I live alone, and I have a limited repertoire of dinner recipes. I'm totally okay with eating the same thing multiple nights in a row--I haven't done the math, but this may be a money-saver.
Anyway, I'd like to see what kind of recipes this community can recommend for a bachelor. Share with me your favorites, please, and thanks in advance.
Stir frys are good because they are both fast and (if you want to go without meat in them) cheap. Personally my favorite sauce is pineapple juice mixed with about 2 tablespoons of cornflour and then put over some stir fried veg, with some sort of poultry and maybe some chinese 5 spice added to the sauce.
That and maybe look up stuff online and just quater the size of the meals.
Try planning for the whole week as well, that tended to help me when I was eating at uni.
Back when I mostly ate alone, I would cook on Sunday evenings - enough of that week's dish to last me through Wednesday. Lots of recipes and packaged foods seem to be for the proverbial "family of 4" so it was more convenient. Insofar as I would use up a package instead of it maybe spoiling, it was cheaper.
I find that big chunks of meat don't do well in this method. All the heating and chilling and heating dries them out. What does work well is beef stew, pasta, and lasagna. I used to make my pasta sauces from scratch, but I realized that canned was cheaper. I also used to brown my own ground beef for pasta. Now I cut cooked sausage into chunks. However, seasoned ground beef, browned, and frozen in packs the size of your fist is great to have on hand. It's great to add to spaghetti sauce or burritos or an improvised soup. Because I go long stretches of time when I don't eat warm-blooded animals, I also like frozen shrimp as quick protein.
I need to be in my kitchen to figure out the recipes, but advice for pasta if you're planning on leftovers: Cook it as little as possible. With storage and reheating, it will get softer. Likewise, go easy on the sauce or the noodles will get super-soft.
Thomas-- I'd list my three standard meals from my bachelor days but you would end up thinking less of me... much less.
Go to a kitchen store and buy a couple of cookbooks. Experiment. The only downside is that you have to eat your own cooking-and it probably won't kill you. You'll find that cooking healthy meals can be fun as well as inexpensive.
bachelor salad: take head of lettuce and a squeeze bottle of dressing then eat it over the sink disposal=easy clean up.
Ah-la-slop-ola: ramen noodles, add whatever's in the fridge, usually peanut butter, salsa, left over bachelor salad, etc. Eat it out of the pot for easy clean up.
worked for me, good luck.
Pasta and rice dishes are easy to cook. So are sausages.
Rice: Ratio of 1:1+1. So for every one cup of rice, add one cup of water and then another. So three cups of rice (which is a shitload, by the way), add four cups of water. Two cups of rice, add three cups of water and so-on.
Pasta: 1lb of pasta in a pot of boiling water. Turn off the gas and let the pasta soak in the hot water for 15 minutes. Stir and poke occasionally to stop it sticking. Strain. Add desired sauce and other ingredients. Eat.
Sausages are easy. Just fry or boil them for about 10-15 minutes each (when the fork slides in and out of a fried sausage really easily, or when the boiling sausages float to the top of the water) and then eat with desired veggies.
Actually, I like to cook sausage thusly: brown it on both sides, pour a bottle of beer or apple juice over it, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Bratwurst works best for this; I've never tried it with Italian sausage.
Manfry: burn but don't over cook fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, scallions, etc. with chicken breast in a skillet then add Italian dressing and simmer. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and...BAM! I still use this easy, delicious & healthy dish when the wife's away and change it up w/ fish or add bay scallops towards the end. I find Italian dressing is awesome for marinating steak as well.
I eat a lot of sandwiches. Usually PB&J. I eat cereal, eggs, or pancakes for breakfast. I'll do a big meal on the weekend and eat leftovers of it until it's gone. For those big weekend dinners, I usually call home and talk to my mom (good for a man to do) and get a good recipe I liked as a kid. Yielded excellent results thus far. I make a mean chicken fried steak.
