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Thread: Bachelor Cuisine

  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Bachelor Cuisine

    All of us guys here either are or were bachelors at some point... so I thought I might post a thread where we can share tips on food.

    I like to keep it pretty healthy, and I shop mostly at Aldi. I don't do cans of ravioli, pizza rolls, etc. I just buy a little bit at a time and keep it cheap but nutritious and healthy.

    That being said, I've discovered a couple new things recently.

    The first is pickling. I buy jars of pickles and peppers, and after I've eaten them I re-stuff the jars with bite size pieces of fresh vegetables. I just recently stuffed a jar of pickle juice with baby carrots, and a jar of pepper juice with cloves of garlic. I think I'm just going to keep re-stuffing them with a rotating range of fresh vegetables, then top them up with new pickle/pepper juice as needed.

    The vegetables also keep much longer this way, and they're much better tasting too.

    I also found that sour cream is a really good sandwich spread. I use it instead of mayonnaise and other spreads and it's extremely tasty.

    I heard that vanilla ice cream makes a really good coffee creamer. Never goes bad like milk, and its already got the sweetener right in it. I suppose one could go fat-free sugar-free frozen yogurt for a lower calorie cup of coffee.

    Anybody else got tips/stories?

    edit: any bachelorette cuisine tips are welcome as well
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Apr 18, at 06:40.

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    As a lifelong bachelor (more or less) I feel I should make a contribution. I'll throw in a few quick ones here & do some thinking. While I don't eat as healthily as I should, I get the concept. :-)

    Instead of chips/corn chips to munch with salsa, chop up thick pit a bread and bake in the oven until crisp. Can spray with a bit of oil spray and sprinkle on chili or other powdered spices for added flavor, though this does up the fat content a bit.

    I regularly make lean chicken rissoles with some breadcrumbs coriander, ginger, garlic, chili & spring onions. A kilo of mince will make several dozen, which can be frozen for months. I tend to cook a few each week in a frying pan and put them in my lunchbox for a bit of protein with my salad. (I can dig up a recipe if anyone is keen).

    Buy a good wok - proper carbon steel, NOT non-stick (f**king white people, seriously!). Season as per instructions & you have the perfect device for a quick, healthy meal. The requisite combination of veges and meat (if desired) can be whipped up and cooked in no time. Also good for steaming and, if you don't care about calories, frying. Very healthy (mostly). Oh, and NEVER use soap etc on the wok (f**king white people, seriously!), scrub out, wipe down with kitchen paper & oil on a low heat.

    Will try to think of more.


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  3. #3
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I've made croutons with dried up bread before. Dice it up into crouton-sized pieces, dip them in ranch dressing, and bake them in the oven.

    I also found that I can cook rice in the microwave in a tupperware. 2 parts water, 1 part white rice for 20 minutes, brown rice, a little more water and 45 minutes. There's no fat so the tupperware doesn't melt or start on fire. I don't do this anymore really, but I'd douse it in Kikkoman soy sauce, which I hear in East Asian cuisine is very looked down upon as a condiment for rice.

    I don't do this any more either, but I used to take boxes of macaroni and cheese, mix in the right amount of water and milk, then stir in a can of tuna. Takes about 10-12 minutes. Maybe a bit longer. No butter/margarine in that recipe, so no melting tupperware.

    I also used to cook up 5-6 eggs at a time, sunny side up, then just go to town with organic whole grain/specialty loafs I got at an upscale grocery after 8pm for half price. Also used to go to town dipping hamburger steak and ham in those egg yolks, before I switched to the bread. The eggs were mostly there for sauce, but I'd choke down the egg whites because they have protein, of course.

    Probably about 70% of my diet used to be meat, eggs, and dairy. I think I'd drink about 4-5 gallons of milk a week, but now I'm down to just 2. I also used to do about 5 lbs of cottage cheese, 2 lbs sour cream, 4 lbs of yogurt, and 2 lbs of hard cheese a week too, on top of about 3 dozen eggs.

    The pickling technique has helped me get more vegetables into my diet though.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 06 Apr 18, at 07:07.

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    I still have the same rice cooker I bought when I was at Uni 30 years ago. Looks a bit battered, but works a treat. Pour in rice & water, turn on & go do something else. :-)

    For those who like potatoes or steamed veges, put chopped up bits of one or the other in a ziplok bag with a little bit of olive oil salt, pepper, fresh rosemary & thyme. Don't peel the spuds. Good veges include string beans, broccoli/broccolini, capsicum, button squash, big bits of mushroom or pretty much anything else firm. I put some chopped onions in with the potatoes & smashed, unpeeled garlic in with both lots. put in a foil tray, cover in foil and into an oven at 180C until done (check at 30 mins for veges & 1 hr for spuds, then at 10 min intervals.

