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!
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.
Let me start by saying that there is nothing healthy about this. It’d be like calling carrot cake healthy because there are carrots in it and carrots are a vegetable; it just doesn’t work that way.
Let me second start by saying that if you don’t know what pralines are, I’m sorry. You should get yourself to the south (Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans are good options) and get one as soon as possible because you are seriously missing out. I regret the first 22 years of my life that were tragically pralineless.
And now that we’re covered the basics, it’s time to get serious about praline butter.
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.