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Topic: recipes to teach my college age son who freaks out over raw meat  (Read 6509 times)
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« on: February 01, 2007 11:17:43 AM »

I want to install a few cooking skills in my son before he goes off to college this fall.  He will be sharing an apartments with some friends so will have access to a full kitchen.

I have learned first hand that you can save lots of money by minimizing your use of pre-packaged foods so I want to teach him how to make some stuff from scratch.

So far he only knows how to make noodle ramen, pasta with sauce from a jar, microwave mac and cheese and sandwitches.

Sides will not be a problem, but main dishes are difficult.

The problem is meat.  He is NOT a vegetarian, but he has an issue with raw meat.  He cannot stand to handle raw meat and the smell of raw meat makes him nausious.  He says he doesn't think he could eat meat if he had to cook it himself.

Any suggestions for main dish recipes that use already cooked meat that are fairly cheap?  A main dish with lunch meat maybe?  What are some affordable cooked meats I could use?  He hates canned tuna.

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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2007 02:16:02 PM »

1) Go to Sam's or Costco and get a box of 500 plastic gloves (probably with the paper plates and cups and food service stuff). That takes care of the touching.
2) Have him throw it in a crockpot immediately and put the cover on.  That takes care of the smell.

A crockpot can also be a great cooking tool at college - turn it on in the morning and come back later and eat.

Get him a crockpot cookbook. There's no need to cut or brown meat before tossing into the pot. Some recipes will tell you to do those things, but it's totally not necessary.

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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2007 08:20:50 PM »

i know they have like thin steak slices in the freezer section (they come in a box) you can use for philly cheese steak or stir fry and the like. i think its pre-cooked so its not gross and it only takes 5 minutes to heat up.

and a little bit pricier than raw meat is like tyson tenders you can just throw in the oven. and my mom used to buy store brand frozen boneless skinless chicken breast in a resealable bag. if he can take it straight from the freezer to the stove before it gets all mushy and gross maybe he could handle that?

and im sure you know there are pre-made hamburgers that you just pop on the stove or grill.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2007 08:27:16 PM by msalowishus » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2007 01:24:57 PM »

I second the crock pot suggestion!  I recently found the world's easiest pot roast recipe, which will make him very popular with his roomies and will limit his raw meat exposure to about ten seconds:

1 2.5 lb pot roast (i've used 3-3.5 lbs. so it's pretty forgiving)
1/2 package french onion soup mix (save the rest to mix with some sour cream for chips 'n' dip/veggies 'n' dip before dinner!)
1 can cream of mushroom soup

throw the soup and soup mix in the crock pot, then fill the can with water and pour that in, too. 
mix it all up.
close your eyes, hold your breath, and pull open the plastic of the pot roast container, then flip it over to make it drop into the crock pot without touching it - or make a roommate put it in.  (instructions especially for the squeamish!) then use a spoon or something to roll the roast over so it's covered in soup. 
cook at low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. 
take the strings off, slice. 
serve with pre-pack salad or veggies. 
(if there ARE left overs, it's yummy as sandwiches the next day, but there usually isn't any left!)

Hope that helps!
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2007 03:41:42 PM »

Is his problem specifically with beef, or does it extend to poultry?  I think it's not too hard to find chicken that is either cooked or cleverly disguised as some sort of nugget, but it's much more difficult with cow. 

Don't places like the big warehouse stores have bags of frozen, already cooked meatballs?  Those would work in lots of things--swedish meatball casserole, spaghetti, crumble them up to put in chili.

Or if he wants a fancy meal (say to impress a date) he could make chicken parmesan with a breaded chicken cutlet, some spaghetti sauce and a slice of mozzarella.  Serve it with pasta and a green salad.

Some of the soy based crumbles are good. Take him to Trader Joe's and browse the frozen food aisle.  Make sure he has a supply of recipes using condensed cream soups (or teach him to make white sauce), and teach him how to cook rice. (my son is the casserole king, and he probably makes rice 4 or 5 times a week)

« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2007 04:32:18 PM »

I also have a problem cooking raw meat, so I understand how your son feels.  I hate to even look at it.  Also, meat is hard to cook.  With most other things you can mess up a little and still be ok.  With meat, if you mess up it's yuck-o city and maybe food poisoning.

