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.
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.
There’s a very long story regarding my absence to be told in here somewhere, and I may get around to it eventually, but the short version is that I’m working on pulling my life back together and I’m hoping that getting back into regular blogging will be a part of that. I have plenty to write about since I’ve missed so much, so there should be enough to fuel my posts for at least a couple of weeks.
This post is super outdated because what I’m writing about happened like three weeks ago, but it was also super adult so I can’t leave it out! I hosted my very own, very first, real life dinner party! With real life adults! Whoot!
Seriously, though. Boyfriend came to visit and helped me out with this a ton and as soon as my coworkers and their significant others left we just turned to each other like “man, we are SO adult!”
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!