Craftster Cookbook

No Cooking Without Irony. Table Of Contents
Entrees – Pg. 1 Ramen Variations – Pg. 10 Soups – Pg. 12 Seasonings/Dressings/Toppings – Pg. 14 Side Dishes – Pg. 15 Potatoes – Pg. 17 Side Dishes – Pg. 17 Breakfasts – Pg. 17 Snacks – Pg. 19 Tips & Tricks - Pg. 20

Recipes with this symbol ☼ are vegetarian or veggie friendly 

ENTRÉES
Pretendpeterpan : Ghetto Chicken Parm I get those chicken breasts that come individually packaged frozen, and are pretty cheap. Thaw as many breasts as you want. Put some milk in a bowl, and coat the breasts in it and then cover them with bread crumbs. (I get a can from the grocery store for a dollar or two, and they last a long time!) Put them in a pan and bake for about 30-45 minutes at 350. (my oven is crazy, so you might want to keep an eye on them. cook until they arent pink in the middle anymore.) Put a spoonful of tomato sauce and a slice of provolone or parmesan cheese on each and pop em back into the oven for 5 minutes or so. Cook up some pasta, heat up more sauce, and put the chicken on top! It's pretty yummy and not too expensive. I also have put the chicken breasts with sauce and cheese on sub rolls, which is pretty good and portable as well! Adriennec: Tuna Cabbage Noodles What i used to make (and still love) was tuna cabbage noodles... It sounds gross, but is so good! Basically, just panfry the can of tuna (drained) with some oil and garlic, then toss in thinly sliced cabbage. After the cabbage is cooked, mix in some cooked noodles. I used to make it with oyster sauce, but i think i like it better now with some hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Stellato Escuro: Chicken Soup and Dumplings Make a can of cream if chicken soup as directed. While it's heating up, mix some bisquik and water together to make a thick mix. As soon as the soup starts to boil, turn it down a bit and drop big spoonfuls of the batter in. Let it simmer a few minutes, until the "dumplings" are done in the middle. This is really fast, easy and filling. I never did measure out the bisuqik, but thats nice because then you can make just a few dumplings, or a lot. ☼ Smashyouupyo: Gnocchi Boil a potato and mash. Add potato to one cup flour and 1 TBS oil. Knead into dough. Roll into small balls and boil until they float. Top with pasta sauce! This feeds about 2 people… I make it a lot for potlucks. To make more, just use as many cups of flour and tbs of oil as you do potatoes. ☼ Rhawny: Mac and Cheese the Old Fashioned Way Grab a microwave and oven safe casserole type bowl and melt about 30g of butter (in the microwave is fine or you can do all the sauce stuff on the stove). Stir in about 2 TBS of plain or wholemeal flour until everything's clumpy. Stir in 1/4 cup of milk and mix thoroughly. Microwave on high for 1 min or stir on the stove for a little while. Keep adding 1/4 cups of milk and continue to microwave until you have about 1-1.5 cups of milk in the sauce. It might be a bit doughy and lumpy but it doesn't matter. Stir in a big handful of grated cheese then fill your bowl with cooked macaroni. Sprinkle a layer of dried breadcrumbs (optional) on top about 1/4-1/2 inch thick and put tiny little bits of butter over the top. Bake 15-20 minutes at 240 degrees Celsius (460 Fahrenheit) until the butter on top has melted and gone golden brown then serve!

Hellga: Freezer Stroganoff You need: 1 large package of hamburger (I usually get the 5 lb. rolls for like $6-8 at Wal-Mart) 3 big cans of cream of mushroom soup 3 big containers of sour cream (the kind that are like 5 inches across at the top? haven't made this in like 4 months) A splash of milk Lots of little freezer containers that can hold 2-3 cups of liquid at a time Onion powder or dried onion flakes Salt Optional: canned mushrooms, real onion (ew), whatever else First, cook the entire hamburger up. You'll need one of those big soup-pots or a Dutch oven to do this, elsewise you'll set things on fire pretty fast (I did twice). It’ll take a while to get all the hamburger cooked, and you'll only need to stir about once every minute, so bring a barstool or chair, and a book. After the hamburger starts to show signs that it's actually cooking, sprinkle in a liberal amount of onion powder or a medium amount of flakes (they carry a lot more flavor). You basically want the entire top of the pile of meat to look dusty. Now add some salt, around maybe 1/2 tablespoon, and keep stirring. Once the hamburger is done, drain it however you like (I prefer putting a colander into a big mixing bowl and draining the meat through that), and return it to the pan if need be. Turn the heat down to medium or medium low, however cool it needs to be to not sizzle anymore, and add your cans of mushroom soup. Stir really, really well, until the soup is liquidy. Now add the sour cream about 1/2 container at a time, and stir really well between additions, as the sour cream can and WILL get all gross if you don't. That ruins the whole meal. Once you've added all the sauces, add somewhere between a "splash" and a cup of milk, to thin the sauce a bit, and stir it really well again, then start ladling it into those containers. If you're like me, you'll have about 8 to 10 containers full, each of which will feed 2 to 3 people really well. Freeze these. When you're ready to actually eat some of your stroganoff, you'll need one bag of "wide egg noodles" or even "extra wide egg noodles" like you see on the bottom shelf under the spaghetti. Cook up the noodles and add LOTS of salt. I’m talking like 2 to 3 tablespoons. The noodles absorb the salt and the creamy sauce absorbs the salt, so you have to add LOTS to keep it from being bland. Meanwhile, thaw a container of sauce. I do this in the microwave with the "defrost" button, but you can also just thaw in the fridge overnight, I guess. Once it's thawed, open it up and notice that horrible texture. The sour cream separates when frozen! But that's okay, it goes back together when heated! Dump that gross-looking stuff all over your fresh, drained noodles, and start mixing. After about a minute to a minute and a half of stirring, your sauce will look as good as new, and actually taste better than fresh! This is also really good with slices of white bread, buttered, and sprinkled very lightly with garlic salt and onion powder (my husband prefers his toasted). We make this once every 3 or 4 months and have meals ready in case of emergency not-wanting-to-cook. It costs us around $15 plus noodles (which we buy in bulk at Sam’s club) to make 10 frozen meals, which comes to $1.50 per meal, $0.75 per person. That’s pretty darn cheap, if you ask me... ☼ ForestPizie: Pasta Bake Ingredients: Pasta Tomato/marinara sauce Various veggies

