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Ideas for food

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Stevinator, Jul 13, 2013. | Replies: 11 | Views: 994

  1. Stevinator

    Stevinator IncGamers Member

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    Ideas for next big cooking extravaganza.

    So as a single guy, with only myself and bro to worry about, I often have trouble figuring out what to make for food. I'm pretty content to have a bacon, egg, lettuce + whatever else looks like it might taste good on that breakfast, and i keep that sort of stuff in stock (that and oatmeal, since I'm not a huge fan of cold cereal), but I don't know what do do with dinner.

    Usually, I'll pick something and make a lot, then eat it until it's either gone or goes bad. It's a lot easier to cook several portions at a time, and being able to just grab something from the fridge, and nuke if necessary is key.

    Here's some examples i've done recently:

    Salad - usually lettuce from mom's garden mixed with stuff on sale at the meijer. romaine, arugala, and the butter lettuce, grill up 4-5 chicken breasts, some bacon, any onions in the fridge, red or yellow peppers if I have them and other random veggies i think are in danger of going bad. this is my "clean up the fridge meal".

    Tabouleh/shawarma/hummus in pita - it's boneless chicken thighs, either on a grill or in the pan depending on weather, made to taste like the stacked chicken thighs and breast they make in israeli/lebanese restaurants. The veggie part is parsely, cucumber, tomato and bulgar wheat soaked in oil and lemon juice. hummus is store bought.

    Baked ziti - 2 13x9 pans stuffed with ziti, my tricked up red sauce (I buy the cheap stuff from the store and then add some flavor) and lots of cheese.

    Thai/asian mock-stir fry - a rotation between various stirfryable veggies and chicken in sauces that are vaguely thai-esque. Leftovers are just the meat veggies heated up and poured over nuked up white rice that I made with stock and a little seasoning. I've both made my own sauce (still have a lot of leftover fish sauce), and appropriated various dressings and marinades that i thought would work. Making it myself was pretty good, the rest was a lot of mixed success. The coconut juice/milk was pretty expensive, so when I do this one again, I might try to substitute something else.

    Mini burgers - instead of regular sized burgers, i grilled up a bunch of much thinner ones--very carefully because they're prone to breaking and then every meal i'd nuke one up and throw different toppings on it. This also helped get rid of the avocadoes from the:

    Tacos - my ultimate get crap out of the fridge dish. you can wrap anything in a tortilla and make it better with some black beans, hot sauce and guacamole. Plus the leftovers are really good for making chicken wraps, breakfast burritos, and you can make crazy salsas in a food processor. I've found it's also the best way to eat the cheap steaks that I think are unfit for grilling. Because it's hard to clear out all the ingredients at the same rate, taco time often takes a couple months to end, and I have to hit the store a few times to restock the proteins, eventually I get bored of it.

    I also do crockpot meals when its cold and crappy. pot roasts are still affordable, and you can throw chicken and soup in a crockpot and crank out decent stuff. This is also the only way I've found i can get rid of cornflakes that my bro insists we buy and then never eats. I make them into a crunchy topping by toasting them in dressing.


    My problem is that I'm basically cycling between this all the time. I need some inspiration for inexpensive, tasty, foods that make great long term leftovers and aren't all starchy with multiple sticks of butter in them (like the ziti which is NOT healthy at all). I'm pretty decent in the kitchen, and while i rarely follow recipes, I generally know how things will turn out, and i'm not really picky about everything being perfect after a few days. Do you guys have any meals like that that would be really good?
  2. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    lasagna is pretty good - easy to make a big pan of cut up and freeze single portions you can reheat as needed. I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta and this recipe
    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/worlds-best-lasagna/
    and a crock pot of Chile or stew is easy to make and freeze as well

    Also try steamed veggys and rice instead of stir fried.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  3. Pixie

    Pixie IncGamers Member

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    I mostly cook Chinese / Malaysian. Not so much American, so idk if that's in tune with what you're after or not.

    When I go grocery shopping, I usually buy the meat based around what meals I want, and then wing the veggie sides. The veggies you can always use up via stirfry or bbqing them, or roasting em on a bake-sheet, so I don't really pay much attn to quantity; I just try to keep a constant stock of onions, snow peas, pea sprout tips, napa, carrots, turnips, green onions, shallots, lemongrass, red/yellow peppers, ginger & garlic.

