|Chicken and waffles from OMG Cafe in Richmond.|
Maybe it's me, but I am plenty sick and tired of being blasted by yet another article featuring a how to eat healthy during the holiday season diatribe, especially those touting a personal listing of "foods to avoid". It's Christmas/Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa (a.k.a. Festivus) time for god's sake. You're supposed to eat too much, drink too much, and generally not give a crap about your waistline for the next couple of weeks only to pull a 180 on January 2 and hit the gym while starting your new found power smoothie breakfast kick. Once that ends approximately two weeks later, it's back to the french fries and ham biscuits (not necessarily together, but food for thought) so I see no reason to try to bunk the natural course of things as they are meant to be. Save the salad greens and steamed tofu for bathing suit season. That's a far more important time of the year since you can no longer hide your ass under a wool coat.
In the meantime, to help you stay on course, I've assembled a tasty list of some of my favorite high caloric goodies that should help you to pack on at least a fiver by the first of the year.
Pimento Cheese: Frankly, there aren't many foods that offer such a deliciously mayonnaisy combination as this ubiquitous dish. However you like to make it is totally up to you, but the fact is, you're eating spoonfuls of mayo and shredded cheese mixed together all creamy and gloppy. Up the ante of this dish and stuff some pimento cheese into a burger or slather a couple of slices of white bread in butter and make a pimento cheese grilled cheese. Here's my family's recipe, which is a good, basic version to get your started.
Meat: Ladies, nothing tells your man you love him more than a big, fat, marbly steak, and nothing makes me happier than sitting down to a big plateful of juicy meat with him. My personal go-to's are the NY Strip or the Ribeye which offer up plenty of meaty goodness, fatty charred ends and beaucoup forkfuls of tender bites. If it's too cold outside, pan sear your meat in a cast-iron pan and top it with a compound butter like a rosemary, shallot and salted butter mix. Pair it with a big pile of roasted garlic mashed potatoes to seal the deal.
The Big-Ass Breakfast: No evening of overeating is complete without consuming a giant pile of pork products, high cholesterol eggs, caffeine, and ideally a Bloody Mary or two the following morning. Hence, the big-ass breakfast. Whether you want to do it up Southern-style with biscuits, grits and country ham or U.K.-style (pictured above) with bacon rashers, sausages, blood-laden black pudding and perhaps a grilled mushroom or tomato for good measure, I'm a firm believer in eating big, especially in the morning.Pin It Now!
Fried Food: I can think of no other way to completely derail any stretch of healthful eating than by sitting down to demolish a platter of fried seafood, buttery bread, fries and mayo-laden tartar sauce, except if you add in a pitcher of Miller High Life to wash it all down. There's something totally irresistible about battered food, any food really, from deep fried Twinkies to the glorious corn dog, so I declare this 2011 holiday season to be the year of the deep fat fryer.
Nitrates: So apparently nitrates, which are found in most forms of processed meats including hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, even that mystery meat in a can known as Spam, apparently aren't so good for you. Sure, there are some studies out there touting that digesting any meat goods with artificial red coloring can lead to cancer, and this may in fact be true, but let me offer you another nugget of non-scientific info, this dude has been sucking down massive quantities of hot dogs for years and he's still with us. Moreover, he has zero percent body fat, so perhaps these so-called "studies" need to be revisited. In the meantime, I suggest making a Chili Slaw Dog for lunch and stop worrying about it.