Spices Mozzarella cheese Make some pasta (any shape), cook till almost done. In a separate pan, heat up some tomato sauce, add oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste, add veggies/sundried tomatoes/olives, etc. that you have laying around and heat up in the sauce. Drain pasta and pour into casserole dish or 9x13 pan of sorts. Dump sauce on top. Cover with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until the cheese is golden. Don't underestimate the power and taste of the cooked cheese, it is SO worth the extra step! ☼ Sarchan: Broccoli and Noodles with Peanut Sauce Whole wheat spaghetti (about enough for one person) Frozen broccoli (same deal) 1/4 cup peanut butter (I use Smucker's Natural, 'cause it's what I like and tastes really peanut-y) 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar Splash hot sauce (the kind in the big plastic bottles at Asian restaurants) 1/4 water Bring a pot of water to a boil, and get your spaghetti going. You could do the same for the broccoli, but I usually just microwave it. Stick peanut butter, water, and all the other condiments in a microwave save container and microwave for a minute or more--but check and stir, so it doesn't burn. It'll be nice and creamy/saucy when it's done. Toss it with your cooked spaghetti and broccoli, and you have a meal. If you've got any lying around this is good garnished with some coriander, or sesame seeds, or scallion. It would also be good if you had some red pepper to stick in with the broccoli, but I usually make this when I am basically out of food. Wink LorettaYoungSkills: GOULASH (a.k.a. Poor Mans Meal for real. that’s the nickname) Sm. package of ground beef 2 cans tomato soup 1/3 bag of macaroni noodles (about 3 cups) Sprinkle of oregano Boil noodles, set aside. Cook ground beef in pot as usual. Drain fat. Add 2 cans tomato soup, sprinkle oregano. Heat. Add noodles... ta da! Hamburger helper in 15 mins for $5!! And the leftovers are the best part mmmm reheated with some ketchup. delish ☼ Ezri_B: Raw Mac You take a 2-quart of 9X13" baking dish and put 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine in it. Put it in a 375degree oven (or the microwave,) until melted. Then add 2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni. Stir the macaroni until well coated. At this point I usually add fresh or frozen vegetables cut up, but whatever you have. Frozen peas or chopped broccoli are our favorites, mix. Sprinkle top with 1/2-tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cover top with 1/4lb grated cheese. (Whatever you like and more or less to your taste.) DO NOT MIX. Add about 1 quart of milk or so that it just covers all. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour until all milk is absorbed and top is golden. DO NOT STIR. It is really easy. We have added things like black olives, pepperoni, ham, etc. You can change it however you want. Makes about 5 maindish meals or 8-10 sides. Lusterbunny: Linguine with Clam Sauce

I know this sound expensive but its not. Heat about a 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan with 4-5 cloves of minced garlic. Cook it on medium heat until it is golden and then add one can of chopped clams in juice (often on sale for a little over a dollar) cook for a few minutes, also if you have any white wine add a little. If you don't, don't worry it will still be good! Pour over drained pasta and add salt and pepper. You can add crushed red pepper flakes and grated cheese if you have them around! ☼ Hummm: Curry You can make curry out of potatoes and frozen peas (or other veggies.) Just fry up some onions; add plain yogurt, tomato juice/sauce/paste, curry powder, ginger, etc. Then add cooked potato chunks and peas and let it all stew for a while on low heat. It's dirt cheap and yummy. I like to add tofu, too, but really you could toss in any meat or soy product ☼ AstroZombie: Baked Eggplant My favorite cheap and lazy recipe is for eggplant with tomato sauce and mozzarella. You just have to cook the eggplants in the oven by themselves until they're how you want them, then stack them in two layers with tomato sauce and slices of mozzarella in between and on top. Then cook that until the cheese is melted. It's ridiculously easy and it always turns out well, even for horrible cooks like me. ☼ Bedcadet: Quesadillas quesadillas are super easy even in the microwave, though not as good as using a skillet. Its just tortilla and cheese. i used to keep feta cheese, cholula, and baby spinach in the dorm fridge too and make a spinach feta quesadilla in the microwave, with the cholula inside as well so it all melted together in an apartment, you can expand this idea really easily with those ready made rotisserie chickens you can get at the grocery store. just pull chicken off and shred it over a tortilla, add some cheese, some spinach, hot sauce or salsa if you want, and cook in a skillet. if you cook it on medium heat in a non stick skillet and spray the skillet with a little pam, the cheese will melt evenly and the tortilla will not burn we also used to make fajitas using these ingredients, and would make some rice and a can of beans and go to town. you can get a lot of meals out of those simple ingredients, its not exp, and it doesnt take too long or too many pots/pans ☼ tsubomi_chan: Spaghetti The best cheap meal I make is spaghettii. Costs about 4 bucks to make and it ussually gives me about 4 meals. Ingredients: 1 lb. ground beef/turkey - tufu crumbles might work, but i've never used them 1 normal sized tin of tomato sauce 1 small tin of tomato paste 1/2 large tin of liquid (wine, stock, water) Italian spice mix (oregando, thyme, parsley) 1/2 an onion, chopped 1 clove chopped fresh garlic Olive oil Cooked pasta

Caramelize the onion in a big pot, then add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off the fat, then add the garlic and spice mix. Saute for about 1 minute, then add the tomato sauce and paste and liquid. Allow to boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until you think the sauce is thick enough. Toss over the cooked pasta, and eat. Yummy. The next day I'll ussually make chicken parmisana with the left overs by adding some frozed breaded chicken and provalone or motzerella cheese. ☼ Melosond: Cook up some pasta, and while it's cooking throw some baby spinach into a strainer. Give it a rinse and leave it there. When the pasta's done pour it into the strainer -- the hot water-and-pasta will cook the spinach. Throw a can of (drained) diced tomatoes on top, mix, top with romano or parmasean cheese. Fast and eeeeeasy (and healthy!), even for a cooking-phobe like me. ☼ EatFish: Cold Pesto W/ White Bean Pasta Sounds like a weird combo, but this is really yummy! Take canned white beans (or even better, white bean dip from the supermarket) and mash it with some pesto, extra olive oil from the pesto, salt to taste and lemon juice. Add your pasta and top with sun dried tomato, shredded chicken or red pepper flakes if you have them handy. ☼ Melosond: Microwave/Toaster Oven Pizzas Slice up some tomato, put it on optionally buttered bread, toss on a nice bit of shredded mozarella, fresh or dried basil, and garlic salt. Toss it into the toaster oven, pull out, and voila! Tastyfied pizza-like substance! ☼ EatFish: Ghetto Thai coconut rice w/ mango Cook rice in the microwave (or over the stove) with 1:2 ratio for milk and water (ex: if you usually use three cups of water for your rice, use 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of water instead) with slightly more liquid than usual. Top with mango and honey for extra sweetness. ☼ BedCadet: Orzo Pasta w/ Spinach and Tomatoes i use: orzo pasta (it looks like grains of rice) and dice the spinach, tomatoes, and also dice some fresh basil then toss with olive oil, feta cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc, to taste (sometimes i add a little cayenne pepper and lemon juice) the great thing about this (and/or probably the one melosond posted too) is that i've found it's good hot or cold, and reheats really well the next day too, because the flavors really sink in. ☼ AstroZombie: Mini Pizzas You will need: 1 pita bread, flour tortilla, or a small pizza crust. I usually use the flour tortilla. 1 teaspoon olive oil. Fresh basil or oregano if you have it. 1/4 cup of the cheese of your choice and as many vegetables as you want. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Brush the pita, tortilla, or pizza crust with olive oil on both sides and place it on a baking sheet and sprinkle it with the basical or oregano. Then layer your toppings. I usually put a vegetable, then a cheese, then another vegetable. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown. Make sure to not go too long or else the sides of your pizza will burn. ☼ dancingbarefoot: Easy Carrot Pasta

