Keke Palmer credits her Midwestern upbringing with her controversial take on pasta: 'In my household spaghetti was a side dish'

Keke Palmer says salt is her favorite seasoning. (Photo:Getty)
Keke Palmer says salt is her favorite seasoning. (Photo:Getty)

Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life is serving up a heaping plateful of table talk with people who are passionate about what's on their menu in Deglazed, a series about food.

Baby, this is Keke Palmer! And the 29-year-old actress and television personality is spilling the tea on all things food, including her favorite unconventional side dish and the dietary cutback that's changed her skin for the better.

"Dairy really does contribute to me specifically having acne, you know, more often," the Nope actress tells Yahoo Life. "I do believe that, so I stay away from dairy."

The busy star has been vocal about her journey with adult acne and admits that, even though she tries to cut back on dairy products and drink more water, she's learned not to be so hard on herself when it comes to her skin.

"I do believe that water intake is good, but honestly, you can drink as much water as you want, if you have stuff going on in your gut or things are hormonal or just like any allergies ... be easier on yourself," says Palmer. "You have to figure it out and everything is different for everyone, but for me, I know staying away from dairy could be very helpful and beneficial for my skin."

Even though she's cutting back on her animal product intake, she allows herself to indulge in what she describes as a "huge staple" in her diet — eggs.

"I'm an egg girl," she says, "like I literally love eggs." This passion for poultry tracks as Palmer explains that Veggie Bacon Quiches are one of her favorite holiday meals.

"Maybe that's the Midwestern in me," says the Illinois native. "I've always been into quiches, frittatas ... any variety of egg, honey, I'm there for it."

If that wasn't a clear indicator of Palmer's Midwestern roots, she also has a controversial take on spaghetti she describes as a hallmark of Midwestern cuisine. "In my household spaghetti was a side dish," she says, "so like, we had spaghetti and catfish a lot."

Other dining delicacies in the Palmer household included sloppy joe sandwiches, something the Proud Family: Louder and Prouder star was never particularly drawn to. "Sloppy joe was not my favorite, but whenever I see sloppy joe, I immediately think about my childhood," she says.

A nostalgic meal she does love? Breakfast, of course. This comes as no surprise, given her affinity for eggs. But the most important meal of the day means more than a quick bite for Palmer.

"My dad, he would always cook a breakfast before we had our school tests, you know, they do the big testing season," she recalls. "Because they would say, 'Hey! Make sure your kid has a really good breakfast the morning of,' he would make us a big breakfast: pancakes, bacon, eggs, the whole nine. So I always remember that being a fun tradition."

Now that she's an adult, whether she assumes the role of watchful supervisor or hands-on chef in the kitchen depends totally on which coast she's on. "When I'm in California, I'm the supervisor. You know what I mean? And I'm watching everything," she says. New York Palmer, however, is a whole different breed. "It brings out a different side of me," she continues, "so I'm the one that's cooking."

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Palmer spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her work promoting McCormick spices and the brand's new The TEN gifting set, which includes ten essential kitchen spices, from garlic powder to crushed red pepper. She says it's a natural fit, since the kitchen must-have that's non-negotiable for her is seasoning.

Whether she's whipping up meals herself or playing the role of backseat chef, bland food is never on her radar. "I'm the one that gives out The TEN and makes sure everybody else has spices — to make sure my food is not bland," she admits.

Though Palmer is becoming quite the spice connoisseur, her simplistic cabinet mainstay might surprise you.

"It's definitely gonna be salt," she says of her favorite seasoning. "You can judge me or not. And then when it comes to the other ones, I would say garlic powder [and] onion powder. I never can go wrong with those."

While salt may be a pretty basic kitchen favorite, sometimes it's best to stick to what you know, says Palmer, noting some of her biggest cooking fails have come as the result of getting a bit too advantageous in the kitchen.

"My fails have usually come from me trying to be like gluten-free and fat-free and anything like that," she shares. "I've always had some issues and some damn problems whenever I try to do it the healthy way."

"When I cook things the regular unhealthy way everything goes according to plan," she adds. "And when I try to do like substitutes?All of a sudden your cornbread ain't rising, you know what I mean?"

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