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Cooking a big load to eat all week
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Jbk Offline
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Cooking a big load to eat all week
Not sure if I phrased the thread title very well but Anderoid Ocean mentioned in my frugal thread about cooking a large amount of something eg pasta and then storing it for the week. Scaling it to make cost savings.

I always find cooking expensive because I end up throwing half the ingredients away the next day.

Can anyone recommend some good big pot things to cook and how to store them/how long they will last?
03-24-2013 08:58 PM
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thegmanifesto Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Get a crockpot.

Cook on Sunday or Monday.

Food for most of the week.

Endless recipes online.

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And yeah. Change that thread title.

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(This post was last modified: 03-24-2013 09:22 PM by thegmanifesto.)
03-24-2013 08:59 PM
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Hades Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
If I were to cook something to eat for several days, it would be a large cut of beef, a whole turkey, or some kind of stew. I can't see pasta keeping in the fridge very well past two days or so.
03-24-2013 09:22 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Yeah, something like beef stew or a stirfry would probably work in a crockpot.

I used to make a large pan of stirfry and eat off it for three days or so.

Try to make food that tastes good cold, like large amounts of meat and potatoes.

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03-24-2013 09:24 PM
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liberman Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Chili con carne is a meal I cook regularly. Its just mince, red kidney beans, tomato, onion, capsicums and spices. There are lots of recipes online and many variations to the meal, I like to have mine over couscous with some steamed greens.

Keeps for about 3-4 days in the fridge longer if you freeze it.
03-24-2013 09:35 PM
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pobreinvestidor Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Yes like everyone said it there.... Pre-cooking stuff saves a lot of time later.
03-24-2013 10:42 PM
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Ovid Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Roasts in a crock pot are great. Salt+pepper, Brown the roast in a skillet, which takes 5 minutes, put it in the crock pot with some cut up carrots, potatoes, some onions and maybe a piece of celery or two, add some worcestershire sauce, fill about 2/3 full with water, put the lid on, turn it on before you go to work, and when you get home you have a delicious pot roast which will make a good number of meals, depending on the size of the crock pot and how big your roast is. If you get tired of eating it hot, you can eat it cold, or you can break up the roast beef into shreds, use barbecue sauce, and make a sort of "barbecued beef" sandwich, etc.
03-24-2013 11:06 PM
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Elixir Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
I like to make bison chili on the stove.

http://americanfood.about.com/od/chilire...fchili.htm

It's an easy recipe to play with ingredients too, if you want to substitute chilies for example. It always lasts me about 3-4 days in the fridge.
03-24-2013 11:23 PM
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Black Knight Offline
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Big Grin RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Chicken thighs. Get several pounds of them, put them in a cooking pan, throw some butter and spices on them, and then cook them for an hour. It's been a while since I've done this so you should look up the temperature online, but this provides 5-6 meals worth of food for $12 or so and next to zero labor.

As a bonus, they keep fairly well in the fridge wrapped in aluminum foil, and because it's mostly dark meat they are highly resistant to overcooking.
03-25-2013 12:14 AM
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Beef tongue. Cheap, delicious, awesome.

Step one. Buy beef tongue.
Step two. Simmer in water for 3-4 hours.
Step three. Peel, slice, and eat with salt, lime juice, and raw onion.
03-25-2013 01:24 AM
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T and A Man Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
You guys need to appreciate food better, also El mech's day game hack offers heaps here. Other than your protein, spinach, cherry tomatos, feta, asparagus, red onion, olives, cucumber in cling wrap, all last over a week in the fridge.

If you're single, you're not so time constrained to get a fresh cut of meat every day.

"1 porterhouse steak please"

Now the cheap cuts, you can go from walmart cuts to gourmet cuts, and the total increase will be $5-15 a week.

After sleep, diet should be the next imporant part of time management.
03-25-2013 02:01 AM
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
If you only pursue gourmet cuts of meat, you'll never be a very good cook. True skill lies in the ability to make the cheap stuff sublime.
03-27-2013 08:26 PM
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Aliblahba Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
(03-24-2013 09:22 PM)Hades Wrote:  If I were to cook something to eat for several days, it would be a large cut of beef, a whole turkey, or some kind of stew. I can't see pasta keeping in the fridge very well past two days or so.

Pasta doesn't do well in the fridge, but it only takes a few minutes to make fresh. When you walk in start the water to boil, then take off your boots, check emails, or get out the leftovers. It doesn't freeze well either.

