For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals that anyone can make -- whether you're in your first apartment or feeding a hangry family.
Today: Listen to your body. Listen to your soul. Eat this melon salad for dinner tonight.
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When I go out to dinner with my friends I sometimes ask them, “What is it that your body needs you to feed it right now?” What I mean is, “What do you want to eat?” but I’m being as ethereal earth mother clown about it as possible. This is me being the most annoying version of myself. And I am mostly kidding. But there is a part of me that thinks it’s a reasonable question.
I always want curry -- I am never going to actively refuse curry -- but sometimes it isn’t what my body needs; fulfilling the need rather than the want takes you to a totally different level of dinner nirvana, to dinner enlightenment. Dinner Buddha is there, and he’s like, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t get Thai takeout?” And you’re glowing and full and and floating in the air and you’re like yes, Buddha, yes. You know what I mean if you’ve been there. Or maybe you hate this whole conversation and are like, “Go back to drinking cold brew out of a mason jar and contemplating where to hang your new tapestry, ya freak,” which, okay, that’s hostile, but I get it.
My body has recently only been needing cold fruit, creamy cheese, fresh herbs, and salt. Somehow this combination is the perfect antidote to a humid day, indulgent and light at the same time, and the easiest possible thing to throw together. So make fun of my stomach contemplation and decorative wall hangings all you please; I’ll be up here floating in dinner nirvana with my feta and my cantaloupe when you’re ready to get fed.
Half of a small cantaloupe, cut into 1/2-inch chunks 1 cucumber (any type will work but hothouse works best), cut into 1/2-inch chunks as well 3 ounces feta, crumbled 6 big basil leaves, chopped Olive oil Balsamic vinegar Shelled sunflower seeds Coarse salt Ground pepper
What has your body -- and your soul -- been craving this summer? What have you been feeding it? Tell us in the comments!
Photos by Linda Pugliese
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).