So it’s finally September. We’ve all taken our last sips of rosé and we’re ready to start putting things in the oven again. And we’re done eating giant bowls of blended frozen fruit for breakfast, right? Wrong. I will eat a smoothie bowl every morning for the foreseeable future even if I have to bring my space heater to breakfast along with me. This green one with mango, spinach, fresh ginger, vanilla protein and coconut water is the kind of breakfast that makes your 60-something parents question what the hell the kids are doing these days, but looks excellent on an Instagram feed. Whether or not the color is appealing, the taste is good enough to warrant an extra sweater.
Lunch has been leftovers lately. It is starting to get a bit too cold for salads, so I’ve recently preferred re-heating whatever I had the night before. I don’t care to give too much attention to this midday meal anyway. I tend to my smoothies dutifully every morning, and I obsess over dinner each night. Lunch gets left out. A girl can only obsess so much.
Dinner tonight was one last hurrah with the Weber. It’s not too cold yet, I just don’t get home early enough to fire up the grill before the sun sets. While I would proudly don a headlamp, I’m not enough of a grill enthusiast to go the extra mile.
I remembered that we had some frozen shrimp so I left those out to thaw while I devised the rest of dinner. I hadn’t made a raw corn salad all summer, but I didn’t want the heat of the grill to go to waste either. I decided to compromise with a half raw, half grilled corn salad that I tossed with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and feta. Since I’m partial to green things and like to have them at every meal (even breakfast), I figured I’d also grill up some green beans on a cast iron skillet. I spooned a carrot top pesto that I had previously made over the shrimp and green beans, and didn’t mind when a little bit creeped into the corn salad.
Food can be complicated. An elaborate breakfast that requires fresh spinach, a Vitamix, and protein powder (not to mention the toppings!) isn’t something you can just whip up when you have a craving. Or, food can be instinctual. Salt, pepper, and olive oil was all the shrimp needed to taste good, and I didn’t need a recipe to tell me that. Food can, at least, taste good. Eat something new and exciting tomorrow that challenges your palette, or revisit something familiar and comforting that elevates your mood. Heading into the colder months, it’s important to find new, delicious sources of joy. Dinner can help with that.