Because I'll jump on a bandwagon, when the bandwagon's been running since the stone age
As I’ve mentioned before, California is a hotbed for the latest in dietary neurosis.
From those who are simply restrictive, to those who follow full-on philosophies on food, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t adhere to some doctrine of diet here. In fact, I could probably count the people I know who don't 'eat a certain way' on one hand (honestly, maybe half a hand), and I admit that I am no exception. To eat with abandon, has become a thing of the past, and the intent to simply bring the needle on the gauge from empty to full died years ago.
‘Man, I’m starving! I’d eat anything', actually means something more along the lines of, ‘Man, I’m starving! Let’s go get vegan, dairy free, gluten free protein patties, with a side of kale chips and a bottle of fermented liquid that still contains remnants of its mother at the murky bottom!’ Because nothing says satiated like a belly full of good bacteria.
I understand that this level of extreme conscious consumption is an act of rebellion against a very recent history of utterly unconscious ingesting and an indication of the acknowledgment that you can't polish off a can of red food dye 40, in lieu of actual, real red fruit, without serious consequence. But man, don't you miss the days of ordering something off the menu, just because it sounded good, and not because it was good for you? 'I'll have the #10, just as it comes, please!' Words that disappeared. (Along with menus that were numbered, for that matter.)
One particular diet that has been quite popular for a few years now, is known as the 'Paleo' diet. For those of you who are not familiar with the ins and outs of eating 'paleolithically', they're fairly straight forward. The idea is to eat a diet similar to that of early man. Meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are all acceptable - grains, processed foods and dairy are not (except eggs - eggs are ok, even though they technically fall under the umbrella of 'dairy'.if you're nit-picking). Basically, if you can’t hunt it, pick it or find it, you can’t have it.
Of course I smile at the thought of stone age women running around in yoga pants, with faces full of filler, talking about how their diet makes them feel 'whole' and like they're living up to their fullest potential - but when you think about it, eating food in its most basic form, kind of makes sense. I mean, I’ll grab a handful of real almonds over a ‘healthy’, processed energy bar, any day of the week. If those almonds happened to be covered in chocolate - even better. (I'd like to venture a guess that even the women of the Paleolithic era had a craving now and again, and that, had chocolate been an option, clever manufacturers would now be stamping 'Paleo' on packaged chocolate bars, alongside today's other prerequisite for consumption, 'Gluten-Free.')
So, have I decided to go completely old school and strictly adapt my diet to that of early, early man? No. The thought of giving up on noodles and a really creamy piece of Humbolt Fog is just too terrible. But I'm absolutely down to throw a paleo recipe into my routine, now and then. A recipe like this nut 'bread', for example. I found it while spending a few blissful weeks in Denmark, cooking up a storm for my family, and reaping the rewards late into the light, warm summer evenings.
Recipe adapted from Mad for Livet
Turn your oven to 320* F.
Grease a loaf tin thoroughly and set aside.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix really well. You want everything completely incorporated. Don't worry about chopping up the nuts! I know you'll want to, but leave them whole - the bread will still slice beautifully.
Pour the 'batter' into the prepared tin and bake the bread for an hour.
Allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing it with a serrated knife. Keep it, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for a week to 10 days.
I love this bread smeared with butter (I know, not technically paleo, but most Vodka isn't technically gluten-free either, so let's just say everything in moderation and leave it be), and sprinkled with just a little sea salt. Almond butter, honey and pomegranate seeds make this a perfect afternoon snack, too.
I mean, if it tastes good, feels good, and actually has you craving more, I don't care what diet it falls under, i'll take two! As long as I still get kale chips. Kale chips are key, apparently.