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#1 Sep 20 2012 at 6:51 PM Rating: Good
I'm looking for some cheap easy meals. Stuff that can be made without a lot of ingredients, prep time, or utensils. Basically, college food.

Right now my favorite thing to make has been some stir fry, just because of how flexible it is. You can saute almost any veggie with some pepper and soy sauce and serve over some boil-in-the-bag rice for a pretty easy dinner. Makes extra for the next night, too. Protein of choice is chicken, but I just made a tofu one too and it's not bad at all.

Now if I could just get my roommates to clean their f*cking dishes out of the sink.
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#2 Sep 20 2012 at 8:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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Buy a rice cooker for like $30. You don't need all the fancy buttons, I use one that just has Cook/Warm/Off.

Add
• 1 cup of rice
• 2 cups water
• cut up chunks of meat or 1 can of red/black beans or your tofu
• a cup or two of vegetables that taste okay even when they're stewed thoroughly (spinach, carrots, peas, green beans, cauliflower). Fresh or frozen.
• then add a little extra water depending on how much stuff you've added. (The first 2 cups is for the 1 cup rice to absorb.)
• salt + whatever seasonings you like
• press Cook. Wait like 25 minutes. Makes 2 meals' worth. Add a splash of water to the rice when you microwave it the next day, or it will get hard and dried out.

Admittedly, this will not taste as good as stir fry, but it's @#%^ing easy and cheap and healthy.


Edited, Sep 20th 2012 10:10pm by trickybeck
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#3 Sep 20 2012 at 8:58 PM Rating: Good
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Hamburger helper. If you've got the metabolism of a squirrel, use sausage in a tube for extra flavor. Otherwise, stick with lean ground beef. Sinks in your stomach and stays there for many hours. Calorie dense. If you use the sausage, costs less than four dollars for four meal's worth of food.
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#4 Sep 20 2012 at 9:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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My favorite college recipie: Pan "fried" chicken
Ingrediants:
boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp sage
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp seasoning salt
2 tsp grated parmisian cheese

Directions: place a saucepan on the stove at medium heat and let warm up for 2 minutes. Edit: Do not place any oil or butter in the pan. Combine all the dry ingrediants in a plastic bag, shake them up to mix, then place a chicken breast inside and coat it by shaking. Remove the chicken brest and put it in the pan for 5-6 minutes until the flour turns brown and crispy and the chicken looks half done. Do not move it around or anything until you are ready to flip it. Then, flip the chicken and cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes or until it is done too. Then remove the chicken. At this point you can take it one step further and make a sauce too

Chicken sauce from pan:
Ingrediants:
2 Tbsp butter
about 2 Tbsp of the leftover flour seasoning mix
Some milk or whipping cream
extra seasonings to taste
Some diced cheese if you are feeling adventurous or want something cheesy tasting with the chicken

Using the pan you just removed the chicken from, add the butter and let it melt. add the flour, and stir them together into kind of a paste. Ideally you want the butter to have juuust started to brown, but not burned. Once you have your paste, start adding milk slowly. About 1-2 cups should be good, depending on how much sauce you want. If you are adding cheese cubes (swiss or chedder both work well for this) add them slowly as you stirr while adding a bit more milk. If you make it too thin, cook it longer. if you make it too thick, add more milk. Then make some noodles or some rice to go with it, and instant 1 pan college meal that requires minimum clean up and about 15 minutes total to prepare.

Edited, Sep 20th 2012 8:21pm by Kaolian
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#5 Sep 20 2012 at 9:35 PM Rating: Good
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I know summer is fading away, but pasta salad is always good, easy to make in bulk, and keeps for a while in the fridge. The last couple times I've made it I kept it simple: tri-color rotini noodles (can substitute just regular noodles, even cheaper), a bottle of Italian dressing, and some broccoli and cauliflower. You can substitute/add any veggies you'd like. It should keep at least a week in the fridge (just undercook the noodles a bit because they will soften).
#6 Sep 20 2012 at 9:43 PM Rating: Good
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All of those are too complicated - here's an easy one:

Cook 1lb. ground beef and add taco seasoning.
Add a can of tomato paste.
Add a can of diced tomatoes.
Mix.
Spread crescent roll dough on the bottom of a deep oven safe pan.
Spread meat mixture evenly in pan.
Add sour cream and spread evenly.
Add 1cup cheddar cheese and spread evenly.
Crunch up 3/4 of a bag of Doritos chips and spread evenly.
Bake at 350 for 30min.

