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Old 06-23-2005, 09:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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cheap and easy to come by

Okay so I haven't posted for a while, my computer's been broken , but I'm really happy because I'm getting a job as a dishwasher! Okay now to the point, some days I come home from lunch and only have a few ingriedients to work with. Regardless of my unmatched skill , I can never seem to find anything to make and almost always end up buying some processed food at a local fast-food place. So I need some recipes with very few easy to attain ingriedients, cheap ingriedients and something that can be made quickly. Thanks for any suggestions.


"You should kiss every batch of bread you make, because it's the only way to spread the love around." - Jamie Oliver

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve it by not dying." - Woody Allen
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Old 06-23-2005, 10:20 PM   #2
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This is gonna be a cool post - I can just tell!
First off, congrats on your job! Very good for a guy your age! (Maybe you can get some hints from the chef and make your way up to sous chef.

I need to check through my recipes, as right now we're in the middle of BBQing 2 giant Tri Tip steaks. But I will check for you.

Come visit my foodie blog: www.SockmonkeysKitchen.com
This week's topic: Pinterest and Potatoes
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Old 06-23-2005, 10:33 PM   #3
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oh mitch i think i have a few recipes that use like a whole 4 ingredients. i'll go see if i can find them for you
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Old 06-23-2005, 10:51 PM   #4
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okay here's one

pork tenderloin and caramelized pears

1 1/4 lbs pork tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 bartlett pears cored and cut into wedges
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup brussel sprouts (optional)

heat oven to 375. season pork with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. in a cast iron skillet (or any other pan that's oven- proof) brown the pork on all sides in 2 teaspoons of the oil. transfer the pan to the oven and roast 6-7 minutes.

remove pan from oven and add the pears and put back on the stove over medium low heat and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally or until golden. add the water and vinegar and cook stirring frequently turning pork halfway through the cooking time 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced. remove pork from skillet cover loosly with foil and let rest.

meanwhile in a large saucepan cook the brussel sprouts in salted water for about 2 minutes. darin and toss gently with remaining oil, salt, and pepper.

slice pork and serve with the pears and brussel sproouts drizzled with the pan juices.

okay i lied it's 7 ingredients lol
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:27 PM   #5
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congrats on the job, mitch! i'm impressed.
sorry your PC's broken.
as for the recipes, i'd go for soups. they're cheap as cheap gets, easy as pie to make and usually pretty filling.
my favorites are veggie soup:
save leftover veggies and freeze them and stock up on the miniature cans of veggies. save leftover beef from roasts or steaks, too. when you're ready for your soup, sautee some onions in a little olive oil if you like onion. add some water and add the shredded or cubed beef, some tomato sauce (you can buy really little cans), salt and pepper, garlic powder, and any herbs you like. i usually add ground sage and sometimes oregano. heat through. you can also add rinsed and drained (or precooked dry) great northern or navy beans and/or pasta shells for a more substansial meal.

next is split pea soup. just pour half a bag of the split peas into a pot, add shallots, onions or onion powder (if you're using onions, wilt them in some olive oil first. if you use shallots, you can cook them for just a moment in some olive, but watch, cause they burn faster than you can bat an eye), fresh minced garlic or garlic powder, ham base, and if you have any on hand, cubed ham steak, plus lots of black pepper and some salt. add a little hot sauce to taste. simmer for about half an hour (or longer, till it's nice and thick and the peas are tender.) gotta keep an eye on it, cause you may have to add water several times throughout the cooking process. keep it on a medium-low flame and stir often. i you have leftovers, they'll thicken up a lot once they get cold but i just use a fork to slowly blend in water when i'm re-heating.
i cook my lentils about the same way.
you can use hamhocks in either one instead of ham, or even bacon, but i tend not to use the bacon.
any of these three makes for a pretty substansial lunch if you have some nice crusty bread and butter and some milk with 'em.
there's always pasta with marinara sauce, too. that's one of my favorite cheap, quick meals to make. i always make angelhair. frozen cheese ravioli, too.
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:42 PM   #6
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Congrats on the job! It's a hot and dirty job - but I bet you'll learn something from the cooks if you keep your eyes and ears open. Show an interest in learning and I'm sure one of them will take you under their wing and teach you something. With the right attitude - I doubt you'll be washing dishes for too long.

Pasta (8-12 minutes), rice (30 minutes) or ramen noodles (3 minutes) are all good foundations to begin something quick, cheap, filling and easy. Of course, you can add everything but the kitchen sink to a baked potato - and you can nuke one of those in about 7 minutes. It's just a matter of what else you have on hand that you can add to them. You just have to apply your unmatched skills and some imagination.

Here is one idea to get you started - my kids always loved it and it can be really cheap depending on where and how you shop ($1 - $3.50 depending on store and brands). And, it's a one pot meal, too - cuts down on washing more dishes. It should fill up a growing young man like yourself.

Tuna Mac and Cheese with Green Peas

1 box cheap brand Mac and Cheese
1 can Green Peas, drained
1 can Tuna, drained
Butter and Milk - see Mac and Cheese box for amounts
Salt and Black Pepper

Make the Mac n Cheese according to the box instructions. Add the tuna and peas and stir to combine ... cover the pot and let sit 1-2 minutes to allow the tuna and peas to warm up.

VARIATIONS: Increases the cost, and adds another pot to wash ...

