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    NEWVINE   104,298
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I forgot the joy I found in cooking


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Monday, January 21, 2013


When I joined Spark People it was only to loose weight. I rewarded my self with the Spark People Cook Book when I lost 25 pounds.

I have found many new foods and recipes. Eggplant was only a purple vegetable I walked by, but is in my menu at least twice a month. I found okra in the store last week, and I am adding it to this weeks menu. Until Spark people I had never heard of it .

Beans were only baked for summer cook outs, and used in chili maybe once a year. Thanks to the many people who answered my post on the message board How do you work beans into your menu. I have found a way to use each of their replies. When I go to Wal Mart once a month, I pick up the different kinds of beans they mentioned. I soak them over night and then cook them. I save the amount I need and freeze the rest for later use.

Spices are another new adventure. Garlic was only bought in the spice section , now I only use fresh garlic. The spice rack has been cleaned and new spices added. Mrs. Dash has replaced anything that had salt. The starter kits for spring plants will be out in the stores next month. I am looking forward to stating spices that I use. I plant parsley in hanging planters every spring so I have fresh parsley all winter. I hope to have a bigger selection from now on.

Planning menus and cooking from scratch is a big change. Which I enjoy, but in the past used prepared foods to get it done. I would buy what every was on sale for the week and then try to find something to make. Then wonder why we always ate the same thing.
It is great to have everything I need to prepare a meal. ALL the prep. work is done the day before and I find my self looking for new things to make.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
RETURNTORURAL 1/29/2013 6:42PM

    How wonderful that SP has broadened your horizons. I'm also rediscovering my love of cooking. It's the simplest of adventures, but so worthwhile!



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DRB13_1 1/26/2013 10:18PM

    what wonderful healthy changes you have made, and how interesting your meals must be now! Fantastic! emoticon

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RETURNTOTHIN 1/26/2013 8:44PM

    Hey try Fennel (Anise) and Leeks.... tried those when I started looking for new things.
I have a GF tabletop grill on which I grill most of my veggies. Kale is amazing, but so is cabbage, carrots, green beans, onions, brussels sprouts and tons of other vegetables. I discovered peeling a whole rutabaga and putting it in a small casserole with about 1 " of water and baking until soft.... Sweet and delicious. Experimentation with new things is so much fun and makes cooking for one and eating alone so much more fun! So continue to enjoy cooking! Great blog!

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EMILYDOODLE 1/26/2013 8:19PM

  i also love to cook and track my meals with the food tracker. emoticon emoticon

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CEEMAY 1/26/2013 10:48AM

    Enjoy your culinary explorations!!

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KIPPER15 1/25/2013 9:34PM

    emoticon love cooking with new spices.

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VICKI-BISHOP56 1/25/2013 5:18PM

  Isn't it fun to experiment with new foods and new flavors?! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KWEEKWEK 1/25/2013 9:21AM

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FISHER011 1/25/2013 2:03AM

    emoticon
I love using fresh herbs. I liked your idea of the planter box- I'm going to get one Too!
Great idea- emoticon
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Debbie

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GRAMMAP1 1/24/2013 11:38PM

    I have lost my love for cooking, so your blog interested me. So emoticon for sharing.

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MARYJEANSL 1/24/2013 11:17PM

  I like cooking too, but I find that chopping the fresh veggies takes sooooooo much time. You seem to have a pretty good system in place - wish I did.

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EMILYDOODLE 1/24/2013 8:38PM

  I love to cook also. emoticon

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IOWADEB 1/24/2013 7:52PM

    emoticon

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BARB4HEALTH 1/24/2013 6:10PM

    emoticon

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SCAREWALDORF 1/24/2013 2:24PM

    Cooking is such a therapeutic pass time-and gives you so much control.

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JEFEIST 1/24/2013 1:04PM

    I love cooking - used to do all kinds og gourmet stuff. My husband is a plain meat and potatoes fella and no "fru fru" foods for him, so our meals tend to be very basic. You have encouraged me to try to get him to step out of the box.

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IDJ1973 1/24/2013 12:43PM

    I love to cook, and like you I am always trying new ways of adding veggies, and fresh foods into my dishes. Loved you post. emoticon

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SHANECODER 1/24/2013 11:55AM

    emoticon It's hard to find the time to cook good wholesome food, but definitely worth it.