Edit: forgot about sour cream

Edited, Sep 21st 2012 2:51am by ieatmice
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#7 Sep 20 2012 at 11:00 PM Rating: Good
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Um, boiling noodles and slathering them with salad dressing isn't near as complicated as whatever pile of barf you are trying to create there. No offense.
#8 Sep 21 2012 at 12:34 AM Rating: Good
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I'm going to try making a Frito pie pizza next week. In honor of that, here's a nice and lazy chili recipe.

1 - Can of tomatoes(I prefer diced with chile)
1 - Pound of meat(ground or stew style, beef or turkey are my preferences, but you can use anything)
1/2 - Onion, diced
3 - Cans of beans(I like any combo of Chickpeas/Great Northern/Pinto/Kidney Beans)
Cumin
Chili powder
Salt
Oil

Sweat onion. Add meat; brown. Add in a dash of cumin and chili powder. Add tomatoes(liquid and all). Allow to cook on a light simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add beans(rinse before adding). Simmer for a few minutes. Salt to taste.


Even easier chili:
2 large cans of ranch style beans
Ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning.

Brown meat. Add beans. Add seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes.
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#9 Sep 21 2012 at 3:32 AM Rating: Good
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I feel you guys are being a little overly specific. I'll jsut provide some very generalized ideas.

-Vegetable soup. For the amount of nutrition you're able to pack into this, it's hugely time efficient. You're limited by the number and size of cooking vessels and storage containers you have.

Choose a soup base. I prefer tomato based soups so I'd often use a low sodium V8 for the base. Other tomato-based alternatives include canned tomato soup or a canned tomato puree. If you do not like tomatoes then you can used a stock such as chicken stock.

For vegetables you can choose between fresh or frozen. with fresh you'll spend time cutting, but save on cost. With frozen you're incredibly lazy, and will pay more for it. I typically like to use celery, potatoes, carrots, garlic, and spinach. Mix it up based on mood.

With just one pasta pot, you can probably make 2 gallons of soup. The benefit of soup is in economy of scale. If I felt like eating soup all the time, I could probably spend about 2 hours one day to feed myself for the entire week.

-Stir fry. I did this too, but I started to find that the extra work of sauteing wasn't worth it for myself. I'd boil the vegetables in a pot along with some frozen shrimp, cook the trice in another pot. Throw some sauce on top of that and be done with very little effort. Alternatively you can cook the vegetables and meat in a curry sauce.



What I learned very quickly at college is that cooking for one is entirely stupid, and should be avoided whenever possible. If you can eat it as leftovers, cook for four. Buy a 10 pound bag of rice. Consider negotiating cooking days with your roommates if you can stand what they make.

#10 Sep 21 2012 at 4:04 AM Rating: Good
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#11 Sep 21 2012 at 9:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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trickybeck wrote:
Buy a rice cooker for like $30. You don't need all the fancy buttons, I use one that just has Cook/Warm/Off.


I wouldn't have made it through college without my rice cooker. Add rice and anything that's edible after steaming. Add water, push the button down, and come back in like 15 min for a full meal. Get one with a no-stick surface (do they even make them without it anymore?) and cleaning takes all of 10 seconds.
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#12 Sep 21 2012 at 9:17 AM Rating: Good
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Cook pasta in chicken/beef/vegetable broth. Done.
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#13 Sep 21 2012 at 9:51 AM Rating: Good
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http://imgur.com/a/41Xcz

http://imgur.com/a/25v1e


/r/cooking ftw.
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#14 Sep 21 2012 at 10:01 AM Rating: Good
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You can make a decent faux bibim-bab with rice, ground meat, spinich, egg, shaved carrots and liberal sriachi usage. Put things in pan with a bit of oil or butter, bit of crushed garlic too. You can make a ton and it'll keep. If you prefer raw egg, crack that over it at the end before you stir it up.
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#15 Sep 21 2012 at 10:03 AM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
trickybeck wrote:
Buy a rice cooker for like $30. You don't need all the fancy buttons, I use one that just has Cook/Warm/Off.


I wouldn't have made it through college without my rice cooker. Add rice and anything that's edible after steaming. Add water, push the button down, and come back in like 15 min for a full meal. Get one with a no-stick surface (do they even make them without it anymore?) and cleaning takes all of 10 seconds.


