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food that looks better than it tastes

Sometimes I fear I have too many food choices. Maybe my life would be simpler and easier if I weren't faced with a taste / healthiness / hunger decision matrix three to five times every day. Sometimes I think of Laura and Mary eating turnips all winter and I think: well, at least they knew what to expect.

sweet potato grilled cheese with avocado and kale

I followed a link-bait headline last week titled "47 grilled cheese sandwiches that are better than orgasms" or something like that. For obvious reasons it made me really want to make a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. This one is a mix of steamed sweet potato, pureed with mozzarella and american cheese. I put that on both slices of homemade bread and piled on kale and avocado in between. Sounds like it should have been good, right?

Well it wasn't. I should have sauteed the kale first, because the whole thing tasted like straight-up bitter. I opened it after the photo to add salt and pepper, which improved the taste enough to be edible. Still, it was not even marginally as good as an orgasm. Maybe it was the bitterness, or the sweet potato and cheese is just too heavy together. The kids barely touched their sweet potato and cheese sandwiches, though they liked eating the sweet potato cheese mixture straight out of the bowl. Go figure.

You know what else the internet is nuts for these days? Pancakes that aren't really pancakes.

egg and banana 'pancakes'

If you see a blog post titled "two ingredient pancakes" and the two ingredients are eggs and bananas? Don't trust that shit. I've been trying to make these things for months, and they always come out like fried ideals: lacking in something and in dire need of firming up.

On one end of the heat spectrum, eggs and bananas make a hot runny mush you can pretend is oatmeal if you get too tired of cooking it. Turn the heat just a little higher and they make a burned-at-the-edges banana-tasting omelet. On their own these two ingredients do not make anything that in any way resembles a pancake.

If you add some baking powder and powdered peanut butter, you can get something that kind of approaches pancake stability. It still doesn't brown up unless you add A LOT of the powdered stuff, but hey powdered peanut butter is good for ENERGY! These ones below were cooked for approximately a billion minutes on either side, and some of them came out resembling pancakes. The ones a little farter to the edge of the pan were more mushy. They all had a lot of ENERGY, though.

no flour pancakes in various stages of firmness, based on centimeters away from flame

Truth be told, I added some avocado to the mix just to mess with my stomach first thing in the morning. I mean... to up the superfood content of the most important meal of the day. Just kidding, it was to try to make the buggers stick together better. Doesn't this just look like an ingredient list of champions?

pancake ingredients

These pancakes take a long time to cook, and they're really only palitable when you eat them super hot. So there's a lot of waiting around, and then a quick rush to scarf down four tiny pancakes. Then two more rounds of this on repeat. In the end, it's a good way to consume two eggs, a banana, half an avocado, and a serving of peanut butter while still feeling like you didn't actually GET THAT MUCH FOOD.

pancake mix on the right, next to breakfast shake on the left.

I had to make a breakfast shake while I was waiting for my pancakes to cook because I was too hungry.

Next time I want to eat a healthy breakfast, I think I'll have some avocado on my toast alongside a single fried egg. Gluten-free isn't worth this much, if this much is an extra 300 calories plus half an hour of cooking time.

I don't know why I'm letting the internet complicate my food choices. Perhaps I consider myself a modern day Ponce de Leon, searching for some magic concoction of energy dense / low calorie / fulfilling nutrition that doesn't require too much time to prepare or dishes afterwards. Perhaps February is just a boring time for eating, or perhaps I have greater problems in my life that I am avoiding by trying to tweak my intimacy with grilled cheese. Either way, don't follow me down this route. If you're bored or overwhelmed with your food options, consider eliminating from them fancy grilled cheese and no carb pancakes. The answer isn't there.


I love the pictures. I've been making "ice cream with only three ingredients" (banana is always there) and having similar thoughts.

I liked this article in the Guardian recently about "superfoods"

In other news, now that I'm biking the kids around I'm pretty much ALWAYS hungry, even if I didn't actually bike them very far.

I think all this food porn on the internet has created unrealistic performance expectations in the kitchen. When I got married, we learned about recipes from the church cookbook, and there were no photos.

Arthur, you make me laugh and a half.

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