My Story: Flavor Confessional

contributed by Alaina Alexander

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I was broke and dejected at my financial lot in life. I stared around at my sparsely furnished bedroom and just wanted to cry. How was I going to be able to afford to pay my deluxe Los Angeles rent and eat at the same time?

That's all I wanted was to be able to eat basic healthy meals while getting on my feet in the Glam Casual Capital of the world. Trying to have an active social life and new wardrobe were not even on my radar screen.

Each week, I trudged into the grocery store clutching my allotted $20 in search of nourishment and bargain prices. I spent fifteen dollars on food and the remaining five dollars on ancillary seasonings.

Five months later, I emerged from budgetary travails a much wiser cook. I realized that I am somewhat of a flavor fiend. In other words, I would rather eat a meal with too much of a seasoning than one that lacked it altogether.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of flavoring when you're broke:

  1. Red onions and garlic cloves are your friends. You can add them to most lunch and dinner meals.

  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a sacred cooking elixir. Use it as salad dressing, dipping sauce, and to sauté veggies.

  3. Oregano goes well on salads, pasta, sandwiches, etc.

  4. A little squeeze or zest from a lemon, lime or citrus fruit can wake up routine pasta dishes and salads.

The goal of flavor is to add a little something to your meal. Good usage of flavor can make you feel wealthy, even when your bank statement tells a different story!

Alaina Alexander is a contracts coordinator and freelance writer living in Los Angeles.

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