The Dude Diet: Forward and Onward!

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwichesHow’s it hanging, dudes?

I know it’s been a while since the last official Dude Diet post, and for that I apologize. Since I literally live and breathe the Dude Diet on a daily basis, I sometimes forget that you may need some focused attention, reassurance, and updates on your not-so-humble ambassador’s progress. So again, I’m sorry, and I’m about to make it up to you in a big, BIG way. I promise.

In case you were curious, Logan really did crush it on the Dude Diet front this fall and most of the winter. Sure, things were touch-and-go over the holidays, but that’s to be expected, and the Dude and his wonderland body emerged relatively unscathed in the New Year. (Sadly, I can’t say as much for the poor finger food servers forced to endure Logan’s stalking and commentary as he terrorized the holiday party circuit. They may never recover.)

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-2I’m ashamed to admit that Logan’s prolonged adherence to the Dude Diet lulled me into a false sense of security. Witnessing him consume actual salads (aka not chicken fingies smothered in ranch on an iceberg leaf), curb his insane snacking, and demonstrate relative portion control on a daily basis warmed my moderation-loving heart, and I praised him accordingly. He felt awesome, looked “really fucking sexy,” and even his snoring habits had improved. Miracles upon miracles!

The best (and most unexpected) aspect of Logan’s successful Dude Dieting was that he was doing it on his own. I didn’t even have to continue my usual threats of taping tennis balls to his back in his sleep, or replacing him with TR or Smash as DD ambassador. He really seemed to have internalized the Dude Diet’s basic teachings, and honestly, I was pretty high on my own genius.

Then, a couple months ago, the Dude Diet hit a rough patch, and things started to get very, very weird. No-Calorie Sunday behaviors began seeping into the work week, the meat sweats returned with a vengeance, and Logan mentioned that his moobs may be staging a comeback. It took me a while to figure out how and why the Dude was going off the rails, but I eventually boiled it down to three main factors:

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-31. Wedding season. In short: So many pigs in a blanket, so little time.

2. Logan has had a handful of “celebrity sightings.” The first such sighting took place at our local bagel shop. The Dude had just ordered three bacon, egg and cheeses, when a girl in line behind him commented, “You know, that’s not Dude Diet approved.” He laughed good-naturedly, reminded her that it was Sunday, and inquired as to how she knew me. She simply responded, “Oh, I don’t know Serena. Just a fan of yours.” Overwhelmed by his newfound stardom, Logan came running home, gleefully waving his sandos in the air and screaming, “Daddy is FAMOUS!!!” before launching into a lengthy monologue about how JT, Gosling and Clooney would probably compete to play him in a movie. He then asked how it felt to be dating a celebrity. No comment.

In addition to this local event, Logan was also spotted on an airplane and approached by a woman in Vegas, both of whom asked if he was “the Dude from the Dude Diet.” You’d think that being recognized as the face of a sexy health/lifestyle brand would motivate Logan to keep it tight, but unfortunately, it’s had exactly the opposite effect. According to my famous roommate, “Celebrities do what they want! Like Leo!!!” which leads me to The Dude Diet’s latest obstacle…

3. The rise of the “Dad Bod.” The glorification of moobs and beer bellies (with Leonardo DiCaprio as the face of the movement) is ruining the potential wonderland bodies of dudes everywhere. Ever since the first Dad Bod article was published, any casual suggestion that maybe Logan should pay more attention to his increasingly poor diet has been rebutted with, “I don’t even need the Dude Diet anymore. DAD BOD!”