In terms of already-cooked meat, I'd get some small strips and teach him how to make stir fry.  Very easy, and since the meat is small it's easy to see when it's done.  Or frozen shrimp with vegetables.

As an alternative, why not look for some vegetarian recipes?  Tofu has protein in it.  If he doesn't like cooking meat, try coming up with some nutritional meatless meals.

Even ramen can be made healthy.  Try substituting the prepackaged soup powder for some vegetable broth.  Then throw in some fresh veggies (baby spinach is good) and an egg, and voila!  A filling and healthy meal.

I think probably the most important thing you can do is to teach him how to eat a balanced meal.

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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2007 05:01:05 PM »

how about he goes veggie when he cooks for himself?
teach baisic knife skills, and how to use tofu.
what i did for my friend when he went off to college was; i went to BJ's and bought a 50(yes, 50!!!) can package of tomato-O's (generic spaghetti o's)
and 20 14-cent packages of ramen.

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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2007 06:40:48 PM »

How bout he just doesn't eat meat?
Tell him it attracts girls. (it does)  Cheesy

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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2007 06:59:58 PM »

So basically I'm just like your son.
When I moved into my first apartment I would only eat meat when my roommate would cook it.  (And then I'd go crazy with the Lysol wipes afterwards because I'm somewhat ocd...)  Anyway, I've pretty much just given up meat altogether.  At least when I cook for myself.  I don't *officially* call myself a vegetarian, because I do eat chicken and fish once in a while, but only when someone else cooks it for me (like when I visit my parents).

My suggestion for you is to teach him how to cook hearty vegetarian meals.  This is not to say that you should tell him to become vegetarian, but just learn to cook like one.  Beans are great- a big pot lasts me a week, and they're really easy to make.  And I second the stir-fry suggestion.

But yeah, perhaps being on his own will end up making him vegetarian, which isn't so bad. 

OH!, my parents always told me to get a job at a restaurant, so that I could eat for free (or discounted) there.  He could be a server or something so he'd never even see the raw meat! 

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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2007 07:13:05 PM »

How bout a smoked sausage/kielbasa type product?  I dont know if those will freak him out, but I've made some pretty tasty jambalaya and gumbo with fully-cooked turkey smoked sausage...

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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2007 07:43:31 PM »

The crockpot ideas sound good, especially since you can buy precut meats nowadays. I know that costco and most other major supermarkets, sell frozen packages precooked chicken already cut up and ready to go. They're sometimes even already flavored. I love buying frozen meatballs too, very useful. For the more pricey: precooked shrimp? Supermarkets also sell freshly roasted chicken for pretty cheap so that's another option.

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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2007 08:01:46 AM »

I think the suggestion to teach him some good vegetarian basics is right on.  If he doesn't want to handle raw meat then that would be the simplest way around it.  And he can eat turkey bacon.  That's usually pre-cooked.  Wink  I'd arm him with some good potato dishes, pasta sauces, and info about cooking with beans and tortillas.  We ate a lot of pasta as poor college students with a kitchen.  Sweet potatoes with black bean chili (no meat in our recipe) was another favorite.   Can he cook eggs a bunch of different ways? Make a mean grilled cheese sandwich?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2007 05:53:36 AM »

Thanks everyone for your great suggestions.  I will discuss them with my son Cris.
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2007 09:10:15 AM »

My fave is to put a 3lb roast into the crockpot, add 2 packs of brown gravy with 3c of water and cook on the lowest setting for 24 hours (I usually start it during dinner the night before). It shreds beautifuly and can be made into sandwiches the next day.

Using BBQ sauce and pork will get passable barbeque. With a small dollop of liquid smoke.

Something else is hamburger/sausage in a plastic tube. Leave it mostly frozen and cut with a good serrated knife, and it doesn't smell/feel gross and it cooks fine from frozen.

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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2007 09:14:12 AM »

often if you keep an eye on the grocery flyers, those whole roasted chickens go on sale...we love to use them for making enchiladas...and i am sure that the meat could be used for making many different recipes

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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2007 05:34:32 AM »

smoked sausage green beans and  potatoes  all boiled in a pot  is  really good... no  blood there

hope  he's  mot a  med  student  LOL

or  taco  soup  is   good  its  hamburger meat and beans....really good  as  left over  also.... if  you think  he'd like it  PM  me I will give  you the  recipe.


