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I have 40 recipes in my queue and no time to try them

(post, Laura Parisi)

I eat so much better in the winter. That's the season when I have that elusive thing called "time." Time to make homemade stock. Time to try out fiddly recipes. Time to make three side dishes and a dessert for later. 

But just as the first asparagus spears and snap peas hit the stands of the farmers market, the quality of the food I eat exponentially drops. This is because spring heralds the beginning of Ultimate Frisbee season. This means: team practice twice a week. League play every week, sometimes twice. Pickup games at every turn. Since Tuesday, I've had one evening that WASN'T dedicated to playing my chosen sport. 

I practically go straight from work to the game or to practice, stopping at home only to pick up the dog. Occasionally (if there's time) I'll eat a pre-game slice of cheddar cheese and a handful of almonds. By the time we're done playing, it's after 9 PM and I am "hangry" (starving to the point of delirious ire). All I want to do is stuff my belly with greasy pub food as fast as humanly possible and go to sleep.

My CSA share has begun and I watch with horror as my greens age in the fridge. My garden is bursting with chard but I don't bother to harvest it. The flat of strawberries I intend to turn into a slew of jams and desserts gets mushy and moldy.

And you can't bring leftovers for lunch if you didn't cook anything the night before. So instead of eating a delicious, healthy, home-cooked midday meal, I am forced to venture out into the food void that is downtown Vancouver, Washington, in search of something vaguely edible. All of this eating out is taking a toll on my pocketbook, my arteries and my tastebuds.

Tonight, I have plans—to go home and cook. I will use up the leftover chicken from last week's non-Ultimate day and I will make enough chicken soup to feed me all week. I will sautee my overgrown chard in garlic and olive oil. I'll eat CSA beets and kale and garlic whistles. 

Most importantly, I will NOT scarf down an overcooked hamburger at a bar.

I will eat well.

Question of the day: How do you eat when you need to eat fast? I am open to suggestions.