This is clearly ridiculous, but every time I try to explain that “Dad Bod” is not a real thing, and that Leo is allowed to look however he wants and date super hot chicks because Titanic he is an international celebrity, Logan simply replies that he too “dates a super hot chick” (thanks) and is also “a celebrity.” Then he screams “DAD BOD!!!” again and runs away.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-4Not gonna lie, the aforementioned issues have had some detrimental effects (physically for Logan, emotionally for me), and I’m back on high alert, blocking and tackling on the Dude Diet battlefield. And as I have a sneaking suspicion that other dudes are also falling victim to the perils of items 1 and 3 above (and maybe facing the pitfalls of grilling season and/or maintenance too?), I’d like to take a moment to reiterate the basis of The Dude Diet:

The Dude Diet is a lifestyle and should be treated as such. You may fall off the wagon occasionally, but if/when that happens (i.e. you suddenly become a celebrity or embrace an unattractive and fleeting body trend), just remember to pick yourself up, wipe the barbecue sauce from your various body parts, and climb right back on there. In reality, this shouldn’t be too difficult because The Dude Diet bandwagon is awesome. It’s packed with happy people (but still feels roomy thanks to the general lack of beer bellies), and there’s a bunch of dank and nutritious meals being served. If you haven’t already, get on board.

I know some of you may be tiring of the existing Dude Diet recipes, but that won’t be the case for long because…

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-5I’M WRITING A BOOK.

That’s right, dudes, The Dude Diet is going to be a very real hardcover book published by the wonderful and talented team at Harper Collins/HarperWAVE! Come Fall 2016, you’ll be able to hold in your hands 125 epic recipes along with food porn-y photos, kitchen tips, nutritional guides, and all kinds of insight into Logan’s on-going pursuit of a wonderland bod. Boom.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-6As you can imagine, I am Logan-style PSYCHED about this project. (I am also sweaty, anxious, and scared absolutely shitless, but that’s a given.) When the Dude Diet started as a one-off post more than two years ago, I never imagined it would turn into a full-blown blog series, let alone an actual book. I kept writing it because I really do believe in eradicating nutritional idiocy and moobs, but also because I love it, it provides me with endless entertainment, and all of you have been so incredibly supportive of my efforts.

Thank you.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for making my recipes. Thank you for commenting, and for sending me truly amazing and hilarious emails about your experiences with the Dude Diet. (Several of said emails made it into my book proposal, and I’m convinced they’re what tipped the scales in my favor). I don’t want to get overly touchy-feely, but this wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of you, and I am beyond grateful. [Insert hearts and rainbows.]

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-7Now that we’ve got the big announcement out of the way…PLEASE HELP ME.

I actually got this deal several months ago (I’m sorry! I didn’t know how to tell you!!), and now that I’m deep into the recipe development process, I’m in desperate need of recipe testers. If you have any interest in testing Dude Diet recipes (examples: Shrimp Pad Thai, PB&J Snack Cake, Huevos Rancheros), please drop me a line and we’ll chat about the process. No prior recipe testing experience necessary! In fact, the more domestically challenged you are, the better—I want to make sure everything in this book is 100% idiot-proof.

Last but not least, let’s quickly talk about the Dude Diet Turkey Reubens on your screen.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-8Choosing today’s celebratory recipe was tough, but I decided on these chronic sandos at Logan’s suggestion. He’s been begging me to make him a Reuben for years, and now seemed like the perfect time to honor that request. After all, he’s both my muse and my biggest supporter, and he’s happily letting me write an entire book exploiting his nutritional “challenges.” The least I can do is make him a boss sandwich.

Plus, this recipe pretty much epitomizes the Dude Diet philosophy. Swapping out fatty corned beef for lean turkey breast, piling it high with heart-healthy sauerkraut, and using a responsible amount of Swiss and homemade Thousand Island makes for a killer taste treat with a fraction of the fat and calories of a standard Reuben. You’ll feel all kinds of full and satisfied post-feast without worrying about swelling up like a human pufferfish, meat sweating through your shirt, or needing “alone time,” and it’s doable from start to finish in about 20 minutes. If you need further convincing, Logan’s appreciation grunts should seal the deal.