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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2007 11:50:58 AM »

something else - if he's going to have buddies with him, they can buy some of those large packs of hamburger, stuff it into 1 pound packs (sandwich bags) and freeze 'em. The buddy can stuff and your kid can nuke to defrost and drop it into the pan. That way hae's not touching it and it's a lot less gross (raw hamburger disgusts me too).

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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2007 12:01:45 PM »

hmm, interesting situation... i don't eat red meat, but i do cook it for my BF so i know how gross it can look.

a few suggestions:
-Omelettes with chopped up lunch meat in them (ham or even turkey)
-someone probably mentioned this, but there are precooked sliced meats either in the meat department or in the freezer section
-protein from other sources (beans, eggs, tofu)
-what about those "meal/skillet"-in-a-bag things?  they come usually with meat and veggies and some kind of starch (rice or pasta) all in a big frozen bag and you dump it in a skillet and kinda stir-fry it all together.  they can be pretty good, and have a lot of food for not too much money!

does he have a problem with frozen fish filets?  those tend not to look as gross... and there's plenty of breaded stuff in the frozen section, too.

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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2007 03:08:39 PM »

i third/ fourth/ whatever the teaching him some vego recipes.
if he's sharehousing, i'm sure the others will cook him some meat sometimes, and for a young adult male i'd guess that getting all the fruit and veg youre supposed to is less likely to happen than getting the meat.
besides, will he buy lunch? he can just buy something with meat in it then.
and if he does get really, really meat-hungry you might find he overcomes his aversion by himself. no problem.

teach him to cook a risotto, because any ol' fridge scraps can go in it (with lots of cheese), and it's very filling.
when making burgers, replace the meat patty with a giant mushroom *drool* (i'm a meateater and prefer 'shroom-burgers any day). just cook it alongside as you would meat patties (fry, grill, bbq).
vegie curries are also very boy-filling. curry paste, onion, garlic, various (root) vegies, coconut milk. simmer till the veges are a good consistency (maybe 20min?).  serve with rice. the curry paste and coconut milk together should only be a couple of dollars.

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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2007 04:43:52 PM »

also  he  can   buy ( if  hes not a  typical broke  college kid)   those  precooked  meats  and  all he  has to do is  heat...   tehy  have pork, beef,  chicken,  OH  steakums  don't  get  bloody till you start  heating,,   frozen  premade meat balls,
mmmm  pigs in  a   blanket???    sausage  you can  get  already  pattied and cooked   at  wallmart tehy  heat  quick   and  easy....   

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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2007 08:17:21 AM »

How far away will he be going for college? I share the same total freakout-ness about raw meat (and poultry), but my mom and I have found a solution. For ground beef, she packages in in plastic freezer baggies, each weighing 1 or 1/2 a pound. When I need to use it, I just dump it in a pot (on low heat, so it will defrost rather than burn) and brown it up. If even that is too much, we also pre-cook and season taco/chili meat and freeze it, so defrosting is all that is necessary. For chicken, she will cut it into chunks and freeze them (I do NOT eat big pieces of chicken...too much for me) and then my part is easy. If he is not going too far, this is an option! I went pretty far for school, so I was mostly vegetarian, which is also a great idea.

Gloves do NOT solve the touching thing for me...too absolutely disgusting.

And yes, my mom TOTALLY spoils me:)
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2007 12:14:07 AM »

i think the frozen meatballs are a good idea. I know this one brand has 3 styles that i know of : italian, swedish, and homestlye(?) Then he could make different dishes using those, or just eat them like that.

MM spaghetti. haha

« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2007 01:13:35 PM »

If he likes mexican type cooking, here's an easy one -

Cook up a batch of rice (brown rice is healthier and has a more interesting texture but not everyone likes that) and a batch of dried beans (the directions will be on the bag) - I prefer black beans for this particular dish.  Stir them together with a jar of salsa - whatever hotness level they like - and let it simmer a while then put cheese on top.

