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Thread: US recipe books

  1. #16
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    I was really curious about this so I started looking through some of my cook books. I would say depending on the vegetable, most of the books call for frozen or canned veggies. The exceptions are carrots, mushrooms (most of the time), asparagus, lettuce (obviously), green peppers, onions and usually potatoes. Almost all beans are canned, corn is either canned or frozen, broccoli is frozen, etc. Weird. I don't cook many things, just a few simple recipes, but I was surprised.

  2. #17
    A*O
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    Even on a tight budget it's cheap and easy to make a basic (tinned) tomato/onion/garlic sause with pasta. I haven't worked out the cost per serve but I bet it's a couple of dollars at the most, especially if you make the sauce in bulk and freeze it. When I was an impoverished student I practically lived on pasta/sauce (maybe with a tin of tuna thrown in for special occasions) and lived to tell the tale.
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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobelia View Post
    One of these days somebody will get smart & start a line of quality frozen foods on this side of the planet. I would buy them.
    Actually I think Stouffers is not that bad. And Marie Callender pot pies are great. Also frozen pies.

    I do think we use more processed foods here. Also I think people will buy frozen veggies because they have the option of not using them immediately(but canned veggies? UGH!!!). The problem with fresh produce is that it needs to be used quickly, or you need to shop more frequently, or both. It is more convenient and time saving to go to the mega-supermarket every two weeks and get what you need..and then just stop off for certain things on the way home from work, etc. I think that may be more common here than maybe Australia. I think A*O has said before that there is more of a custom of shopping at green grocers and farmers markets..and they are numerous and abundantly filled with fresh produce nearly year round. Just not like that here. Also the quality of fresh veggies, fruits, etc. is often not the best in the offseason, and higher quality = higher price.


    I know I actually prefer most frozen veggies over fresh. Whenever I have bought fresh..half of it ends up going bad and getting wasted. And the quality of frozen is not as bad as canned..and sometimes is nearly the equal of fresh.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Even on a tight budget it's cheap and easy to make a basic (tinned) tomato/onion/garlic sause with pasta. I haven't worked out the cost per serve but I bet it's a couple of dollars at the most, especially if you make the sauce in bulk and freeze it. When I was an impoverished student I practically lived on pasta/sauce (maybe with a tin of tuna thrown in for special occasions) and lived to tell the tale.
    Yep. I am living alot on pasta, dried beans, potatoes, rice, etc. Potatoes are actually nutritious and good for you as long as you do not drown them in butter, sour cream, etc. herbs and spices and a little olive oil go far. Same with sauces. You can alway start with a canned sauce and add to it too to 'stretch' it. Also all of those things keep at least for a decent while so I do not have to worry about waste and can buy in bulk. Same with things like fresh onions..even carrots.

    Also homemade soups and stews can be really stretched and are cheaper. And you can make large batches and freeze part of it. buy in bulk, save money


    *also as I have(been forced ) to give up most processed food, all soda, all alcohol, and all eating out/fast food..I have lost weight. there is always a silver lining.. *

  5. #20
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojiita View Post
    Actually I think Stouffers is not that bad. And Marie Callender pot pies are great. Also frozen pies.

    I do think we use more processed foods here. Also I think people will buy frozen veggies because they have the option of not using them immediately(but canned veggies? UGH!!!). The problem with fresh produce is that it needs to be used quickly, or you need to shop more frequently, or both. It is more convenient and time saving to go to the mega-supermarket every two weeks and get what you need..and then just stop off for certain things on the way home from work, etc. I think that may be more common here than maybe Australia. I think A*O has said before that there is more of a custom of shopping at green grocers and farmers markets..and they are numerous and abundantly filled with fresh produce nearly year round. Just not like that here. Also the quality of fresh veggies, fruits, etc. is often not the best in the offseason, and higher quality = higher price.


    I know I actually prefer most frozen veggies over fresh. Whenever I have bought fresh..half of it ends up going bad and getting wasted. And the quality of frozen is not as bad as canned..and sometimes is nearly the equal of fresh.
    I don't find Stouffers that good compared to the higher-end frozen foods in the UK. Even most of the high-end stuff in North America isn't that good, IMO. Don't know about the Callenders' pies -- never tried one, as I don't really like pot pies.

    I think Americans in general use more processed foods because it's where most of the convenience foods and fast foods were invented. Other countries are catching up, tho, for better or worse.

    Being poor is a great diet if you don't load up on carbs -- even tho I'm not poor (well, I am compared to 99% of my neighbours), I still make a lot of soups, stews, casseroles etc. They are nutritious, inexpensive, and last a long time. A great combo, IMO.

  6. #21
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    I think A*O has said before that there is more of a custom of shopping at green grocers and farmers markets..and they are numerous and abundantly filled with fresh produce nearly year round
    This is true, although I live in a big city on the coast in a part of the country where the climate allows us to grow almost any fruit or vegetable you care to name. I'm sure if I lived in Alice Springs where absolutely everything has to be brought in by road/air in from a long way away the choice and availability of fresh produce is much more limited (and expensive) and frozen food would be the only option. Melbourne is the eating capital of Australia, some say the world, so I know I am very lucky but since I do have such a fabulous choice of fresh produce it would be crazy not to make the most of it.
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  7. #22
    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    Default Frozen vs. fresh

    Here's some interesting info on fresh vs. frozen. I am originally from Europe, and everyone I knew bought fresh fruit and veggies every couple of days. In the US, many people tend to only shop once a week or less, so frozen is more convenient. There's no excuse for canned mushrooms, however.

    Fresh, canned or frozen vegetables?

    by Sue Gilbert, MS

    Q

    I have decided to try to prepare most of my baby's food myself to save money. Would it be best to use frozen vegetables (without preservatives), canned vegetables (without added sugar or salt) or fresh vegetables?


    A

    If you can be sure that the fresh vegetables are indeed fresh, then that would be the most nutritious choice. The longer a 'fresh' vegetable sits in the store or on the farm stand the less nutritious it becomes, however, frozen food processors process their vegetables as soon as they are trucked in off the field, thus preserving most of their vitamins.

    Studies have shown frozen foods to be more nutritious than fresh food when the fresh foods have been allowed to sit for an extended period. Therefore, unless you have fresh picked the vegetables from your garden or you have bought them at your local farmer's market where you know they have not been long out of the field, you are probably better off to make baby food from the frozen variety.

    Canned vegetables are the least nutritious because of the extensive heating process they have been exposed to order to process them safely in cans.

    The most nutritious way for you to process the vegetables is in the microwave, including the cooking water in with the puree. Second best is steaming, again, using the cooking water in the pureeing process, and finally, boiling the vegetables.

    Fresh, canned or frozen vegetables?

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    Elite Member Mariesoleil's Avatar
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    I don't like frozen vegetables. I rarely ever use them.
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  9. #24
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific breeze View Post
    I don't find Stouffers that good compared to the higher-end frozen foods in the UK. Even most of the high-end stuff in North America isn't that good, IMO. Don't know about the Callenders' pies -- never tried one, as I don't really like pot pies.

    I think Americans in general use more processed foods because it's where most of the convenience foods and fast foods were invented. Other countries are catching up, tho, for better or worse.

    Being poor is a great diet if you don't load up on carbs -- even tho I'm not poor (well, I am compared to 99% of my neighbours), I still make a lot of soups, stews, casseroles etc. They are nutritious, inexpensive, and last a long time. A great combo, IMO.
    yeah my diet is carb heavy right now. I am hoping I can add more veggies and protein when I get my messed up life straightened out more. I do take a multivitamin though.

