document meals under $3 and 15 minutes that don't make you feel like a sad student here

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chickpea and spinach curry:
.80 can of chickpeas
1.50 bunch of spinach
~.40 about 1/6 of the 2.50 bottle of roland curry paste
~.25 olive oil/salt/lemon surcharge

i use the full 15 minutes and fry the chickpeas in the curry so they are crunchy and delicious. YUM

bell_labs, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Freshly made pesto on bowtie pasta
.89 bag of pasta
~$1.50 1/2 bag of pine nuts
.50 olive oil
.10 garlic cloves
.01 salt
(free!) giant handful of basil leaves from herb plot

While pasta water is boiling up, grind garlic, salt and olive oil in food chopper, then add the nuts and grind some more, then finally add the basil leaves and grind just until they are chopped in. There will be pesto left to dress up your sad and lonely turkey sandwich the next day in the bonus round.

Jaq, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 06:08 (sixteen years ago) link

Using £ rather than $ (is that cheating? Ingredients are way overpriced here):

Carrot & coriander soup
80p carrots
50p fresh coriander
40p white onion
25p garlic
~10p sunflower oil
~10p ground cumin
~10p ground coriander
~5p salt and pepper
free cos I made it: chicken stock

Fry onion for a few minutes till translucent, add ground spices and cook for another minute or so. Add carrots, cook for a minute or so, barely cover with stock, add garlic and fresh coriander and cook until carrots are soft. Whizz with (or in) blender, season and add remaining fresh coriander.

I'm in a very soupy phase of my life at the moment.

hejira, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 15:34 (sixteen years ago) link

Basic frittata

0.75 1 potato of moderate size
0.25 1 yellow, white, or sweet onion
1.00 4 to 6 eggs
1.00 Various herbs/oil or bacon/salt/pepper/shredded cheese

Thinly slice potato and onions. Heat flat-bottomed skillet or shallow sided pan, add oil (or fry a slice of bacon) and saute onions for a bit. Add potato slices and saute for a bit more, until things are looking a bit cooked and browning some. Beat eggs up in a bowl, mix in any dried herbs/shredded cheese you're using, or if you've got some spinach/chard/kale, chop some of that up and toss in with the sauteing potato/onion. Arrange the sauted stuff flat across the bottom of the pan in a fairly even layer and pour on the beaten egg mixture. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Turn the heat down a bit and cover the pan to get the top of the eggs to cook. Slice into quarters and eat. Also good cold or warmed over for breakfast.

Also, mmmmmmmm soup!

Jaq, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 16:14 (sixteen years ago) link

oh those all sound good! where on earth can you get a bag of pinenuts for $3 though?

bell_labs, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 20:26 (sixteen years ago) link

Trader Joe's! (I'm pretty sure that's how much, maybe they were $5) You could also use walnuts or pecans instead of pinenuts, but I don't know how spendy they are.

Jaq, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 20:33 (sixteen years ago) link

i have an awesome cheap lentil dish that will feed you for a week but it takes longer than 15 min (note: bulk of time is the pot on the stove cooking - you don't have to do anything for that period).

tehresa, Thursday, 13 September 2007 06:33 (sixteen years ago) link

recipe, t! can i make it in a crock pot?

bell_labs, Thursday, 13 September 2007 15:59 (sixteen years ago) link

ok so this is how i make mujaddara, as taught to me by my lebanese friend. i may have unconsciously altered it over the years but i think it's reasonably true to form. note: a lot of people do not cook the onions with the lentils; they serve the caramelized onions on top of the lentils instead.

you will need:
1 medium sized onion (should be under $1)
1 or 1 1/2 cups lentils (any kind you want) - i bought quit a bit of lentils bulk today for $0.75
1/4 - 1/2 cup rice (depending on how ricey you like it and how many lentils you use)
a few tbsp of olive oil (use your judgement, adjusting to quantity of lentils. actually, thinking over this now i doubt i ever use more than 2. probably more like 1 or 1 1/2. i always just eyeball.)
spices to taste

1. Dice 1 medium sized onion
2. Heat a few tbsp olive oil in a skillet (this will seem like a lot but don't worry because it's going into all the lentils) and fry onions until golden, or a little darker if you like them that way. You can even caramelize if you want.
3. Cover 1-1 1/2 cups lentils with plenty of water and boil them to soften, but not cook completely, then drain them.
4. Put the onions and all the oil from the pan in the bottom of your pot. Add the lentils and cover with water or broth (I like 1 can of chicken broth and about another can's worth of water. of course this adds to the cost. totally fine w/ water if you use the right spices, too). Don't cover toooo much or it will take years to cook. Add whatever spices you like. I prefer a lot of cumin, dash of salt and ground pepper, a little cinnamon (or you could use allspice), a bay leaf or two, and whatever else i'm feeling that day. I really like the cumin, though!
5. Bring to a boil and then throw in some rice, I say about a quarter to half as much rice as lentils you used.
6. Cover and turn heat to low. Let it simmer/cook together, stirring occasionally. This can take a long time, depending on how much the lentils were cooked before and what kind of rice you are using. You can also try using burghul (aka bulgar, cracked wheat, like in tabouli). Let it cook until it all breaks down and becomes sort of a paste-ish texture.
7. I think it's best served kind of lukewarm. Let it cool for a while. Or eat it hot if you like!

tehresa, Saturday, 15 September 2007 04:03 (sixteen years ago) link

this would probably work in crock pot! i have no crock pot experience though!

