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Cat in the rack

Dinner recipes

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I've recently altered the basic formula that I use to make my dinners to make it more healthy, the ingredients are essentially the same but with the ratios changed. For those who don't know, my formula for making six meals was 1kg meat + 1kg veg + 3 tins tomatoes + 3 stock cubes + 3 tins of a type of bean; I've now changed this to 1kg meat + 1.5kg veg + 1 tin tomatoes + 3 stock cubes in boiling water + 1 tin of a type of bean. I know that beans and a lot of what's added to tins of tomatoes isn't paleo so I figured I'd cut them back, and the calorie contents the same.

Here's what I made tonight:

Sausage casserole:

Cook 1kg of sausages, remove from dish

Add 1.5kg veg to the dish and chop the sausages

Add the sausages back to the dish and season

Add 3 stock cubes in boiling water

Add tomato puree, a tin of tomatoes and a tin of butter beans

Cook on a medium-high temperature for 30 minutes or so stirring occasionally

Boom, 6 meals at 5-600 calories.

What are people's opinions on frozen veg as opposed to fresh?

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Frozen veggies are just fine! There's even some who argue that they are more nutritious than typical supermarket produce because they are generally frozen pretty quickly after picking. So long as its plain frozen veggies and not something with a sauce they are quick, easy, economical and nutritious.

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The only problem i can think of with canned (tinned) food is that it is high in sodium. For some people this is no issue, but something to keep in mind. And using sausages adding those flavor "cubes" ups the sodium even more, so use caution with them. Consider rinsing the beans before use, and try swapping ground meat for the sausages. Experiment with herbs and spices and throw in some aromatics (onion, garlic, peppers, celery, etc.) to sub for the cubes.

Now that you are cooking, you might think about expanding your repertoire to crockpot meals and making soup from scratch. It's near or equally cheap, and tastier. Also, dried beans are cheaper than canned and you can experiment with lentils and other fun things. Lentil dal = delicious protein. (Not paleo, but it's cheap and nutritious.)

Frozen veggies are fine, if vegetables are the only thing in the bag. If they're covered in sauce or cheese, think again. I eat frozen veggies all the time because fresh stuff spoils fast in a 1-woman household.

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Frozen veggies are my life whenever I'm trying to save money.  I can easily add enough frozen veggies to a meal to fill me up to satiation for a ridiculously low price.

Cabbage is also good for that - plus, it doesn't go off easily - if you want some variety.

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Frozen veggies are just fine! There's even some who argue that they are more nutritious than typical supermarket produce because they are generally frozen pretty quickly after picking. So long as its plain frozen veggies and not something with a sauce they are quick, easy, economical and nutritious.

Interesting. Even if it's not the case, I don't have the time/money/patience/equipment to chop up over 3 kilos of veg every week, so I hope you've got a valid point, and for the sake of ease I'm going to assume bags of frozen veg are the gold standard of healthy food :) Never gone for one with sauces, and I avoid any that are pre-cooked too, just the plain bags of veg for me, if I needed a sauce I'd make it. Thanks for the comment.

 

Frozen veggies are my life whenever I'm trying to save money.  I can easily add enough frozen veggies to a meal to fill me up to satiation for a ridiculously low price.

Cabbage is also good for that - plus, it doesn't go off easily - if you want some variety.

Me too, though "when I'm trying to save money" is effectively always, I never know when I'm gonna be hit with some payment that I didn't anticipate. I've considered adding a bag of cabbage or spinach or whatnot to make up the total amount of veg I need per batch (it's always a ratio of 1:1.5 for meat:veg), I just haven't tried it yet; I'll definitely keep that in mind next time I'm shopping, thanks :)

 

 

The only problem i can think of with canned (tinned) food is that it is high in sodium. For some people this is no issue, but something to keep in mind. And using sausages adding those flavor "cubes" ups the sodium even more, so use caution with them. Consider rinsing the beans before use, and try swapping ground meat for the sausages. Experiment with herbs and spices and throw in some aromatics (onion, garlic, peppers, celery, etc.) to sub for the cubes.

Now that you are cooking, you might think about expanding your repertoire to crockpot meals and making soup from scratch. It's near or equally cheap, and tastier. Also, dried beans are cheaper than canned and you can experiment with lentils and other fun things. Lentil dal = delicious protein. (Not paleo, but it's cheap and nutritious.)

Frozen veggies are fine, if vegetables are the only thing in the bag. If they're covered in sauce or cheese, think again. I eat frozen veggies all the time because fresh stuff spoils fast in a 1-woman household.

Also with canned food there are generally additives, just now checking the ingredients list on a tin of chopped tomatoes I see it reads "tomatoes (65%)", but yeah, I try to avoid canned foods where I can (no awful pun intended). The sausages were just an example of that one meal, and I do my best to choose healthy sausages, but I see your point; other protein sources I use include chicken, fish and most recently stewing beef. I see your point about stock cubes, I may consider removing them from my shopping list once I've run out; I do use a couple different spices at the moment but I could definitely up my spice rack. Ah, I should have included that in the cooking instructions, but fear not, I always rinse the beans before chucking them in the pot. I have a few soup meals in my repertoire currently, my favourite is mulligatawny, delicious. I tried using dried beans not too long ago, but I'm pretty sure they gave me food poisoning, as I was violently ill after eating from either of the batches I'd made using them. I'm sure it was something I did wrong, but I'd rather stay clear of them. Plus soaking them is a lot of extra effort :P Never tried lentils in cooking, what sort of foods do they go well with? Always plain veg here, if I want the meal to have a certain flavour then I add the corresponding spices, never trust pre-made sauces, they're out to get me :)

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I get frozen broccoli from Costco. 4x1lb steamer bags. Just plain broccoli.

Nothing wrong with canned tuna, or sodium for that matter. I went and brought 120 lbs of canned tuna from Amazon. Most of it is under my bed. The main thing to worry about with tuna is mercury. Don't eat a half kilo of tuna a day everyday. The mercury will build up.

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I get frozen broccoli from Costco. 4x1lb steamer bags. Just plain broccoli.

Nothing wrong with canned tuna, or sodium for that matter. I went and brought 120 lbs of canned tuna from Amazon. Most of it is under my bed. The main thing to worry about with tuna is mercury. Don't eat a half kilo of tuna a day everyday. The mercury will build up.

I tend not to eat fish two days consecutively, I'm not a massive fan of seafood in general. And i can't remember the last time I ate canned fish. I tend to buy the kilo or so sized bags of frozen veg, usually full of broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, peas, the usual stuff. Though sometimes I'll use a quarter of a bag of chopped courgettes or something to fill it out.

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Never tried lentils in cooking, what sort of foods do they go well with?

lentils go with absolutely everything. They're actually kind of bland. I like them slow cooked with broth or water, butter, garlic, onion, and a generous dose of curry powder or paprika. You can also mix them with spinach, or tomatoes... they are a bit softer than beans and tend to disintegrate into a tasty mush when cooked (at least that's what mine did), although some people stir whole lentils into soup as you would do with beans or small pasta.

Lentils are common in cuisines of Africa, the Mideast and India, so look at some websites or ethnic cookbooks for ideas.

Being in the legume family they will make a "complete protein" when combined with grains, thus they are traditionally eaten with flatbread, injera, millet, or (long grain) rice. Note that lentils and rice aren't technically paleo, but they're less offensive to the digestion than beans and wheat, so YMMV.

Lentils are rich in fiber, so don't add a big heap of them all at once if your system is prone to freaking out about such things.

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