Saying that this upcoming election week is going to be stressful is a severe understatement. While, yes, the prospect of doom scrolling through Twitter and Instagram or finishing off a bottle or two of wine as we await our fate as a modern democracy sounds slightly appealing, we deserve better. That’s why BAZAAR.com has reached out to some of our food world favorites—including Sophia Roe, Camille Becerra, Tara Thomas, and more—to share the tried-and-true recipes they’re cooking or baking for a dose of comfort amid these uncertain times.
It’s creamy, hearty, but never heavy, and features my favorite ingredient of all time: mushrooms! Even the process of making this soup calms my anxiety. It’s super easy to make large batches of, and just like many soups, tastes even better the next day.
Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2½ mushrooms (any kind you can find; the wilder the better)
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1½ tsp dried)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups veggie broth (any kind will work)
- 3 tbsp cashews
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar (or lemon)
- ¼ cup chopped dill (or herb of choice)
Heat a Dutch oven over low heat. Add oil, onion, and garlic, and saute until softened. Add mushrooms and 1 tsp salt, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add thyme and white wine. Let liquid reduce by half. Add veggie broth and let cook on low with lid on 3-5 minutes. In a high-speed blender cup, add cashews, water, remaining 1 tsp salt, and 3 cups soup mixture. Blend on high until smooth. Pour contents back into soup pot and let cook on low for 5 minutes. Add sherry vinegar and chopped dill. Let soup cook few more minutes, and then EAT. You can add more water or broth if you want a thinner soup.
Tara Thomas, Executive Chef Sincerely Tommy
Squash and Seedy Bean Hummus
My de-stressing dish: squash and seedy bean hummus. You can dip it, spread it, and even use it as a sauce. It’s plant-based food that’s full of wholesome and fat-forward umami ingredients that are ultra comforting. Don’t forget to cleanse your palate beforehand with my CBD formulation for Gossamer and Rose Los Angeles collab.
Taking care of yourself matters the most when it feels the hardest. Nourishing the mind, body, and spirit is my number one priority. If I’m not well, then I can’t be well with others! Getting in the kitchen can be a triple whammy to nourish the holy trinity of self-care for me. Before anything, CBD. I love this formulation I created in collaboration with Gossamer and Rose Los Angeles.
Then, I let myself take up space by getting cozy in the kitchen by cleansing the space, putting on jazz, setting out ingredients, tools, and then lighting a candle. My favorite is this one by Redoux. The process of cooking is peaceful, and this specific recipe is a spin on a classic and versatile snack: hummus by adding Hokkaido squash and a healthy amount of seeds. Make time and take up space to balance yourself, reclaim your power.
Kitchari translates to “mixture.” It’s usually a mixture of lentils and rice, which is known to be nourishing and easy to digest. It’s central to Ayurvedic cuisine and a popular healing food in South Asia.
“Kitchari was a recipe my mother prepared for me whenever I was unwell. Rooted in centuries of healing knowledge and Ayurvedic medicine, it’s easy to digest, nourishing, and simple. You can change it based on the spices and seasonings to fit how you feel. It always reminds me of the traditions and wisdoms that connect me, and all of us, to our ancestors,” says Shahid.
The only things you need to make kitchari are yellow split mung beans, basmati rice, salt and pepper, and your choice of oil or ghee. All other spices are optional, and to taste, making this an easy pantry staple recipe.
Makes 2 servings
- ½ cup basmati rice
- ½ cup split yellow mung beans (popularly found in Indian/Pakistani grocery stores if your regular grocery store has run out)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1/3 tsp turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp ground cumin (optional)
- 2 tbsp ghee (butter or oil can substitute)
- 5 cups water (you can also substitute some of the water for your choice of stock for additional flavor and nutrition)
Rinse the rice and mung beans 2-3 times until the water runs clear. In your Always Pan, on medium heat, heat the ghee and add the spices. Saute 2 minutes. Stir in the mung beans. Add water and/or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover your Always Pan, and cook 20 minutes stirring occasionally. You will add in rice later as mung beans take longer to cook than rice. After 20 minutes add in the rice. Cover the Always Pan and cook mung beans and rice for another 15 minutes until completely tender. Remove the lid and let any remaining water dry up. Taste-test, adjust spices as needed, add any favorite herbs you have lying around (a little cilantro goes well) and some nuts or seeds for crunch (cashews and black sesame seeds are my current pick). Enjoy!
Jordan Rondel, Owner of The Caker
Flourless Chocolate Cake
“I originally fell in love with the art of baking cakes because of its relaxing, therapeutic effects. Even though baking is now my profession, I still experience those same effects, but these days, I turn to one-bowl-wonder-type cake recipes to relax, rather than the experimental and adventurous recipes that my younger self found calming to tackle. Lately, my favorite thing to bake is my flourless chocolate cake. I always have the required ingredients at home, and this recipe only requires one bowl plus a whisk. With each addition of an egg and each turn of the whisk, the cake batter turns into glossy velvet, and I feel my stress dissolve. This is actually why I turned this recipe into a cake kit, so that everyone can experience the remedial effects that baking this beautifully simple chocolate cake can bring.”
Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup with Roasted Mushrooms
“One of my favorite recipes to make when I need to de-stress is without a doubt my creamy wild rice soup with roasted mushrooms. It’s one of the coziest bowls and always reminds me of my mom. When we were growing up, she used to make chicken and rice soup all the time, so whenever I make my own special version, it brings back the best memories. This fall-favorite soup can slowly cook on the stove or in the slow cooker. The best part? Your home will be filled with the warmest scents in the air as its cooking. It really gives off a relaxing mood throughout the entire kitchen. And, of course, it’s delicious. Creamy, herby, a little cheesy, and the wild rice adds the perfect hearty bite. It’s easily my favorite bowl to cozy up with after a long week and an instant pick-me-up!”
Steamed Chocolate Olive Oil Cake With Black Sesame
“With temperatures dropping and anxiety high, it’s common to find me tucked into my favorite chair with a comfy combo of warm milk tea and this slightly sweet, super-moist cake. Lining the pan with sesame seeds helps the cake pop out of its pan easily, especially when using fancy molds.”
Dash Coffee Cake
“Coffee cake reminds me of my grandma. She used to buy the generic version at the store, but when I find myself craving the crunchy streusel topping and cinnamon-laced cake, I always bake some to remind me of her. I call this version Dash Coffee Cake, because I just launched a cereal brand, OffLimits, with Dash being the first female-identifying cereal character. Dash’s personality is as bold and unwavering as her coffee and cocoa flavor. Just like my grandma, Dash gives me the motivation and the caffeine to keep fighting even when you have to move mountains.”
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 1 cake (12 servings)
For the streusel
- 2 cups OffLimits Dash cereal, ground into a flour (or 1 cup, 145 g, all-purpose plain flour)
- ¼ cup OffLimits Dash cereal for topping
- ¾ cup (145 g) light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the cake
- 2 cups (275 g) unbleached cake (soft) flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 stick (115 g) room- temperature unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (95 g) light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (120 mL/4 fl oz) full-fat or nondairy milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas Mark 4). Butter a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) baking pan. Make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, mix together the cereal flour, both sugars, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon until crumbles form. Set aside.
Make the cake: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy. Fold in the vanilla and lemon zest. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternate between slowly adding the flour mixture and milk, beating well after each and whisking until no dry spots remain. Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over top. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached, 40-45 minutes. Allow the coffee cake to cool in the pan 10-15 minutes before sprinkling the cereal bits on top, slicing into squares, and serving.