For the last month or so, I’ve been generally successful at keeping inordinate amounts of dairy out of my diet. Butter on my toast, cream in my coffee – these things remain. But generally speaking, I’ve avoided macaroni & cheese lunches (if you’ve ever had TJ’s frozen meal version, you realize what a sacrifice this is) and cream-cheese-laden bagels (which is nearly torturous in New York City of all places) for several weeks and am filling the space with roasted vegetables and broth-based soups instead.
But since the dietary change wasn’t due to any intolerance or other medical requirement (thank goodness), I’ve found myself resisting a craving for something creamy and rich and decadent more times than I can count. I gave in and enjoyed a divine tiramisu the weekend of my birthday, and nabbed a slice of NY pizza after late-night karaoke one night. I’m only human, after all. And each time I broke this self-imposed, narrowly-focused fast, I nearly breathed a sigh of relief with the richness of each bite. But it was also so fleeting, those cravings were never really satisfied.
And then, this weekend, I couldn’t hold out any longer. I found myself at the grocery store – there for eggs and fruit – googling semi-healthy recipes for that creamiest of creamy, delicious dips: the Spinach Artichoke Dip.
Sour cream plus cream, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses (reduced and fat-free, all) found their way into a mixing bowl of goodness along with garlic, pepper and the aforementioned spinach and artichokes. Baked for 30 minutes and paired with the crispiest baguette I could find, I spent this weekend without a real meal, in favor of indulging in this overload of cheesy amazing-ness.
Now it’s back to reality, back to salads for lunch and baked chicken for dinner. But for this one exceptional weekend, I remembered – and fully enjoyed – the wonderful excess that is a spoonful of cheese on bread. And that, I figure, should last me quite a while.