I can't believe that I went as long as I did without having a rice cooker..
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#16 Sep 21 2012 at 5:10 PM Rating: Good
Yes, get a rice cooker. Here's one of my staples.

  • 1 cup brown rice + 1.75 cups of water in the rice cooker, Takes about 30-35 minutes
  • Bake marinaded chicken at 350 degrees for 25 minutes
  • Boil vegetable of choice for 5 minutes or so. I like broccoli or zucchini and summer squash. Or asparagus: put it in a long flat tupperware thingy with about half an inch of water, cover and microwave for 3 minutes. Season with Cajun seasoning and/or chili powder.

I get four meals out of this.

Another easy one is pasta with ground turkey or sausage.
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#17 Sep 21 2012 at 6:29 PM Rating: Decent
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I get the ease of use, but is rice really so difficult to cook? All you really need is a small saucepan (one with a glass lid is best). The added benefit (aside from cost savings) is that you can cook other stuff in the pan when not making rice. It takes a bit more practice, but it's not that hard.

I'll also agree that cooking for one (ie: single servings) is pretty useless if not nearly impossible. Assuming you can stand to eat the same meal several times in a row (or can share cooking duties/costs with roommates), it's better to cook food in the usual 4-6 servings sizes and then reheat for future meals. I've also found that if you're making anything with rice or pasta, if you can keep the two parts separate, you should. This adds to the volume of the meal, while keeping the portion you're reheating smaller. For example, instead of making a big pot of spaghetti sauce and pasta and dumping that into a bowl, just make the sauce, and then cook the pasta in single serving amounts as needed (and put sauce over that and reheat). There's a pretty endless variety of rice and pasta dishes you can make using this concept. Bonus is that the rice/pasta doesn't dry out or turn to mush since you're making that fresh at each meal.

One super ridiculously easy example: Chicken Picante. Take one container of chicken breast tenders/whatever (usually come 4 or 5 to a package). Brown chicken in a pan with a small amount of oil. Dump jar of picante sauce over chicken and cover the pan. Let that bubble on simmer for 10-15 minutes while you cook a serving of rice. Pour one chicken part and an portion of sauce over the rice. Enjoy!


You can also take a gander at some of the recipes on campbells soup cans (or their web site) for all sorts of relatively easy meals to make. Some are more cost effective than others (and some easier than others), but you should be able to find some that work for you.


As you get more comfortable cooking it doesn't hurt to buy an actual cookbook and then start experimenting with some of the recipes. You might be surprised at how much easier some of those meals are than they look at first. Especially important is learning how to make various sauces out of base ingredients. I've just found that the pattern of "sauce over protein/veggies over rice/pasta" is a pretty solid one that you can use in a lot of ways, and if you can make the sauce from scratch, it's a **** of a lot less expensive than buying something pre-made.


Another key concept is introducing "fillers" to your meals. For example, you decide to make a big pot of chile (which is relatively easy to make with a huge varieties of recipes out there). It's something you can store and reheat and eat as desired, so it works pretty well. But a single bowl might not be enough for a meal, so you'll be tempted to eat two, which cuts in half the number of meals you'll get. So make something that goes great with chile: Cornbread. Sounds hard, right? Nope. It's super easy and ridiculously cheap for the volume that results.

Fillers are anything you make on the side that goes well with the main dish. This could be some form of bread, or a salad, or whatever. ****. Stick some crackers on the side of your plate, a few pieces of fruit, anything. When cooking on a budget, think in terms of which parts of the meal are the most expensive and which are the least expensive. Try to stretch the more expensive components across more of the less expensive components. This is really just an extension of the "put something over rice or pasta" idea I mentioned earlier.


Also, while this may not be your initial goal, you'll also find that for the most part buying base ingredients and cooking stuff from scratch is not only less expensive than buying pre-packaged food, it's also a **** of a lot better tasting *and* better for you. Yes, you could simply stock up on stacks of cheap microwave dinners or top ramen, but trust me, your insides will thank you years from now if you don't do that. How far you take this is up to you, but it's never a bad idea to learn how to cook, and the more you do it the more you'll find it's really not that hard (and that stuff is a lot less expensive than you thought). I have a friend who makes his own bread from scratch, his own pasta from scratch, pretty much everything. The flavor difference alone between a store bought ravioli and one you made and stuffed yourself is pretty much night and day, for example. The fact that it's cheaper is just icing on the top.
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#18 Sep 21 2012 at 6:49 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I get the ease of use, but is rice really so difficult to cook? All you really need is a small saucepan (one with a glass lid is best). The added benefit (aside from cost savings) is that you can cook other stuff in the pan when not making rice. It takes a bit more practice, but it's not that hard.