Peace, love and long live The Dude Diet!

p.s. To Logan, who is probably reading this on the subway 3 weeks in the future: I love you the most, and thank you for being the world’s greatest roommate. Fingers crossed you get the book cover…

Dude Diet Turkey Reubens: (Makes 2 chronic sandos)

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-8Ingredients:
¼ cup canola mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced bread and butter pickles
2 teaspoons grated (or finely minced) yellow onion
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Pepper
8 ounces low-sodium turkey
4 thin slices seeded rye bread
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 ounces grated Swiss cheese
1 cup sauerkraut, drained

Preparing your Dude Diet Turkey Reubens:

-Let’s start with the Thousand Island dressing, dudes. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, Sriracha, pickles, onion, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Briefly set that dankness aside.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-step-1-Place the turkey between damp paper towels and microwave for 20-30 seconds just to warm it up.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-step-6-Brush one side of each piece of bread with a teaspoon of olive oil.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-step-2-To assemble your sandwiches: Spread the un-oiled side of each piece of bread with 1 tablespoon of dressing. (You’ll have a little extra dressing leftover, which you may use for dipping.)

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-step-3-Divide the cheese among two pieces of bread. Top each cheese covered slice with half of the turkey and half of the sauerkraut. Close the sandwiches with the remaining two pieces of bread (dressing side down…duh).

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-step-4-Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot add the sandwiches to the pan. (You can do the sandwiches one at a time if your skillet isn’t big enough.) Place another heavy skillet on top of the Reubens (to weigh them down) and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Flip the sandwiches and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the second side is golden brown and the cheese has melted.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-step-5-Slice your sandos in half and get weird.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-9*Just to be clear, I stacked two sandwiches for food porn effect. Please only eat one, dudes. And get some salad involved.

dude-diet-turkey-reuben-sandwiches-10

Dude Diet Turkey Reubens

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced bread and butter pickles
  • 2 teaspoons grated (or finely minced) yellow onion
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 8 ounces low-sodium turkey
  • 4 thin slices seeded rye bread
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 ounces grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup sauerkraut, drained

Instructions

  1. Let’s start with the Thousand Island dressing. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, Sriracha, pickles, onion, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Briefly set aside.
  2. Place the turkey between damp paper towels and microwave for 20-30 seconds just to warm it up.
  3. Brush one side of each piece of bread with a teaspoon of olive oil.
  4. To assemble your sandwiches: Spread the un-oiled side of each piece of bread with 1 tablespoon of dressing. (You’ll have a little extra dressing leftover, which you may use for dipping.) Divide the cheese among two pieces of bread. Top each cheese covered slice with half of the turkey and half of the sauerkraut. Close the sandwiches with the remaining two pieces of bread (dressing side down…duh).
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot add the sandwiches to the pan. (You can do the sandwiches one at a time if your skillet isn’t big enough.) Place another heavy skillet on top of the Reubens (to weigh them down) and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Flip the sandwiches and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the second side is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  6. Slice your sandos in half. Serve warm with extra dressing for dipping.
http://domesticate-me.com/the-dude-diet-forward-and-onward/

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  • Rebecca Kasper

    I will totally help with recipe testing! I love your blog and heard a lot about you through our mutual friend, Fifi Knot!!

    • Serena_Wolf

      AH, thank you Rebecca! Would love to have you test some recipes! Would you mind sending me an email through the contact form with the subject line “Recipe Testing”? I’ll email you more details once I have your email!!

  • Renee

    I’m down to test recipes!

    • Serena_Wolf

      Thank you, Renee!! If you have a minute, could you fill out the contact form and send me an email with the subject “Recipe Testing”? I’ll send along all the details via email!

  • Mary Fran

    Congrats on the book! My roommate and I are happy the Dude Diet is back!

    • Serena_Wolf

      Thank you so much!!

  • kay

    I’d love to test recipes! I follow your blog, and I am convincing my boyfriend to eat healthy food, so it would be perfect. I am so excited to make him this reuben–they’re his fav.

    • Serena_Wolf

      Hi Kay– Would LOVE to have you help me out (thank you!!), and even more excited that you’ll be able to test the Dude Diet on your bf. Would you mind sending me an email through the contact form with the subject line “Recipe Testing”? Once I have your email address, I’ll send along details!

  • KC

    It would be great to test recipes for you. My husband is trying to eat healthier and every recipe I’ve tried from your site he has loved (and me too)!!

