I once left my dog alone at a friend's, and returned to find that he had eaten all of the dog food in the house. All of it. When he came to greet us at the door, he was noticeably larger. We rushed our barrel-shaped pup to the veterinarian, and an amusing x-ray and a heft bill later, we were given my absolute Favorite Diagnosis Ever: dietary indiscretion. Seriously. Dietary Indiscretion. It's sort of like diagnosis: bad decision-making. I suffer from that all the time.
For the most part, my diet is fairly healthy, full of fresh produce and whole grains and all that good stuff. But sometimes it's not. Sometimes the ice cream sundae calls to me. Or I'm catching up with friends over happy hour, and after a few drinks a few orders of fries suddenly seems like a phenomenally brilliant idea. Or I am eating something so addictively delicious, say these little cheese-filled puff pastry palmiers at my friend Sarah's house, and I just cannot stop. Dietary Indiscretion.
After such poor choices, we've come up with a recovery meal known around our household as Hippie Dinner. It's the best way to sop up booze, grease, and bad decisions, and set you on the path to dietary righteousness. There are three elements: brown rice or quinoa; tofu or lean fish; and a huge pile of vegetables. But wait: Hippie Dinner isn't really like penance, because the whole plate is topped off with Sloppy Sauce.
Sloppy sauce, inspired by a friend who needed to recover from a nearly all-pizza diet, is a great way to make a huge pile of steamed kale much more exciting. It starts off like a traditional Middle Eastern tahini sauce, mixing sesame paste with lemon juice and garlic. But it's given a bit of savory heft (and arguable health benefit) from a scoop of miso, and delicious nuttiness from almond butter. I like to further play up the East meets Middle East dimension by stirring in a bit of grated ginger, or a handful of scallions or chopped cilantro if you've got. And sometimes I emphasize the resemblance to Thai peanut sauce by using lime juice instead of lemon. As suggested by its name, sloppy sauce is a pretty informal affair, and can be easily adapted to your taste. And it can be enjoyed any time, whether you're recovering from a dietary indiscretion or not.
Sloppy Sauce (Tahini with Almond Butter and Miso)
Makes about 1/2 cup
- 1 Tbsp miso (any type)
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 2 Tbsp almond butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- juice of 1 lemon
- water, as needed
- handful minced scallions and/or cilantro (optional)
- Mix together the miso, tahini, and almond butter until well combined. Stir in the garlic and ginger, then the lemon juice.
- Add water, a little at a time, until it reaches a thick-but-pourable consistency (~1/4+ cup). Stir in the scallions and/or cilantro, if using.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Pour over whatever hippie concoction you desire. The sauce will thicken upon standing, so just stir in a little additional water or lemon juice to loosen leftovers.