    Inexpensive & decent storage is jook. It's p.much rice porridge, you take like a cup of rice n boil it in 5-6 cups of water, lid on. Cook the meat separately, I usually do chicken - it's a good way to use up leftover chicken thighs or if you've just done like a chicken roast / thanksgiving turkey, can boil the carcass 1/2 a day, n then strain it, to get all the misc meaty bits w/o having to dick around with a knife. Can mince ginger, fresh cilantro's nice too, green onions, and sometimes fried shallots (can skip if you want healthier). For storage, just store the parts separately, and assemble when you go to eat it. They're all cold garnishes, only heat up the rice goop. To assemble, spoon it into a bowl, drizzle maybe 1/2 tsp-1tsp of sesame oil across the top, plunk on your meat, then add tianjin dongcai ( img - it's pickled winter vegetable, comes in this really recognizable earth pot. Crucial for the tanginess.) Then add the rest of the garnish, 'n eat. It'll store as long as you're comfortable keeping the meat.

    Curries're nice too, if anything the meat soaks up more flavor the more it settles in the curry. I usually do like, 3 onions + 1inch ginger + 3-4 cloves garlic, 1 stalk lemon grass, 1tsp galingal, blended up vs 1-3 tbsp of curry powder (or 5 if you really like it hot). If you want a dryer sauce, use shallots instead of onions. Can mix it up in a little bowl. Dutch oven or a thicker pot (not stock pot, it'll burn), add 2-3tbsp canola oil n let it heat up. You wanna pmuch flash fry the onion goop for 1-1.5m until it's fragrant, but scraping it off the pan so it doesn't burn. Then add in your chicken (thighs preferably, cheaper & moister than breasts) or beef (cubed), and make sure it's covered well before popping the top on. The amt of onion goop I specified is good for 6-9 pcs chicken. Just let it simmer for 1-1.5h, stirring it every 10m or so on low-med heat, covered, so it doesn't burn.

    If you like grilling stuff and don't mind a bunch of fiddly work, can make satay. Basically marinade w/e meat (cut into strips, I usually do chicken thighs & pork loin) in chili/tamarind/lime/garlic/soya sauce for 1-12h, soak skewers for 1-2h in water, then feed the meat strips onto the skewers & bbq them. Even better with wood/charcoal fire. It's nice with compressed rice cakes, peanut sauce (can sub strained yoghurt for coconut milk if it's too ex), cucumber + jicama sticks.
  4. Vivi

    Vivi IncGamers Member

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    Stir fry is great. There is such a large variety of meat/veg/sauce you can do, so that's always a good guess.

    I have a whole folder of collected recipes. I'm a single woman, and having to cook just for myself is quite a challenge. Now that I've got an eating disorder and other medical issues it's even more a challenge and sadly my recipe collection has been condemned to a bottom drawer.

    I dug it out to share this one, which is easily made with leftover rice. All you need to do in advance is boil eggs.
    It makes a large portion, and I don't know how much of a big eater you are. I was always a tiny eater and halved the amount of ingredients and then I still ended up with enough for two days.

    Kedgeree (recipe by Felicity Cloake, (c) The Guardian)


    • 450g. basmati rice
    • 500g. smoked haddock (I don't get haddock here. I use mackrel)
    • 120g. butter (or any oil, I use rice bran)
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 1 green chili, deseeded and cut into thin rings (or a green bellpepper)
    • 2 crushed cardemom pods
    • 1 tbsp. curry powder
    • 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and cut into half
    • small handfull of chives, chopped
    • 1/2 lemon, cut into four wedges
    • small bunch of coriander, chopped

    1. Cook the rice as usual.

    2. Put the fish, skinside up, in a shallow pan over a low heat, and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 10 min., then take out of the water and when cool enough to handle, pull the skin off and break the fish into large flakes.

    3. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a lowish heat and add the onion. Fry gently untill softened, then stir in the chilli, cardamom pods and curry powder. Cook for a couple of minutes, then tip in the rice and stir to coat. Add the fish flakes and heat through. Taste and season.

    4. Put the eggs on top, scatter with the chives and coriander, and serve with slices of lemon to squeeze over.

    I really miss eating this.
  5. Vivi

    Vivi IncGamers Member

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    One more.

    Chowder

    • 500g. unsomked gammon steak
    • 1 tbs. sunflower oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 700 ml. hot water
    • 1 large potato and
    • 1 sweet potato (batat), both peeled and cut into small cubes
    • 326g. sweetcorn (tin), drained
    • 2 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
    • 150 ml. pot single cream

    Trim the rind and remove the fat from the gammon. Cut the meat into small cubes. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the gammon over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until just cooked. Remove, leaving the fat in the pan, and set aside.

    Add the onion to the pan and cook over a low heat until soft and translucent

    add the stock, potato and sweet potato. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 15-20 minutes, until tender.

    using a draining spoon, remove a third of the potato and onion and purée in a blender with a little of the cooking liquid.

    return to the pan with the gammon and sweetcorn and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the parsley and the cream, season and reheat.

    serve with crusty bread.
  6. Stevinator

    Stevinator IncGamers Member

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    Some oddball ingredient there, but I think I can do some tinkering.

    I'm guessing galangal = ginger?

    tianjin dongcai might be hard to track down.