    This is quick, no dishes & can be scaled up or down for number of people. Smells spectacular.


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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Throw a chopped up onion or two into a pot of water and put it on to boil.
    The amount of water is double the amount of rice you put in once the water is boiling.
    When the rice has almost absorbed all the water, poke 4-6 (per person) long-ish bits of vegetable into it.

    Several advantages.
    First, the onion gives even plain white rice a great taste.
    Second, if you're sticking long-stemmed brocolli into the rice, the stems with cook more than the tops.
    Third, you've got your veggies and starch cooked in one pan, so easy clean-up.
    Fourth, if you're really lazy, throw some leftover chicken or whatever on top of the rice, to steam.
    Trust me?
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  6. #6
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    I have a "bachelor's cookbook" from the late 1950s. It gushes about those fancy new "deep-frozen potatoes" that are a real staple for any bachelor household.

    Any recipes in it are also mostly about how to prepare meat. Gotta have something with those french fries. If there's any vegetables it's pretty much a tomato sliced in half to place on the meat for some juice.

  7. #7
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Stir-fry in wok+rice-cooker is stupid easy and stupid fun, per Bigfella. You can scale portions and price up or down as necessary. I'd recommend jasmine rice since the glycemic index is a lot lower from jasmine than other rices, IIRC. Oil for frying is just extra calories and extra delicious

    I love broiled chicken. Get one of those .99/lb fryers, 3 or 4 pounds. Butterfly the chicken (google "spatchcock", it gets pretty easy after you do a couple birds), throw it under the broiler or on the grill for 40 minutes, then turn for another 40 minutes.

    Enough meat for 3-4 servings, and you can make chicken broth out of the carcass/bones/giblets.

    Beans are dirt-cheap lunches. If you have a pressure cooker, you don't even need to soak them. I just throw the beans in the Instant-pot at 3:1:1 volume ratio of ChickenBroth/Miller/Beans, throw in some celery/onions/carrots, and let it cook for 1.5 hrs. Toss in some red peppers from a jar or something after it's done cooking and you have lunch for a week.


    Let me see if I can find my mac-and-cheese recipe when I get home...almost as easy as the stuff that comes out of the Kraft box, but tastes a lot better.

    I'd definitely recommend investing in a burr grinder and a couple of french presses. Also, if you get a sink strainer like this you can dump your coffee grounds directly into the sink. The strainer catches it and you can dump it out from there. Takes out the worst part of the french press.

    I definitely recommend some legit cast iron skillets. I have 1 Lodge and 2 Emeril-brands (from BedBathBeyond). They barely need to be cleaned and get a good sear on anything you cook.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Eggs are a great cheap source of protein that goes well with a ton of different things. Potatoes, bread, rice, noodles, vegetables, meat, cheese, beans... you can bulk up almost any meal with the addition of some eggs.


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    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 06 Apr 18, at 15:00.

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    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post

    First, the onion gives even plain white rice a great taste.
    Am I the only guy in the world that thinks plain White rice, has a perfect clean taste all by itself?

    Love going to the rice cooker and grabbing a big spoon of it right after its done. Also munching on the rice at the bottom of the cooker that gets crisp and crunchy
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Broiled Flounder takes about 10-15 min to cook depending on the size fish. A little olive oil, lemon juice salt pepper.

    Blanch some spinach, use a dressing of sesame oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Less than 2 min to make. Buy a couple of bunches of spinach and keep the leftover in the fridge. Its good cold

    A little pasta salad to go with it. Spiral pasta with whatever raw veggies you want int it. Tomatoes, Broccoli, sweet onion, black olives. Mix with Italian dressing. 20 min for the pasta.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    Hot peanut butter sandwich - just spread toast with peanut butter, and it's good with a slice of ham

  12. #12
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I used to do peanut butter and cheddar cheese sandwiches. A relative of mine would do peanut butter and meat, he called it a "double protein" sandwich.

  13. #13
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Am I the only guy in the world that thinks plain White rice, has a perfect clean taste all by itself?

