What do I do with … is a new series of blog posts I am writing that I hope will help you add some healthyish meals to your routine. I say healthyish because I’ll be working with ingredients that a lot of people in the nutritional world may snub their nose at — canned things, almost bad produce, hot dogs, etc.

I’m writing this because I have a culinary arts degree, I have to justify my student loan debt. That’s why I feel like I can write these features, but there’s something more.

I am a long-time resident of Title I communities. Title I schools are by definition: “Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.

Basically, I have lived and currently live in poor, sometimes rural areas, in which some people have limited food resources. While some affluant neighbors drive an hour away to get the super cool groceries, others — like myself — rely on the one grocery store in town and sometimes get help from outside resources like the local food pantry, food stamps, or school programs that send kids home with food for the weekend.

In West Virginia, my kids received food bags every weekend to eat. Sometimes, we didn’t need the food. But there were times — like when an unexpected expense came — when we really counted on the bags of oatmeal, and boxes of mac and cheese and raisins.

Sometimes, I looked at the food options and thought, “What am I going to make with this?” With the What do I do with …¬†series, I hope to demystify some of these foods and give you options that can work with your budget. I will, as best as possible, provide wholesome and maybe even healthy meals.

I plan on providing my own recipes as well as adaptation from other resources.

Tomorrow, we’ll kick off the series with a look at broccoli.