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jamesgold
07-12-2014, 03:45 AM
I'll be living off campus next semester which means I won't have a meal plan. I have to buy all my own food and prepare it. But I have neither the time nor the patience for legit cooking, so I figured I'd buy a slow cooker. Throw a bunch of shit in it a couple times a week, let it simmer for 8 hours, and out comes a few meals worth of deliciousness. That's how it works, right? Have any cheap slow cooker recipes, or just cheap cooking tips in general? I want to spend as little time and money cooking as possible.

jigglypuff
07-12-2014, 04:07 AM
ugh... i got through most of college cooking most of my food with a rice cooker. rice, noodles, steamed veggies and meats, etc. sometimes i'd microwave eggs. my school didn't offer a meal plan.

i really, really recommend learning how to eat and cook properly, and enjoy the process of eating and cooking, when you're in college. such an important life skill. don't take the kitchen for granted. school doesn't give you a lot of time, though. slow cooker sounds good but i've got no advice there, sorry.

as for cheap and healthy, you're in a great area for farmer's markets, so i'd recommend doing that every week for really fresh local groceries.

Polemarch
07-12-2014, 04:16 AM
Slow cookers are indeed a good way to go about things. Put it on low, and just let it cook until you make it home. Having rice on hand is also smart, because if you make some sort of stew type thing in the slow cooker (i.e. carrots, celery, some sort of meat, seasonings etc.) you can throw it on rice and have a good, filling meal. It will last a couple of days.

I think that's a good plan, and I wish I had done that when I was in school, instead of eating absolute filth everyday.

jigglypuff
07-12-2014, 04:25 AM
Having rice on hand is also smart, because if you make some sort of stew type thing in the slow cooker (i.e. carrots, celery, some sort of meat, seasonings etc.) you can throw it on rice and have a good, filling meal. It will last a couple of days.
it might last longer if you freeze stuff. ime stew-type stuff doesn't last very long at all, esp if it's meaty. (idk how disgusting this all sounds, lol.)

i recommend using the freezer for rice. just cook a bunch, divide it up into single portions, store in plastic bags, freeze & zap it up when you're ready to eat. sad but economical.

...i'm getting flashbacks now of finals week comfort eaters & images of sad student food when work is really crunched...

lethe
07-12-2014, 01:54 PM
There are now liners for slow cookers that look similar to oven bags. You want them, trust me. wizardry!

I agree with the importance of freezing; it can be even more of a lifesaver than slow cooking.

mhc
07-12-2014, 02:01 PM
the three fundamental parts to my food continuation: upright freezer with shelves, slow cooker and plastic containers.

slow cooked lamb shank stew is one of my favorite's. can be served with either mash or rice.

tip: mash potato does not thaw as well as rice

Pan_Sonic_000
07-13-2014, 06:58 PM
My slow cooker is one of the best investments I ever made. Part of the beauty of it is that it's virtually impossible to ruin anything; it may not be perfect, but it's usually at least edible and decent tasting. If you're just starting out with learning to cook, you'll find this invaluable.

The only downside I can think of is that it's kinda narrow in terms of what it can produce. I mean, almost everything that comes out of a slow cooker is gonna be soupy / stew-ish and sometimes you just don't want that. You crave a salad or something cold. Especially during the summer.

Anyway, one of my favorite recipes is stupidly easy to make:

- chicken breasts
- 1 package of dry italian salad dressing mix
- 1/4 cup of water
- 8oz package of cream cheese (softened)
- 1 can cream of chicken
- mushrooms and / or other assorted veggies that you like

Put the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker
Mix the salad dressing and water, pour over the chicken
cook for 3 hours
mix the cream cheese and soup until blended, add in the mushrooms and veggies. Pour over the chicken.
Cook for one or two more hours.

Senseye
07-14-2014, 02:54 PM
it might last longer if you freeze stuff. ime stew-type stuff doesn't last very long at all, esp if it's meaty. (idk how disgusting this all sounds, lol.)I don't think he has to worry about it going bad after it's cooked. Should be good for a week or so in the fridge. Still, the freezing concept is good to break up the monotony, so instead of eating a bunch of the same thing for days, one can mix and match previously slow cooked foods. Chili one day, stew the next, vs 4 days of chili followed by 4 days of stew. Come up with a few more slow cooker recipes and you're golden.

gator
07-15-2014, 04:28 AM
My mom has a decent slow cooker butter chicken recipe. Shall I ask her for you?

jyng1
07-15-2014, 04:42 AM
There are now liners for slow cookers that look similar to oven bags. You want them, trust me. wizardry!

And the average number of items carried in an American Supermarket just went up to 43,845