Minka Kelly throws ''cooking parties'' for her friends.

The former 'Friday Night Lights' star has found the best use of her recipe books is to get a group of pals to all choose one or two dishes from the culinary guides and then try one another's creations.

She explained: ''We have a cookbook club where we pick a book and all of us make one dish from that book.

''When you buy a cookbook, you're probably only going to make one or two things from that book. So when you have six of your girlfriends and each of you picking one or two recipes from that book, you're going to try more of that book then you normally would.''

While Minka enjoys cooking, she admits she wouldn't dream of attempting to serve octopus to her guests because it seems so complicated to prepare.

She told People magazine: ''I have yet to attempt octopus. I'll eat it but I watched my girlfriend cook it and I had no idea what an intense process it is because it starts as the whole thing. I just can't do it.''

The 37-year-old actress usually keeps it simple when she lives alone because she admits she ''sort of lose[s] the inspiration to cook an extravagant meal'' and instead sticks to her go-to ''super boring and basic but super easy and good for you'' dish of salmon and broccoli.

However, that doesn't mean she always eats healthily because she enjoys tucking into a McDonald's Big Mac or a meal from Taco Bell, though she's learned how to balance out the calorific treats.

She admitted: ''I love fast food, it's really bad. But that's the truth. I'm not perfect

''I just try and make sure I'm drinking enough water [if I indulge]. I really subscribe to the adage of today's lack of energy is due to yesterday's lack of water. I really notice a difference when I'm drinking enough water, how much energy I have the next day. So I feel like if I do have a Big Mac, if I just drink so much water it's just going to wash it all out.

''I just enjoy my life and I enjoy food and I enjoy a glass of wine but I also try and balance it out and take breaks once in a while.''