The only good thing that came out of all of us collectively being quarantined inside our homes for two years, thanks to the pandemic, is the emergence of awesome Instagram chefs who have pledged to consistently serve us innovative home recipes with aplomb. I can’t help but drool over the endless supply of pictures and reels featuring delicious food being prepared these days. It’s no wonder that scrolling through Instagram always leaves me feeling hungry and irrationally convinced of my untapped home-cooking skills.
From Emily Mariko’s lemon pasta and Nick DiGiovanni’s air fried pasta ‘chips’—angry Italians can look the other way—to a homemade and healthy version of coca cola and grated egg avocado toast, there’s no dearth of viral recipes that have made their way into millions of people’s kitchens and hearts in 2022.
These trends are ubiquitous and threaten to take over my sanity until I finally attempt the dish myself. Trust me, you will be exposed so much to these recipes on the internet that you’ll begin craving them and give in. Sorry, I don’t make the rules!
Top 5 Viral Food Trends
If you’re in tune with the culinary side of Instagram or TikTok, you must have heard of popular home chef Emily Mariko aka the mother of lemon pasta—or at least the viral version of it. If you’re looking for some dinner inspiration, look no further. Anyone can whip up Mariko’s lemon pasta with only a few pantry ingredients and gloat about being a professional chef—well almost!
Even though lemon pasta is already a staple in Italian kitchens, this recipe made waves online thanks to its simplicity, and amassed over 18 million views. The controversial recipe of the pasta included the juice of three giant lemons as well as its rinds and carcasses and only a few seasonings, irking the amateur food critics of the internet. The recipe gained even more traction after another Instagram chef Claudia (@mammaculinaria) suggested some changes to Mariko’s recipe to make it tastier. Many people have been trying out different renditions of this refreshing summer pasta and posting it online.
Recipe: Cook your spaghetti in salted boiling water and save some pasta water for the sauce. Mix together the spaghetti with lemon juice, a ridiculous mound of parmesan cheese, ungodly amounts of butter, and pasta water to emulsify the sauce and that’s it! If you wish to follow Claudia’s modified version, simply add herbs, aromatics and seasonings like chilli flakes, garlic, pepper, salt, lemon basil, basil and lemon zest, and voila!
While we’re still riding the pasta train, I can’t go without mentioning the notorious pasta ‘chips’. Made famous by American chef, internet personality, and entertainer Nick DiGiovanni, these unusual chips stirred up quite the storm on the internet with divided opinions and reviews. The versatile treat can be seasoned with flavours of your choice and can make for a good, sort of healthy snack when you’re feeling lazy.
Recipe: Bring generously salted water to a boil in a pan and drop in your pasta (penne or farfalle work best) and cook till it is al dente. Once that’s done, pat the pasta dry and fry it in oil until golden brown. If you want to skip the oil, use the air fryer. Shake the pasta ‘chips’ with some salt, or any condiments of your choice, and enjoy! You can even dip the crispy bites in a sauce you like.
Green Goddess Salad
The Green Goddess Salad was highly praised by every closeted chef on the internet and enjoyed by millions. The brainchild of Melissa Ben-Ishay, who is a mom, baker, and founder of ‘Baked by Melissa’, the New York City-based brand known for its signature, bite-sized cupcakes and treats, the salad is a delicious mixture of chopped green vegetables and a dressing to die for. The bright and healthy salad can also be eaten as a dip for chips or crackers.
Recipe: Throw together copious amounts of chopped cabbage, cucumber, chives, and green onion and mix it up in a bowl. To make the dressing, shake together minced garlic, some shallots, lemon juice, olive oil, nuts, basil, spinach and nutritional yeast. Pour this flavour bomb over your chopped veggies, mix well and enjoy it however you want.
‘Healthy’ Coca Cola
Another one from the ‘don’t knock it till you’ve tried it’ category, this whimsical drink is one of the simplest things to whip up anywhere, anytime. All you need is balsamic vinegar, some ice cubes and sparkling water. Popularised by Amanda Jones, who picked it up from her pilates instructor, the fizzy and healthy drink is supposed to taste just like coca cola sans the unhealthy amounts of sugar. The viral TikTok video has close to 7 million views and has been attempted, loved, hated and recreated by many.
Recipe: To make this healthy coca cola, add a splash of balsamic vinegar to a glass and pour sparkling water and a few ice cubes over it. Stir it well and your refresher is ready to go.
Grated Egg Avocado Toast
Developed by Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh who goes by @healthyishfoods on Instagram, this mouthwatering and simple recipe can be relished not just for breakfast, but during any meal of the day. This viral recipe is prepared by making a regular avocado toast with a fun topping — a grated hard boiled egg. This unique recipe sounds like a delicious way of upgrading your same old avo toast and the people definitely seem sold.
Recipe: Toast a slice of sourdough bread, or whichever you have in the pantry, and spread some mayonnaise on top of it. Slice up your avocado and place it on the toast. Then, finish it off by grating a hard boiled egg on top leaving behind a silky smooth and delicate flavour. You can enhance the taste by scrunching some fresh black pepper and sriracha on top for some kick. The viral meal has been recreated by thousands of people on the internet with additions and subtractions of their own.