Author Topic: Extreme Food Prep  (Read 6666 times)

Michael792

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Extreme Food Prep
« on: June 07, 2014, 02:14:29 AM »
Ok, I have access to free food. The problem I have is that it's a good distance to walk, and I'm not too interested in buying a bike and related equipment. It's also not very good food, even if it is sometimes hot. Not to mention there's roaches in the facility.

I want to prepare my own food, but I have no way to cook and have no option to move somewhere that I can. I do have a refrigerator, a microwave, and a sink. I want to keep the budget here at $50 a month, but am willing to bump all the way up to $100 a month if it's absolutely necessary. So here's my question: how can I stay within this budget and prepare food that is both good tasting and highly nutritious? Right now I'm just eating peanut butter sandwiches when I don't go to the DFAC, but I'd like something more without having to go eat there at all. I do plan on getting fruits and vegetables, but don't know any cold prep recipes for good eating.

Ayanka

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 02:24:30 AM »
I make a lot of salads (especially in summer), which would be good food in my opinion. You could add cheese into it for protein or ham or whatever. Add bread with it and it is a full cold meal. And something I eat a lot when it is warm inhere and I don't want to eat a warm meal. Would it be possible to cook somewhere once in a while in exchange for some of the food you have cooked (at family, friends)? This way you could make a couple of meals at a time and then just heat them in the microwave. You can also just cook in the microwave (eggs and rice come to mind), so maybe googling that could be helpful. If you aren't that much into health, but just need the calories, some of the cheaper store meals can also be heated in the microwave, even if not specifically mentioned on the package.

shadowmoss

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2014, 03:46:43 AM »
With a microwave you can heat up soups, and even make things like home made hamburger helper casseroles.  I had the same kind of setup when I was living in Honduras, and I did go to the DFAC for one meal a day, but we had an awesome DFAC there.  Cold cut meats and bread work with just a fridge.  Mac & cheese (instant until you can figure out how to make it from scratch).  Any kind of instant foods, so you could look at backpacking food sites for ideas.

Michael792

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 03:56:12 AM »
Ayanka, thanks for the ideas. I'm not able to cook at all. I live in Korea, so my family/friends are a bit far away. Not to mention we're on permanent lock down in my area and have to get approval to leave the base. I'm definitely gonna start getting into salad, though. I do need to devote a lot of attention to health for the job.

Shadowmoss, I'll go have a look down at the commissary and see what they have. Thanks for your advice as well! When were you in Honduras and where? I used to do work down there occasionally. I was around the Choluteca area for most of the time, but went to Tegucigalpa, and over to Cedeno as well.

fishingman88

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2014, 04:06:06 AM »
Ayanka, thanks for the ideas. I'm not able to cook at all. I live in Korea, so my family/friends are a bit far away. Not to mention we're on permanent lock down in my area and have to get approval to leave the base. I'm definitely gonna start getting into salad, though. I do need to devote a lot of attention to health for the job.

Shadowmoss, I'll go have a look down at the commissary and see what they have. Thanks for your advice as well! When were you in Honduras and where? I used to do work down there occasionally. I was around the Choluteca area for most of the time, but went to Tegucigalpa, and over to Cedeno as well.

Michael,

When I was overseas in Koreas volunteering, I found that I ate a lot of granola, fruits, and veggies.  Salads are definitely a great suggestion.  Just remember to keep the dressing light to maintain the health benefits. 

Not sure what products are sold at your commissary, but if its a PX, then you should have access to imported goods.  I had to order off iHerb to have access to imported products.

My favorite breakfast while I was in Korea:

Breakfast - 1/2 cup of Oatmeal with peanut butter, bananas, raisins, and granola


Michael792

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2014, 04:28:06 AM »
Hey, thanks for the reply! I'll have to give that a try. We have both PX and Commissary here now. I realize it wasn't as nice in the past. Still, where I am it's pretty small. To get good selection I'd have to go to Yongsan or Osan, but I'm not carrying groceries back from those places. I'll just find what I can here. It's fairly good, really, just a lot smaller than the others.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 05:49:16 AM »
I doubt it based on your thread, but any access to charcoal? You can do a lot of cooking for one with charcoal in a metal chimney starter.

