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  1. #1
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    Spice up my meals

    I'm a broke college student struggling to eat decent food while attempting to get back in riding shape. My typical food intake looks something like:

    Breakfast - Cereal w/ yogurt and OJ

    Mid morning snack - Smoothie w/ turkey sandwhich

    Lunch - Chicken caesar salad or wrap

    Afternoon snack (prior to riding) - Banana and clif bar

    Post ride snack - Smoothie w/ protein powder and pasta

    Dinner - Some variation of baked chicken w/ veggies


    As you can see I pretty much eat chicken and smoothies with occasional bagel or turkey sandwhich/wrap. Just looking for any advice on mixing things up a little bit and still having a decent diet. Having baked chicken for dinner almost every night is getting dull! Anyone have and cheap food that I could throw in maybe 2 nights a week? Thanks!

  2. #2
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Beans are dirt cheap and have tons of protein in them. Rice makes a nice side to most meals. For breakfast oatmeal would provide better nutrition then cereal. For snacks try more fruits, or cottage cheese, or yogurt. Cliff bars are what buck something a bar? Pretty much any real food would be cheaper then that. You could also buy frozen fish, and cook that. It goes nice with rice, or beans, or with some veggies wrapped in burrito. For sauce you can mix up some greek yogurt or sour cream with dijorn mustard. A great snack (or a meal) is oatmeal mixed with some cheddar cheese, and cottage cheese. I usually do 1 serving of oatmeal, 1 serving of cheddar cheese, 1 serving of oatbran, and 1 serving of cottage cheese. It makes for a quick to prepare lunch that I can take with me to school.

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  3. #3
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    +100000 to the beans- I'd look into interesting grains as well (quinoa, wild/brown rice mix, millet, wheat berries, etc., etc.). As to beans, black beans are super versatile- you can while up a spicy black bean soup in no time with a can of beans, a little garlic, onion, green pepper, lime juice, and chili powder. BBs are also great for salads- I mix them in with quinoa or millet, add assorted veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, scallions, carrots, maybe some roasted rutabagas or parsnips), some raisins or dried cranberries- figs are nice too- and dress with homemade lime-cilantro dressing. Easy to make, and a batch is good for a dinner or two, or a lunch or three.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Eat slowly. When taking the smoothie, drink it first.

    That will make the stomach feel fuller. Then take solids. For smoothie, use a lot of anti oxidants like Langer's pomegranate juice which can be found at Costco. Also at Costco or Sam's Club there are frozen blueberries and dates. Sam's Club sometimes has the date pieces. I put in romaine lettuce or even cucumbers.

  5. #5
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Shrimp is good and fairly cheap. It cooks up quickly and you can throw it on pasta or add it to rice and some stir-fried veggies.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Jumbalaya

    Red beans and rice

    now I'm hungry
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

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    Spaghetti is pretty yummy.
    Grilled portobello sandwiches.
    Salads are always a good thing. Stuffing a pita pocket is a fun thing to eat.

    You can make calazones fairly easily. Pickup frozen dough at the store, defrost it, roll it out, stuff it with whatever, and cook it.

  8. #8
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    Jumbalaya

    Red beans and rice

    now I'm hungry
    Any recipes to share?
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  9. #9
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    PB&J.

    Grilled cheese. (esp with some tomato soup)

    You can get pork loin pretty inexpensively in bulk. Slice it up and freeze. Roasts are pretty cheap -- bag of Lipton Onion Soup and a can of regular Pepsi or Coke, veggies, and bake. Yum!

  10. #10
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    Tons of good info here, never would have thought of lots of this stuff. Thanks for all the replies I'll be making my next grocery list from here

  11. #11
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    Grits are also a good source of carbs, cheap too. If you buy nuts in bulk, they can be reasonable as well.

  12. #12
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
    Any recipes to share?
    Here's a decent one: http://southernfood.about.com/od/jam...r/bl20120a.htm

    Fool around with the peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and spices until you find your taste - or based on what's in the kitchen.

    I like sausage jambalaya better than chicken, but that's just me. I suppose the chicken's healthier.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    Different Curries (powder and paste / red and green) Different spices

    try some mediterannian fish recipes with citrus and tomato.

    Visit the spice isle of your store and experiment.

