IMG 70527

Get happy saving money by cooking your own comforting stews – eat better on the road this winter!

February weather on the roads, you always know it’s bad when the train operators pile their passengers from Inverness onto the A9 to get them to Perth; still the same great view just a different route! The roads just keep going, just like the drivers themselves. So with everyone piling on the pounds in winter and piling onto the road, we thought it was time to look at what food goes hand-in-hand with winter weather. A plate of fish and chips? No, it’s pasta carbonara. Actually no, it’s cottage pie… Sound familiar? It’s comfort food.

Comfort food is personal. It sits in the cab with you every winter; it blows you in from the cold and into a warm seat, firmly shutting the door on the bleakness of the icy roads. At Tasty Bites they know how to serve up comfort food but research has shown that it changes with gender and mood. A whopping 83% surveyed as part of research ate comfort food as a token of reward, which is interesting as many see comfort food as a unhealthy splurge perhaps associated with depressive moods. We’ve all stuffed our faces with a packet of crisps when fed up, have we not?

And it’s not just these token rewards, ‘healthy’ isn’t something we would strike in the same sentence with comfort food but in his study,Professor Brian Wansinkdiscovered that over 40% listed their comfort food as “somewhat healthy” which made Tasty Bites ponder about the approach to comfort food. Should we try and make it worthwhile and nutritious as well as making it a guilty pleasure?

Tanya from PJM Lorry Park’s Tasty Bites has been whipping up comfort food as a staple in her cooking for years, and has perfected the ultimate sit-down munch for drivers. But dishing out food from the kitchen is one thing, what about drivers who aren’t in Coventry and who want to sneak a little of that food in the cab with them for the road? We all nod in agreement that one of the main pleasures of comfort food is that it’s selfishly just for one, and even better is secretly squirrelling it away when you are on your own!

We asked Tanya and breakfast chef Pete what their favourite comfort food treats are and dish up an old favourite for home cooking! Pete’s favourite is yummy chicken fajitas loaded with cheese and a sweet BBQ sauce – that ticks many a carb box! Tanya’s is a true basic, harking back to British essentials from the 80’s(with a homemade twist): Sausage Bean Feast!

“This recipe you can take with you,” said Tanya. “And I’ve been serving it up for years. What’s more, it’s a firm family favourite and you can freeze it! So take some in the cab with you. The secret for comfort to me is about a sauce, get that right and you can throw anything into a meal. We serve this at PJM Lorry Park with sausage but you can make it with good chunky veg as a veggie alternative!” So go on, have a crack at whipping it up and we’re confident you’ll be satisfied! Also let us know if your recipe can beat ours…

Aprons at the ready!

IMG 70535

Sausage Bean Feast

Shopping List

  • Beans
  • Sausages
  • Onion
  • Peppers
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Worcester sauce
  • Chillies
  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

In a pan, cook the chopped peppers, sausages and onion in a tablespoon of olive oil. When cooked, add the chopped tomato, a sprinkle of dried chillies and a tablespoon of Worcester sauce. Now add a tin of beans, stir through and cook until the beans are warm enough to eat. Season to taste with salt and pepper,dish-up and enjoy!

Serve with toasted wholemeal pitta bread.