Posted: November 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

I remember why I don’t cook.

Let’s back up.  I woke up all excited about doing this, except that I was going to go shopping on Sunday and didn’t, so I was improvising for breakfast (1 cup milk $0.23, 2/3 cup pumpkin granola $0.41) but granola and milk is a childhood favorite food of mine, so I was happy.  The most amazing thing about working where I do, in a room full of writers, is that our company pays for coffee!  Seriously, free and abundant caffeine makes this job go a lot damn easier, and it’s kinda sorta somewhat drinkable.  (At my last job, the branch manager would only let us use Folgers, partially because he was cheap and partially because he thought everything else tasted weak.  We brought in Dunkin Donuts coffee, because it’s not that everything else tastes weak, it’s that Folgers tastes like lighter fluid.  He told us to get rid of it).  So…free coffee, with my bad habit, made from corn and plastic, probably going to give me cancer someday gingerbread creamer ($0.39).

Lunchtime, I went to Trader Joe’s, then came home and made an egg and cheese burrito, another comfort food (2 eggs $0.46, 1 tortilla $0.16, 2 tbsp salsa $0.13, 1/2 tbsp butter $0.05, 1 oz cheddar $0.27).  Just writing this makes me miss Someburro’s in Tempe soo much it hurts…apparently, Southern California somewhere has Mexican food that doesn’t suck, but that somewhere is nowhere near me.  I put pinto beans ($0.60) and black beans ($0.30) in the crock pot and went back to work with an afternoon snack (1 granny smith apple $0.14, 2 tbsp natural peanut butter $0.14).

I got home after work…and this is where we came in to this story.  My house smelled good and warm, especially because of the bay leaves I put in my beans.  But I was hungry and tired and, although I didn’t know it, just at the beginning of a week that was going to suck monkey balls.  And I actually had to freaking cook.

For the record, I don’t like cooking, or eating, really, on a regular basis.  It’s totally repetitive and a waste of time, because you have to do it all again the next day.  Like making the beds or washing the dishes.  And Monday is so not the day to have to come home and do it.  But…your fearless writer soldiered on.  I also yelled at the cat and tripped over the dog and was super bitchy to the boy and forgot I was supposed to drive my own ass to the gun range so I was late and cranky and ended up shooting like I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn (which I can.  Usually.  Not that we have anything remotely barn-like here.  I could probably hit the broad side of a crack house.)

An onion ($0.69), a half red pepper ($0.64), a sweet potato ($0.25), canned tomatoes ($1.49), organic tomato paste ($0.89) and 2 tbsp olive oil ($0.18)…chili.  For a week. $1.00 a serving.  Plus 1/2 ounce of cheddar ($0.13), because my chili has virtually zero fat, and you have to fix that.

Leaving out the part where I had a minor crankymiss meltdown, which wasn’t really because of the cheap and healthy cooking so much as it was about the fact that I was cooking at all…I did really well.  With the $0.13 I spend filtering water from the tap, I spent $4.09 and and got 1480 calories with 60 grams of protein.  Pretty good first day.

  1. Generally California chains have CRAPPY Mexican, and mom-and-pop places have a range, from godawful to food of the gods.

    It’s tricky to eat veggie at Mexican joints, because the serving staff often as not have no idea how things are prepared. And they will flat-out LIE about what’s used to cook the beans, for example, if it means they can just sling whatever in front of you.

    With all that said, there IS good Mexican, and it is abundant… but you do indeed need to leave GOP wonderland that surrounds your neighborhood. Nothing within walking distance, sadly.

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