What does conventional mean to you?
Standard? Normal? Regular? Ordinary? Accepted by society? Average? Or perhaps wholesome?
There is conventional furniture, conventional clothing, conventionally attractive celebrities, conventional methods of mess-free mango consumption…and yes, conventional meals!
What I think is the perfect example of a conventional meal: Whole wheat bread turkey sandwich with lettuce/tomato/avocado/mustard, a carton of milk, an apple (or baby carrots), and perhaps a little treat for dessert. In other words, sitting down and having a common combo meal starring all your vital food groups (whole grains, protein, good fats, veg/fruit, dairy) for maximum satiation potential (and since we’re all human, something sweet to sum it up).
There’s nothing wrong of course with having a lunchbox-tailored conventional meal; I do it every pink moon or so, however I sometimes prefer to live life on the wild side (in terms of my meals…and choices in footwear); and when something is conventional, I don’t hink it necessarily means it’s efficient; or sometimes you can have a meal composed of all the vital food groups; except pizzazzed with a flourishing of fusion (courtesy of whatever leftovers may be subsiding in your refrigerator).
For instance; what do you make if you find yourself with:
-A pack of ground turkey
-Leftover roasted aubergines
-A plethora of fresh herbs needing instant usage
-A Costco-sized box of tomatoes in danger of going rancid in the near future
-Leftover spaghetti squash?
Allow me to assist, mes ami(e)s:
While that’s sizzling, mix the ground turkey (I use the extra lean one) with an egg, some ketchup (just a teensy bit), more fresh thyme, black pepper, chili flakes, and more fresh parsley; proceed to roll into meatballs
Toss the tomatoes into the pan (after washing your hands thoroughly of course), add spices (chili flakes, black pepper, dried oregano) and wait until everything comes to a sizzle and some liquid accumulates. Proceed to drop in the meatballs, and once they near cooking completion, add the aubergine, fresh herbs, and some Trader Joe’s chili sauce to up the heat ante
Then let’s say it’s a Tuesday afternoon and you find yourself with a little bit of leftover Thai (but not enough to make a major meal out of), more herbs, some garlic sauce, and some leftovers your mother left behind- what do you do? Make a fusion meal (who says you can’t eat mismatched foods at the same meal? People do it at buffets all the time)!
Dave’s Killer Bread POWERSEED topped with Lebanese garlic spread, chopped parsley and black pepper with leftover Dang’s Chicken Pad Phet splattered with Sriracha. Gotta tell you the toast/garlic spread/parsley is a KILLER combo
…And dessert was a bunch of frozen grapes
And if you noticed above I said those cherry tomatoes were from Joann’s? Joann is a good family friend as well as the head of Academic English Studies at the college I just graduated from; in fact she helped teach my VERY MOTHER how to speak better English back when my mama was in college! Crazy, huh?
She also is an avid world traveler and an incredible cook with a garden full of all the incredible bounty you can imagine- everything from these sweet-as-cherries cherry tomatoes to blackberries, herbs, haricots vert…you name it! And, she was so kind as to have my mother and I over for dinner the other night:
Hors d’oeuvres (along with unpictured pistachios):
And the dinner spread:
And as a palate-cleanser:
Sheer delight! There is nothing I love more than making a meal out of garden produce!
How do you define conventional?
What are some unconventional meals you have had as of late? Any unusual combinations you like or good ideas for leftover usage?