I like to make a lot of Soup and Chili because I can make a large pot and portion it out into Tupperware containers and freeze it!
I find the most challenging part is eating healthy. The average man does not eat enough protein in their day so I try to be vigilant with taking daily vitamins and I like to have at least 1 good Whey-Protein shake a day which is especially important after working out. Also, it keeps your energy levels up, helps burn fat and keeps hunger at bay!In addition to this I try to drink a lot of water each day, including a glass first thing in the morning with a spoonful of Metamucil in it - Keeps the trains running on time so to speak.
Try to be conscious of your salt intake! Many pre-packaged meals contain your daily sodium intake in a single serving!
Always have a bag of Onions, Potatoes and Carrots on Hand because they make for great impromptu meals like Stews or Soups!
One of my favourite stews I ever made was an "African Peanut Stew" I learned to make from a Vegetarian girl I lived with for a few years (*Note I am not a vegetarian). I normally do this recipe without thinking about it too much but here is the rough outline:
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 (14.5) ounce cans chopped tomatoes
1 pound FRESH green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1.5-2.0 Cups of CHUNKY Peanute Butter.
Place approx. 1/3 cup water, onion, ginger and garlic in a large pot.
Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
Add cumin, cinnamon, salt, red pepper and coriander.
Cook and stir for 1 minute.
Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes,green beans, vegetable broth, and peanut butter.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
It's always good to have a vegetarian recipe stashed away in case you have vegetarian company, or perhaps find yourself tied up with a girl who is into that sort of thing.
My overall point here is to attempt to eat as healthy and efficiently as possible. Like I said though, eat lots of protein!!! and get the pre-packaged crap out of the diet and limit your red meat intake. Peanut Butter sandwiches are a good go-to but stay away from the jam - it has too much sugar.
Oh, and chicken soup is the easiest thing in the world.
I like to buy the pre-roasted chickens from the local grocery store (about $9 where I live). I usually eat a leg with some salad then I use the rest of the bird for soup the next day.
Approx. 8 cups Water
2 Chicken Stock Cubes - Bring to a light boil
1 Onion Quartered
1 lbs. sliced mushrooms
5 large chopped carrots
Approx. 5-6 Stalks of celery, chopped
Approx. 1 lbs.-2 lbs. Fingerling Potatoes, Quartered
After you bring the stock to a light boil in a large pot start adding in the vegetables, once all the vegetables are in lower the heat to a simmer (about 2 on my stove).
Use this time to cut away the meat from the chicken carcass. Chop it up into bite sized pieces, you'll be amazed how much is actually on that tiny bird. Try to avoid getting any bones in your soup. Once all the meat is chopped up, toss it in the simmering pot.
Sometimes I add a small amount of egg noodles or lentils for a bit of texture. DO NOT use any pasta noodles because they are too starchy and will F. Up the whole operation. Let everything simmer on low for about an hour and you're ready to go. A Large pot of this soup will feed my roommate and I for about 3 days.
Make sure to refrigerate properly and you'll be golden. The only bad thing about soup is that they tend to be high in sodium, so if you notice yourself getting a bit puffy, you're probably eating too much soup hehe.
Best of luck friend!
Think about what you like to eat. Go to the public library and get a cookbook on that style of cooking. Write down ten recipes. Make the recipes at least three times. You will now be able to cook a variety of ten different things. Do this every couple of months and in less than a year you will have all the recipes you need for the rest of your life.
I would suggest the cookbooks published by America's Test Kitchen, just because they are good reicpes and the books are great no matter your level of cooking experience.
We keep a container of couscous in the pantry. It cooks very fast and you can easily make just a small portion or a lot if needed. Use the couscous with black beans and some seasoning, use it to stuff a bell pepper along with some ground beef, or add some seasoning to the water as it is boiling and just use it as a side dish.
When I lived by myself in college one of my main dishes was a chicken breast with some lemon pepper cooked in a skillet. I bought packets of butter noodles or other pasta packages that were about $1 and use that on the side.