I'll also agree that cooking for one (ie: single servings) is pretty useless if not nearly impossible. Assuming you can stand to eat the same meal several times in a row (or can share cooking duties/costs with roommates), it's better to cook food in the usual 4-6 servings sizes and then reheat for future meals. I've also found that if you're making anything with rice or pasta, if you can keep the two parts separate, you should. This adds to the volume of the meal, while keeping the portion you're reheating smaller. For example, instead of making a big pot of spaghetti sauce and pasta and dumping that into a bowl, just make the sauce, and then cook the pasta in single serving amounts as needed (and put sauce over that and reheat). There's a pretty endless variety of rice and pasta dishes you can make using this concept. Bonus is that the rice/pasta doesn't dry out or turn to mush since you're making that fresh at each meal.

One super ridiculously easy example: Chicken Picante. Take one container of chicken breast tenders/whatever (usually come 4 or 5 to a package). Brown chicken in a pan with a small amount of oil. Dump jar of picante sauce over chicken and cover the pan. Let that bubble on simmer for 10-15 minutes while you cook a serving of rice. Pour one chicken part and an portion of sauce over the rice. Enjoy!


You can also take a gander at some of the recipes on campbells soup cans (or their web site) for all sorts of relatively easy meals to make. Some are more cost effective than others (and some easier than others), but you should be able to find some that work for you.

Screenshot


As you get more comfortable cooking it doesn't hurt to buy an actual cookbook and then start experimenting with some of the recipes. You might be surprised at how much easier some of those meals are than they look at first. Especially important is learning how to make various sauces out of base ingredients. I've just found that the pattern of "sauce over protein/veggies over rice/pasta" is a pretty solid one that you can use in a lot of ways, and if you can make the sauce from scratch, it's a **** of a lot less expensive than buying something pre-made.


Another key concept is introducing "fillers" to your meals. For example, you decide to make a big pot of chile (which is relatively easy to make with a huge varieties of recipes out there). It's something you can store and reheat and eat as desired, so it works pretty well. But a single bowl might not be enough for a meal, so you'll be tempted to eat two, which cuts in half the number of meals you'll get. So make something that goes great with chile: Cornbread. Sounds hard, right? Nope. It's super easy and ridiculously cheap for the volume that results.

Fillers are anything you make on the side that goes well with the main dish. This could be some form of bread, or a salad, or whatever. ****. Stick some crackers on the side of your plate, a few pieces of fruit, anything. When cooking on a budget, think in terms of which parts of the meal are the most expensive and which are the least expensive. Try to stretch the more expensive components across more of the less expensive components. This is really just an extension of the "put something over rice or pasta" idea I mentioned earlier.


Also, while this may not be your initial goal, you'll also find that for the most part buying base ingredients and cooking stuff from scratch is not only less expensive than buying pre-packaged food, it's also a **** of a lot better tasting *and* better for you. Yes, you could simply stock up on stacks of cheap microwave dinners or top ramen, but trust me, your insides will thank you years from now if you don't do that. How far you take this is up to you, but it's never a bad idea to learn how to cook, and the more you do it the more you'll find it's really not that hard (and that stuff is a lot less expensive than you thought). I have a friend who makes his own bread from scratch, his own pasta from scratch, pretty much everything. The flavor difference alone between a store bought ravioli and one you made and stuffed yourself is pretty much night and day, for example. The fact that it's cheaper is just icing on the top.


Sorry, couldn't resist. Anyway the point of the rice cooker is not really the difficulty, it's the set and forget convenience. While the rice is cooking by itself you can prepare the rest of your food. ****, I had to run out to the store to get some items I missed and left the cooking running.

Since it goes from cooking to keeping it warm I don't have to worry about it burning itself or the house down. The same can't be said for stove top rice preparation, but of course you can just turn it off before you walk away.

