Sometimes, even when you have a weekly meal planner, dinner improvisation happens… for example, last weekend my husband’s best friend came for the weekend to be with him for my husband’s birthday and after a full weekend of soccer games, late-night talks and dinners out, I found myself on Sunday afternoon without a meal plan and with no time to go to the supermarket, so Monday rolled over and I found myself in the improvisation mode. I have been there before and when it usually happens, I have a to-go-meal that never fails: The deconstructed dinner.
What are the ingredients? Go to the pantry and open your fridge to find out… that’s right, the intention is to use ingredients that you already have.
In the picture is a clear sample of what I am talking about. For example that Monday, I had a bag of frozen organic edamame, a can of each organic corn and chickpeas, a ripe avocado and a mixture of organic rice (black rice, quinoa, white rice, and bulgur).
I cook each “main” ingredient with different spices. For example, the edamame was cooked with paprika, salt, and pepper, the chickpeas were cooked with turmeric, cumin and cayenne pepper, and the corn with butter, salt, and paprika. Each ingredient bringing a different flavor to the plate. I usually serve it in a bowl, with rice in the middle and the other ingredients around it. A boiled or fried egg is a nice addition on top with a splash of hot sauce.
I have used virtually every ingredient found in my pantry, fridge or freezer during this unplanned meals, including kale, broccoli, cauliflower, lentils, black beans (or any kind of beans), carrots, tofu, and chicken to mention a few. The intention is that you can use anything you have and make it healthy, quick, easy and delicious.