If not, something like Sterno or other camping stoves might be good.

Otherwise, I'd probably do oatmeal/muesli for breakfasts, sandwiches for lunch, hearty salads or microwaved rice concoctions.

If you're in Korea, do you like or have tried kimchi and other lacto-fermented things? These can be very easy to make, since they require no heat input other than ambient temperature.

Rural

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2014, 07:09:07 AM »
It's perfectly possible to cook in a microwave. That's all I had for the first six months we lived in this house. Google for microwave recipes for whatever you think you'd like to cook, and odds are you'll find a way. With baked goods, you do have to get over the idea that they should be browned on the outside, because they won't, but they will taste fine. Cornbread works particularly well.


Rice and pasta work well, as do barley, oatmeal, etc. Bacon and scrambled eggs are easy. Really, if you'd like to do it, use google and see if someone hasn't already figured out how.

Erica/NWEdible

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Michael792

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2014, 06:22:52 PM »
Well, I don't need to bake :) Everything else sounds good though. Definitely using these ideas!

San

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2014, 07:55:24 AM »
Can you get a hold of a crockpot/slow cooker?

There are LOADS of recipes, on the cheap, that you can make using one of those, and they only need to be plugged in. Chili, rice, beans, meats and veggies, desserts. I mean, you can even make yogurt in them.

Rural

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2014, 10:08:20 AM »
I'll second this. If you have a little bit of counter space and an electrical receptacle, it's more than worthwhile. You can usually find one at a thrift store for under $10.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2014, 10:15:34 AM »
Do you have access to dried beans and lentils?  They pack a huge nutritional punch, and can be soaked overnight, then microwaved.  And a huge plus, is that they are usually dirt cheap.

San

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2014, 11:03:55 AM »
Do you have access to dried beans and lentils?  They pack a huge nutritional punch, and can be soaked overnight, then microwaved.  And a huge plus, is that they are usually dirt cheap.

Can you cook beans in the microwave? They take so long on the stove top. Lentils, split peas I can dig, but beans? I never would have thought to try that. How does it come out?

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2014, 11:07:01 AM »
Do you have access to dried beans and lentils?  They pack a huge nutritional punch, and can be soaked overnight, then microwaved.  And a huge plus, is that they are usually dirt cheap.

Can you cook beans in the microwave? They take so long on the stove top. Lentils, split peas I can dig, but beans? I never would have thought to try that. How does it come out?

I haven't actually done it myself, but there are lots of instructions online:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/434317-how-to-cook-dry-beans-in-a-microwave/

mlipps

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2014, 11:42:30 AM »
Or, if you can't get a slow cooker, you can almost certainly get a rice cooker, which would be almost as good, and probably smaller.

deborah

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2014, 03:37:49 PM »
Or, if you can't get a slow cooker, you can almost certainly get a rice cooker, which would be almost as good, and probably smaller.
Although everything you can do in a rice cooker can be done in a microwave. Actually, I would have a microwave and a sandwich toaster (they can grill open sandwiches and you can use them to cook a steak, so they give you the browning ability that the microwave doesn't have). A slow cooker would be next.

San

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2014, 04:07:43 PM »
I also used the heck out of a little Foreman grill when I was in college. That was the best thing ever for dorm cooking, which sounds like a similar situation. Grilled cheese, grilled veggies, mushrooms, chicken, steak, etc.

Michael792

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Re: Extreme Food Prep
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2014, 08:15:28 PM »
Unfotunately we're not allowed to have extra cooking devices. I know some other guys do, so I might look into getting one for myself, depending on the cost. Plus there really isn't any storage or counter space. Might be just enough to stick one of those things in here though.