Edited, Sep 21st 2012 8:50pm by Shaowstrike
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#19 Sep 21 2012 at 7:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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There's always chili mac too! 1 box macaroni and cheese, make the noodles, brown some hamburger drain it well, toss that in with the noodles, then do the cheese sauce thing and add seasoning salt to taste! Or you can take some ground meat of any sort (cow works, or turkey or chicken, etc) and brown it in a pan, then put some 1Tbsp butter in, melt it, do the flour and milk thing, add some seasonings, then make some microwave instant mashed potatos and pour the stuff over it. or some toast. or something along those lines. Rice too.

another really easy recipie if you like fish is salmon. Buy a small 1 person chunk of salmon. Put a small pat of butter on top. sprinkle some basil flakes on it, put it in a glass pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes depending on the size. just until it is light pink and flakey cooked through, but before it starts turning dark red and dry.
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#20 Sep 21 2012 at 7:47 PM Rating: Decent
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Hey. I'm the guy who had to replace his fire alarm because I forgot to turn the heat down on the rice once, so I totally get it (who knew the darn thing was wired into the house power). I'm just thinking that for someone on a budget, maybe learning to do it the old fashioned way isn't a bad idea. It's just such a staple food that learning to cook it absent specialized equipment is a good skill to have. Also, depending on the size of the kitchen you have (and how much cupboard space), adding an extra appliance with relatively limited application can be a tough choice.


Not saying it's not a great tool. Just saying that it's not necessary to cook rice. In the grand question of "how necessary is this kitchen appliance?", I'd put blenders, mixers, toasters, microwaves (does that even count as an optional appliance anymore?), and food processors (oh, and coffee maker, if you're a coffee drinker) ahead of a rice cooker. The amount of effort and skill required to replace any of those is pretty significant (although I don't own a food processor because I apparently really like chopping stuff). But yeah, in terms of just making something super easy, a rice cooker is a really useful tool.
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#21 Sep 21 2012 at 7:53 PM Rating: Decent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
another really easy recipie if you like fish is salmon. Buy a small 1 person chunk of salmon. Put a small pat of butter on top. sprinkle some basil flakes on it, put it in a glass pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes depending on the size. just until it is light pink and flakey cooked through, but before it starts turning dark red and dry.


Mmmmm... Salmon. I've done a few variations of butter/basil on salmon, and you pretty much can't ***** it up. Pan fried, broiled, baked. It's all good. Stir into pieces in a bowl of rice (with whatever veggies you want), and you've got a super easy (and pretty healthy) meal. I suppose you can get frozen salmon relatively cheap (but still not "starving college student" cheap), but I hate to use non-fresh ingredients if I'm going to the trouble of cooking something.
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#22 Sep 21 2012 at 8:26 PM Rating: Good
Guys, thanks. Seriously. I wasn't expecting a response anything like this.

Going to the store tomorrow, I'll hopefully have some stuff planned and ready to go on a list.
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#23 Sep 24 2012 at 12:58 AM Rating: Good
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Here's a 20 minute or so video that will provide a cooking technique that will allow for making numerous flavorful dishes in a really simple and fairly quick way.
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#24 Sep 24 2012 at 7:53 AM Rating: Decent
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I cant say it's really quick but it can be good.
2 large chicken ******* (No bones)
1 16 oz. Jar or can of your favorite hot sauce. (I like mine Really hot)
1 cup of rice. (Minute rice bag is nice)
1 small can of your favor ire vegetable

Thaw the ******* if you have them frozen. Place in a Cornell or similar cooking dish. Open the jar/can of
hot sauce and pour it over the chicken. Cover with tin foil and bake for 40-45 min or until cooked through.
Take the rice and cook it till ready. Microwave or cook your favorite vegetables. When the chicken and
hot sauce is done. Place the ******* on a bed of rice and then pour the remaining sauce over it.
Serve with the Vegetables.
Enjoy!

Note: you can also cook the chicken with one can of cream of mushroom soup instead of hot sauce. (Do not add water!
the juice from the chicken will be enough for the mix. If you add water to it the taste is gone)
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#25 Sep 24 2012 at 8:20 AM Rating: Good
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So basically what you're all saying is that in order to eat cheap and easy, the only option is rice?
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#26 Sep 24 2012 at 9:59 AM Rating: Decent
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Buy a slow cooker, you can get them cheap. Throw random foodstuffs in it with some water/broth, go to class, come home to food. Awesome for getting rid of leftovers. You can cook just about anything in a slow cooker.
#27 Sep 24 2012 at 10:17 AM Rating: Good
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trickybeck wrote:
Buy a rice cooker for like $30. You don't need all the fancy buttons, I use one that just has Cook/Warm/Off.

