Sequestration Meal #9

I've gone through a rough season physically (typical stuff for me, honestly--stress bringing on symptoms) and emotionally (because all of us are, I imagine) and I thought this would be a good time to talk about why I think presentation is so important. I still had food available to prep, but I was not feeling well (not coronavirus, just the usual autoimmune things, probably exacerbated by the stress), so it was time for a frozen dinner. This is one I've had several times: Mon Cusine's vegan chicken cutlet with pasta. You know, of course, that no matter what, it is not going to look like the box. No frozen dinner ever does.

When it comes out of the microwave in its sad little tray, it hardly inspires a person to want to eat it. And in the state I was in, I didn't very much want to eat at all, so I couldn't afford to face down something like this.

I mean. Really. (My camera seemed just as displeased with that as I might have been, and I think that's why it looks washed out here. But even if I could get the color balance right--something my photo editing skills won't seem to allow in this photo for some reason--it would still look pretty sad.)

I learned a long time ago that even just putting the frozen dinner into a plate or a bowl makes a huge difference in how appetizing it is. So I plated it, pried the mushrooms off the cutlet to disperse among the pasta, and put some seasoning salt over the whole shebang.

This doesn't look nearly so good as something I'd make myself, but it's a lot better than the stuff in the tray.

While we're on the subject of meals eaten when I didn't have it in me to do much, here's proof that I, just like you, am sometimes just lucky if I can get something resembling food. Presentation still makes a difference, I think, even when it's a minor effort:

Vegan ham salad sandwich. Usually, I want lettuce with this, or something. But the sandwich on its own will do in a crisis. Key here: Cutting it in half so you can see the filling.

Vegan macaroni and cheese from a box (Annie's). It does bring back memories, anyway! Here there isn't really much in the way of "presenting" but the contrast of the green with the orange-yellow cheese somehow makes it more appealing.

Tofurky and Daiya cheddar sandwich with Fritos. Low on veggies; high on salt. But hey. I'm supposed to eat more salt anyway. And there are no sandwiches I've yet met that don't seem better if you cut them in half.

How are you staying motivated to take care of yourself out there?


  1. Your presentation definitely made a difference with the frozen dinner; it looks much more appealing all nicely plated like that!

    1. We eat with our eyes, too--and sometimes we have to just trick ourselves. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I always cut my sandwiches in half as well. I love your presentations, it is very true that a nice looking plate of food is a lovely little boost.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts