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ursulav

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So, as many of you know, my newly single lifestyle means that I'm having to fend for myself in the kitchen.

I learned to cook a few basic dishes, all in the Mexican theme for some reason--quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos, etc. Easy enough to do.

Lately, however, I've been busy as hell and uninclined to cook, so I've been living on various frozen foods, mostly from the newly-opened Trader Joe's, which is cheap and interesting food. The fridge is empty, but the freezer is stuffed.

One of the nice things about being single is that you can experiment with all kinds of foods, something that for some reason you don't do when you're cooking for two.*  So I've been having blintzes and perogies for breakfast and a variety of random stirfries and odd food-in-a-bag for dinner.  (Yes, I know, probably not as healthy as fresh veggies and whatnot, but it's the best I'm gonna manage, particularly nights when I work. And at least it's a step up from TV dinners.)

Tonight, I had something called gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce.

I still don't know what the hell it was, but it was awesome.

Suggestions of other great frozen food cheerfully welcomed.



*Probably the same reason that a single person can treat a can of beer and a jar of salsa as dinner, but you can't if someone else might watch you. Possibly there is a research paper in this somewhere.


I've been without TJ's for nearly a year now and I want to cry.

Try their shepherd's pies, chicken and cheese enchiladas, chicken teriyaki bowls, and stuffed salmon. (Also, the salty, sweet, and nutty trail mix is AWESOME.)

Correction: Chicken and cheese tamales, not the enchiladas, which I actually found rather mediocre.

Addendum: The frozen cheese tortelini in pesto ain't bad, either.

gnocchi is a pasta, gorgonzola's a kind of cheese?

Specifically, I believe gnocchi is a kind of pasta made from potato starch rather than grains. Yes, gorgonzola's cheese.

Gnocchi and cheese (Anonymous) Expand
Simplest, easiest stuff to make:

One box of stuffed tortellini...
One can of Chunky Soup.

Put one, then the other in a saucepan. Cook until tortellini cooked. (You may need to add a little extra water.)

Delicious. Terrible for your figure.

On these lines:

One can tomato soup.
One box white cheddar pasta.

Cook pasta according to directions, on stovetop.
Cook soup according to directions, on stovetop or in microwave.

Pour soup into pasta pot.

Mmmmm, comfort food.


For a complete meal, Stouffer's butternut squash ravioli frozen dinner is YUMMY. Butternut squash-stuffed pasta of any kind is yummy. Mmmm, hungry now.

Gnocchi are excellent, i adore dumplings. :) When it comes to easy stuff for creation, i heartily suggest couscous. Literally just add (boiling) water then eat when cooled with a bit of butter/margerine.

Other frozen foods of a tasty variety are chinese dumplings/pot stickers if possible.

In keeping with some of the above suggestions, heat a very brothy soup to boiling in a pot (french onion works lovely, if you can get the boxed stuff from whole foods), remove from heat, stir in couscous and cover for five minutes. Fluff with a fork. Try not to eat from pot, or leftover whilst standing in the door of the fridge.

Gnocchi are sort of a potato/pasta hybrid dumplingoid food substance. Gorgonzola is cheese. Nasty, nasty cheese, in my opinion, but it's good that someone likes it. You can have my lifetime share.

TJ's has lots of tasty Simmer Sauces. Pick up a few of these, some frozen chicken tenderloins, and a resealable bag of frozen veggies.

Put a couple pieces of chicken in a small frying pan with a few spoonfulls of water and cook it until it is not frozen. Add some frozen veg, a little more water, and a few spoons of the simmer sauce. Everything cooks in together, you can make just enough for one, and it's tasty without being all about the fat and sugar.


If you can grab some veggies but not be bothered to actually cook them, heating a tin of tomato soup and slicing some washed carrots and broccoli into it is really good if you like your vegetables crunchy. Or, er, raw. ;)

My standard comfort food is:
One bag of leaf salad from supermarket
Two tomatoes, sliced
Croutons
~100g Streaky bacon, sliced and nuked crispy
Dressing

Takes about 5 minutes to prepare (do salad while nuking the bacon), feeds four (or me for a nice large dinner), satisfies all of protein/fat/fresh stuff appetites.

I also keep a bag of Kransky sausages in the freezer - nuke a few of those to cover the gap between being too drained to cook safely [I once proved that my stove can melt metal] and actually making real food.

Another recommendation for potstickers and other frozen Asian foods; Trader Joe's has some pretty good ones if I remember correctly. Hurrah for stuff-you-can-bulk-out-with-a-side-of-rice!

Gnocchi is great. If you run out of freezer space, you can get it (it? them? is gnocchi a plural or a collective noun? gah) dried, usually next to the boxed pastas or in the ethnic food section with the Italian stuff. It's really good with vodka sauce.

Also, I've recently become a big fan of boxed/bagged muffin mixes; they're cheap, and some of them are so easy that you just add water or milk, drop them in the pan and bake for 15 minutes or so. I really don't want to know what's in them that makes that possible, but it does make mornings when I don't feel like cooking a lot easier. Also, buttered corn muffins and tea for dinner: yum.

I'm in Canada and we do not have Trader Joe's so until I went to my Aunt's this Christmas I had no idea what it was. After seeing one, however, I decided to make it my life's mission to marry Trader Joe in a romantic pirate themed wedding.

No fucking way. HE'S MINE.

Trader Joe's Artichoke Risotto is pretty good.

Did I give you my Dorito Caserole recipe before? It's not pre-packaged, but it's the next closest thing. And I'm working on a ranch veggie version of it now, too.

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Slow Cookers for Dummies is a good starting book for crock pot techniques and recipes. It's got a ton of good, easy recipes, and tips for converting regular recipes to crock pot ones.

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I personally cannot cook, except for the occasional batch of pasta or a casserole once in a blue moon. I mostly eat high-carb stuff like dry cereal and plain tortillas, but I also find that mangos and applesauce are always good, whether as a snack or an entire meal. No suggestions for frozen stuff, though, as I don't eat much of that sort of thing.

Trader Joe's is the best thing ever for those who are newly living on their own and still want to eat well.

One of my easy/cheap meals was ramen with their frozen pork gyoza tossed in. Their pre-cooked rice is awesome--no one wants to wait 40 minutes for brown rice to be done (well, I don't)...so the various cooked grain/rice packets make that easy--some of that, some frozen veggies, maybe the pre-cooked rosemary balsamic chicken...good stuff.

The frozen gyoza are wonderful by themselves too.