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2013LOSE20 1/24/2013 9:59AM

  Great blog! I found when I started to eat mostly whole foods, how much tastier my food was and easier to stay within calorie range because I was so satisfied. Didn't know you could freeze beans, I will remember that, thanks.

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FARIS71 1/24/2013 9:57AM

    Funny to see how things have changed. Makes me think we should take before and after photos of our pantries.

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JACKIE542 1/24/2013 9:37AM

    Great blog, always good to eat a variety of foods and cooking from scratch is an added plus. emoticon emoticon

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SAMMI4444 1/24/2013 9:22AM

    I'm terrible at cooking esp when it comes to cooking healthy. I think after reading your story I may give it another shot :)

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SPRINGBABY80 1/24/2013 8:54AM

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PENNYPACKER3 1/24/2013 6:31AM

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DAWNSINGS9 1/24/2013 2:29AM

    I totally agree with you! Last March I started working as a part time caregiver for an elderly woman with COPD. My most important function is shopping several times a week for fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other staples of her diet. I never was much of a cook, but she got me started - and now I can't stop! I LOVE cooking from scratch and taking as many "processed" foods out of our diet as I can. I want to tackle baking next. I'd like to be able to make my own gluten free bread. I can't tell yet if I am sensitive to gluten, but, I figured it couldn't hurt to try to wean myself of it for awhile and see how I feel.

Anyway, I totally relate to your blog. Keep up the great work!

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SPARKGUY 1/22/2013 6:24PM

    Woohoo -- these are great changes and show that you are living a real healthy lifestyle change.

This momentum will lead to reaching many other goals in life.

SparkCheers!

Ch
ris (SparkGuy)
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SHAMROCKY2K 1/21/2013 11:16PM

    Love your enthusiasm. I didn't realize you could freeze beans. That will help me to reduce the sodium and the the health benefits from beans. Have you come up with a baked bean recipe?

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 1/21/2013 5:50PM

    emoticon

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MJ7DM33 1/21/2013 2:45PM

  Well said! Thx for sharing!

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HHB4181 1/21/2013 11:51AM

    I love cooking too and meal planning is such a help. No more wondering!!

Wish I could find okra in my store, keep looking for it...

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KEEPITSIMPLE_ 1/21/2013 11:42AM

    It's wonderful isn't it? And the homemade food from fresh is so very tasty, and clean. I am loving it too and it amazes me sometimes what I'm looking at when I prepare to batch cook. All of the colorful veggies that I used to turn my nose up at, and beans are amazing too. I never like them unless they were green and out of a can. I actually enjoy it now, and knowing it tastes much better than any other, and knowing what is going in our bodies is important. We are even going to try another veggie garden this spring, and we've plotted the spot, and cleared it over the weekend. I can't wait to pick our own to make more delicious meals.

Good for you, and I just learned something from you. I never saw your thread, but I never thought about re-freezing the beans once they are cooked. Great idea!

Keep it up!

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DIANE7786 1/21/2013 11:40AM

    I didn't always cook because I thought doing other things were more important. Since I committed to healthy eating cooking seems to be a creative outlet for me. Finding new to me fruits and veggies is fun because I never knew they tasted so good!

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CHERYL_ANNE 1/21/2013 11:40AM

    The title of your blog post called out to me. I love to cook and bake from scratch and am always excited to hear about other people who have gotten "bit" by the same bug!

Congratulations on discovering the joy in cooking, and in continuing on your journey to becoming the healthiest you can be!

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RONNIEHUEY 1/21/2013 11:33AM

    My sister is taking a series of cooking classes at her favorite kitchen store(kitchen fantasy)her home made dressings and sauces are to die for.she hunts the veggie aisles for fresh herbs.she blends cukes,peppers and parsley cilantro etc..and makes things you get all dreamy about.So yummy.I will never eat store bought dressing again.Have fun with your cooking

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ROSE-LITE 1/21/2013 11:22AM

  It is fun to cook! Proud of you!

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MYUTMOST4HIM 1/21/2013 11:21AM

    emoticon

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