You guys need to be careful leaving leftovers in the fridge all week. Food does spoil. My advice to the OP is to cook and freeze in portions. Lasagna, soup, chili, ect. It only takes a few minutes to thaw these out too.
03-27-2013 09:07 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
I do this all the time. The only thing I cook every day is breakfast, which usually consists of oatmeal and a few eggs with fruit most days.

Last week I made a huge pot of vegetable beef stew. Bought some beef cubes for $4. Slice them small, some spices for the pot, boil them for maybe an hour or until tender. Then put in a large can of tomato sauce, some diced canned tomatoes, and a big bag of frozen mixed vegetables(peas, carrots, green beans, lima beans). I even throw in maybe 1/3rd a bag of egg noodles. Let that simmer for a bit more and that meal will be dinner for the next 5 days. Very hearty and has everything you need. Vegetables and protein. I like to eat it with crackers. Last night I cut up four chicken breasts, seasoned them with garlic salt and parsley and some lemon juice. Grilled them. Then made some pasta with a cheese sauce and broccoli. That will last me at least 3 days. Cheap meal. A pack of 6 skinless breasts was less than $7. A bag of frozen broccoli and dry pasta is only a couple bucks more. I'm guess I eat about $5-8 worth of food per day.
03-27-2013 09:13 PM
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thegmanifesto Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Speak, why not use fresh vegetables?

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03-27-2013 09:25 PM
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speakeasy Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
(03-27-2013 09:25 PM)thegmanifesto Wrote:  Speak, why not use fresh vegetables?

I probably should, it's just more of a convenience thing I guess.
03-27-2013 09:31 PM
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thegmanifesto Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
(03-27-2013 09:31 PM)speakeasy Wrote:  
(03-27-2013 09:25 PM)thegmanifesto Wrote:  Speak, why not use fresh vegetables?

I probably should, it's just more of a convenience thing I guess.

Yeah, make the switch for sure. You will be thanking me.

Juice the leftovers.

Always use fresh vegetables, meats, fish and spices.

Never use that saw dust stuff that every one has in those little jars in that spice rack in their house.

Get some herb plants.

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(This post was last modified: 03-27-2013 09:39 PM by thegmanifesto.)
03-27-2013 09:38 PM
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kosko Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Vegetables can be best in a lot of different formats.

Fresh isn't always best for everything. If its out of season and your City does not get good quality in the stores your better off using high grade frozen veggies.

Things like Tomatos are best when canned. You won't find any better quality in North America unless your living in Cali near some vines.

Green peas are best Frozen as they keep the flavour better, and I find Green beans also are better frozen. Fruits like cranberries and blueberries also do good frozen.

Stuff like bell peppers, carrots, asparagus, are way better fresh and the frozen stuff is a big step down.
03-27-2013 10:26 PM
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T and A Man Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Yeah, that's correct.

Canned tomatoes, chickpeas and frozen peas are an equalyl good source of food. Corn kernals too are pretty good fare.

I also keep canned tuna in the cupboard, but just learn to create quick, good meals.

I got myself a pasta maker.

The first time I sued it, it took me 20+ minutes. Once you get a groove going,you can make fresh pasta from one egg and 1 cup of flour in around 2 minutes, another 2 minutes to cut, and fresh pasta only takes 60-90 second to cook.

If you start up crushed garlic and sliced onion in butter for 2 minutes, add a small can of tuna, cook for another 2 minutes, add in a can of tomatoes and spnkle in fresh basil for another minute, simmer for further 5 minutes while you make the fresh pasta, then throw the pasta into the pan with the base, stir and cook on high for 30 seconds.

It's a 12 minute dish if you spend 1 minute chopping the onion and crushing the garlic as part of preparation time .... replace the tuna with fresh chicken thighs, or fresh squid, or ham chunks, perhaps adding cream to the base, and you have a handful of meals.

Good food isn't hard.
03-28-2013 01:59 AM
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
Great Idea

You save a ton of money you could spend elsewhere like indulging in vices with cool chicks.

Self Discipline is key though


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03-28-2013 11:32 AM
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Giovonny Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
I made alot of soup this past winter..

Get a really big pot.
Fill it with water+chicken broth.
Add a bunch of chopped vegetables.
Add whatever type of meat you want.
Add whatever spices/herbs you want.

Bring all of this to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few hours.

