Health food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard in water sauce. Junk food doesn’t have to be styrofoam marinated in chemicals. There’s an easy way to turn your health food into junk food, without compromising your taste buds or your conscience.
1. Pita Nachos/ Pita Quesadilla
Fact: You don’t want to eat another whole wheat pita stuffed with raw veggies. You are over this.
Proposal: Take your pita and slice it like a pizza into 8 or so wedges per pita. Brush lightly with olive oil and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 until crispy and golden. Pile on to a plate and top with cilantro, salsa, a bit of crumbled feta or goat cheese, green onion, chilies – whatever you like. Toss back in the oven if you add goat cheese, but feta won’t melt so you can just dive in right away. Quesadilla? Open up your pita and carefully cut or tear it into 2 circles. Stuff your ingredients in-between, and bake like a quesadilla. Top with salsa if your pita goes too crispy.
2. Frozen Yogurt
Fact: Those little one-serve yogurt cups are pretty depressing as far as sweet treats go.
Proposal: Frozen yogurt is as easy as putting yogurt in the freezer. Use your favourite flavour of thick, balkan-style yogurt. If you have an ice-cream maker great, but if not, put your yogurt into a metal container and freeze for 6-8 hours, stirring once every hour, or just use popsicle trays. If you like it soft-serve style, once it’s frozen you can put it into a food processor with some non-frozen yogurt and blend until creamy, then top with blackberry jam or melted dark chocolate.
3. Non-Boring Beverages
Fact: Tap water is boring.
Proposal: Fancy up your hydration by skipping the soda and going for carbonated water – get a home carbonation kit or swap the pop for fizzy water, just remember to reuse or recycle your bottles. You don’t need the expensive stuff, just bubbly spring water that you can make much more satisfying with fresh ginger, or lemon/lime juice, Ribena, rose water, or mint. Not into bubbles? Some folks find they drink more water when they keep a cold jug of it in the fridge, rather than drinking from the tap.
4. Awesome Sauce
Fact: The butter chicken sauce from your favourite take-out place is delicious. It is also heart-stoppingly bad for you. Consider it fancy junk food.
Proposal: Make a creamy, dreamy, entirely vegan version of your favourite curry sauce by simmering tomato, carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, sweet potato, and your favourite curry spice mix in just enough veggie stock to cover the ingredients. Once all the veggies are well cooked and soft, use a hand blender or food processor to blend until smooth and creamy – you can run your sauce through a strainer before serving for an extra-silky texture. If you are feeling luxurious, add a little coconut milk or cashew butter during the blending process.
Fact: Kale chips are not everyone’s ticket to flavour country.
Proposal: You can widen your variety by using raw endive and fennel to dip with. Crudités all day, son! But what do we dip this deliciousness in to? Try plain yogurt mixed with lots of crushed garlic and cumin seed, or maybe some leftover hummus that you cleverly blended up with some chipotle, or last night’s baked eggplant mashed up with some shawarma spice and sesame oil – go dip crazy! Just leave that self-cooling vacuum sealed mystery ingredient creepy cheese sauce stuff at the store, mmkay?