Boil carrots until they're soft - you could steam them, if you want. I boil 'em because I chuck a cube of vegetable bouillon (sp?) in with them for more flavor. When they're soft, mash them up and mix in a dollop of sour cream. You can add more or less sour cream to taste. Then eat with your favorite pasta. Yum! (Lately, I've been making this more complicated by sauteing onions & garlic, then adding them to the carrot mixture with salt, pepper, and whatever spice I feel like trying. Lots of room for variation!) ☼ Alexa_Angel: Lemon Herb Pasta Lemon Herb Pasta 1/2 lb. thin spaghetti, cooked 1/4 cup margarine, melted 1 Tb. parsley flakes 1/2 tsp marjoram 1/2 tsp garlic salt Toss all ingredients together; mix well. Serves 2. Natalie058: Smoked Sausage Primavera 1st, cook some smoked sausage. lots of room for variation here - we tried it once with smoked [fresh?] sausage from the deli counter of our local grocery that was on sale, and the other with those cheapo Ekrich smoked sausages that were buy 1, get 2 free at Meijer's. you could probably use hotdogs, or kielbasa, whatever. either grill or boil the sausage until it's cooked through. while the sausage is cooking, put some noodles on to boil, and get together some veggies - small cuts of broccoli, cauliflower, and red, yellow &/or orange peppers are good. you could add a small tomato or maybe a handful of halved grape tomatoes, too. when noodles are almost ready, add veggies to water and finish cooking. drain noodle/veggie combo, leave in colander. slice sausage into bite sized portions, then dump in a pan - i use the pot i cook the noodles in, since we don't have a dishwasher. add a nicely sized chunk of butter, some garlic, a can of evaporated milk [not condensed!], and some spices - several dashes of italian + salt + pepper works well if you want to keep it simple, or you can get fancy and add whatever, really. keep this pan over low heat until the butter is melted and you have a runny, saucy kinda thing going - don't boil. when it looks like it's hot enough, turn off the heat and dump the noodle/veggie mixture back into the pan. toss to combine noodles with sauce, and cover the whole thing is generous amounts of grated parmesan cheese. this is great cuz it's very filling, tastes great, easy and low-dishes to make, and is super cheap, especially if you get the sausage on sale and score some reduced produce. [or use a frozen stir fry mix!] i like it cuz i'm not a huge fan of tomato-based sauces, but real alfredo can get pricey, and this is a nice, light creamy alternative. it's great with salad and breadsticks. ☼ Sunshine_Fix: American Chop Suey ground beef or veggie crumbles, tastes good with both, 2 cans chop suey vegetables, hoisin sauce both of those items are usually by the taco stuff in the grocery store

Basically you brown the beef, drain (mostly) the chop suey vegetables and add hoisin to taste, to make a sort of gravy. I like a lot of hoisin. You could get fancy and add a little fresh garlic or other deliciousness, but this recipe is good as is and cheap as hell. I am still in college and make it all the time. I eat mine over rice. Costumista: "Chicken/Pork A-La-Foil" this is what we call it- we eat it so much!! 1) Line some sort of oven-proof baking dish with foil- making sure it goes all the way up the sides 2) Lay out in a single layer desired amount of chicken breasts/Boneless pork chops 3) sprinkle with desired spices/herbs (I love me a Mrs. Dash Herb-blend!!) and salt if desired 4) place another piece of foil over top of breasts/chops and crimp edges of two foil pieces (a foil "packet" if you will) 5) Cook at 350 for at least 45 minutes (for three breasts/chops) 6) serve with favorite frozen-veggie mix (cooked according to package directions, of course!!) It is so yummy! No added fat (or sodium if you leave out the salt) and EASY! Even the clean-up is just a matter of throwing away the foil and washing the plates and silverware. ☼ Sunshine_Fix: Mexican pizza tortillas, "mexican" cheeses, vegetable oil or whatever you use, taco seasoning, whatever you like on mexican food ie: black olives, tomato... Heat up the oil, throw a tortilla in there and fry it until it crisps up nicely, set it aside on a plate stacked up with paper towels, repeat until you have enough for how many pizzas you are making and save some for dessert--they are excellent with cinnamon sugar. Brown your beef and add seasoning, following the directions on the packet. Preheat your oven to about 350F. On a pizza tray or stone or whatever you use pile the fried tortillas, meat, cheese and whatever other toppings on there and bake until the cheese is melty. You can make them double decker, too, if you like that sort of thing. Alexa_Angel: Beef Taco Bake Beef Taco Bake 1/2 lb. ground beef 1 can tomato soup 1 cup salsa 1/2 cup milk 8 corn tortillas, or 6 flour tortillas, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese In a large skillet, brown beef over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Drain off fat. Add soup, salsa, milk, tortillas, and half the cheese. Spoon into a 2 quart baking dish and cover. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until hot. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Serves 4. ☼ piziewhip: Quesadillas Heat oil in pan. Saute some blackbeans, tofu and whatever veggies you have in the fridge (I think Zucchini is the best) For optimum results the mix should be about half tofu/bean and half veggie. Put filling over tortilla, add some sliced cheese and fold in half. Throw it in the pan with oil again and cook till golden. Top with salsa. Motleycruiser:Tequila and lime chicken 1/2 cup of Tequila 1 cup of lime juice(fresh if possible) 2 garlic cloves chopped pinch of salt

pinch of pepper some pepper flakes if desired..... MIX ALL in a bowl.....Place 4 chicken breast in the bowl and refrigerate over night...........if not at least a few hours in advance !!! Then grill ☼ Prettyhowtown: Impressive Italian Dish of Easiness -pint of grape tomatoes -garlic -italian type cheese of your choice -veggie or chicken broth (or water, or maybe some of that white wine in the fridge, whatever) -ravioli (I have made it both with the $1 frozen bag of store brand and with the $5 pack of fancy ravioli from Trader Joe's. very good either way, depends on if and how much you are trying to impress someone) -basil if you have it Rinse off your lil tomatoes and pick out any that have seen better days Cut 'em in half Take the skin off a piece of garlic (use as much or as little garlic as you like) If you have a food processor (or a blender in good shape with sharp bits) toss in the tomatoes and garlic and buzz them until they are saucy. or sassy. If you do not, you can probably get the same effect if you chop them up some more and maybe mash them with a spoon, fork, bottom of a shot glass, etc. Or you can go for the chunky sassy sauce. Just make sure you keep as much as the liquid from the tomatoes as you can. Put your tomatoes and garlic into a pan (frying pan size with high sides is best) and add 1 cup of broth Bring to a boil Toss in your ravioli and basil Cook until the ravioli are done Serve immediately, garnished with your cheese of choice Most of the reason why this dish is so good is because the grape tomatoes are sweet and it makes for a really tasty sauce. I have never tried it with any other type of tomato so I cannot vouch for its knock-thesocks off quality. Simply: Hamburger Pie my favorite cheap recipe is hamburger pie. you brown 1 pound of beef, drain, add 1 small can of mushrooms, and 1 small can of tomato soup. spread it into an 8x8 pan, drain a small can of green beans and spread on top. take mashed potatoes (this really depends on how thick you want them as to how much you make) and spread them on top. place in the oven at 350 degrees until the potatoes are nicely brown. Simply: Chicken and Noodles chicken and noodles, a bit time consuming, but pretty cheap. beat eggs (roughly 1 per person), add salt (roughly 1/2 tsp per egg). add flour to make a dough. roll out 1/4 inch thick. cut in 1/2 inch by 3 inch strips. toss with flour, cover, set aside. (taste your noodles. if they taste really salty, don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. if they taste just right, congrats. if they taste kinda bland, add some salt to the water when you cook them.) boil chicken (about 1 skinless breast per person). when cooked, remove chicken, and skim off the top of the water. shred chicken and place back in water. bring to a boil. slowly, and this is important, slowly add your noodles. sprinkle them in with one hand, stir with the other. if you add them all at once, you'll end up with a disgusting glob of paste. let boil for a few minutes, then turn down to simmer and cover. this will thicken as it cools, so if you need to all water, do it while it's boiling. serve as is, or over mashed potatoes. Patriautism: Chili-Mac Casserole