You can add other mexican type things like black olives or chiles or  ? ? ?

This can be done with Minute Rice and canned whole beans but it's not as flavorful or econimical.

This is way healthy, lean and filling - plus, if you buy long grain rice and dried beans, it's way cheap!

« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2007 08:57:07 PM »

green bean casserole:

1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup of milk.
dash of pepper.
4 cups cooked cut green beans.
1 1/3 cup of French's French fried onions.

Mix soup, milk, pepper, beans and 2/3 cup of onions in casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Stir and sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup onions, and bake for five more minutes.

and any college student has got to love this.
Pizza Bubblebread:

1 pkg refrigerated biscuits.
3/4 cup pizza sauce.
1/4 cup pepperoni.
1/2 t. italian seasoning.
1 cup shredded mozerella cheese (4 oz)

Use a bunt pan. If you don't have one, place a glass cup upside down inside of a circular glass pan. Spray lightly with Pam.

Seperate 1 pkg refridgerated biscuits into sections. (there should be 10) Cut each section into 4 pieces using scissors or a knife and place them into medium sized bowl.

Mix italian seasoning with the pizza sauce and pour over biscuits. Stir gently.

Arrange the dough sections eveninly around the bottom of the pan. Extra sauce can be poured evenly over the top.

Slice or chop pepperoni on cutting board with knife or scissors.

Shred mozerella cheese.

Sprinkly pepperoni and chese over the douch. Try to keep the middle piece (glass cup) clean.

Microwave for six minutes on high power, rotating it ever 2 minutes, unless you have a carousel in your microwave.

Allow to sit 2 minutes before eating.

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« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2007 01:01:39 AM »

earlier i posted saying that you should teach him some vegetarian cooking basics.  yes, when i cook for myself it's basically all vegetarian, but when i last went home my parents individually packaged up frozen chicken breasts for me.  so last week was the first time i cooked chicken myself in over a year (i really freak out about raw meat).  i just took one out of the bag and defrosted it in the microwave and then i cooked it.  it was a low stress way of cooking the chicken and i hardly had to deal with it being raw since it went from frozen to thawed to cooking to cooked in a short time.  so yeah, do a little prep for him so he can use one frozen chicken breast at a time and teach him how to cook it so that you don't really need to touch the raw meat a lot.

« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2007 05:17:05 AM »

I don't know can he get roast beef ham etc. I guess he would make either fry rice or noodles with it. Also, he would buy a pizza base and make his own pizza.

If he eats fish/seafood and could find the smoked/cooked one, he could make curry out of it (either Thai or Indian one).

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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2007 05:28:45 AM »

For the smell:  Rub a tiny amout of Vapo-rub (I think it is for congestion) under your nose.  The cheeper the stronger it will be, but you cant smell anything!

I second the Gloves suggestion - It is amazing what you can suddenly touch with a tiny layer of plastic between you and the icky Item.

I knew some guys that got a very good deal on frozen hamburger patties, they were already shaped and individualy packaged.  But you could get them out in numbers and brown them for other uses. Sams Club, or Costco, or something like that.

MY sister and I used to have the "I am NOT touching that chicken" problem.  My sister still uses LONG Long Handled Tongs to remove it from the package, wash it, and place it in the dish.  I got a job as a Zoo Keeper, I now can touch almost anything, and impressed my sister when I made little meat Kabobs the other day.  When you HAVE to make them for Tigers, you can suddenly make them for yourself! Grin


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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2007 11:13:25 PM »

when my brother and i left for school, sometime our mom would precook things for us and send them with us. That way it's still as cheap as buying raw meat, with the added bonus that we could eat it with very little prep!

cooking a big roast, or a couple chicken breasts doesn't necessarily take too long, especially if he helps with the post-cooking prep.