    And now I really want to at least try sometime some of these 'really good' UK frozen meals. If they are way better than Stouffers then I would likely love them. I actually like Stouffers(not all of there stuff mind you, just certain things they have). Of course I think I am less of an epicurean than many..

    There is also a frozen food place that has frozen soups that come in tubs and are boil-in-a-bag..cant remember the name..but they have lobster bisque and chowders and cajun seafood that is very good (in my plebian opinion)cannot afford them as they are kind of expensive. Most frozen dinners though =

  10. #25
    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Actually I think Stouffers is not that bad. And Marie Callender pot pies are great. Also frozen pies.
    I like Stouffers's lasanga. Tried Marie Callender's chicken pot pies, they were yummy.

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    ^^^I like both of those, too. I also like Boston Market's frozen stuff. It's always a gamble when you try something new. Some of it's been good but seems like most is not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sojiita View Post
    yeah my diet is carb heavy right now. I am hoping I can add more veggies and protein when I get my messed up life straightened out more. I do take a multivitamin though.

    And now I really want to at least try sometime some of these 'really good' UK frozen meals. If they are way better than Stouffers then I would likely love them. I actually like Stouffers(not all of there stuff mind you, just certain things they have). Of course I think I am less of an epicurean than many..

    There is also a frozen food place that has frozen soups that come in tubs and are boil-in-a-bag..cant remember the name..but they have lobster bisque and chowders and cajun seafood that is very good (in my plebian opinion)cannot afford them as they are kind of expensive. Most frozen dinners though =
    ok, here's some links to look at UK frozen dinners... Although I have to admit it can be a bit hit & miss....
    Birds Eye – the home of delicious, healthy food (not my taste to be honest)
    Sainsbury's online groceries


    The funny thing is that my Mum brought me a catalogue from a french supermarket with some amazing frozen meals in it!

  13. #28
    Elite Member missbazilb's Avatar
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    I find it is very easy to cook quite nutricious food that is inexpensive. Sometimes I just get lazy, though, and don't feel like cooking. That's when the guilt sets in. Payday is on Thursday, and tonight I shall be cooking a nice tomato sauce with lots of veggies for spaghetti that will last me several meals.

    Unfortunately, right now our veggies have just had a major spike in price due to California's bad winter. Tomatoes and peppers are averaging $3.99/pound. Yikes!

  14. #29
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I looked through my books and none of them really specified frozen, canned, or fresh. I guess it's your choice.

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    For an easy cheap meal solution that stretches far, roast a whole chicken. You can have at least 2-3 meals off the bird then pick it clean and use the little pieces in soup or quesadillas. A lot of grocery stores will put whole chickens on sale for as low as 79 cents/pound, so look for sales. You can find a good size chicken for $3-4 even when it's not on sale.

    We don't like the dark meat, though, so what I do is buy a large package of bone-in breasts with the skin still on and roast about 5-6 breasts at once. We have a couple of meals with the meat sliced served with gravy, then I start picking all the meat off the bones. The large pieces I use in a pasta dish (chicken w/ bowtie pasta with a garlic/mushroom/olive oil/wine sauce), the smaller pieces I use in soup. That one package of chicken will go for 5 dinners Sometimes I freeze the little pieces for later (wrap them in plastic wrap tightly and then put in a freezer bag). Oh, and you can use the little pieces in chicken salad if you like that (we don't though).

    Also, if you get a boneless pork loin roast and cook it, it goes a long way. We usually get 2 meals off of half the roast and then I slice the rest and freeze it in a container with the gravy. A few weeks later, thaw it out, warm in the microwave, and yum! an easy dinner that's actually better the second time around.

    I also make extra brown/wild rice (since it takes so long to cook) and freeze that too.

    Also, chili is cheap, cheap, cheap to make and goes a long way. I do use canned beans and tomato sauce for this and a package of chili seasoning, but I use a pound of fresh ground round. You can use whatever beans you like (pinto, red, black) and add some onion or green peppers if you like. The tomato sauce is very nutritious!

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