1 small yellow onion, small diced
2-4 oz button mushrooms, sliced
butter for sauteing

While the noodles are cooking, saute the onion and/or mushrooms in a little butter ... add the tuna and peas to heat through when you start to drain the noodles. Add to the Mac n Cheese - stir to combine.


You can turn it into a casserole - skip the mushrooms and stir in a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, pour into a 9x9 inch greased baking dish, sprinkle the top with finely shredded chedder cheese and/or buttered bread or cracker crumbs (you could also use crushed potato chips), bake on the center rack of a 350-F/175-C oven 20-30 minutes.

Egg Noodles with Bacon and Peas in Cream Sauce

8 oz Egg Noodles
4 strips Bacon, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 can Green peas, drained - or 6 oz frozen green peas
1/2 cup heavy cream -or- 1/2 cup whole milk + 1 Tablespoon Butter -or- 1/2 cup low fat/skim milk + 2 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Put the water on to boil for your pasta and get a skillet pre heating over medium heat. Drop the pasta into salted boiling water. Add the diced bacon to the skillet and cook for a minute or two until it begins to render out some fat - add the onion and continue to saute for about 3-4 minutes. You want the bacon to be cooked, but still soft, and the onion to soft and translucent but just begining to brown. Add the peas, cream and about 1/4 cup cheese .... stir and simmer for a couple of minutes until it begins to thicken. By now the pasta should be done - dip out and reserve about a cup of the pasta water - drain and add to the skillet with the sauce ... toss to combine well. If the sauce is too thick, adjust it by adding some of the pasta cooking water - no more than about 1/4 cup at a time.

That's a couple of ideas to get you started ... hope they help.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:53 PM   #7
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Hope your enjoying the new gig. My first job in Boston was mostly dish washing (with some serving) and even though it was kinda backbreaking at the same time there was a certain peace to it, I almost miss it.

Now on to the food...

I spend like 10 hours a day away from home so I dont really have the time to cook. This is what I've stocked up on:

Ramen: you can buy a BOX with 12 packets for $1.50. You wouldent belive what can be done with ramen... I'll eventually write an e-cookbook on it or at least do a bunch of posts.

Anyways I tend to buy meat in large portions and cut it down into small bits (each about the size of a deck of cards) wrapped in plastic bags in the freezer. When cooking I'll nuke a bag of meat, chop it and drop it into the boiling water with noodles. After it get's cooking I'll add some frozen veggies and you have a great noodle soup to which you can add a little flavor (soysauce, oyster sauce, black bean paste, chili garlic paste or whatever you want).


Remember the aformentioned packets of meat? Slice into thin slivers and fry while boiling noodles. Add a few big scoops of "chunky garden style" pasta sauce to the meat, mix in your noodles and you are set. Noodles dont go bad, the meat is frozen and your spagetti sauce should last a week or two in the fridge, so that's also a lot of fast, easy and non wasteful meals.
My english, she's not so good... I meant to say I did it with the malice of forethought.
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:27 AM   #8
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Here's one that will provide you with several delicious, healthy meals for the week:

Take a package of your favorite chicken parts (on the bone), put them in a big pot, cover with about 6-8 cups of water, throw in some celery, onion, tomato, carrot and whatever veggies you like. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour & a half. In another pot make noodles.

You will have chicken meat for sandwiches, to cut up for soup, fabulous homemade broth to add noodles to, gravy to have with sliced chicken over toast, etc. etc.

Store the noodles separately from the broth, and the broth will last longer. Heat only the amount of broth you will eat that day, don't heat the whole thing up.

Hope this helps. It sure has made my life easier to cook this way.
Living well is the best revenge....
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:57 AM   #9
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another one, mitch.
they sell bags of the little precooked salad shrimp in the freezer section at some stores and in the seafood cases at others. they're pretty cheap; i've gotten bags of the frozen ones for $.99.
you can thaw those and cook up some linguine. then douse the pasta with either lots of olive oil or lots of melted butter. add a hefty sprinkling of parmesan cheese- the canned stuff is fine if you want to use that- a clove or two of miced garlic, and some black pepper. taste it before you add salt, though; the cheese add lots of saltiness. add the shrimp and heat through. that's it!
i believe that life would not be complete sans comfy 'ol tee-shirts, the Golden Girls, and the color pink
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Old 06-25-2005, 06:10 AM   #10
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Part of making it easy is the staples you keep around the house. Long storing veggies are carrots, celery, onions, cabbage, garlic, iceberg lettuce. They will stay in your crisper drawer for quite a long time and give you some basics you don't need to make a special trip for. Canned vegs, especially beans, and a can of tuna. If you have the room, frozen bags of your favorite vegs (I always go for bags rather than boxes because you can reach in for a small hand full of whatever, tie off the bag, and have it for the next time, whereas with the box type packaging you need to use the whole thing). Pasta and rice. All of these stay on the shelf for a long time, and you always have a meal at hand. My basic standby is pasta primavera. Boil pasta, nuke frozzen veggies, top with olive oil and a shaving of strong cheese and your favorite garlic based seasoning (mine right now is Cavendar's Greek).

Always have a can of tomatoes on hand. You can use it to make soup, pasta, rice .... you name it, and with slight changes in seasonings go from Italian to Mexican to ....

You'll now learn if you really want to be a cooking pro. Kitchens are hot -- both in temperature and sometimes in temperments, and you need to know if you can take it. Or want to. Nothing but experience can tell you that!

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