    Love going to the rice cooker and grabbing a big spoon of it right after its done. Also munching on the rice at the bottom of the cooker that gets crisp and crunchy
    Depends on the type of rice. I got a 20 lb bag of jasmine rice once, and it did have that perfect clean taste.

    Those bags that you get for 99 cents a pound at the grocery though - they just don't have anything going on in the taste department unless it's used in a recipe or is used with flavoring/condiments.

  14. #14
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Stir-fry in wok+rice-cooker is stupid easy and stupid fun, per Bigfella. You can scale portions and price up or down as necessary. I'd recommend jasmine rice since the glycemic index is a lot lower from jasmine than other rices, IIRC. Oil for frying is just extra calories and extra delicious

    I love broiled chicken. Get one of those .99/lb fryers, 3 or 4 pounds. Butterfly the chicken (google "spatchcock", it gets pretty easy after you do a couple birds), throw it under the broiler or on the grill for 40 minutes, then turn for another 40 minutes.

    Enough meat for 3-4 servings, and you can make chicken broth out of the carcass/bones/giblets.

    Beans are dirt-cheap lunches. If you have a pressure cooker, you don't even need to soak them. I just throw the beans in the Instant-pot at 3:1:1 volume ratio of ChickenBroth/Miller/Beans, throw in some celery/onions/carrots, and let it cook for 1.5 hrs. Toss in some red peppers from a jar or something after it's done cooking and you have lunch for a week.


    Let me see if I can find my mac-and-cheese recipe when I get home...almost as easy as the stuff that comes out of the Kraft box, but tastes a lot better.

    I'd definitely recommend investing in a burr grinder and a couple of french presses. Also, if you get a sink strainer like this you can dump your coffee grounds directly into the sink. The strainer catches it and you can dump it out from there. Takes out the worst part of the french press.

    I definitely recommend some legit cast iron skillets. I have 1 Lodge and 2 Emeril-brands (from BedBathBeyond). They barely need to be cleaned and get a good sear on anything you cook.
    French press coffee is good, but can be a bit of a pain as far as labor goes. I picked up the French press habit from a former roommate, and I'd do 8 o'clock coffee, but I'm back to drip coffee and the terrible tasting, yet still caffeinated, tin of coffee that sells at Aldi for $5. To clean out the carafe, I'd actually just fill it up with water from the bathtub and dump the water and grounds down the toilet, taking care to avoid splashback.

    For my mid-day meals, I used to follow a practice I picked up from my studies of medieval European history. Inns and taverns used to have a cauldron that was cooking year-round, topped up with what ingredients were available. The cauldron would only ever be cleaned out and started anew when Lent came, to get rid of any traces of meat.

    I'd take dried beans, brown rice, barley, other healthy grains, and add in diced cuts of whatever lean meats were on sale, and have a rotating stock of 20-25 vegetables, 10-15 spices/herbs, and olive/grapeseed oil, and mix them all together. I'd aim for the full spectrum on vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and macronutrients for complete nutrition.

    I'd start a crock pot on Sunday, and fill a tupperware each evening before a workday to take to work the next day. After I filled a tupperware, I'd then top up the crock pot with something a little bit different each day to change it up a bit. The fresh ingredients would then have a day to stew alongside whatever else was already in the crock pot. On Wednesday night, I'd tupperware what was in the crock pot and put two tupperwares in the fridge for the rest of the workweek, and freeze the rest. Every Sunday I'd start a new crock pot and change it up a little bit from the week before.

    I had another more limited variant of this at a later time, minus the crockpot, where I'd spend 3 hours cooking on a Sunday with similar ingredients, but do a single batch with 5-6 tupperwares to last me the week, and bring along 3-4 servings of fruit to eat for snacks at work.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 07 Apr 18, at 20:04.

  15. #15
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Am I the only guy in the world that thinks plain White rice, has a perfect clean taste all by itself?

    Love going to the rice cooker and grabbing a big spoon of it right after its done. Also munching on the rice at the bottom of the cooker that gets crisp and crunchy
    If you throw salt and oil in with it, I'm all with you. I can eat that up all day long.

    Note to above: I said Jasmine rice had the lowest GI-boost. It's actually basmati rice.


    Inns and taverns used to have a cauldron that was cooking year-round, topped up with what ingredients were available. The cauldron would only ever be cleaned out and started anew when Lent came, to get rid of any traces of meat.
    I think you won bachelor cuisine, man!
    Last edited by GVChamp; 07 Apr 18, at 20:49.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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