1 box jiffy corn bread mix ($0.45) 2 boxes mac n cheese ($1.50) 2 cans of chili ($2.00) 1/4 pound of cheddar cheese ($1.25) Total: $5.20 Pre-heat oven to 400, make cornbread (it calls for 1 egg and 1/3 cup milk), pour batter into your biggest casserole dish (lightly greased). Mine is about 8x8/9x9 and very deep. Cook mac n cheese and chili while the cornbread is baking. Take the cornbread out, pour in the chili, then add the mac n cheese, and spread the cheddar cheese on top. Throw it back in the oven for about 10 minutes. I like to add half a can of corn to the chili, but that's me. ☼ Allie-loki: Cabbage Pancakes 2 1/2 c. savoy cabbage, finely chopped 2-3 tbsp parsley, chopped 1/3 c. flour salt & pepper to taste 1/3 c. water mix together the flour, salt, pepper. add the cabbage/parsley and mix so everything is coated in flour. add water. heat a bit of oil/cooking spray in 9" pan and add the cabbage mixture. press into the pan and cook over med heat for 5 minutes. break into four pieces, flip over, press, cook for 5+ minutes. ive eaten it with plain soy sour cream, with bbq sauce, with a mix of mayo/byriani paste, mix of mayo/garam masala paste, taco bell hot sauce, everything i tried worked well. this is quick to prepare, filing, healthy, and very inexpensive. cabbage is about $1.50 right now and 1 head is enough for 2/2.5 'pancakes'. ...i might add chopped leeks to it tomorrow.

RAMEN VARIATIONS
☼ Notamermaid: Cook the noodles. Don't bother with the soup packet Make a sauce/vinaigrette from sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar (or plain vinegar). You can also add Thai hot sauce Chop up whatever leftover veggies you have and toss them in with the noodles while they cook - I like bok choy, broccoli, and mushrooms, but just about anything will work Drain the noodles and veggies and toss with the sauce. Its cheap, healthy, and takes less than ten minutes. Also good hot or cold! ☼ Ruckamuck: Ingredients: -2 packages of ramen (or some rice noodles) -1 medium carrot -1 stick of celery -2 cloves of garlic -1/4 large onion -1/3 regular red bell pepper -1/3 regular green bell pepper -Gob of peanut butter

-Peanut oil -Vegetable or fake chicken bouillon -Some broccoli Get the second smallest pot you have (big enough to put a bunch of water in and then boil ramen in) and put a bunch of water in it. Put it on the stove and let it heat up. Then clean and cut all the vegetables so theyre as big as you like (be sure to cut the onions and peppers small, mince the garlic). Get out a medium sized skillet and put in some peanut oil (or other light cooking oil) and let it heat up a little. Toss in the onions, peppers, and garlic and stir fry a little. When its popping a lot and hot turn down the heat a little bit and add the rest of the vegetables. Stir fry them for about 5 minutes or until the water starts boiling (whichever comes first). If the 5 minutes comes first, turn down the heat to low and wait for the water to boil. When the water boils, put in the noodles and set the timer for 4 minutes. Then, go get a gob of peanut butter and toss it in the skillet and turn up the heat. Stir fry the vegetables again until the 4 minutes are up. When the timer goes off, turn off both heats and set the pot on a hot pad. Add the vegetables, and then the boullion. Stir until mixed in and you're done! ☼ Ezri_B: When I need a super quick meal, I take a bag of frozen mixed veggies (I prefer broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.) And cook that in a pan with a small amount of water, until it thaws out a bit. Then I add the ramen season packet, a touch of olive oil, a splash of cider vinegar, and some crushed red pepper. Then I add a bit more water (not too much maybe a cup or so.) And I put in the ramen. I stir and cook until the noodles are tender and everything is hot. My kids love it, it is cheap, quick, and I always have it in the house. ☼ ChiOrchid: 1. Boil a package or two of ramen noodles 2. Crack and scramble an egg while noodles boil 3. Also chop up your favorite flavorful veggies and meats such as Roger Woods (sausage) cubed chicken(already cooked) tofu(already cooked) bell peppers(sauteed) onions(sauteed) 4. Drain all but maybe 1/4 cup of water from pot 5. Add in eggs in pot and scramble to liking in the noodles 6. Add in veggies and toppings 7. Enjoy!

SOUPS
☼ Ezri_B’s Black Bean Soup 1lb bag of dried black beans, throw in a slow cooker with some water, cook until soft. (I sometimes do this for a long time as I don't have great luck with dried beans, but sometimes it takes me a day or two. But they are cheap, you could use canned beans too if you'd rather.) After beans are soft Drain. Add; about 2-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth. (Depends on how thick you want your soup.) 1 cup chopped onion 1 cup chopped red bell pepper 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno (or to taste) 2 garlic cloves pressed 1 Tablespoon lime juice 1teaspoon ground cumin (I add a bit more.) 2-5 Tablespoons salsa 1 can refried beans (thickens it up a bit but if you like it thin it is optional)

Simmer for at least 40 minutes or until well mixed and all warm. And onion and pepper are soft. Add 2 Tablespoons snipped cilantro and serve. Top with sour cream, queso fresco, cheddar, tortilla strips, etc... whatever you want. Makes alot! Tastes even better reheated, freezes well too, but the jalapeno tends to get even spicier after frozen. ☼ Lothruin: Tomato Soup Ideas For Italian: Put the tomato soup in a pot. I like to add some lemonpepper, oregano, basil, garlic or if you have a jar of "italian seasoning" mix, that works too. You can even add a little pizza sauce to thicken it up a bit. Throw in some chopped bell pepper, roasted if you like it that way, some onion, tomato chunks, italian sausage if you want, and I like to add parm. cheese. Now, if you want to do the super cheap method, go snag some individual packets of parm cheese from a pizza shop. That garlic sauce from Papa John's would probably good too. You don't have to add ANY of the veggies or meat if you don't want to and you want to keep it cheap. For sides, I like to get day-old dinner rolls, slice in half, butter, add garlic, lemon pepper and basil, put some cheese on top and pop in the oven till stuff gets melty. For Mexican: To the soup add part of a packet of taco seasoning, some grated cheese, and/or some salsa or the packets of hot sauce from a mexican drive through. Here in my home town we have a local mexican fast food chain. You can order "Chips and salsa bar" for about $1.50. You get a big bag of chips and free grazing at the salsa bar, that includes hot and mild salsa, nacho cheese, grated cheese, guac., chopchop (chopped onions & tomatos with cilantro and seasonings), ranch dressing, etc. They provide little pastic cups with lids. Cheesy An order of Chips and Salsa bar and a can of tomato soup can make a whole meal for two. Italian and Mexican are the easy ones, but of course tomato soup has endless possibilities. It's great for using up leftover veggies (and even meats) and whatever cheese you have lying around. You can make a snazzy meal out of it with seasoning packets from fast food places, if you have no extra cash, or you can make it as complicated as you want. I've even heard of people combining ramen and tomato soup... You cook the noodles, then drain them, add them to the soup and stir in some or all of the seasoning packet. I can't claim to have tried it, but several of my friends are really partial to the beef-flavored ramen done this way. ☼ Kaltblutig: Creamy Vegetable Soup The easiest soup (cream) ever: -4cups of broth (veggie, chicken or beef...) -2 big potatoes -1 head of brocoli or cauliflower or any veggie you fancy -2 or 3 celeri branches -2carrots -1 big onion. Cut the veggies, put all the ingredients together, cook until tender (about 30 min.) put everything in the blender. Salt n pepper. I also add a dash of curry. You can also add a clove or 2 of garlic. If you want to make it creamier, add a 1/2 cup of milk, or sour cream, at the end, after you've "blended" your soup. ☼ chamaecyparis: White bean stew 1 can cannelini beans