    Vivi's gammon steak I think i could substitute pork tenderloin and it would work.
  7. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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  8. Noodle

    Noodle <img src="http://forums.diabloii.net/images/pal.gi

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    Cous cous is a great thing to keep on hand, as it cooks in five minutes. I like to add a diced tomato, the zest and juice of a lemon, some minced parsley, and maybe a super-thinly sliced zucchini.

    You're already putting stuff in pita, so if you like gyro's you can take ground lamb and add minced garlic, chopped scallions, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper. Make small patties and saute them up. You can whip up a quick tzattziki sauce by mashing some garlic to a paste with the side of your knife, chopping a cucumber, and stirring them into some plain yogurt. It traditionally has dill in it as well, but I prefer oregano.

    Homemade pitas are super easy to make, if you have a pizza peel and stone. Heat the stone up in a hot oven for 45 minutes or so. Mix five ounces all-purpose flour with three ounces water, a drizzle of honey, a pinch of salt, and a teaspoon of yeast. Knead the dough for about seven minutes, let rise for a half hour, then roll out golf ball sized pieces to thin rounds, and use the peel (or a large spatula) to place on the pizza stone. Flip it after a few minutes, and remove when puffed and golden brown. That same ratio of flour to water can be used for pizza dough or bread too! If you don't have a pizza stone, you can turn a baking sheet upside down and use that.

    I love chicken wings or drummettes, and they can be done on a stove top if you don't want to heat up the oven. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and start sauteing them in a hot stock pot. When some fat has rendered out, you can add one of the following combinations:

    - for a Southwestern treat, add two or three minced chipotle peppers along with the adobo sauce it came in and some brown sugar, along with a half cup of water. Cover the pot for about seven minutes, then remove the cover and reduce the sauce to a glaze while stirring.

    - for a teriyaki style, add soy sauce, brown sugar, chopped garlic and ginger, a splash of rice vinegar, and a half cup water. Proceed as above.

    I love to braise when the weather's cool. Here are some short ribs I braised in red wine, with aromatics and chicken stock. You can make a big batch for cheap, and eat it for three or four days. You can even pull the meat off the bone and shred it for sandwiches.

    [​IMG]

    I love a nice potato cheese soup, too:

    Noodle's Potato Cheese Soup


    Three large Russet potatoes
    One onion (or a couple leeks. I happened to have an onion on hand)
    Four slices bacon
    One pound shredded cheddar cheese
    Scallions and sour cream to garnish


    Chop bacon, and start it rendering down over medium heat in the pot you'll make the soup in. While the bacon is cooking, dice the onion, thinly slice the scallions on the bias and peel the potatoes. I put the peeled potatoes in a bowl of water so they wouldn't discolor. I waited to dice them until the last minute, as I didn't want too much starch to bleed out. The starch is key, as it acts like flour in a mornay sauce, preventing the cheese from clumping.


    Once bacon is crisp, remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Pour off all but a tablespoon of bacon fat.


    Dice potatoes and add to pan with onion. Add chicken stock to cover by a half inch, and bring to a simmer. Simmer potatoes and onion until tender - how long this will take depends on how small a dice you have. Figure ten to twenty minutes.


    When the potatoes and onion are soft, it's time to puree them. I started with a potato masher, and then went to my immersion blender. Once pureed to your liking (I like a few chunks), start adding cheese a handful at a time over low heat. Stir each handful in until melted. Ladle into bowls, top with reserved bacon and scallions, and place a dollop of sour cream in the center of the bowl. The coolness of the sour cream is a really nice contrast to the soup.

    Puff pastry is a great thing to keep in the freezer (defrost in the refrigerator.) Jab the inside all over with a fork (leaving a one inch border) and bake, then top with cheese and asparagus. I like a mix of gruyere and fontina cheeses. Bake it again, and you have a delcious tart:

    [​IMG]

    You can stuff various fruits / veggies too - flavor ground beef or turkey with garlic and onion and saute. Mix with cooked rice and some grated cheese and stuff into hollowed out tomatoes, peppers, or zucchini. (For zucchini, halve them lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.)Roast until tender and warmed through.

    I love cooking, and look forward to it every day. I eat in a restaurant maybe once or twice a month, tops.


  9. Leopold Stotch

    Leopold Stotch IncGamers Member

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    i live with three men who are sorta picky eaters. It's not too extreme. And one or two of them usually do the cooking. if I cook or make something, it's def something simple and something I bring to work with me as I don't want to eat pizza every goddamn day. -.- I hated pizza before I took a job at Bloaty's Pizza Hog... /growls

    I was proud of myself recently. Since I too am single, I'm having to make smaller portions for myself and will eat it for a few days until it is gone or i'm sick of it. Recently, did black bean salad. Can of black beans, can of corn, bell pepper, tomato (or a can of hot Rotel), jalapeno, onion, garlic. I cut all the veggies up, drain the corn and black bean and give them a quick rinse, place in bowl, salt and pepper, Italian dressing, and serve. I find that if you just take veggies you like, drizzle a vinaigrette on them for lube and flavor, you can make a simple side dish/salad.

    I do miss cooking for other people. I grew up in a large-ish family so I'm used to cooking for a lot of people. Cooking for me is something I actually struggle with.

    p.s. people get the weirdest **** on their ****ing pizzas, I swear. The other day, some dude called and asked for mushrooms, pineapple, ham, bacon, and hamburger. And then on one half of the pizza, added peppeoni, onion, jalapeno, black olives. That has got to be the oddest flavored pizza i've ever seen. I wondered if he was stoned. Didn't sound it, but still.
  10. stillman

    stillman IncGamers Member

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    I'll bet that helps with rent! Living alone in the city is nigh unaffordable, but I must have my solitude. If you cut costs enough, you can do it and, like me, still afford internet and even gold coins!

    OT, preparing and eating food is a problem with my 48 hour work weeks. So the ultimate solution is the freezer blender tupperware honey jar method.

    My pecan shake contains mostly pecans with smaller amounts of almonds, peanuts, walnuts, sesame and sunflower seeds, a scoop of whey protein powder, and a jar of water. I drink down two big jars of that, which lasts 9 hours during my 12 hour work shift. I carry a third jar and drink it at 5 AM to complete the shift. I've praised pecans elsewhere for their huge fat content (plant fat is healthy) which can overwhelm the demands of even the fastest metabolisms. Other benefits:

    -In a germ-infested workplace like a hospital, drinking a meal from a jar is safest.
    -The high calories (from pecans and walnuts) means taking one jar to work instead of a picnic basket.
    -Meal is over with in seconds.
    -Portable in a coat pocket, so no locker or workplace fridge is needed.
    -Nuts are powerhouse health food, with some protein too, even without the protein supplement.
    -Trust me, you're not in a mood to eat at work anyway.
    -Rinse the jar out at home. Boom, done.

    I trudge home after a vampire death shift of making people suffer horribly and watching them die in the slowest way possible (I'm not kidding). Then I wash my hands and forearms up to my elbows and make two big jars of the fruit and vegetable shake, currently with 20+ ingredients. You only taste the fruit, so there is no consequence to adding whatever vegetables you want. Boring list of super health food is in spoiler tag.
    kale, spinach, radish, broccoli, carrot, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apple, oregano, parsley, garlic, green onions, tomato, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, red grapes, red bell pepper, lemon, half a jar of water, whey protein.

    My freezer is packed with tupperware containers of the washed and chopped ingredients. Each day, I remove one from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to thaw, and use the thawed one from yesterday in the blender. This is essential because:

    -you will otherwise have plenty of products spoiling at different rates in the refrigerator.
    -I don't have time between shifts to wash and prepare 20 items. Now I just dump the prepared goods in the blender, add the whey protein and water, blend and down it. Whole meals in under 3 minutes.
    -There is inadequate room in the refrigerator for so much produce and its packaging.
    -You can prepare everything on days off and you're set for 2 weeks without kitchen chores.

    It took me years to learn this method. We all have limited free time, and this method minimizes or eliminates the tedium of preparing, cooking, chewing, swallowing, and doing dishes. Elly might be pleased to hear I am vegetarian now, which is only possible (for me) with pecans or walnuts for enough calories. Not many options there, but the blender remedies everything.

    I have found this youtuber MD quite helpful:



    Sadly, I haven't noticed any better mood effects, glowing skin, or other wonders we hear about regarding the transition to plant based foods. However, being immune to cancer is a good enough goal for me. Also, my molars look rather ground down from eating so much cheap pork and steak in my youth. Chewing bulk matter of a vegetarian diet can lead to tooth wear, so shakes are ideal. On my days off from work, I actually eat a few things normally using my teeth.

    The main challenge with vegetarianism is vitamin D. If you don't like mushrooms, you're screwed. So it's two annoying cups of soy milk for me each day. See you in 65 years.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  11. Pixie

    Pixie IncGamers Member

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    Dongcai should be in any Chinese market, can ask for "dong choy" or look for the brown earth pot.
    I don't think you will find it in any supermarket.

    Galingal (aka leng kuas) is related to the ginger family, but the taste is quite different. To clarify, you want the dried/powdered spice form of it. It's a darkish yellow powder, not as bright as mustard. Can also find it in an asian market, but it might be in a supermarket, depending on the size. It's not as niche, I don't think.
  12. Leopold Stotch

    Leopold Stotch IncGamers Member

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    Yeah, I guess it helps with rent. Def cheaper when I lived with my great-aunt. I do miss the city. Living in the Trees... everything shuts down at 10 PM the latest.

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