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Cooking is one of my first loves. From watching and listening to my Dad with his stories, I was hooked as a kid, and it's still something I love.
If I had an Indian name, it would be Plays with Food :-)
Eating well and from home is important to me, but hey, sometimes I just want a big bowl of popcorn and I'm good.
I use local, seasonal, and selectively organic ingredients as I can afford to (selectively so it makes sense). I like supporting my local food co-op because I feel more of a connection with the land and the folks that grow and produce the food when I shop there. I keep it in my budget by using the bulk section for beans & grains & spices. (And I only rarely buy any prepared food or bread there - that really saves tons of cash!)
I eat meat, but it's generally not on center stage, it's usually in a broth, or a small amount where the beans, grains, and veg are the stars. And salmon, don't forget the salmon! Yum! (I use canned wild-caught Alaskan salmon, and it's actually good. I wait for a holiday to buy salmon fillets or steaks and then from a fish market.)
And I believe in lots of practice and love. I believe home-cooked food is always better than fast food, but fast-food is better than nothing. So I do some food planning most weekends to do something good for myself.
In the winter time, I love near-vegetarian soups, some combination of beans and greens.
Black-eyed peas & Collards
Minestrone & Spinach
White Bean Soup w/Chard
Garbanzo Bean Soup w/Kale
...that kind of thing.
For fast food I whip up some pasta, with steamed broccoli (seasoned with lemon pepper, Vegit, lemon, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes, olive oil) add some Parmesan cheese, some basil (and wild caught salmon, if I have any, it's still good minus the salmon) and whew! I gotta great meal in about 15 min! Yum!