    You can actually eat chicken and turkey a different way each meal and not feel like the same ol' same ol'.
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by minorfleshwound View Post
    I'm a broke college student struggling to eat decent food while attempting to get back in riding shape. My typical food intake looks something like:

    Breakfast - Cereal w/ yogurt and OJ

    Mid morning snack - Smoothie w/ turkey sandwhich

    Lunch - Chicken caesar salad or wrap

    Afternoon snack (prior to riding) - Banana and clif bar

    Post ride snack - Smoothie w/ protein powder and pasta

    Dinner - Some variation of baked chicken w/ veggies


    As you can see I pretty much eat chicken and smoothies with occasional bagel or turkey sandwhich/wrap. Just looking for any advice on mixing things up a little bit and still having a decent diet. Having baked chicken for dinner almost every night is getting dull! Anyone have and cheap food that I could throw in maybe 2 nights a week? Thanks!
    Try adding some CINNAMON IN WITH YOUR OATMEAL & a mashed banana.
    Get some more carbs in your diet, adding 1/2 cup of Post Grape Nuts with your oatmeal is good or try some Fiber One cereal the little wormy looking kind is good, both of these cereals have a lot more carbs than the oatmeal. The cereals would be great for post ride snacks too. At lunch you should try getting some carbs so you're fueled for your ride, the salad doesn't do much.
    If you're buying the smoothie & protein powder I'd drop it for a couple different types of fresh fruit and fat free chocolate milk (carbs&protein).
    If you cook for yourself look up/read about QUINOA, it's a whole grain with lots of carbs PLUS its a protein. It's good in soups, salads, add with chopped veggies. Look for it at a health food store or maybe in the bulk foods section of a regular grocery store

    Go to smartpeople.com and use the nutritional tracker, you can track your carbs, fats, protien, fiber; then you'll know what you're getting for nutrition, they have a pie chart that shows all the breakdowns, wonderful sight. Hope some of this helps you.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    +1 on Smartpeople
    Good recipe datbase too!
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
    >>>Team Critical Mess<<< (You mean it's not SUPPOSE to hurt?)

    My nice new Nashbar Touring Build AKA "The Flying Avocadooooooooo!"
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  16. #16
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    Here; Jeez! These have never failed me!

    THUNDER BIRDS

    1 package of 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 package of cream cheese
    2 bunches of green onions, chopped
    6 jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped
    1 package of bacon

    Pound chicken breasts as flat & even as possible with a meat tenderizer mallet
    Cut flattened chicken breasts roughly in half
    Mix cram cheese, onion and jalapeno together
    Place 2 TBS cream cheese/onion/jalapeno mix onto chicken piece
    Roll up chicken, wrap with bacon (2 pieces running opposite) and skewer with toothpicks
    Grill over low or indirect heat until chicken is fully cooked, cheese melted and bacon browned. Bacon grease flares up bad!


    Chicken Enchilada Lasagna

    Big box of oven-ready lasagna noodles
    1 can of cream of mushroom (or cream of chicken) soup
    1 can of Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup
    2 4 oz cans of green chilies
    1 can of evaporated milk
    1 cup of favorite salsa
    1 can of chopped black olives
    3 each boneless, skinless chicken breasts (tenderized)
    1 medium onion - chopped
    Butter or margarine
    Cajun or Taco seasoning
    15 oz Ricotta cheese
    1 slightly beaten egg
    tsp basil
    tsp oregano
    24 oz cottage cheese
    12 - 16 oz Mozzarella cheese

    Drain, drain, drain, drain and drain (the soups and milk are enough liquid) Drain and drain!

    Fry chicken breasts with butter/margarine and seasoning; shred and set aside
    Saute onion until translucent - set aside
    In large bowl combine soups, chilies (drain), milk, salsa, olives (drain) and then add onion and shredded chicken
    Combine in small bowl: Ricotta cheese, egg, basil and organo
    In a large deep disposable lasagna pan: spray bottom and sides; lay in botton layer of noodles; making as many layers as possible separated with noodles using:
    Ricotta cheese mix
    Chicken mix
    Mozarella cheese
    Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for at least 15 minutes; remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving


    King Ranch Casserole

    10 oz Cream of mushroom soup
    10 oz Cream of chicken soup
    10 oz Rotel tomatoes
    1 small can of sliced black olives
    1 each 8 oz package cream cheese, cubed
    2 pounds of ground beef (or 2 cups of pan cooked white meat chicken)
    12 corn tortillas, broken to fit inside the casserole dish
    2 cups of shredded cheese
    Choice of meat seasoning


    Preheat oven to 350F
    Mist 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray
    Brown and season meat of choice and drain excess grease
    Add mushroom and chicken soups, Rotel tomatoes and cream cheese
    Use the tortillas to line the bottom of the dish
    Add meat and soup mixture
    Top with the other of the tortillas
    Top that with cheese and olive slices
    Bake 35 - 45 minutes; slightly brown the cheese
    Serve with garlic toast?
    Bicycle - teaching topography since 1790

  17. #17
    Senior Member Terex's Avatar
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    Many good recommendations already given.