1 small onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 or 2 carrots, chopped Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes (until carrots are soft). Season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika, amd oregano. ☼ Osiris: Root Vegetable with Honey and Thyme soup

I used to make a quick soup at uni that you could make up then chil/freeze and reheat for later use.
Roughly dice a potato, carrot, small onion, parsnip and whatever else you want (sweet potato, butternut squash, bacon etc) Put all of it in a bowl then add some oil, sprinkle of thyme, crushed clove of garlic and some honey. Mix to coat the veggies. Roast on a high heat, keep an eye on it cause depending on how small you chopped things will make it cook faster and you dont want burnt veggies now do we? Blend the lot with some stock, I use chicken but vegetable will work fine for the vegetarians. Leave any spare to be chilled or frozen for storage. Serve with a warm piece of bread (white soda bread is lovely) and a swirl of cream. Jackjenmom: Hamburger Soup 1 lb hamburger(cooked and drained) 2 cans beef consemmee(sp?) 1 can diced tomatoes 1 can tomato soup 2 cups carrots 1 cup celery(I leave this out) 1 can mushrooms Cook until carrots are cooked. YUMMY! ☼ Madeleine09: Egg Drop Soup 2 cans vegetable broth (or chicken is more traditional if you would like) 1 teaspoon cornstartch (this is the most expensive part, but one box of cornstartch will last you forever!) 1 egg Put your broth and cornstartch in a pot, and bring to a boil. Add whisked egg. Stir once. Remove from heat and serve. If you wanted a variation to this, chopped green onions are good. Also you could add rice or ramen noodles if you liked. If you add rice or noodles, just put your broth/cornstartch in bring to a boil, add rice/noodles, then when the rice and noodles are done cooking, add your egg.

SEASONINGS/DRESSINGS/TOPPINGS
☼ Laureg: Cauliflower gremolata (a.k.a. cauliflower scrumptious) The cauliflower post made me think of a cauliflower topping my mom would always make as a kid. i would call it "scrumptious" (mom, can we have cauliflower and scrumptious for dinner?) but i realize that it now has a grown-up name- gremolata.

It's sinfully cheap, easy and delicious- take finely crushed dry bread crumbs and saute in melted butter until golden brown (almost the color of a penny). serve on top of steamed cauliflower or brussel sprouts- so good! I sometimes add some dried parsley, or garlic or onion seasoning and a dash of paprika for some variation. ☼ PlayItGeorge: Wasabi Vinagrette: 1 tsp wasabi paste 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp rice vinegar about 3 tbsp olive oil You do need to buy the paste and rice vinegar, I think it cost me like 6 bucks total when I bought the stuff for this. And it makes a TON. It is hands down my favorite salad dressing. Very tangy and definetly not from the bottle. You can also use it on salmon quite well. ☼ EatFish: Blue Plate Special Curry Buy curry cubes from any super market. Satay meat and onions together as well as an whole egg and place in a bowl for later. Make the curry with water and add whatever vegetables you have on hand (radish, potatoes, asparagus, etc.). Add flour or cornstarch to the curry to make less liquidy. Put rice on half of the plate, curry on the other and add the eggs and meat/onions on top of the rice. Tada ^_^!! ☼ Bedcadet: Raspberry Vinagrette another great thing to use for marinades for chicken is salad dressings. i particularly like Ken's Raspberry Vinaigrette (i know they make a fat free kind, but i try to avoid that because . . . blech, fat free.) with chicken. i cook boneless skinless chicken breasts in it with a little fresh basil and crushed almonds sprinkled over the top when it comes out of the oven. add a little olive oil and some spices of your choice to extend the marinade. i don't take the chicken out of the marinade while it's cooking- the flavor really sinks in. the raspberry chicken is great with a summer salad too. Smiley not too exp esp if you can find the dressings on sale. ☼ Bluedox: Easy Alfredo Sauce Dump 1 cup of milk (I use skim) 1/2 cup of cream cheese (I use light DO NOT use fat free). couple cloves of garlic 3 T parm cheese Blend until smooth (My blender always leaves big chunks of garlic so I stick it through a press first) salt pepper to taste. Heat in sauce pot on med while pasta cooks. You can add veg/meat if you want. ☼ Carolann: Black Bean and Tomato sauce Sauté two minced cloves of garlic in a little bit of olive oil for about a minute. Add 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin and cook for an additional minute. Add one 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes and one 15 ounce can of black beans (drained and rinsed). After sauce boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. The sauce can be served over pasta (the book recommends 12 ounces of whole wheat pasta), but I like to have it over polenta. Polenta can be a nice alternative to all the rice and pasta that vegetarians eat.

☼ Batgirl: Pasta Topping Ideas If you can cook pasta, mix some spagetti with any combination of the following: olive oil, fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, parmesan, a handful of spinach, sauteed mushrooms, carmelized onions, walnuts, pinenuts, diced chicken... sauteed mushrooms with spinach, olive oil, walnuts/pine nuts, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and a dollop of strained yoghurt are delicious on their own or with rice or pasta

SIDE DISHES
☼ allie-loki: cauliflower spread / fake mashed potatoes: get a whole caulifower and cut into medium chunks, steam or boil until tender. mash to desired consistency. place half of the mixture in a blender for 30 seconds to 1 minute for a smoother spread. mix in 2tbsp mayo (or fake mayo), 1 tbsp dijon, salt and pepper. use with pita, rice cakes. throw in stir fried veggies. it makes a ton and it is really cheap. ☼ allie-loki:cabbage and carrots: chop cabbage and carrots into thin strips. start boiling/steaming carrots, add cabbage after 5-8 minutes. steam until cabbage is tender. in a seperate frying pan,heat up 1-2tbsp olive oil and saute 1-2tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp chopped ginger. combine garlic/ginger with cabbage carrots. ☼ Rocknrollheroine: spinach dip MY FAVORITE SPINACH DIP RECIPE *EVER* It take about 20 minutes and a box of your favorite chips or cracker and *VOILA* a scrumptious snack!!! 1 package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained 1 8oz container of sour cream 1 package of vegetable soup mix Mix 'em all together and there you have it! ☼ EatFish: Sugar Glazed Strawberries Use a NON-STICK pan (this is important, or else the pan will be impossible to clean later) and add granulated sugar (white or brown) and cook on medium. When the sugar has melted and becomes liquidy, skewer some washed and dried strawberries and coat them with the sugar in the pan. Stick the skewers in a piece of foam to dry, or just have a friend hold them for about 10 seconds. You can make this really pretty by using a colored sugar or dipping the top of the strawberry while its drying into a canister of cinnamon. ☼ Batgirl: Russian salad Basic ingredients * 1 large potato * 2 eggs * 1 small tin of tuna * mayonnaise * green olives (without stones) Steps:

1. Peel the potato cut into small pieces and boil in salted water for approx 10 mins or until soft - drain and leave to cool 2. Hard boil the eggs then remove the shells and leave in cold water to cool 3. Once cooled, chop the egg and potato into small cubes place in a bowl and add the tuna 4. Chop a few green olives and add to the bowl (optional) 5. Mix all the above ingredients season with a little salt and pepper 6. Finally add 2 - 3 tbsp mayonnaise and stir into the mixture 7. Garnish with whole green olives and a sprinkle of sweet paprika. ☼ Bohemia: Lemon & Garlic Broccoli I made lemon & garlic broccoli last night. All you need is a few cloves of garlic, a bag of frozen broccoli tops (or, of course, the fresh stuff, if you happen to be non-lazy), some olive oil (margerine/butter will do if you must) and a lemon. Boil the broccoli for a little while (ie. so it's non-frozen and slightly cooked), and heat the oil and garlic in a pan. Chuck in the broccoli and squeeze in some lemon juice (I suppose about a few tablespoon's worth). Stir fry, and bask in the compliments that anyone in the house will direct at your cooking (it smells damn good). Eat asap for maximum deliciousness. Bask in further compliments, 'cause it tastes great too. This served 2 people as a side but I would not be opposed to simply eating an enormous mountain of it for dinner. In fact, I think I will do so tomorrow. ☼ Carolann: Polenta Here is the easiest polenta recipe I know (minimal stirring!!!): Preheat oven to 350°. Place 1 cup polenta (or I guess even regular cornmeal if that’s what you’ve got), 3 ¼ cups lukewarm water, one tablespoon of butter, and a teaspoon of salt in a buttered 8 inch square pan. Stir it with a fork until blended. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes. Run a fork through it and bake 10 more minutes. Serve with toppings of your choice. ☼ Teaparty: Cauliflower and broccoli You can cut up califlower and broccoli, steam them until they're not quite ready for eating, then put them in a pan and drizzle lemon juice mixed with ginger powder over it. Top with a little grated cheese and breadcrumbs and it's delicious. I think it costs about 2$ if you already have a little leftover cheese and breadcrumbs. ☼ Xgreyoutx: Raspberry Orange Salad 1 bag mixed salad greens (our local coop store sells smallish bags for much less than the big boxes at the supermarkets, which is good for my wallet and also means I don't buy so much that I can't finish it before it turns >_<) 1 jar (preferably resealable) mandarian orange slices 1 small bag sliced almonds 1 bottle raspberry walnut vinagrette This is one of my favorite salads EVER. Very simple to assemble - greens with some almonds and mandarin orange slices on top, and a bit of dressing - but the flavors are all very exotic together, so it's great anytime I'm totally sick of eating the same old boring crap. Another idea is to buy the packages of 6 individual serving sized mandarian orange slices - they last forevvvveeer and you can just use one serving each time you want a salad. The almonds and vinagrette keep for quite a while, as well, so if you buy smaller amounts of greens at a time, you'll be able to use the rest of the ingredients for lots and lots and lots of salads.

POTATOES
☼ Some ideas: • • • • • Twice baked potatoes: Microwave until soft, then cut in half. Scoop out the inside and mash with buttermilk, cheese, etc. Fill potato sheels and bake for about 10-15 minutes and then grill for about 5. Roasted: Cut into cubes and cover in olive oil and whatever herbs you have lying around. Sprinkle on some salt and roast until cooked. Eat plain or with butter/ sour cream. Fried: The trick to making crispy fried potatoes or wedges is flour- put the potato and a small amount of white flour in a zip loc bag/ bowl- shake/ mix well, then cook in a small amount of oil. Colcannon: Boil potatoes.Add a steamer basket to the top and steam some cabbage (or just nuke it.). When the potatoes are cooked, mash them. Add the cabbage, a bit of milk and some sour cream if you’ve got it. Baked with ranch: Bake however many potatoes you want. When they're done baking cut them up into cubes and toss them in a baking dish, covering them with ranch dressing and shredded cheese. I add bacon bits to my boyfriend's, but I'm veg so none for me thanks. Put that into the oven at 350 and heat for ten to fifteen minutes, though if you just got done baking your potatoes you wouldn't need that long. I normally let my potatoes cool before handling them though. When I make mine I use a ton of ranch dressing, but when I make my boyfriend's I only use a little drizzle. Just make sure the baked potatoes are baked all the way through otherwise it's icky.

BREAKFASTS
Javeing Eat breakfast. I’m always tempted to buy something on campus when I’m starving. Two things I like to make are breakfast tacos: Egg and hashbrowns with salsa and cheese on whole-wheat tortillas. I make a whole batch and then just microwave them in the morning. I also make breakfast muffins using stuffing mix, eggs and cooked bacon. I put the stuffing mix in the bottom of muffin pans, crack eggs on top then crumple cooked bacon and salt and pepper on top. Cook at 350 for ten minutes or until egg has set. Let cool for 15 minutes enjoy. Also good for on the go. ☼ Onesmallintrument: Baked Oatmeal 1/2 cup oil 1 cup sugar 2 eggs, beaten 3 cups rolled oats 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1 cup milk raisins (optional)

Mix ingredients together and pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake 30 minutes @ 350. I leave out the raisins and put some brown sugar and cinnamon on the top before baking. It ends up tasting a bit like a cookie on the top. I tried to cut the recipe in half, but unless you have an appropriately smaller baking dish, I don't recommend it. ☼ Bastelmutti: Waffles My girls love waffles, but frozen ones have gross ingredients and are expensive. I bought a waffle maker it's probably one of those thrift store/garage sale staples you could pick up cheap. I make a double batch and then freeze them in packages of 2-3. Pop them in the toaster and eat! WAFFLES - from Allrecipes.com - also works if you substitute 1 c. whole wheat flour. INGREDIENTS:

* 2 cups all-purpose flour * 1 teaspoon salt * 4 teaspoons baking powder * 2 tablespoons white sugar * 2 eggs * 1 1/2 cups warm milk * 1/3 cup butter, melted * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside. Preheat waffle iron to desired temperature. 2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture; beat until blended. 3. Ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Serve immediately. ☼ Patriautism: Crepes 1 cup flour, 2 eggs, 1 3/4 cups milk, 1/2 tsp salt if you're doing a savory dish or 1 tsp sugar is you're doing a sweet one. Blend until smooth in a blender and let stand at least an hour covered in the fridge before cooking. Grease frying pan and pour in about 1/4 cup of the batter, swirl it around to coat the bottom evenly. When the top looks a little dry and the bottom looks a little brown flip it over with a thin bladed spatula. Cook for another 30 seconds and remove onto a plate. Repeat for more... These freeze wonderfully (mine didn't stick together, they just pop apart!) so you can make a lot ahead of time and zap them in the microwave and then stuff with whatever is around. I made a lot fo spinach and cheese ones, but cream cheese (thinned with a little milk, add some sugar) and strawberries is pretty wonderful too! As far as I can tell you can put just about anything in them. ☼ Xgreyoutx: Breakfast Burritos 1 dozen eggs (you can also use egg replacers, or scrambled tofu) 1 green pepper, diced 1 onion, diced 1 bag shredded cheese (I tend to go for cheddar here) 1 bag 'ground beef' tofu crumbles (or 1 lb ground beef if you're a meat-eater) 1 small jar salsa (your choice of heat) 1 package tortillas Scramble the eggs/egg replacer/tofu. Put a little oil in a skillet and heat, then cook the onion until transparent, then add the crumbles (I would think you would want to do the beef seperately and first to make sure it's cooked thoroughly - the crumbles are pre-cooked, so really you're just heating them up) and pepper and saute about 5-7 minutes, until the crumbles start to brown a bit and are heated through. Add the scrambled whatever and cheese and mix together until the cheese starts to melt a bit. Heat the tortillas in the oven or microwave so they are pliable and easy to roll. Add a portion of the mix to each tortilla, top with a tablespoon or so of salsa, and roll. Again, I wrap mine individually in wax paper and fill gallon ziplocs and stick them in the freezer, so I can just grab one out and toss in right into the microwave anytime I need quick food, semi-healthy food. ☼ Dappleshark: Eggs n' tots n' cheese Make a pan of tater tots. Set a timer to five minutes before they are ready. During that last bit of cooking, scramble some eggs and nuke some bacon if you happen to have some. This generally ensures it is all

ready at once (one of my normal weak points). Now pile the tots onto a plate, flip the eggs on top of that and smother with cheese! Also good with oven baked homemade french fries or hash browns. Can add veggies if you have them to increase the nutritional value some more.

