‘Fending’ for Dinner: Making something out of nothing, and Even help save the planet

‘Fending’ for Dinner: Making something out of nothing, and even help save the planet

By Dennis Archambault

Technically, “fending” means to look after yourself. Well, at the end of the day when it’s time for dinner and you don’t have anything planned, you slip into “fending” mode, searching through the refrigerator and cabinets for whatever you can put together and call it a meal.

The Washington Post says the idea of “fending” for dinner is to minimize dishes and waste, and to assemble a plate of proteins and carbohydrates, fiber and vegetables in an effort to form a full meal.

This is also known as “scratch cooking” or, as they used to say, doing it “from scratch.”

The idea gained traction in the pandemic in which folks in isolation, lacking the ability to go to a restaurant, had to make do with what they had available.

It can be a dangerous time, depending on your appetite. It can become a “hand-to-mouth” process of devouring the first snack foods that you spot.

Rule #1: Don’t stock snack foods. Easier said than done.

Rule #2: Load your refrigerator with fresh vegetables and fruits – even if you don’t have any intention of cooking therm. “How are we on beans.” “The broccoli looks good.” “Want to try cauliflower?”

Rule #3: Be creative. So what if you don’t know what to do with it. Think of it as an art project. Make the plate look interesting, filling, and nourishing. Put the emphasis on nourishing.

Rule #4: If all else fails, go to your device and type in, “recipes with cauliflower,” and you’re likely to find something interesting.

Aside from being a source of creativity and healthy eating, you also will be living more responsibly, considering that households account for 37 percent of wasted food, according to Make Food Not Waste, a Detroit non-profit. They’re in business on a broader scale of social responsibility. So, think globally, act locally – your scavenger hunt in the kitchen can help with global ecology.

The Japanese have a concept called “mottainai,” which is commonly used to express “a feeling of regret when something is put to waste without deriving its value.”

So, what’s not to like about this menu? Fend tonight. Any night…

Dennis Archambault is vice president of Public Affairs for Authority Health