Late last night I suddenly realized that I was not prepared to make lunch for myself. I hadn’t been grocery shopping so I didn’t have any lettuce (typically I make salads), and I didn’t want to have to spend a bunch of time cooking something up that would prevent me from getting to bed at a reasonable time.
Then I remembered this. Cacio e Pepe, literally “cheese and pepper.” It was a recipe I had seen a bunch of times in emails I receive from Bon Appetit, and I was pretty sure it would be easy. Granted, I’d never actually LOOKED at the recipe. But I figured I could guess and that would be close enough. And so that’s what I did!
The end result was surprisingly delicious for a bunch of random things that I threw together at the last minute, and it was satisfactorily easy to get me into bed on time. Perfect!
OH MY GOODNESS. I had forgotten how much better food tastes when you use real ingredients and make it yourself. Seriously, I really need to start finding time to cook for myself more often.
The reason I haven’t posted any recipes in so long is because I haven’t really been cooking much at all – mostly eating microwave food and sandwiches, or using the occasional salad recipe I find on a blog somewhere. But last night I was really craving kale for some reason so I made myself Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta, which was delicious. And I’ve made myself two really good salads for lunch today and yesterday, so since I’ve had such a good food week I felt obligated to cook dinner. Even though I didn’t get home until almost ten pm. But I am SO glad I did. Because this dish is worth it.
I know, I know. It sounds a little weird. But trust me. IT’S GOOD. Like, really good.
After my half marathon, I lapsed a bit in the food that I was buying (read: bought more crap in addition to the healthy things). When I started spending all my time at aerial, I lapsed even more and started buying more quick, easy things and fewer fresh ingredients since I had less time available to cook. About two months ago, as I started to get really serious about trying to get back on track and lose some weight, I realized that this was a problem.
So, I took some drastic measures. I avoided going to the grocery store for a month and a half and instead dedicated my efforts toward eating all the unhealthy crap out of my kitchen. It was rough.
If you’re really observant, you may have noticed that I’ve recently started including measurements by weight in my recipes. That’s because it is an infinitely better method of doing things, in pretty much every way. Sorry, America, but Europe’s definitely got this one right.
A few weeks ago I made myself praline butter. It was so delicious and incredible that it kicked off my new obsessive trend: homemade nut butters.
These are super easy, super yummy, in some cases cheaper than buying them at the store, and in many cases quite a bit healthier. Also, there are way more possibilities for variety if you’re making these at home than if you just buy what they carry in stores.
Do you have a food processor (or maybe even a blender)? Good! Do you have nuts? Great! That’s all you need to get started making your own nut butters.
I made this salad for lunch on Sunday, and then it was so good that I made it for lunch again today. I fully intended to take a picture, but I forgot until I was already halfway through eating it so you’ll just have to use your imagination. The good news is salads are super easy and barely even count as a recipe (this one especially), so using your imagination shouldn’t be too hard.
For starters, while most desserts can never really be healthy but only healthier, I genuinely believe that this edible cookie dough can qualify as just plain healthy. It’s 100% whole grain with only one teaspoon of added sugar, and it has raisins, which can definitely count as a portion of a serving of fruit (I didn’t use enough to make up a whole serving).
But more importantly, there’s the edible cookie dough thing. Everyone I know eats cookie dough even though everyone knows you’re not supposed to. That said, I remember being unbelievably excited when I was a kid and I heard that they’d started selling edible cookie dough in grocery stores. Unfortunately, whoever made the product never considered the poor children like me who can’t (or won’t) eat chocolate, so the only flavors were chocolate chip and double chocolate chunk. What a disappointment. Therefore, this weekend I decided to take matters in my own hands and make edible cookie dough for myself.
Ok, so I have been meaning to make these for AGES and have just now finally gotten around to it. I felt it fit into the Superbowl snack theme that I was going with yesterday. (Bonus snack idea: I mixed 1/8 cup [20g] of raisins into 2 tbsp [32g] of natural honey roasted peanut butter and it was a phenomenal decision; 250 calories of very filling yumminess.)
But back to the pretzels. These pretzel bites are whole wheat, delicious, easy to make, and most importantly, stuffed with cheese. I made them in a very small batch – only six of them – but it’d be easy to multiply the recipe and make more. For all six, it was 275 calories. That may seem like a lot of calories for a snack, but nearly all of them come from the flour and, like the peanut butter/raisin combo, these babies will keep you satisfied.
I stumbled upon a salad recipe the other day that called for blue cheese dressing, but when I went to my Food Lion I couldn’t find any light options and all of the available choices were over 100 calories for two tablespoons, which is ridiculous and way more than I’m willing to use on a salad dressing. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and made this super easy and super yummy dressing myself! Did you know that you can make your own salad dressing? Because I definitely did not. But you can, and I did!
I’m going home for five days over Thanksgiving, and that means the last few days I’ve been trying to eat as much produce as possible so that it doesn’t all go bad while I’m gone. It also means I’ve had to go with some unconventional combinations as I’ve been trying to use up some ingredients while running out of others.
Today’s lunch was a great example of that, where I decided that I needed to make a salad to use up my kale, and then saw my hard boiled eggs and bacon and settled on a cobb salad. Except that I was missing a whole bunch of the things that cobb salads generally have, including dressing. So I got a little creative, pulled together a bunch of random things I had in my fridge that seemed appropriate, and then Googled cobb salad dressings and combined a few recipes to make my own. The good news is it was yummy, and only 343 calories! So now I share my unconventional cobb salad with you: