Coming out of the closet
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13-01-2013, 01:43 PM
Coming out of the closet
So I'm on a tight budget, been so for awhile, and would like to expand my cooking inventory so that I'm not sighing in frustration at having simple spaghetti for supper every three days.

I was hoping some of you would be willing to pass me some recipes that could help me stay in budget while still getting a decent amount of nutrition. I'm not yet part of the Ramen Noodle group, but I'm getting close; college isn't yet upon me. It's sort of turned desperate.

Peace love & OMGIHATESPAGHETTINOW!!!WHY?!?

CTS

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13-01-2013, 01:52 PM
RE: Coming out of the closet
Can't you use normal spaghetti and make different sauces? Put some vegetables (I sually choose peppers and/or zucchini) in them and all of a sudden they become so much more healthy.

You can also make pasta salads.

I could (and often do) live off this stuff.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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13-01-2013, 02:56 PM
RE: Coming out of the closet
There are lots of ways of dressing up pasta. Do you make your own sauce or pull out a jar? Adding in season fresh veggies is a way to add flavor. If you're basically cooking just for yourself, you can dice up a whole onion use what you need and freeze the rest. Same with peppers. Pull them out as needed.

Start with a bit of onion, toward the end add garlic (don't let it burn) if you want you can a drizzle of a dry sherry or wine, if not skip it, add the zucchini or veg of choice, pasta water (just a little bit) add your sauce or canned tomato. Always add the cooked pasta to the sauce and cook a little longer (never the other way around).

Rice is also good and inexpensive.


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13-01-2013, 02:58 PM
RE: Coming out of the closet
Oh you can also take left over pasta (mixed with sauce) add some eggs and cook that in a pan for a spaghetti frittata.


Wind's in the east, a mist coming in
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but I feel what's to happen has happened before...


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13-01-2013, 03:08 PM (This post was last modified: 13-01-2013 03:14 PM by Vera.)
RE: Coming out of the closet
Ah, and another thing. There are all sorts of pasta that you can use (and fool yourself into thinking you're eating different thingsWink). And each is best cooked in its own way (the Italians have all sorts of rules, pretty interesting, actually).

For example, my favourite pasta for salads are fusili, esp. the tricolor ones. And you can make all sorts of dressings for your salads (preferably sans mayonnaise - that shit is poison).

(Also, you do not eat spaghetti with the help of a spoon. Just sayin')




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13-01-2013, 03:23 PM
RE: Coming out of the closet
Okay, so it looks like the pasta is covered well. Sadly it's what I love, but am now hating. I'll try out these ideas, thanks a bunch.

I have been trying to work with stirfrys, though I need to get a wok. The last one I had crapped out and got all rusty from being unused. I like that I can put a lot of veggies, but the sauce department I have no idea how to do. I have tried powdered curry, and butter chicken sauce. That's my limit. Any ideas?

Making chicken fried rice is pretty okay, too. I'm not a killer-good, but I still prefer it over what my mom made. How far can I push that one?

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13-01-2013, 03:30 PM (This post was last modified: 13-01-2013 03:48 PM by Vera.)
RE: Coming out of the closet
(13-01-2013 03:23 PM)cheapthrillseaker Wrote:  Okay, so it looks like the pasta is covered well. Sadly it's what I love, but am now hating. I'll try out these ideas, thanks a bunch.

I have been trying to work with stirfrys, though I need to get a wok. The last one I had crapped out and got all rusty from being unused. I like that I can put a lot of veggies, but the sauce department I have no idea how to do. I have tried powdered curry, and butter chicken sauce. That's my limit. Any ideas?

Making chicken fried rice is pretty okay, too. I'm not a killer-good, but I still prefer it over what my mom made. How far can I push that one?
Stirfries are great too (I kinda subsist mostly on vegetables, to be honest). You don't even need much of a sauce for them. At least I don't use too many things. Soy sauce and some balsamic vinegar are sometimes enough. Maybe some spices you like? We use red pepper flakes (and not just the hot variety) a lot and I love it. Smells great. I also quite enjoy cumin. My advice is - improvise, until you stumble upon something you like Yes

You can make stuff with eggs, too, I guess, but I hate eggs, so can't help you much. But you can add vegetables to scrambled eggs and make them better (as much as possible. Like I said - can't stand eggs).

(Mustard makes for great dressings, btw.)

Oh, and soups! You can make them with just about anything.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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13-01-2013, 03:36 PM
RE: Coming out of the closet
I am the fucking Gordon Ramsey of shopping on a budget Big Grin

Heres a few pointers.

1: Buy frozen Veg. Its can last longer and in some cases can be cheaper. I would allways recommend buying fresh however I presume your poverty is only temporary and wont be forever so there is no harm in frozen for the short term.

2: Tinned Corned Beef. If ever I had to prepare for an apocalypse or something else the only meat I would buy would be Corned Beef. Some people see it as unhealthy and on the long run I would agree, however it is a very cheap source of meat.

3: Shop late. Some shops reduce items at a certain time to avoid wastage so I would say to enquire at shops that do this and find out the approximate time they reduce items.

4: Shoplift Big Grin

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13-01-2013, 07:18 PM
RE: Coming out of the closet
Some random thoughts:

1. You need protein, which is generally the most expensive food component. As Vera said, consider eggs (sorry, Vera--I love 'em Smile ). I don't know what it's like in Canada, but here in Los Angeles, if price is the most important factor you can get 'em CHEAP. Not long ago I saw them for 99 cents a dozen. They're full of protein, and you can scramble 'em, fry 'em, poach 'em, boil 'em, make a soufflé . . . Big Grin . If too much dietary cholesterol is an issue for you, though, toss some of the yolks.

2. Chicken is also cheap. I recently saw 8 meaty drumsticks on sale for a little over $3. Put 'em in a shallow pan, brush on a little oil, sprinkle on some spices, and roast 'em up. Or put 'em in a pot with carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and S&P, add plenty of water, and make a great soup.

3. Also consider sardines, the kind in the flat oval tins in tomato sauce. Full of protein and also beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and much cheaper than tuna or salmon.

4. Buy a bag of flour, some baking powder, some cooking oil, and some milk, and make your own biscuits! It's cheap, fun, and a lot easier than you may think. You can find lots of recipes online. From start to finish, including the baking time, isn't more than 30-40 minutes.

5. Avoid buying prepared foods. Unless you want to pay for the convenience, you can do a lot better making things yourself.

6. As Bemore said, frozen veggies are fine. But also see what's on sale fresh in your local market. And if you live in a major urban area, try out different markets. Prices can vary greatly from one store to the next.

7. Dry cereals are absurdly expensive. (At least they are here.) Instead, consider oatmeal--the pure, unsweetened kind without additives. Better for your health and probably a lot cheaper. Rolled oats cook up pretty quickly.

8. Include some fruit in your diet every day. See what's on sale.

Bon appétit!

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14-01-2013, 02:33 AM
RE: Coming out of the closet
What cufflink said. Also, eggs. They are cheap, 3 of them are enough, highly nutritious... You can prepare them in a 100 different ways. Then there is mashed potato, but it is more of a side dish than actual meal.

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