Add
• 1 cup of rice
• 2 cups water
• cut up chunks of meat or 1 can of red/black beans or your tofu
• a cup or two of vegetables that taste okay even when they're stewed thoroughly (spinach, carrots, peas, green beans, cauliflower). Fresh or frozen.
• then add a little extra water depending on how much stuff you've added. (The first 2 cups is for the 1 cup rice to absorb.)
• salt + whatever seasonings you like
• press Cook. Wait like 25 minutes. Makes 2 meals' worth. Add a splash of water to the rice when you microwave it the next day, or it will get hard and dried out.

Admittedly, this will not taste as good as stir fry, but it's @#%^ing easy and cheap and healthy.


Edited, Sep 20th 2012 10:10pm by trickybeck


I do something like this all the time. I substitute broth for the water. And I'll also add in half a teaspoon of sesame oil or a dollop of butter. Sambal oelek on the top for the spiciness. When I re-heat, I don't add water. I usually cover with a paper towel or warm up in a covered microwaveable dish as the steam from the meat and veggies tends to keep the rice moist.

Fried rice is also very easy to make with any leftover rice you have. I typically mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, a bit of oil, garlic, Chinese 5 spice and red pepper flakes (don't ask for measurements, I always go with taste). Scramble an egg, saute diced onion of your choice, add in the veggies, throw in the rice, mix it up, pour over the soy sauce mixture, mix well, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then eat.

Pasta or noodles are another cheap easy dinner option. I usually slice up Italian sausages, tomatoes and other vegetables. Fry them all together and toss with angel hair pasta, spaghetti or linguine. Pasta carbonara is another easy recipe: Boil up spaghetti to al dente and drain, saving about half a cup of the pasta water. Fry some bacon (I use pancetta but you're looking for cheap and easy so bacon is a good substitute). Add some garlic and saute for another minute. Add the drained spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat a couple of eggs and Parmesan or mozzarella cheese (I use Parmesan and you can even use the dried stuff that comes out of the bottle) together in a mixing bowl. Mix well so you don't have lumps. Remove the pan that has the bacon and spaghetti from the heat and drizzle the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, and toss the pasta quickly and thoroughly. This coats the pasta and the eggs get cooked from the warmth of the bacon and spaghetti. Thin out the sauce with a bit of the pasta water. Add pepper (and salt if you're inclined but the bacon usually has enough). I top with parsley.

Asian noodle dishes: I do the same thing as fried rice. While I'm sauteing the eggs, protein, veggies, I'll boil up the noodles (you can even use ramen noodles that all college students use). Same seasonings, but you could substitute the Chinese 5 spice for whatever spice packet you get with the ramen noodles. Use a tiny amount of soy sauce since those spice packets are loaded with sodium to begin with. Toss and serve.

Casseroles are another easy way to have cheap food. I usually make a noodle or rice casserole: Chicken and rice, tuna noodle, lasagna.

Also, get a crock pot. Big hunks of cheap meat can be tenderized and softened in a slow cooker. Easy thing is take a pot roast and half a bottle of of BBQ sauce, throw in the pot and slow cook for about 6 hours. You'll have meat for days.
#28 Sep 24 2012 at 12:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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another really easy recipie if you like fish is salmon. Buy a small 1 person chunk of salmon. Put a small pat of butter on top. sprinkle some basil flakes on it, put it in a glass pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes depending on the size. just until it is light pink and flakey cooked through, but before it starts turning dark red and dry.


Mmmmm... Salmon. I've done a few variations of butter/basil on salmon, and you pretty much can't ***** it up. Pan fried, broiled, baked. It's all good. Stir into pieces in a bowl of rice (with whatever veggies you want), and you've got a super easy (and pretty healthy) meal. I suppose you can get frozen salmon relatively cheap (but still not "starving college student" cheap), but I hate to use non-fresh ingredients if I'm going to the trouble of cooking something.

If you like Salmon I recommend you look into steel head trout. Similar fish, but I believe it can be farmed in a sustainable way.
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#29 Sep 24 2012 at 2:48 PM Rating: Good
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Thumbelyna wrote:
Also, get a crock pot.


