Like most normal people (right, guys?), my free time consists of scrolling through food blogs and getting really excited about things like "zoodles." But then I'm so tired by EOD that I end up eating takeout and watching episodes of Murder She Wrote on Netflix like the cool millennial that I am. It's a problem, but I found the solution: Chrissy Teigen's new cookbook, Cravings.
^Please don't get confused. That's Chrissy Teigen, not me.
There are plenty of celebrity cookbooks out there, but Chrissy's is different because a) it's completely un-fussy and accessible, and b) she has an A+ attitude about food that I can relate to. "If you're expecting a model to write a cookbook full of diet recipes for you to perfect your bikini bod, I think you'll be a little surprised here," she says in the introduction. "Look, I don't want to be one of those dead-inside laughing-with-a-salad chicks, and I don't want to seem like one of those annoying 'I can eat anything I want anytime' chicks. It's just that I wanted to be honest in this book about the kinds of food I love, the kinds of food I crave. I just have to find ways to make those cravings work with my day job."
Chrissy's feelings on food mirror my own despite the fact that I'm not a supermodel, so last week I finally told my Seamless account "not today, Satan" and devoted myself to seven days of Chrissy-inspired cooking. Aside from some tacos that lured me in with their siren call, everything I ate came out of Cravings, and it was the best food week of my life. Naturally, I documented the entire experience, because pics or it didn't happen.
FYI: Chrissy's cookbook is not diet-friendly, so I weighed myself before and after. Weirdly, I managed to drop 2.5 pounds eating two enormous meals a day (plus leftovers of the day before's meal), which means that my life-long dream of subsisting on Frito Pie just became a reality.
Preparing My Fridge: One Woman's Realization That She's a Hoarder
Before embarking on my diet, I cleared my fridge and made some alarming discoveries: one bag of liquified salad; one potato that had grown, like, three other potatoes; and a petrified lemon. I spent a while quietly judging myself before making my way to Brooklyn's Trader Joe's, or as some might call it, Hell. One hour and $150 later I had ingredients for fourteen meals, including Cheese-less Cheesy Eggs, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, and Ramen Salad, which sensibly uses noodles in the place of lettuce, as all salads should. My body was ready in the most literal way possible.
Morphing Into a Professional Chef/Supermodel/Bulldog Enthusiast
I cooked some legitimately delicious meals thanks to Chrissy, whose book helpfully features lots of photos of John Legend proving how sexy cheese is. It's hard to pick favorites when all your food children are special, but I Sophie's Choiced it and rounded up my top three:
This is called Ramen Salad. It's a salad, because there are totally vegetables in it. The dressing is made up of important things like "ramen seasoning packet."
This is Chrissy's biscuits and gravy. It's the best thing I have ever consumed, the end.
These are Chrissy's sweet potato gnocchi. They were so cheap and easy to make that I ended up buying three more sweet potatoes and spending my Wednesday night making an entire gallon of them. I'm not even kidding, I literally have a gallon of gnocchi in my freezer.
When the Struggle Got Real
As good as Chrissy's recipes were, I did have some stumbles. It was mostly my fault due to being generally inept, which brings us to the two meals that pulled a Judas and betrayed me.
This is my dutch baby, not to be confused with Chrissy's Dutch Baby (see below) which is gorgeous, bubbly, and beautiful.
Mine went into the oven 😀 and came out 💀, but in all fairness to Chrissy, I used the wrong pan, the wrong temperature milk, and the wrong amount of flour.
Meanwhile, the above are skillet eggs that I destroyed due to not owning a skillet. Note to everyone: do not put meltable Ikea pans in the oven.
So, Turns Out My Body Wants More Food
I wish I were more laid back about my body, but alas I have zero chill, and was very concerned that Chrissy's book would cause my pants to stop fitting. Again, I think women of all sizes and shapes are beautiful, but haven't quite been able to apply this school of thought to my own physique. That said, I found that because I was eating more regularly and plentifully (instead of not eating all day and then indulging in four slices of pizza), my immune system went into overdrive and I burned enough calories to lose 2.5 pounds. I'm not saying that eating Ramen Salad is the ticket to weight loss, or that I wouldn't eventually gain a million pounds back if I ate like this all the time, but eating out of Cravings helped me realize one thing: Making the food I love and loving the food I make is at the very least good for my soul (as is chicken soup, so I hear).
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