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  1. #1
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    Default Limited options for ingredients - recipe suggestions?

    Having scanned some of the other threads here I'm amazed how people have the time/energy/inclination to cook.
    My working day means I eat breakfast about 6.30, grab something (couple of cookies) late morning then have 'lunch' as soon as possible after getting into my house about 3.20 usually feeling like I just have to eat something NOW.
    I can almost never be bothered to cook, and often end up filling up on a sandwich and then not needing to eat anything else in the evening.
    Apart from the problem of my daily schedule I have a very limited range of fresh ingredients available. No meat/milk/cheese (except powdered milk and nasty 'white' cheese). The fruit and vegetables in the village always look like they should have been eaten 3 weeks ago. Having said that, I can almost always buy green peppers, courgettes, onions and aubergines (albeit of dubious quality) but there's only so many times you can eat vegetable stir fries. It's an hour to the nearest decent supermarket and I only have electricity half the time so freezing isn't really an option.
    Any suggestions (apart from omelettes) for quick meals that can be made from limited ingredients?

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Wow, that's a challenge. What ingredients DO you have? You must go to the supermarket sometimes if there's no food in the village. I'm assuming growing fresh food isn't an option for you? I'd be concerned that your fruit and veggie levels are going to be low.

    -For fruit, stock up on dried fruit - will keep a LONG time (months....years?)
    -For veggies, root vegetables will keep a long time if you have a cool, dry cellar - squashes, potatoes, turnips, even carrots will keep a while
    -You could buy canned veggies, but many of them taste bad. Canned fruit, too.

    Can you get a generator so freezing would be a better option? That would make it a LOT easier to keep a balanced diet.
    -end of thread-

  3. #3
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    I can easily get pasta, rice, lentils, potatoes and flat bread,eggs, tinned tuna, butter and yoghurt (plus poor quality fruit and veg).
    The locals obviously eat, I just don't know how they make anything edible from what's available.
    Dried fruit - apricots and sultanas are about it. And the ants like my sultanas.
    Growing things - most plants die due to my lack of tlc.
    Generator - exists but costs $20 per hour to run. (It's not meant to just do my house, obviously, but it generally isn't used in the evenings). Plus freezing involves some planning and I'm kind of beyond that right now.

  4. #4
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    Tip 1: You can always have meat/cheese on hand as long as you have a refrigerator, a freezer, and the inclination to visit any grocery store at least once every week or two. Just buy some meat when it's on sale, keep some in the fridge to be cooked that week, and put the rest in the freezer so it'll last til the 2012 apocalypse if need be. It's so simple and cost effective, you just need to change your habits a little and learn to cook meats.

    Tip 2: Fresh veg isn't all that important, and there are certainly workarounds for the perishable BS this food group suffers from. Just buy your fruits/vegies frozen (better than canned) and use them whenever u want.

    Tip 3: But more useful is having a good supply of dried herbs. Dried herbs last forever as long as you keep them sealed in a container. Fresh herbs are good, but dried is no different really. Almost all good recipes can be done with dried herbs as opposed to fresh. Go to the nearest whole foods store where they sell beans, nuts, spices, etc. in bulk bins and stock up on just about every herb they have. It's UBER cheap compared to buying it in containers from the spice aisle. Doing this will be a modest one time expense, yielding a pantry full of ingredients that you'll be using for many months to come.

    As long as you have two hands and a tongue, you can follow those 3 tips, google your fav recipes, and get to cooking! Some recipes are simpler than others, so just go after the simpler versions to save yourself time. There's no reason to say "I don't know how, or have time, to cook."

    EDIT** Ok, I see you live in the middle of nowhere with little electricity... In that case, I'd invest in some solar equipment to power a small well insulated freezer (better if it's one specifically designed to be run on solar power). That'd do wonders for your food situation. I had planned to use such a setup back when I was considering living in the woods for a time, away from civilization.

  5. #5
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    If electricity is intermittent, consider forms of campfire meals including those that use tin foil by burying in embers. Roast potatoes are wonderful this way. This is assuming you have access to a fireplace or are capable of building a fire outside. Also consider a propane bbq or grill where you can refuel bi-weekly, as long as you're frugal on propane in your cooking.

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