Use the vegetables that you like. Use the meat that you like. Use the spices/herbs that you like.

You will have soup for the week.

It's different every time.

Last week, my recipe was..

1/2 gallon of chicken broth
1/2 pound of chopped carrots
1/2 pound of chopped celery
1 bunch of chopped spinach
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 pound of chopped potatoes
1/2 pound of cauliflower
2 pounds of chopped chicken
Add more water as needed.

salt
pepper
chili powder
cumin
cinnamon
oregano

This is good shit. And, super easy to make. JUST PUT IT ALL IN A POT AND SIMMER IT!
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2013 03:16 PM by Giovonny.)
03-28-2013 03:11 PM
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
The best thing I bought for the kitchen was a Zojirushi rice cooker. Dump a cup of rice in, go lift, it's perfect when I get back. Add meat and vegetables, mealtime.
03-28-2013 10:55 PM
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AneroidOcean Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
(03-24-2013 08:58 PM)Jbk Wrote:  Not sure if I phrased the thread title very well but Anderoid Ocean mentioned in my frugal thread about cooking a large amount of something eg pasta and then storing it for the week. Scaling it to make cost savings.

I always find cooking expensive because I end up throwing half the ingredients away the next day.

Can anyone recommend some good big pot things to cook and how to store them/how long they will last?

Like others have said, Pasta won't keep as long as other items in the fridge and doesn't reheat that well. I'm on a pretty specific diet/gym regimen for another 10 weeks so my meals are REALLY simple/plain but as others have posted, there are many great meals you can make that will taste great and keep plenty long.

Ideally, I would be cooking twice a week. Sundays and Wednesdays (or whichever days make more sense to you. Right now I'm eating the following (all of which keeps easily for 3 days except for the fish and the eggs):

Egg Whites
Oats
Chicken Breasts/Cutlets (usually from frozen and I make my own mix of spices and bake in the oven in a pyrex baking dish, I often cover it all with sauteed onion, garlic, and broken up walnuts)
Tilapia
Lean beef cuts
Brown Short Grain Rice
Sweet Potato
Broccoli (raw)
Occasionally I mix it up with some other vegetables or some fruit.

If you actually eat almost exclusively the food that you cook, you CAN eat through a whole dish worth of chicken, multiple steaks, fish, and large batches of the rice, sweet potatoes, and broccoli without wasting any of it. It's nearly the same effort to cook 4-5 times the amount you need as it is to just cook for that one meal. Why not benefit from the time savings and potential $$$ savings (from having food ready to eat versus eating take out).

I plan to get a crock pot the next time I go to the store. The food you can make with a slow simmer is SO damn good and so tender and is great for reheating.

While I do really enjoy cooking multiple course dinners, it makes a lot of mess to clean up versus doing a bunch of mass cooking a couple times a week and enjoying the fruits of my labor the rest of the week. The only thing I have to wash otherwise is the tupperware I store my food in.

I like having decent tasting healthy food available to me at all times, so if I get hungry I can just eat almost right away.

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(03-28-2013 11:32 AM)TheCool Wrote:  Self Discipline is key though

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03-29-2013 05:01 PM
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Lucky Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
(03-28-2013 03:11 PM)Giovonny Wrote:  I made alot of soup this past winter..

Get a really big pot.
Fill it with water+chicken broth.
Add a bunch of chopped vegetables.
Add whatever type of meat you want.
Add whatever spices/herbs you want.


This is good shit. And, super easy to make. JUST PUT IT ALL IN A POT AND SIMMER IT!

I've been thinking about making something to last awhile since I've been eating out more lately.

I'm going to try this over the weekend, it sounds easy and good.
03-29-2013 06:50 PM
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Giovonny Offline
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RE: Cooking a big load to eat all week
(03-29-2013 06:50 PM)Lucky Wrote:  
(03-28-2013 03:11 PM)Giovonny Wrote:  I made alot of soup this past winter..

Get a really big pot.
Fill it with water+chicken broth.
Add a bunch of chopped vegetables.
Add whatever type of meat you want.
Add whatever spices/herbs you want.


This is good shit. And, super easy to make. JUST PUT IT ALL IN A POT AND SIMMER IT!

I've been thinking about making something to last awhile since I've been eating out more lately.

I'm going to try this over the weekend, it sounds easy and good.

It's a bit of work to chop everything, but, once you get it all into the pot is very easy.
03-29-2013 07:01 PM
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