As hypocritical as this may sound given my earlier posts about rice cookers, I have to second this. I don't think it's necessary for "starving college student" cooking, but it sure does allow for a bunch of easy and delicious (and cheap) meals.

Quote:
Big hunks of cheap meat can be tenderized and softened in a slow cooker. Easy thing is take a pot roast and half a bottle of of BBQ sauce, throw in the pot and slow cook for about 6 hours. You'll have meat for days.


Or do the same thing with pork loin. Smiley: drool
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#30 Sep 24 2012 at 3:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Thumbelyna wrote:
Also, get a crock pot.


As hypocritical as this may sound given my earlier posts about rice cookers, I have to second this. I don't think it's necessary for "starving college student" cooking, but it sure does allow for a bunch of easy and delicious (and cheap) meals.


I'd put it this way; ask yourself which of these is you:

a) I'll be hungry after I get back from class and it'd be nice to have something to eat.

b) I'm hungry; where's food?

If you answered 'a' get the crock pot. It's really much more versatile and there's a billion recipes on the internet. You'll eat quite well and cheaply.

If you answered 'b' you'll rarely make use of a crock pot. The rice cooker is probably your only chance of not blowing all your money on fast food and hot pockets.




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#31 Sep 24 2012 at 3:10 PM Rating: Decent
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Yeah. I was thinking (in both cases) in terms of cost. Both devices can be replaced with normal cookware. They make certain dishes easier to manage (in some cases much easier), but are not strictly speaking necessary. So for someone with limited finances and/or space, it's a luxury.
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#32 Sep 24 2012 at 3:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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Was just thinking that any of the above were in the price range when I was in college. The biggest concerns I had were how many dishes I was going to have to wash (especially when living in the dorm and having to use the bathroom sink!), and whether or not I could do something else while stuff was cooking. In dorms especially having a stove wasn't even an option.
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#33 Sep 24 2012 at 3:36 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
Was just thinking that any of the above were in the price range when I was in college. The biggest concerns I had were how many dishes I was going to have to wash (especially when living in the dorm and having to use the bathroom sink!), and whether or not I could do something else while stuff was cooking. In dorms especially having a stove wasn't even an option.


Huh. Wasn't thinking specifically of dorm rooms. In that case, yeah. Anything electric that allows you to cook will work. Of course, you'd have to also have a mini fridge to store left overs (or any fresh stuff you're using in the first place), or a lot of the cost savings wont work. The whole scenario gets a bit tricky I suppose.
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#34 Sep 25 2012 at 4:52 PM Rating: Good
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Chili- ground meat (turkey, chicken, beef) cumin, garlic, chili pepper, tomato paste, chili beans. Cracker or cheese or both.

Bake a potato and add broccoli with cheese, or cottage cheese and salsa

Any kind of noodles with cheese and veggies (covers all bases).

Scrambled eggs with salsa in a tortilla

Canned salmon over bagged greens with onions, or cucumber or tomato or all and dressing

I could go on for days...
#35 Sep 27 2012 at 3:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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Go to a friends house, raid fridge,
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#36 Sep 27 2012 at 4:57 AM Rating: Good
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Eggs and tuna. Cheap and lots of protein!
#37 Sep 29 2012 at 3:06 AM Rating: Default
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I am not a good sheaf and i don't know how can i make any dish so anyone can tell me that how can we make any dish only vegetarian but..?
#38 Sep 29 2012 at 11:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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mrp2121 wrote:
I am not a good sheaf and i don't know how can i make any dish so anyone can tell me that how can we make any dish only vegetarian but..?
Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?
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#39 Sep 29 2012 at 2:31 PM Rating: Good
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smunks wrote:
Eggs and tuna. Cheap and lots of protein!


Canned tuna is foul.
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#40 Sep 29 2012 at 3:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Timelordwho wrote:
smunks wrote:
Eggs and tuna. Cheap and lots of protein!


Canned tuna is foul.
Canned chicken is fowl.

Edited, Sep 29th 2012 5:11pm by Spoonless
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#41 Sep 29 2012 at 5:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Spoonless wrote:
mrp2121 wrote:
I am not a good sheaf and i don't know how can i make any dish so anyone can tell me that how can we make any dish only vegetarian but..?
Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

how i mine for fish?
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#42 Sep 29 2012 at 6:00 PM Rating: Good
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mrp2121 wrote:
I am not a good sheaf and i don't know how can i make any dish so anyone can tell me that how can we make any dish only vegetarian but..?

