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#422181 - 09/08/09 11:15 AM Food ideas for a student
MiSt Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 396
Could anyone give me some ideas as to what to cook that's cheap, I really need a bit of variety.

At the moment I'm basically living off pasta and mash.

If possible could the suggestions be of simple ingredients which I should be able to obtain from the co-op.


Only preference is that it is low in meat as I want to cut down my meat intake unless its organic (which is too expensive for me). Preparation time is not an issue.

Thanks!

Edit; emphasise being on price.


Edited by MiSt (09/08/09 11:26 AM)
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"The deeper you delve into philosophy the sadder you become."

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#422193 - 09/08/09 09:26 PM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: MiSt]
hope Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Cheap protein, low on meat?

When I was at school living off $10/week, these were the lifesavers, which went well with pasta, mash, rice + vegetables:

lentils
chickpeas
black beans (turtle beans)
peanut butter (makes good Thai or indonesian style sauces)

Basically, any beans and pulses. If you don't eat meat, you will need to supplement Vitamin B12. Can you eat fish? Look for sales on tinned fish.
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#422198 - 09/08/09 10:34 PM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: hope]
MiSt Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 396
I do eat meat, its just I would rather not buy it unless its organic- and that's too expensive for me right now. Fish I don't have a problem with so much, but I'm not a fan.

I've already tried chickpeas but they are so damn plain, I mean chickpeas and rice has to be the most boring meal ever :p But beggars can't be choosers!

I'll give lentils and black beans a go, thanks for the suggestions smile
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"The deeper you delve into philosophy the sadder you become."

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#422199 - 09/09/09 12:55 AM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: MiSt]
hope Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
To make these less plain -- use lots of onions, spices (eg. curry), peppers, garlic -- you can grow hot peppers, cilantro and other things in little pots if you have a windowsill. Lots of recipes online! Check out ethnic groceries for less expensive spices in bags (not those little glass jars that cost $$). I ate well, but had to learn how first.
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#422209 - 09/09/09 08:35 AM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: hope]
TheCrab Offline
Scum
Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 467
Loc: QLD Australia
Im currently struggling on the beer cheese and ciggies diet. but some cheap stuff you can get for a mad feed, just roll into the local supermarket and hit the cheerios, white bread and cheddar, (cheese on toast) and pasta is relatively cheap for the amount

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#422212 - 09/09/09 01:25 PM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: TheCrab]
MiSt Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 396
LoL Crab you've basically described my lifestyle, I think one week I only eat cheese baguettes, and last week it was pasta and tinned tomato. Its so [censored] boring (the food I mean).
_________________________
"The deeper you delve into philosophy the sadder you become."

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#422225 - 09/10/09 12:07 AM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: MiSt]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Been in this situation.

Cheap sources of protein: beans, lentils (dried is cheaper than cans). Make sure you mix them with Whole grains though so that you get a complete protein. In other words, spend the extra cents to buy brown rice, not white.

Tofu is another cheap source of protein. But make sure you get the stuff thats been fermented tradionally, because that kills most of the isoflavenes, so it won't have an esotrogenic effect.

Don't just stick with one kind of bean but switch it up, if not day by day then at least week by week.

Flavour can be an issue but is easily remedied with spices. Spices are fairly cheap when bought in bulk, and they add flavor for pennies.

Some good stuff to get so that you can actually somewhat enjoy what you're eating:

package of curry powder
pack of cayenne
dried basil
dried rosemary
dried oregano
balsamic vinegar
olive oil

This stuff is all fairly cheap (at least in Canada) and although buying it all at once is expensive, you can buy one item a week. Olive oil in particular is great thing to have, because you're brain needs healthy fats to fuction well, and you can make tasty cheap things like pasta salad with it (salt, pepper, whatever veg. you want, maybe vinegar--iIf you can't find balsamic, grab a bunch of packets of the white stuff next time your at the cafeteria on campus, it works okay for pasta salad).

Once I lived a whole month on brown rice, crunchy mustard (the kind with mustard grains in it), balsamic vinegar and olive oil, along with 7 cans of chickpeas. This was toward the end of the year, and funds were low. I invented four different dishes. The point being that having a couple of condiments, ingredients can make all the difference (especially psychologically).


If you get sick of beans, but still need the protein, you can blend them in a blender with the tomato sauce you're going to put on your pasta. The sauce will be thicker, but you'll barely notice it after a while. For a thinner sauce, use less beans.

Whey protein actually works out to be one of the cheapest sources of quality protein around, as low as 50 cents a serving.

Make sure you have some vegetables and fruit everyday. Hit the grocery store, go over to the rake that has stuff that's close to expired, buy it and eat it that day or the next, or freeze it (if it freezes well). You can find bags of oranges for a dollar on these racks.

All in all, you're diet sounds like sh!t, so in you're case I would suggest a multivitamin. Yes, some and be pricey, but I see them in sale bins all the time for 2 dollars a bottle.

Remember that even though you're budget it tight, don't skimp too much on nutrition. You're at school to learn, and it's hard to do that when you're not eating well.

I hear a lot of students say they can't afford to eat well, but 95% of these 'poor' students are able to buy 10 or more beers a weekend at the pub, and that's a weeks worth of healthy groceries right there. Not saying this is you're situation, because I don't know, but if it is anything like this, and you want to do well, you might want to switch your priorities around a bit.

Or you can get pneumonia twice in 4 months like I did. That tends to make you reassess things.

Good luck,

--Chris
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"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#422236 - 09/10/09 04:03 PM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: Ames]
MiSt Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 396
Thanks!
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"The deeper you delve into philosophy the sadder you become."

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#422425 - 09/20/09 05:16 AM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: MiSt]
Alicia Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 222
Loc: BC, Canada
Here are my suggestions:

I suggest having Quinoa sometimes instead of rice. Make sure you soak it for half an hour first, or it can end up tasting bitter. Unlike most other plant-based proteins, it's a complete protein.
Pasta seems fine - just switch to whole wheat and add lots of vegetables and TVP (textured vegetable protein).

Silver Hills makes so many different types of bread, all with at least 5-6 grams of protein and fibre. It's really filling if you have it with cashew/almond/peanut butter or make some kind of sandwich.

Don't forget to have milk - organic, if you prefer. This is a great source of protein. You can add 8-9 grams to every meal just by having a glass of milk. Try starting your morning with a walnut,date, milk or soymilk shake.

Try making soup with yams, spinach, and mostly lentils. It's inexpensive, tastes good, high in protein, and easy to make. You can vary it with different beans/legumes, vegetables, and root vegetables.

You can have a lot of variation in your meals and have inexpensive ones with:
Fruits, vegetables(fresh or frozen), root vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried or canned beans and legumes, quinoa, brown rice, oats, milk ... etc.

If you start off cooking any meal with olive oil, onions and garlic, it adds so much flavour to any dish.
_________________________
"If someone asked me what a human being ought to devote the maximum of his life to, I would answer: training. Train more than you sleep."
~Mas Oyama~

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#424988 - 02/14/10 02:18 PM Re: Food ideas for a student [Re: Alicia]
MiSt Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 396
Update;

cheers for the advice, its funny how a few spices can turn what would otherwise be a boring meal into a decent curry :-D learning to cook is going well
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