SNACKS
☼ Bastelmutti: A good snack is popcorn - I still have the air popper I used in college years ago. Probably another garage sale possibility. We top it with a little oil or butter, a little salt and brewer's yeast - it sounds weird, but it's really good! Kind of like cheese/spice popcorn. ☼ Aspatria: Graham Cracker Goodness 2 graham crackers peanut butter raisins (pile 'em on if you want) Put the pb and raisins on one graham cracker, top with the other cracker, and smoosh. Licking the fingers afterward is encouraged. It's also reasonably healthy, or at least not too unhealthy. ☼ DrewsUSAGIRl: Smoothies Yougurt, fruit & ice in blender. skip the yogurt for a ligther one. Or add a little milk or halk & halk instead of yourgurt. ☼ Patriautism: Ninja smoothie Dump in a bowl and stir together: 1 tub of whip cream 1 tub of cottage cheese (16 oz) 1 can of fruit (drained) or a cup or two of fresh fruit 1 packet of jello mix. Just the mix, don't make the jello. This is a good way to sneak protein on people cause you can put the cottage cheese and whip cream in a blender before adding the fruit. I usually do strawberry jello with mandarin oranges, but anything is pretty good.

TRICKS & TIPS
Schmoo: This works for beef, chicken, pork...any kind of meat. You can feed two people for a couple of meals for under $5 this way-just make sure you get regular old veggies, not prepackaged cut up stuff. The more it's packaged, the more it costs.

Use boneless skinless frozen bagged chicken THIGHS if you're going to use the crockpot or slow cookerbreast meat gets much too dry and stringy cooked this way, while thigh meat just gets really tender and delicious. A couple more suggestions for saving moneyCheck your supermarket for marked down meat. Use about to expire produce to make vegetable soups. Use starting to go soft bananas to make breakfast muffins or pancakes. Learn to bake your own bread-both yeast and quick. It's not that hard, it just takes practice and flour. Make up baking mixes ahead of time for the things you like to eat so you're not tempted to overspend. Eat lots of fruits and veggies in season-not only are they cheaper, but you're doing your body a great service. GloryB: The supermarket in my area does Rotisserie chicken. What they don't sell in a given time, the chill and sell it cold for half price. Ezri_B: I have a good sized family with 3 growing sons and my husband. Well, we recently have gotten temporary custody of my 3 nieces too. (All kids are ages 2-9) And the biggest thing we have figured out is. Less processed or cut up is cheaper, but a bag of frozen veggies is a lot cheaper than taking 8 people out for supper. So once in a while it is worth it. Also when you see veggies or fruits starting to lose their freshness chop them and freeze them. They are great for soups, stews and casseroles. And the fruits are great for muffins, pancakes, cakes, cookies, etc.... Hankpiece: I can't believe everybody overlooked my college staple. Hamburger patties! Prepackaged in boxes you can get 20 for $11 or so. No need to buy hamburger rolls, wonderbread works fine. Two burgers is a tasty and filling meal for about $1.10. Plus all you'll ever need to cook anything is one frying pan (or ask for a George Forman Grill if you have a birthday coming up). FirstLove: A great way to add lots of flavor (and some meat/protein) without spending too much money, is chorizo (aka spiced pork sausage)! You can find it at regular grocery stores, but it will probably be a lot cheaper if you buy it at your local Hispanic/Latino grocery store (it will probably be tastier too). You can pretty much just fry it up and add beans (any kind, I prefer black) or eggs, and it gives a lot to a dish. You don't need to put any oil in the pan, at all, and remember to take it out of the casing and mash it up in the pan, like you would ground beef. The chorizo releases its own oil, which sounds gross, but will flavor whatever you add to it wonderfully. One of my favorite dinners ever is quesadillas made with chorizo+black beans, Monterrey jack or a Mexican cheese (I like Oaxaca, any is good), and a sauce made from cilantro blended or food processed with lemon juice (take all the leaves off a bundle of cilantro, use all of it, you can use the sauce in almost anything, and it is delicious and addictive!).

LupinBunny Most of you seem to be up with the bean recipes, but my boyfriend extends any kind of stew/ pasta sauce/ curry by dumping in a tin of beans. Makes a little bit of meat go a whole lot further. Butter beans are his favourite.

MissBrianne: I have finally come up with a stellar menu after a few months of living alone: BUY EVERYTHING IN BULK AND FREEZE IT. Trust me- alot more can fit into your freezer- you just have to try harder. If you are making something wonderful why not make twice as much and freeze it? I have also recently become a huge fan of tuna.It is cheap and a good source of protein. I have also taken to having my candy frozen. I bought myself a bag of cookies as a treat and I keep them in the freezer. These cookies which I would have normally eaten in two weeks have lasted me 2 months! that is also a health trick. Pippienna: If you get a part time job, WORK AT A RESTAURANT. I lived with three line cooks and a dishwasher, and seriously, they eat well. Even the stingiest places will give you a meal per shift if you're kitchen help, and the cooks will usually let you have pretty big portions. My friend the dishwasher has it down to a science; all he eats outside of work is a muffin in the morning. He hasn't done groceries in three months. Psyche: Your usual Caesar, with romaine, croutons, parmesan, and bacon bits (if wanted). But what I do is at the beginning of the year, buy a container of parmesan, a bottle of Caesar dressing, a pack of bacon bits (sometimes), and either buy - or MAKE [see below] croutons. Then I only have to buy the romaine at shopping day, and end up with plenty of cheap salads! Bluedox: Chicken leg quarters are great. I can usually get them for 60 cents a pound, and for less than three bucks I can get four quarters. One with some veggies/rice is enough for me, though my husband can eat two if he is really hungry. I usually loosen the skin with my finger, and rub a mix of butter and herbs/garlic under the skin. Then I drizzle olive oil over the top, and sprinkle some salt pepper or crazy salt on top. Put this on a broiler pan (or cookie sheet with wire rack on top) and in the oven at 425 for 45? minutes or it is cooked all the way through. I love this b/c it looks like I made a little more elaborate meal than I did, which makes it feel like it isn't a cheap meal. Lyssachelle: When I was in college, my roommate and I used to dress up EVERYTHING with spices. When we were feeling fancy we'd use the spice mixes intended for bread dipping. Those were especially good for adding to cheap spaghetti sauce; throw some in blender with some mushrooms or peppers and you have your own expensive tasting spaghetti sauce! We'd also make our variations with the cheap spices we'd get at discount stores. Italian blends are basically just rosemary, thyme, garlic, etc. Big Lots or Macfrugal's in our area would have large containers of dried spices for less than a dollar, so instead of spending 5 bucks on a small jar of pre-mixed, we'd spend 4 on a GIANT container that we kept in a Tupperware jar. We put it in everything; eggs, macaroni and cheese, cheap salad dressing.... Also, hitting up an ethnic grocery store is always a great way to find something new to break the tedium of boring food American food and usually for a really good price. Our smaller local Asian store I'd go to was were I'd stock up on Japanese pepper and edamame, but they'd make kim-bop (Korean seaweed roll with rice and vegetables) fresh daily and sell an roll for 1.50! Spacekitten: canned/frozen is usually cheaper than fresh, and lasts longer -beans and tofu are cheaper proteins than meat. Not that you need to become vegetarian, but you can have meat 2-3 times a week and veg. the rest, and not feel like you're missing protein