i also like to serve with salad that must include tomatoes and cucumbers. if you use romaine leaves you can line the plate with them then put the lentils on the lettuce and the rest of the veggies next to the lettuce. this is the dressing i was instructed to use - very simple but perfect:

Use equal parts lemon juice and olive oil and several cloves of garlic (to taste). if you want it a little creamier, use more olive oil. if you want it tarter, use less. a tiny dash of salt helps a bit too, and you could try black pepper in there as well. You can try whisking it, or blend it for a really good mix. Drizzle over the salad and let it mix into lentils for super yum.

tehresa, Saturday, 15 September 2007 04:07 (sixteen years ago) link

also good to note: my friend's family makes this extra mushy style (which i think is fantastic) but i've had it at restaurants where the lentils are less broken down and look more... lentil-y.

tehresa, Saturday, 15 September 2007 04:08 (sixteen years ago) link

My old standby from days of poverty, chickpea thing.

Tin chickpeas (40p, so um, 80 cents, ish)
Good Splosh olive oil, gently heated with one fine dice chilli, one fine dice garlic clove (c'mon, you'll have these lying around)
Handful of frozen peas (about an eigth of a small back, so approx 20 cents)
Small onion (50 cents ish)
Anything else you care to throw in, you've $1.50 to spare, toms, tinned fish, olives, whatever.

Sweat the onion until softened and chuck the chickpeas in on a lowish heat so they take the flavours, add your peas (preferably defrosted, you cna throw them in frozen but there'll be a good whack of liquid in the pan). Throw whatever else in order of speed of cooking, give it a good season (this is a dish which can stand a lot of seasoning, and loves smoked paprika should you have any knocking about). Alternatively leave on a low heat and bugger off to do something else for a bit. It's the most forgiving dish in the world. If your pan dries out then slosh a bit of whatever's to hand in. Lemon juice, wine vinegar, oil, it's all good.

Matt, Saturday, 15 September 2007 06:59 (sixteen years ago) link

Simple and delicious

$0.89 - 1 box of angel hair or spaghettini
$2.00 - 1 can good quality tuna packed in olive oil
$0.11 - chopped garlic cloves
$0.00 - crushed red pepper flakes (can be acquired for free from pizza joints)

While the pasta is boiling, break the tuna up with all its oil in a hot pan, add the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Drain the pasta and stir into the hot tuna mixture. Serve quickly.

Jaq, Sunday, 16 September 2007 13:59 (sixteen years ago) link

i made the lentils yesterday. using 1 1/2 cups of lentils and about 3/4 cup of bulgar i now have 4 tupperware containers full of lentils for the week!

tehresa, Sunday, 16 September 2007 15:49 (sixteen years ago) link

Similarly to Jaq's recipe (I think I might have posted this before):

1 bowlsworth of pasta, pref orecchiette
1 courgette, grated
1 big slosh of olive oil
1 pinch of chilli flakes
1 clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 grating of parmesan (or a drift of the stuff if you can afford it)

Put your pasta on. Gently sizzle the garlic and chilli flakes in the olive oil, then add the courgette. Keep over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it fluffs down. Drain pasta, top with courgette sauce and parmesan.

Madchen, Monday, 17 September 2007 14:56 (sixteen years ago) link

Tonight I made this:

1 bowlsworth of pasta
1 nice, red, fairly big tomato, chopped up
half a mozzarella, chopped up
about 8 basil leaves, torn up
a grind of pepper

Cook your pasta, drain and return to the pan over a very low heat. Add all the other ingredients and leave for about 30 seconds, stir, leave for a bit more, stir, keep doing this until the mozzarella just starts to melt. Don't leave it too long or all the bits will stick together in one big blob. Serve.

I really like this one because it tastes all fresh and clean.

Madchen, Wednesday, 19 September 2007 20:21 (sixteen years ago) link

ahhh that was a college staple for me after my trip to italy. but you need garlic. also good with a dash of white wine or lemon and some spinach if you want to get fancier. and i like red pepper rather than ground black.

tehresa, Thursday, 20 September 2007 02:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Not sure about the garlic - would you cook it first or add it raw like the rest? But the reason why I like the dish so much is it doesn't have onions or garlic in it, which gives it the fresh and clean taste.

Madchen, Friday, 21 September 2007 12:34 (sixteen years ago) link

I made something very much like those lentils tonight, except it more of a soup, and more italian spices instead of cumin because that's what was around. (Also put some feta cheese on top, though, yum.) Huge batch of leftovers for the week!

I was so sad to discover today that my local grocery does not sell chickpeas, or most other sorts of beans! (Or red lentils, so I had to make my soup with brown lentils, which I don't like as much.) How am I going to live without chickpeas? Seriously, I need protein! I might have to buy *meat*!

Maria, Monday, 24 September 2007 17:52 (sixteen years ago) link

I love apple & cheese quesadillas for a quick, psuedo gourmet cheap eat (or, for that matter, just grilled cheese with apple or pear).

KitCat, Monday, 24 September 2007 20:40 (sixteen years ago) link

six years pass...

bump. I need to start spending less money on food. Will try some of the pasta things here.

ljubljana, Monday, 4 August 2014 17:27 (nine years ago) link

If you ever go to the supermarket and they're throwing out a seafood selection that day, buy that and throw it in with a pack of Uncle Ben's Savoury Chicken flavoured rice plus optional vegetables - makes an excellent paella for one/two.

3kDk (dog latin), Tuesday, 5 August 2014 14:59 (nine years ago) link

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