First of all, I’m not really on a diet. I lost 55 lbs by changing the way I live and by changing my relationship with food, but that’s too long for a title so diet will have to do.
The plan on New Year’s Eve was a bonfire on the beach. Someone mentioned s’mores, so I volunteered to bring the fixings. However, while making the list the kids informed me that they hated graham crackers. Sigh.
While searching for a non graham cracker s’more recipe (which at first blush seemed like searching for the non-hydrogen water recipe), I stumbled upon bacon s’mores courtesy of the New York Times eating-as-it-relates-to-college-sports-blog. Really, they have a tailgating blog. Maybe they offer opinions on sports stuff too, but I found lots of recipes.
Bacon s’mores…not graham cracker-free, but I had to try them. I was a bit hesitant at first. I’ve tried bacon chocolate and was non plussed, but I seem to remember that confection being dark chocolate. So, milk chocolate would be the way to go. I also used nitrate free bacon and cooked the bacon and cut the slices into thirds for easier assembly at the beach. Each s’more had 2/3 of a slice of bacon and the traditional 1 row of a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, and 1 marshmallow sandwiched between the graham crackers. Honestly, it was amazing. Exactly the right flavor combination. Crunchy, sweet, gooey, chocolate, and salty. What’s not to love?
But what about the kids? Well, that’s where the brownie s’mores came in. My kids love brownies. I made a batch of Martha Stewart’s black bean brownies (they are amazing and 155 calories a square, I didn’t add any nuts). Black bean puree substitute for half the butter add you swap some of the semi-sweet for 100% chocolate. These brownies are a little denser, so in addition to being about 100 calories less than my standard brownie I figured they’d hold up well. Each brownie was topped with a marshmallow and one tiny square of Hershey’s dark chocolate. Also superb.
Bacon s’mores: 192 calories (1 graham cracker sheet, 1 marshmallow, 1 row Hershey’s milk chocolate, 2/3 slice of cooked bacon)
Brownie s’mores: 195 (1 brownie, 1 marshmallow, 1 square Hershey’s dark chocolate)
I ate one of each, so just under 400 calories (not bad for a total splurge that left me feeling completely satisfied).
By volunteering to make the s’mores I had control over the calorie content (to a degree) and could bring alternate versions. For me that’s a key principle for weight loss and maintenance…I have to make sure there is something that not only can I eat, but that I’m going to be happy eating.
I made a conscious decision to have one of each and planned my day accordingly (I showed up at the beach with 1300 calories left in the day, so plenty left over for a glass of wine and dinner).
Bacon s’mores and brownie s’mores will change your view of campfire snacks forever (and you don’t even have to have a campfire, you can melt the marshmallow in the microwave).