Can you feel it? Do you dread and welcome it as much as I do?
Also known as the season of sun, shorts, breezy tops and floaty dresses. I mean, I love it. But it’s also hard to embrace when you’re not feeling at your 100 percent best. Which I haven’t been.
I’ve just been feeling slow lately. Some days, it feels like my head is encased in a fog all day- that no amount of coffee will fix. And I feel sluggish and unhealthy, despite my frequent gym trips.
Sometimes, the baking and eating out and pizza and pasta and candy catches up to you. Funny how that works.
So I’m instituting a healthy eating challenge for myself, as an effort to re-set my system and feel confident as swimsuit season approaches, bringing with it graduation and pictures that will Be Around Forever.
I’m limiting myself to one day a week for sweets (so don’t worry, I’ll still be baking). I’m drinking more water, emphasizing lean protein, focusing on fruits and vegetables. And perhaps most daunting? I’m cutting out carbs – gasp – after lunchtime.
This is going to be hard. But hopefully, it’ll help me embrace other dinner and cooking options without falling back on pasta. Or pizza. Or burritos. You get the drill.
I’m not a nutritionist or a dietician. I’m not a professional. This is what works for me, but it’s probably not right for everyone.
Anyway, on my last night of carbs after noon, I went big. You have to. I started with a huge bowl of pasta and one of my favorite sauces: pepper-caper tomato sauce, which is as easy as it sounds (Add peppers and capers to tomato sauce, stir.)
Then I moved onto the big guns, as you can see from the above photos.
Roasted. Strawberry. Buttermilk. Cake.
It’s light. Sweet. Warm. Comforting.
It made me sigh as I considered the no-carb challenge I’m taking on.
Recipe below, adapted from Joy the Baker.
Stick around for the no-carb adventures, won’t you? Should be fun.
Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
16-ounces medium strawberries, hulled
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of salt
3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Place a rack in the center of the oven, to 375 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut each strawberry in half and place in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, and salt and toss the mixture with the berries.
Roast for 10-15 minutes. Put the berries in a bowl, toss with balsamic vinegar, set aside.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar (you’re going to use these two different amounts at different times)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter or spray a pyrex dish, set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and butter. Then add vanilla.
Combine the two, mix until fully incorporated. Then add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of milk (not buttermilk). Mix.
Pour into dish and scatter the roasted strawberries on top. Sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool to room temperature before slicing to serve, top with powdered sugar.