    Plain baked potato and an order of chili from Wendy's. Dump chili on potato.

    And eat more bananas.

    Bag of hash brown, uncooked potatoes from the refrigerated section of the grocery. Put olive oil in pan, heat, fry potatoes in the oil. Add spices, fresh tomatoes, left over salsa, grated cheese - clean out the fridge.

    Do you have a George Forman grill? If not, get one. Buy pork loin chops from Costco in bulk, freeze some, and cook some. Season chops with McCormacks seasoning. It's available for steak, pork, chicken, fish.

    Buy an inexpensive crock pot. Buy a crock pot cook book. Possibilities are endless.
    "It could be anything. Scrap booking, high-stakes poker, or the Santa Fe lifestyle. Just pick a dead-end and chill out 'till you die."

  18. #18
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    For cheapness, it's tough to beat beans and rice, as has been noted. Try and find a couple good Mexican or Salvadoran places that serve lunches to immigrant work crews. The food is often more authentic and the prices can't be beat. There's a little pupusas place by me where I can get a pretty good light lunch for under five bucks, with a variety of protein choices.

    JBW

  19. #19
    too old for bike shorts? cyclehen's Avatar
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    Great ideas here! My personal favorite cheap eats are tunafish and canned salmon, pb&j, lowfat yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus (homemade is cheaper) & pita bread, rice & black beans, peanuts, oatmeal, bananas. Kashi has some cereals that are great for snacks (buy them when they're on sale)-- with dried fruit they make good trail mix. I'd spend my $ on real food and not the protein powder or food bars. For dinners, frozen seafood is a good alternative, especially scallops if you can get one of those large bags and thaw just what you need.

  20. #20
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    Try lentils. With the right spices they are delicious and cheap. Here's a recipe that I've been using for years and is a simple backbone to endless variation.

    - Saute 3-4 cloves of minced garlic with an onion, maybe 2 if they're small. Cook until the onion is beginning to get translucent and the garlic is nice and fragrant.
    - Add 1 cup of boring grocery store lentils (not red or du poy lentils, although they can be delicious in other things) with 3 cups of water. Simmer for about an hour until the lentils are a consistency that you like. About this time the lentils will be breaking apart and will make the dish more smooth and mushy. Don't go too far or the dish with turn sticky and pasty (in which case you can always add more water and keep cooking).
    - When you have about five minutes left, add 1 teaspoon of salt and cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
    - Serve on top of rice.

    Although it seems simple, you really can't go wrong with this dish. Feel free to add carrots, celery, hot peppers, bell peppers, cilantro... almost anything you'd like after the onion but before the lentils. Don't put in salt before the lentils are done cooking- just something I've always been told.

    If you don't have cumin and cayenne in your cabinet, you really need to get off the computer and run to the store this minute! They're extremely fundamental to spicing it up.

  21. #21
    Duckslayer Arkansan07's Avatar
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    whole wheat pancakes, i destroy these

  22. #22
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLahr View Post
    Don't put in salt before the lentils are done cooking- just something I've always been told.
    True that- same thing with any beans- salting the cooking water makes the outer covering tough. Best to salt after cooking.


    BTW, here's another thing you can do with lentils- tagine!!!
    Follow JLahr's recipe, but fry the cumin in oil before adding the garlic and onion. Also add a cinnamon stick (yea, that's right, cinnamon), paprika, turmeric, and ginger. Saute everything together, then add the lentils and water. When the lentils are about halfway done, add about a cup or prunes (now known as dried plums) and/or dried apricots. Serve on couscous.

    You can also just dump everything at once into a crockpot and let it go for 5-6 hours.

  23. #23
    Who farted? Ka_Jun's Avatar
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    Tofu, seitan.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkansan07 View Post
    whole wheat pancakes, i destroy these
    +1

    I add chunky applesauce, cinnamon, and oats to mine. My son and I will eat them without syrup or butter.

  25. #25
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    2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    2008 Jamis Coda
    1999 Trek 930

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