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#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
gbaji wrote:
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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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