It’s 11:45 p.m. on Friday night. You’ve finally made it through the past week of classes and you set aside tonight for relaxation before the weekend homework grind begins. You’re too tired to make the effort to get ready and go out. No shame — we’ve all been there. So, you head up to the roof with your friend Mary Jane and prepare for a night in.
Things were going great until the dry mouth and the thirst set in. But hey, that can be fixed with a nice glass of ice water. Actually, make that five glasses of ice water. Now, onto the bigger problem: you’re starving. By now, it’s past midnight and walking to a late night spot is just too overwhelming to think about. And your small intestine can definitely not handle more cheese fries and doritos. Worry not my fellow green enthusiasts. Often, random food items in the kitchen can be made into a scrumptious and nutritional snack that won’t make you feel like a human slug tomorrow.
You started the semester off strong by grocery shopping every week, but now all you have left are some condiments and a half empty jar of artisan pickles. Think about it. The sour crunch that’s almost like eating and drinking at the same time. It’s not like anything more advanced than your primordial lizard brain is functioning right now, so don’t think you’re going to actually cook.
Snacks can only hold you over for so long, which is why I’m going to give you a sneak peek into my Munchies Cookbook.
First things first — hummus. If you’re like me, you run out of pita chips and baby carrots long before you finish the tub of Trader Joe’s hummus. If only every ratio was as perfect as the peanut butter and chocolate. I’m here to tell you that hummus can be used in many different ways. My favorite: hummus on toast. I realize how this sounds, but just trust me. Throw a little salt and pepper on top and you’ve got yourself a protein-packed meal. Following the toast trend, try a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich if you have the supplies. The honey and banana keep the peanut butter from aggressively sticking to the roof of your mouth. It’s also pretty filling so you won’t be tempted to binge ice cream and chips from a 24-hour bodega afterwards.
If you’re looking to match the salty satisfaction of a can of pringles, try making some gourmet popcorn. After popping the popcorn in the microwave, add whatever seasonings you would like and toss. A personal favorite is garlic salt, a little bit of olive oil and nutritional yeast. This sounds crazy, but it genuinely tastes like truffle popcorn.
However, I’ve found that the most versatile food is eggs. You can throw almost anything into a pan with some whipped-up eggs and end up with a delicious scramble. Even better? Putting this scramble on some toast or a bagel, adding some ketchup on top and voila! My favorite munchie meal ever consists of a bagel, cream cheese, spinach, eggs and some salsa. I’ll admit, I’ve even started to make it at regular mealtimes.
I have a gut feeling your friend Mary Jane enjoys eating anything and everything. You really can’t go wrong. Use her encouragement to find the confidence to throw things together you might not have tried before. She is simply stroking the embers of a budding Gordon Ramsay. But if you’re not ready for these next-level snacks, try keeping a tub of pre-made cake frosting in the back of the pantry. When it’s past midnight on a friday, just grab a spoon, lay in bed with all the covers and just go to town as “New Girl” plays in the background.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 19 print edition. Email Calais Watkins at [email protected]