Growing up, the way I (and many other people) were taught about food was not the best, and I've only realized that recently. Instead of viewing food as a nutritional source, we were taught that certain foods were bad and certain were good and that any sort of treats had to be deserved. And although that notion seems like the norm for many, it can bring on unhealthy habits with how we eat and view our body. In my journey of practicing intuitive eating, I've been following along with certain chefs on TikTok for their creative recipes that motivate me to actually enjoy food and give myself what my body needs (because isn't that what our relationship with eating should truly be?).
Normally, "feel-good" foods are marketed to have fewer calories and fewer carbs, but that's derived from diet culture and doesn't accurately represent what nutritious foods are. They're supposed to fuel your body, and make you feel good, period. After stalking and saving many recipes from the food creators below, I decided to reach out and ask them what their go-to feel-good recipe is. From a vegan pasta sauce to broccoli burrata toast, my mouth is already watering.
1. Broccoli Burrata Toast
"I used to think cheese and bread were just automatic 'no's' because of the messaging diet culture projected around them. But this recipe made me realize how fulfilling, satiating, and satisfying a loaded toast recipe can be, and how it can be a great staple in a balanced diet. I guess I'm also trying to remove the demonization of cheese—because it's just so good! And what's great about this recipe is you can pack it with as many veggies as you want, which truly are the best feel-good food." — Justine Doiron
2. Creamy Vegan Tomato Pasta
"I love this recipe because it's simple to make, so comforting, and it's packed with extra nutrients that I know are supporting my overall health. It's a healthy comfort food recipe, which is the type of recipe I always gravitate towards. It reminds me that you can truly enjoy the foods you love, while still nourishing your body and getting a good variety on your plate." — Mia Zariengo
3. Zucchini Enchiladas
"Instead of thinking of this enchilada recipe as one without tortillas, I love to think of it as one with added vegetables. Zucchinis have such a mild flavor so they don't lend any prominent taste to the final recipe. Instead, they allow the chicken enchiladas to shine through leaving you feeling so satisfied and so good. There's also something about the presentation of the cute rolls of shaved zucchini that makes this dish feel fun and special. It's one of my go-to feel-good recipes!" — Yumna Jawad
4. Yuca Fries
"I grew up with my mother making me for these every Sunday morning, and it's an easy recipe I always pull out when I need comfort or to feel good. To me, feel-good foods invoke a positive emotion, so whenever I'm eating this I'm instantly transported back to childhood." — Zaynab Issa
5. Spicy Cranberry Glazed Hot Chicken
"This fried chicken recipe makes them feel proud of themselves. I love developing simple techniques in my recipes that make people feel that time and effort spent cooking can indeed taste worth it! By showing my audience how to create a chicken brine spiked with sambal—a must-have chili garlic sauce—I know I'm imparting them with knowledge (and a dish) that makes them feel confident when stepping in the kitchen and trying something new. That's my ultimate definition of "feel-good." This Hot Chicken recipe is suitable for any time of the year but I dropped it around Thanksgiving with a spicy cranberry glaze tutorial to show that you're allowed to cook whatever you're craving when you're craving it—even on pre-ordained food day like Turkey Day." — Mehreen
Check Out More of Their Recipes