Fast food from mom
I love my McMama


One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In this case, someone’s junk food is another man’s Tuesday night dinner, and Wednesday night, and Thursday night… and so on. Let’s face it: “junk” food is delicious. It can be sweet, it can be greasy, it can be wonderful, it can cause heartburn (just like my ex). Whether it’s pizza after a drunken night on the town (sign me up!) or a bag of chips after an exhausting day of work, it can really hit the spot. A doughnut in the morning can get me going and a burger at night is great (or vice versa, I don’t judge).

I hate to glorify junk food but it can be addictive. (I will write about salads next to balance it.) That’s all you need in life – a balance. A balance between healthy food and junk food. A balance of work and fun. A balance of television and exercise. (I definitely balance myself in the wrong directions, usually.) I always like to say my diet plan is also my retirement plan; I just need to be dead by retirement age because I won’t have enough saved up. That is just a joke, though, and I need to get better at balancing.

If you are like me and have your balances offset, here are a few tips for balancing junk food:

1) Plan out your week: Always have healthy meals planned and stick to them. You can add in a couple of cheat meals if you must. If you go grocery shopping for healthy meals for the week or even meal prep, you are less likely to grab a burger on the way home from work knowing the food in your fridge will go bad.

2) Slow it down (sing it with me: “des-pa-cito”): The cravings for sweets and other unhealthy items are psychological. By eating slowly you can savor each bite more, allowing your brain to get all the unhealthy goodness it wants. Also, it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to let your brain know that it is full. When you eat slowly this gives your brain time to catch up and can help you eat less and lose weight.

3) Save the junk for last: There’s a reason dessert is served last. It’s full of calories. Fill up on healthier options before junk food and save the calories. You’ll still get a chance to savor something delicious, but if you do it last you won’t be as hungry and therefore you’ll eat less of it.

Now back to junk food. My favorite? Pepperoni pizza. Here’s a recipe to make it from scratch:

Pepperoni Pizza


For the Dough:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup “00” flour
1 tsp salt
T TB honey or sugar
1 package dried yeast
3 TB olive oil
12 ounces warm water

Marinara Sauce:

(FIRST, do not be surprised that you need a LOT of tomatoes for this

2 TB olive oil

1 large onion, finely diced

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled, crushed and minced finely.

4 28 oz. cans tomatoes

4 TB olive oil or softened butter

Dash of salt

Dash of pepper

Pinch of red pepper

½ cup red wine (optional)

Fresh basil


Saute onion and celery in a very large pot on low heat for about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Strain tomatoes and add to pot.

Add olive oil or butter.

Add salt, pepper, red pepper and wine (if using).

If cooking with meatballs for pasta, add meatballs now.

Cook, uncovered, for approximately 2 hours.  Check and stir frequently.

Once done, tear fresh basil leaves and add to sauce.)


¼ to ½ lb. pepperoni
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Put flour and salt in a mixing bowl or a Kitchen-Aid bowl. Pour the water, olive oil and honey or sugar into a measuring cup. Add the yeast and mix. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that the yeast has activated.

Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in half of the water mixture. Begin to mix the dough with your hands (if using a Kitchen-Aid, use the hook attachment). Continue to add the water slowly, until the dough comes together into a ball. If using hands, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. If using the Kitchen-Aid, set the speed to medium-low and mix with the hook for five minutes.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes, covered lightly with a kitchen towel. Then knock the air out of the ball and divide into 4 pieces. Roll the individual pieces on a cutting board (or, better, a marble surface) that is lightly floured with semolina or regular flour.

Top with marinara sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a 390 degree oven for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Best to use a pizza stone if available.

Leave a Reply