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Quick, Easy & Cheap Recipes, Pretty Please!!

I am going to be moving into my first apartment in two weeks (I'm a sophomore in college) and I am starting to worry a bit about my ability to cook! We will have an oven with a stovetop and a microwave but not a grill of any kind. We might get a George Foreman down the road at some point but not at first. I am going to be on an extremely tight budget which is why I will have to cook instead of eating out! Of course that is best for my weight loss plan anyway!

You guys are all so great about sharing recipes (I love the Chicken Ideas thread!) so I thought I would create one for me and other busy people who aren't great at cooking but don't want to eat fattening fast food or at an expensive restaurant. I need ideas for cooking dinners that are pretty quick and simple to make, that don't require expensive or exotic ingredients, and that are fairly low calorie. Also, stuff that is good cold / room temperature the next day would be a great bonus for packing lunch!!

Thank you so much!

Thu. Aug 2, 4:51pm

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I'm 17 and usually end up cooking for myself when I'm dieting (the rest of my family's so SKINNY!). So here's some of my favorite recipes that are usually pretty easy.

a. Rice and beans.
1 cup cooked brown rice (You can make a bunch of rice from a few days before and then use as much as you want...the rice is better when fridged 'cause it fries can also use the rice in the next recipe)
.5 cup black beans (rinsed..I use the canned ones)
Assorted veggies and spices to taste.
Add the PAM (or oil) to a frying pan, add in a little garlic, and the spices you want (I use chili pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper....yum!). When the pan gets hot, add the veggies and stir them around until they soften. Then add the beans, until they're warm. Finally, add the rice and stir it about until everything's coated and warm. This packs easily too, and doesn't taste bad cold.

b. Rice pudding...and it's healthy!
1 cup rice (I use brown for everything...kind of like the white bread vs whole wheat thing)
1 cup FF milk
1-2 packets splenda
Fruit, if you want. I put in bananas.
Set the milk to boil. Add the rice and the sugar (and fruit, if you want it). Then, keep stirring (I put the heat super high....doesn't make a difference in the cooking if you watch it and it goes faster). Make sure to stir it a lot or the rice will stick and burn. You'll know when it's'll be creamy.

c. 3-4 egg whites, veggies. Do the same thing to the veggies as recipe A. Then put them to the side, fry the egg whites, and slide the veggies in. Yum!

There's more recipes in this link..and since they're for the fat smash diet, they're pretty low-cal too.



Thursday, August 02, 2007, 5:26 PM

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I like to make tostadas.

Use corn tostada shells - or fresh corn tortillas for a soft tostada.

Top with fat free vegetarian refried beans (pinto or black beans) or make your own by buying canned beans and smashing them with some fat free beef or chicken broth. Add shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onion or green onion, a little shredded cheese (reduced fat or regular but measure and track those fat grams) and some salsa or hot sauce. You might also add canned green chiles or jalapenos if you like more heat. If you weight loss plan allows avocadoes, you might a couple slices of avocado. You probably don't want to eat the whole thing, so be sure to sprinkle the rest with lemon or lime juice to prevent oxidation, cover with plastic wrap, and save until the next day.

This makes a very large and filling meal with lots of nutrients and very little fat.

Thursday, August 02, 2007, 6:46 PM

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well it's not here yet, but fall ia around the corner- and veggie or chicken soup is incedibly easy and cheap to make. And easy to store. Stew is generally alittle pricier, but stew meat is usually a cheaper form of beef...

Thursday, August 02, 2007, 7:18 PM

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This one can be a healthy breakfast or a fun dessert...

1/2 cup Golden Grahams cereal, broken slightly by hand but not really crushed
1 fat-free, sugar-free vanilla pudding cup - cold
1/3 cup no sugar added canned cherry filling

Put the cereal into the bottom of a small bowl. Spoon the pudding over the cereal and top with the cherry filling.

This is a tasty and satisfying cherry cream pie, with lots of flavor, texture, and crunchiness. I buy a can of cherry filling, store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and have it a few times during a week.

I also make this with a chocolate pudding cup, top it with a little fat-free kool whip and then I melt a tablespoon of peanut butter in the microwave and drizzle it over the top for a pretty and tasty chocolate peanut butter treat.


Thursday, August 02, 2007, 7:20 PM

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Most large supermarkets sell rotisserie chickens that are fresh, hot, and wonderful - sometimes with a variety of seasonings. They often run great specials on these or mark them down at night after the dinner rush.

I often get one of those for $5 or less. Get one of those bagged salads, and an inexpensive french or italian loaf from the fresh-baked bread section of the same store and you have a great healthy dinner. You can get all this for maybe 10 bucks with plenty of leftovers.

The next night, you can shred some of the leftover chicken, toss it on top of some of the leftover salad, and maybe add some cheese crumbles and fruit (dried cranberries or raisins, canned mandarin slices, fresh apple slices). Slice some of the leftover bread and another great dinner.

or ... slice that leftover bread loaf like a sub roll and make a sandwich with the leftover chicken and salad, maybe drizzling with your favorite lo-cal dressing.

or ... buy tortillas and make wraps with the leftovers.

Thursday, August 02, 2007, 7:35 PM

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