Don't use meat?
#43 Sep 29 2012 at 9:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Alfredo and Penne alla Vodka are pretty easy to make. Just make the appropriate pasta, very slightly less cooked than what you want, and throw it in a pan with the sauce. And unlike Marinara/Tomato sauce, canned versions of the sauce aren't some horrible travesty.

Also, both of them go very well with some simple pan fried chicken cutlets. Just toss some salt, pepper, and garlic on 'em before or as you're cooking them.

Edited, Sep 29th 2012 11:07pm by Deadgye
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#44 Sep 29 2012 at 10:39 PM Rating: Good
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Deadgye wrote:
Alfredo and Penne alla Vodka are pretty easy to make. Just make the appropriate pasta, very slightly less cooked than what you want, and throw it in a pan with the sauce. And unlike Marinara/Tomato sauce, canned versions of the sauce aren't some horrible travesty.



Where are you getting your canned white sauces, then? Because every canned Alfredo sauce I've ever had was horrible.
#45 Sep 30 2012 at 12:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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The refrigerator section Buitoni alfredo sauce isn't horible if you are pressed for time.
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#46 Sep 30 2012 at 1:31 AM Rating: Good
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Belkira wrote:
Deadgye wrote:
Alfredo and Penne alla Vodka are pretty easy to make. Just make the appropriate pasta, very slightly less cooked than what you want, and throw it in a pan with the sauce. And unlike Marinara/Tomato sauce, canned versions of the sauce aren't some horrible travesty.



Where are you getting your canned white sauces, then? Because every canned Alfredo sauce I've ever had was horrible.


This. Plus alfredo sauce is much simpler/quicker from scratch to make than marinara. Saute butter and garlic, add cream and cheese. Depending on how much cheese maybe some flour to thicken. 10 mins tops. Mariana takes at least an hour of cooking.
#47 Sep 30 2012 at 7:26 AM Rating: Good
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I like to make my marinara when I have a day off, since it's typically around four hours or so. I usually make a huge pot of it, and freeze the excess. I guess I could make a quick sauce if needed. If I couldn't make my regular sauce, I'd probably just sauté some crushed tomatoes (usually with a pinch of sugar if using canned) with some garlic and basil in olive oil and toss the pasta in that. Maybe throw some baby bella mushrooms in there, too.
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#48 Sep 30 2012 at 9:33 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, my tomato production was kind of poor, so I'd make it in small batches this summer. Saute garlic, peppers, and onions, then add fresh tomatoes, basil, and oregano, a dash of balsamic, salt, pepper, maybe a can of tomato sauce. Mushrooms are always good too. I'm far too impatient to let that **** cook down 4 hours, like I said, I usually call it in an hour.
#49 Sep 30 2012 at 10:02 AM Rating: Good
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I love growing Roma tomatoes for sauce. The yield per plant is typically very good, and the tomatoes themselves are very meaty. Homegrown tomatoes, I usually parboil my excess and then freeze for use in the winter.

Edited, Sep 30th 2012 12:02pm by Spoonless
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#50 Sep 30 2012 at 10:20 AM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
I'm looking for some cheap easy meals. Stuff that can be made without a lot of ingredients, prep time, or utensils. Basically, college food.


* Take two slices of bread.
* Place one or two slices of cheese between them
* Microwave for 30 seconds on High (You might want to flatten the bread first, otherwise it tends to get all dewy in the microwave)
* Eat and go back to bed.

Smiley: schooled If you can afford bologna ("baloney") it makes for a very fast and delicious snack.
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#51 Sep 30 2012 at 10:28 AM Rating: Good
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I thought of another good, cheap, easy meal solution to offer as well. Hashbrowns. If you have a cheese grater (or find one for prob 99 cents), you can get a giant bag of potatoes and make it into a hundred meals. You can always jazz it up with some onion, since onions are nice and cheap and can go a long way, but really, I just crave hashbrowns with ketchup. You can variate how you prepare the potatoes before you cook them, like cubing them, but fried potatoes are easy and quick. Might take a bit of time (~30 mins), but that's with very little attention. You can always just boil the potatoes first so you can quick fry them in the pan.

Another option is cubed potatoes on a cookie sheet, sprinkled with olive oil and lowry's or some other seasoning. Roast on 350 for like 30 minutes. Little attention required, cheap, filling.
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