Focus on food

I've become very focused on food in the last few years - fortunately on the quality rather than the quantity.
In the past, I have consumed predominantly processed foods including KFC, processed sausage and canned vegetables to name a few, although another popular addition was the health bar. This was despite being brought up on “meat and 3 veg” dinners as a child and having an excellent role model in both my mother and my grandmother who carried on the tradition of good cooking from their era including stews, soups, salads and mostly home-made cakes.
When I started cooking meals, my first attempts were based on Maggi Cook-in-the-pot meal bases - then I moved on to following recipes so I knew what was going into my food.
And that's where the real focus has been over the last few years. I have significantly changed the food that I eat by changing how I prepare my meals which has included growing some vegetables and reducing the use of processed foods.
So instead of buying baked beans in tins, now I cook navy beans and then puree tomatoes in my Thermomix before adding in and cooking the other ingredients along with the beans. An intermediate step in getting to this stage was to use tomato sauce but the Thermomix does such a great job of pureeing the tomatoes that the end product looks just like what I used to get in the supermarket, minus the can of course!
For breakfast I eat some diced fruit, a cooked grain such as rice, barley or quinoa along with some ground nuts and seeds.
Snacks might be home-made mini-muffins or some nuts and dried fruit.
Lunch is predominantly from my patio - lettuce, loose-leaf cabbage, celery stalks or beetroot leaves, snow peas or beans depending on the time of year, tomatoes if it's winter and not too cold (a story for another time) and a capsicum when available. I grow my own sprouts and pour over some fruit syrup that I make by pureeing the fruit and then cooking it with an equal quantity of sugar. And then I add either some cooked chick peas, baked beans or else other beans that I've cooked. Sometimes I might not have enough for lunch so I supplement with some chopped broccoli or zucchini that I've purchased.
Dinner could be a stir-fry or steamed veges with rice, or else I might make up a soup or an indian curry with indian fried rice so I can have some now and freeze the rest for another time.
It might sound like I'm vegetarian and I am sympathetic to it, partly because of the treatment that the animals get but mostly because animals consume far more grain and significant amounts of water to provide a far smaller quantity of meat for consumption. In my home, I am close to being vegetarian. I might have an occasional tin of tuna or frozen fillet of fish, both sustainably fished. I rarely buy milk now for use at home, instead making cashew milk if I really feel like a cappuccino when I'm at home or if a recipe calls for cream or milk. However, I do buy a cappuccino when I'm out but sometimes visit a couple of whole food stores that use rice milk and other non-dairy variations. Plus I'm extremely fortunate that a friend of the family has chooks and is able to pass on free-range organic eggs.
It's an interesting journey because I'm constantly looking for steps in the process that I can take over and do myself rather than purchase the end product off a shelf.

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