-most recipes in books make servings for a family of 4. Instead of halving it, make the whole dish and freeze half of it. That way, you won't have to eat it every night, but in a few weeks, you can thaw it and enjoy it again. -soups and stews are your friend. They're handy because you can throw in whatever you've got handy/whatever's on sale, put it all in a crockpot with broth and seasonings before you leave for class, and come back to a nice meal. -pre-package meals may actually cost more than making it yourself -get one of those super market cards. They're free, and a lot of sales are for cardholders only -generic, store brands are, most of the time, made by the same company that makes the brand-name product. You are basically paying for the name on your package by buying brand names. Prettyhowtown: If there's a grocery store that you can get to from campus and you can scam a Sunday paper from someone, check for coupons and the flyer for the store. You'll feel like a dork at first but trust me, you'll get used to it and eventually your friends will come to appreciate the fact that you can save a ton on groceries by clipping coupons and shopping the sales. (This does not work if you cannot resist the temptation to buy something just because it is on sale, or because you have a coupon. An excellent test of your willpower, young Jedi.) BeppyCat: Here's a tip for freezing large batches of things that you'll want in single serving portions later: Use a muffin tin, fill each section with the chilli or sauce or what have you, freeze till hard, then take all the "muffins" and put them into one gallon sized freezer bag. I do this all the time with huge batches of my homemade spaghetti sauce and it works really well. They don't stick together, so you can grab one and pop it into the microwave for one serving and you don't have to invest in lots of littler freezer bags that will be thrown away for each portion. One thing that will make this much easier is to invest in a silicon muffin pan. I got mine in a whole box set of eight other things for about eight dollars, so they don't have to cost a fortune. Because it's flexible, you'll be able to push the frozen stuff right out without prethawing or hot water. Anyway, that's my Martha-y tip for the day. Smrfchic: My one big tip is "if you need to go cheap, go ethnic". Don't go to the big brand name supermarkets, but the dinky little places where 90% of the conversations are in a foreign language. On our tight months, I can feed our family of 7 on as little as $30 a week. Take advantage of the sales... if ground beef is on sale, buy enough for a week. Or chicken. Or fish, or pork, or whatever. Keep your meat portions small, load up on the veggies & starches (pasta, rice, and potatoes). Try to always hit the 4 big food groups at dinner at least - a meat, a starch, a veggie (or two or three...), and a fruit (for dessert, whatever is in season!). Javeing: Throw pot luck dinners with your friends it's so much cheaper then just making a meal for you and it provides entertainment as well, Make up extra plates for people to take home and everybody has a meal for tomorrow to. Artsygal: First rule - let the sales determine your menu. And when something is cheap, stock up. Even better, as many people have said, shop the ethnic stores. A lot of the same stuff you can get at a regular grocery store can also be found at ethnic stores for a fraction of the price. And best, use coupons. I didn't know about coupons in college, but later when I started using them, I regularly saved 75% off my food bill.. It's a great feeling to walk out of the store with $100 of food having paid just $25. Takes a little effort, but - what do you have more of, time or money? As for actual eating - as a few others have suggested, seek out opportunities to eat free. I think at my college campus, I managed to find 4 free meals on a regular basis every week. And there were other opportunities

too when there were special events going on. And you can bet I stuffed my face at those events - especially lunches, so that I could skip dinner. For eating in the cafeterias - master the art of building a salad. My cafeteria offered 3 different sizes of salads - the plate was about $4.99 .. but you could also get either a cup, or a bowl. The smallest size was 99 cents. With a little practice, you can build that 99 cent bowl up pretty high... I regularly managed to fill it up so much that I had to tip it out onto a plate to eat it withouth the whole thing collapsing. use stuff like cucumbers and beets to 'extend' the sides of the bowl so you can keep filling and stack it up. NellyPie: My boyfriend and I always buy chicken still on the bone (when on sale if possible) in large quantities. You get a lot more chicken for a lot less! Then when we get it home, we cut it all up and put in several separate bags and freeze it. AND I save and freeze all the bones and leftovers from cutting to make my own stock on a weekend when I have some extra time. I also buy beef, chicken or vegetable bullion cubes instead of using canned stock. Makes something hella cheap and useful (the stock) even cheaper. Aspatria: Another option to the standard supermarket (if you can find it) is the Aldi. There are a ton of these in NC. It's cheap because they mostly offer off-brand, and they only offer one brand of each type of food. You don't have to pick between four different brands of canned veggies, for example - you get happy farms or whatever and like it! Skip the fruit juices there, though. You can occasionally find a major brand (hello, Pringles!), too. A word of warning: Bring a quarter for the shopping cart (don't worry, you get it back). Also, bring your own shopping bags - they don't give them away. It's all about value, though - they're even cheaper than sprawlmart! Batgirl: Another good tip is to get together with other thrifty friends and share a big shop. Spend a day once or twice a month and cook like maniacs, divide everything into serving sizes and take them home and freeze them for use throughout the month. It's a bigger initial expense but you'll save by buying larger amounts and sharing ingredients (so you don't each have to buy a whole bottle of balsamic or whatever). You just need to find time, and have a menu planning/list making session ahead of time! Desserts Allie-loki Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (i use margarine) 1 cup light brown sugar 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 large egg (i use egg replacer. sometimes i use flaxmeal and soymilk which i place in the blender for 12mins and leave aside for 5-10mins before using in the cookie mixture) 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder (ive used cheap coffee powder.. its not as good but it works) 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds) 2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds. 3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips. 4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie. I like them when they stay moist. Yield: 2 dozen cookies Motleycruiser: Honey Cake This should be good for college students, 2 of the ingredients are very common on campus...coffee & alcohol 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1 cup honey (preferably buckwheat) 2/3 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup freshly brewed strong coffee, cooled 2 large eggs 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon Special equipment: a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan Put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 350°F. Oil loaf pan well and dust with flour, knocking out excess. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk together honey, oil, and coffee in another bowl until well combined. Beat together eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add honey mixture and whiskey and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Finish mixing batter with a rubber spatula, scraping bottom of bowl. Pour batter into loaf pan (batter will be thin) and bake 30 minutes. Cover top loosely with foil and continue to bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes more. Cool on a rack 1 hour. Cooks' note: • Cake keeps, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container, at room temperature 1 week. Makes 8 to 10 servings. RumGummbleBee I like to bake, and the ingredients can really add up! For cakes and icings I use JIffy mix. Its like 50 cents to a dollar for each box. I LOVE Jiffy corn bread. You dont have to add hardly anything with these. Today I just made yellow cake with chocolate icing. Sooo easy and very good. Took no time and no money. All you needed was water and an egg!