    • Serena_Wolf

      YAY! Thrilled to hear this and thank you! Would you mind sending me an email through the contact form with the subject line “recipe testing”? I’ll follow up with all the details!!

  • Alex Morris

    Since I’ve already made half of the recipes on your blog, I’m definitely down to continue testing! Hopefully the future recipes are sans mayonnaise. 🙂

    • Serena_Wolf

      Amazing! Would LOVE to have you help test. I promise these sandos were a one-off mayo creation, and there is not a single recipe in the book with the devil’s condiment! You shouldn’t have any issues! If you have a second, do you mind sending me an email through the contact form with the subject line “recipe testing” so that I can have your email address?

  • alexandraskitchen

    You are hilarious! So so excited for you. I will be buying the Dude Diet for all the dudes in my life — they (6) all received copies of Thug Kitchen this Xmas… December 2016 will be the season of the DD. Cannot wait to read it!!

    • Serena_Wolf

      THANK YOU!!! And I’m beyond excited for the Dude Diet to take over your family Xmas December 2016. (You’re the best.) Hope bread testing is going swimmingly!! xox

  • this is awesome!!! i am so excited for ths book and if you need a tester, i am available dixy.bhat@gmail.com

    • Serena_Wolf

      Thank you so much for all your amazing support, Dixya! I’m putting together a list of testers now, so I’ll send you an email!!

  • Cindy

    This is Fabulous!!! I will be making this tonight! cindyw_08@yahoo.com if you want more taste testers!

  • EMJ

    As a fan and one of the publishers that lost your book project to Harper Collins (no hard feelings and my dude and I remain HUGE fans), we’d LOVE to recipe test. I say “we” because my dude loves to cook, eat and stay in shape—but man it isn’t easy. I can’t wait to get your book next Fall! Good luck on the long but excellent journey to getting that baby in the bookstores!

    • Serena_Wolf

      AH!!! This literally makes me the happiest! Would LOVE to have you guys help test some of these babies–Would you mind shooting me an email at serenawolf@domesticate-me.com with the subject “recipe testing”? I’ll send along all the details!

  • Alyssa Garcia

    My ‘Dad Bod’ boyfriend and I would love to try out recipes! I sent you an email through the contact us page, but I’m not sure if you got it.
    ajgarcia8@uh.edu

    • Serena_Wolf

      Got it! Will follow up shortly!

  • Dori Zweig

    #killingit. So glad the DD is back and can’t wait to swipe through the pages of the cookbook. Gros felicitations!

  • Mandy

    I just found this blog, read your post because the pic was making my mouth water like crazy, and I can’t wait to read more on the DD! Good luck on your book I will be watching for it.

    • Serena_Wolf

      Thank you, Mandy–So glad you found the blog and I appreciate the DD support!

  • Taylor Gonzalez

    Love love love you. I saw you on some morning talk show. You are a food genius and all your recipes are awesome. Its a daily struggle at home my boyfriend eats like shit. Soda and candy and snacks are what he lives breathes and eats. Ive struggled with my wait my whole life im down 75 pounds but i seem to be at a standstill. Im way more active than ive ever been i eat way less but it doesnt matter bc the little i do it isnt too healthy and i cant help but grab one of his swiss cake rolls. Anyway im a very busy women i work two jobs and he works full time. The hardest part for me is finding the time to cook. Alot of your recipes take too much time or have to be prepared and eaten right there. We probably only eat dinner together twice a week and im always stressing over what i can pack for his lunch and mine. My point is im big on prepping meals and having premade ingredients to put together. You should totally look into creating some fast meals or meal preps. Keep killin it

    • Thank you so much for these awesome compliments, Taylor! (And apologies for the incredibly delayed response.) I feel you on the cooking time constraints, and I will 100% make an effort to post some super fast meals and meal planning options in the coming months! And in case you’re looking for instant gratification, there’s a chapter in The Dude Diet called “Back Pocket Recipes,” which are meant to be quick and/or good for meal prep (i.e. perfect chicken breasts, stews and skillet meals that re-heat well, an easy frittata, etc.). So glad you found me via the TV (!!), and thank you again for the support!