan. Saute onion and then add the cans of mushroom soup, mushrooms and tomatoes. Cut half a block of Velveeta cheese into chunks and melt into the hamburger mixture. In another pot, boil water to cook the noodles. When done to your taste, add to the hamburger mixture.

Homemade Mac and Cheese

  • 2 cups of Milk mixed
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • Half a block of Velveeta cheese
  • Half of onion lightly sauteed
  • Macaroni
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make a roux with the milk and flour and butter. Add the lightly sauteed onions. Now cut your cheese into chunks and let it melt into the milk on a low heat, stirring constantly. Add the salt and pepper to taste. In another pan, cook the macaroni and then drain and combine the two pans together. These recipes are what my mom used to call her pantry recipes as most of the items you need can be found in any well- stocked pantry. Happy Eating!

About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 8 grandsons and one granddaughter. She is a published author and poetress. Recycling and saving money are her passions. She also loves crocheting and cooking. She is also a pet rescue volunteer and has many pets of her own.


March 5, 20150 found this helpful

What is size of Velveeta Cheese?

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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