Gone South: How a bad meal can still be memorable

Ouch! Something sharp strikes my nose. Perhaps a little too much garlic?

Today’s nutrition plan calls for fish. I pile a cup of oven vegetables next to a hand size tuna steak onto my plate. Quick. Simple. Nutritious. Guilt Free. Recovery food for training.

Lemon rattles my tongue; the meal is drowning in a river of lemon juice. It may enliven your senses, but it has sucked the life out of the once flavorful mushrooms. Mushrooms usually have an earthy, sweet, savory, full-bodied taste. Instead, biting into these mushrooms is like drinking distilled water with a shot of aged lemon juice.

The perfect fractional broccoli, once so beautiful in its form, has been butchered by an erratic knife of a post workout state of mind. Undercooked, it carries no flavor besides the lemon but does add a crunch to an otherwise limber meal. The traditional broccoli reminds me of my old sweater. Soft and stinking of last night's visit to a poorly ventilated Italian Restaurant.

The Brussels sprouts. Oh, my darling Brussels sprouts. Can one ever mess up cooking Brussels sprouts? Well, tonight I have. Dry and hard; they leave me speechless.

Silky red onions float like Venetian gondolas along the lemon river coating every corner of my mouth. The bland concoction inspired by a recipe in “Women’s Health” has been saved at last. 

Feeling rather unmotivated I turn to my functional tuna steak. The knife glides through the flesh. Grainy sea salt and sweet, colorful pepper crust its grayed smooth skin gating its plum-colored sticky, dull core. Alas, this too is rather one dimensional. What else can I expect, for a meal that took all of 20 minutes to prepare?

The feta cheese is the life-belt to our gondolas. Any meal gone south on a river of garlic flavored lemon juice can be saved by feta crumbles, or so I make myself believe.