Guest Blogger

Linda Watson

Linda Watson

Do you want to eat like it matters but think you can't afford to? Linda Watson shows you how in Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet--All on $5 a Day or Less. Visit her Cook for Good website for free recipes, videos, and tips. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to her free weekly newsletter with recipes and food news.

Linda is a cook and researcher who started the Cook for Good project in the summer of 2007. She and her husband Bruce lived on variations of the Food Stamp Challenge diet for over three months, beginning and ending with a week of $1 meals. For two months they kept under the actual food-stamp allowance in their home state of North Carolina, which was then $1.53 a meal. The final month, they followed the thrifty menu from the previous month but ate nearly all organic, locally grown foods. Amazingly, those "green" meals averaged just under $2 per person.

After a rough start learning how to cook all their food from scratch, Linda found a way to make most of their food for a week in just two cooking sessions that last about 5 hours total. The results were so good results were so good and had so many positive other benefits that they've never gone back. Linda continues to track prices and tune the program, so in May 2010 the average thrifty meal cost just $1.18 and the average green meal cost $1.83 per person.

Linda may be the only person in the world who is a member of both the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the Project Management Institute. Her background in project management and procedures writing helps her write and test recipes and optimize shopping lists and cooking plans. She's taught cooking classes in seven states in a wide range of venues, from Whole Foods, Slow Foods, and co-ops to food banks and clinics. She gives cooking demonstrations at farmers' markets and speaks to groups who are interested in losing weight, cooking great food, raising healthy children, controlling their expenses, and reducing their impact on the planet.


Blog Posts by Linda Watson

  • Capture the Last Bits of Value in a Compost Bucket

    Wildly Affordable Organic Kitchen Containers: Capture the Last Bits of Value in a Compost Bucket

    As an organic gardener, I’ve read more tributes to the healing power of compost than a person should in a lifetime. Compost heals the soil! It keeps valuable, soil-building material out of the landfill! A compost pile that is so hot that it steams is virtuous and sexy.

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  • Freeze Your Scraps for a Free Lunch

    Wildly Affordable Organic Kitchen Containers: Freeze Your Scraps for a Free Lunch

    Are you throwing perfectly good food into the trash? Or worse yet, letting it molder in plastic tubs before you throw it way? In today’s post on kitchen containers, learn to set up and use a Stoup container to turn your scraps into a free lunch. This stew-soup is a core Wildly Affordable Organic meal.

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  • Start a Broth Jar to Collect Free Broth

    Wildly Affordable Organic Kitchen Containers: Start a Broth Jar to Collect Free Broth

    Are you pouring valuable broth down the drain? Most cooks do, then pay eleven cents or more an ounce for broth from a factory! In today’s post on kitchen containers, learn to set up and use a broth jar to capture that liquid gold. You’ll add flavor and nutrition to your meals and reduce your […]

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  • Make Produce Spray for Just 10 Cents a Bottle

    Wildly Affordable Organic Kitchen Containers: Make Produce Spray for Just 10 Cents a Bottle

    In this week of blog posts, learn about five key kitchen containers that will save time and money, making it easy to live the Wildly Affordable Organic Way. Yesterday, we used home-made ice packs to keep food cool on the way home from the market. Today, fill a spray bottle with a home-made produce spray […]

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  • Make a No-Cost Ice Pack to Keep Produce Safe and Fresh

    Wildly Affordable Organic Kitchen Containers: Make a No-Cost Ice Pack to Keep Produce Safe and Fresh

    I love walking into a kitchen and seeing signs that people are cooking the Wildly Affordable Organic way. A food scale on the counter, measuring cups in the canisters, and plenty of pure ingredients for scratch cooking: beans, rice, flour, fruit, and vegetables. Looking a little further, I might spot some of the five key […]

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  • Vegetarian Un-Baked Beans

    Vegetarian Un-Baked Beans

    Most recipes for baked beans use pork for flavor and long slow cooking to thicken the sauce. After talking about the physics of baking with my Taster, who is an engineer as well as a patient man, I tried to capture the creamy richness of baked beans faster and with less work. The quick and […]

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  • High-Protein Desserts

    High-Protein Desserts

    Oh, the glories of summer tomatoes, corn, peppers, and berries! Sometimes, I just want to eat a big salad for dinner. That’s where high-protein desserts like today’s recipe for Blueberry Clafoutis come in handy. It’s a great way to get your family to eat fruit and eggs. We have it for dinner one night and […]

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  • Improving Recipes

    Improving Recipes

    I’ve been reworking recipes to make them more local this month, which got me thinking about ways to improve recipes in general. Get tips below and try the tasty example: Butterbean Hummus. When you cook the fresh beans of summer for succotash, cook extra to make hummus.

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  • Freezing Peppers without Frustration

    Freezing Peppers without Frustration

    Looking for a way to save money, eat well, and make a difference to your community? Cook real food from scratch and pick local, sustainable ingredients whenever possible. This month, I’m joining people across the country as we try to see how local we can go.

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  • How Local Should We Go?

    How Local Should We Go?

    How much local should we aim for? Barbara Kingsolver describes in her captivating book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle how her family went nearly 100% local for a year. Here in North Carolina, there’s a movement to get everyone to go just 10% local. The shift helps community farms thrive, making fresh, healthy food more available and […]

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