I don’t pay attention to TikTok unless someone sends me a link. It’s a rabbit hole I avoid. So it’s no surprise that I totally missed the “Girl Dinner” trend that set off all kinds of controversy over the summer. It wasn’t until I read an article on BBC Food that I found out it was a “thing.”
Why does it need a name?
According to the BBC article, an LA tik toker came up with the concept to which many, including celebrity chefs, took offense.
There are also articles condemning Girl Dinners as another toxic diet trend, feeding off of women’s insecurities, and encouraging unhealthy body weight ideals. Sigh …
Just call me lazy
I was eating like this long before the term Girl Dinner became a thing. More often than not, it was after a long day at work and usually in the summer when it was too hot to cook. Dinner, for me, meant opening the fridge and finding something that was easy and satisfying. And because I like to make things look appetizing, I would arrange it and, of course, take a pic.
Here are some of my dinners:
Just dip it
The easiest dinner requires little more than chopping of a few veggies and serving it with a dip (hummus) or spread (pimento cheese):
Let them eat toast
Toast topped with mashed avocado, cheese, or leftover sautéed veggies are an easy go-to. Or re-toasting some focaccia or garlic bread and eating it with a side of marinara can be very satisfying.
Bring on the greens
One of my favorite go-to salads in the summer is a panzanella. It contains some toasted bread cubes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and goat cheese. It is tossed with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil (I don’t even bother to make a vinaigrette). Is it a traditional panzanella? Probably not, but it’s just perfect for me.
And, depending on what I have in the fridge, I might make a “fancy” salad like the fig, prosciutto, burrata, and arugula salad below.
In the end, it’s all about ease. What can I throw together quickly? What will taste good? What will bring me satisfaction? Sometimes, cooking can be involved. It’s why I always had a box of Trader Joe’s Parmesan Pastry Pups in the freezer.
As for being healthy? I am my mother’s daughter, so if I can incorporate fruits or veggies, I will, but it’s not always required.
So call it what you will, I just call it dinner.