And there are so many things that you can do with chicken and beef! salad, pasta, stir fry.....

the only thing to watch out for is that chicken gets dry - be careful to just finish cooking it the first time (or...mix it with lots of mayo for chicken salad!)

good luck!
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2007 08:05:12 PM »

One of my favorites, and my kids LOVE it....buy the frozen breaded (boneless!)chicken patties(tyson is good)...place them on cookie sheet and bake as directed...as soon as they are done, open the oven and place 1 slice deli thin slice ham(I like the honey ham), and 1 slice swiss cheese ontop of each chicken pattie. Leave them in the oven just long enough for cheese to somewhat melt. And a quick dipping sauce, equal parts of mustard and mayo! I usually serve this with a side of boxed rice, which is EASY, and side salad. I usually pay like 4.00 for a pkg. of 12 patties.
   Also canned chicken is very tasty, and easy to make lots of things with! I make a layered casserole type dish with 2 cans chunk chicken, and 1 can of chicken soup, corn tortillas, and cheese. First, I soften the tortillas( you can do this in the microwave, or a quick dip in hot oil), then I mix cream of chicken soup with the 2 cans of chicken(don't drain cans).you can add a bit chopped onion and garlic powder for a bit more flavor. Also add to that about 3-4 oz shredded cheese, cheddar, or those cool fiesta blends. Then just start with a layer of tortillas on the bottom of your baking pan( I use a 13x9 greased pan...with about 18 tortillas.).spread a layer of the soup/chicken mix, extra cheese if you like, and continue process. Sprinkle more cheese on top, bake at 350 for maybe 25-30 min...
« Reply #29 on: May 06, 2007 05:58:54 PM »

Does he like fish? I believe they sell pre-cooked and pre-seasoned fish in little silver packets, maybe he could just build something around those.

I'm a girl who gets grossed out about raw meat too, but I can definitely handle dumping something in the crockpot! Recently, I made a delicious Strogonaff-type meal with cube steak (CHEAP! CHEAP!). Just get 4 or 5 cube steaks, a can of cream of mushroom soup, Lipton onion dip powder, and about 1/2 cup of milk. It came out really yummy, and I served it over rice. It was a good hearty dinner and cheap, to boot.

A lot of people have said this already, but stirfries are the best. He can buy loads of frozen veggies at the warehouse club, and stir fry sauce is like $2 at the store. I usually serve mine with pasta so it's more filling.

Oh! Another- I love having breakfast for dinner! Have you heard of the brown & serve sausages? THey are fully cooked, all you do is microwave them or heat them up in a skillet. They're yummy. Breakfast sausages usually require minimum handling, just pop them out of the styrofoam play they come in.

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« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2007 08:00:18 AM »

If he likes and can handle Polish sausage, our favorite is just dumping some Polish sausage (cut up or not) on a pan with cut-up vegetables (carrots, sweet/white potatoes, anything really) plus any combo of fresh herbs/garlic/onion (optional) and little olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven around 375-400 degrees or so until the vegetables are soft. You can serve this with bread or rice or noodles, or just plain. Really good!

Also, what about canned bean dishes - burritos (beans, rice, cheese, salsa, lettuce - vary the ingredients any way you want), black bean soup (puree beans with some broth, onion, garlic, maybe some tomato or tomato paste), huevos rancheros (eggs with black beans), etc.

Another idea is egg dishes and "breakfast for dinner"-type stuff like waffles/pancakes and eggs for dinner.
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2007 11:30:20 AM »

I dont know if this was posted yet, but an easy way to make chicken parm. is to use frozen chicken patties. cook them first till almost done. top with a spoonful of spagetti sauce, then top with provalone or mozzarella cheese. heat them until cheese melts.( this can all be done in a microwave if he wants) the leftover sauce can be used for a side of spagetti. leftovers can be put into hamburger buns for sandwiches.
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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2007 11:38:06 AM »

Yes, Trader Joe's (hopefully, there's one nearby him) has all kinds of pre-seasoned, pre-cooked meats that all you have to do is heat them.  They also have incredibly easy recipes at their sample counters AND they have the ingredients right there ready to buy if you want to. That would make shopping for recipes -at least that days' particular recipe- brainless (I like that!).  Cheesy
« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2007 07:22:54 PM »

I'm not sure if some one else has suggested this, just because i haven't read threw all 4 pages! but what if you taught him how to make an easy pizza crust. i know freshman year i spent a ton of money on pizza, and later on i learned how to make it my self, and every weekend my friends and i would make pizza. plus with pizza you can use up just about every thing, and the meats that go on pizza are precooked such as pepperoni, and sausage. Also if he gets into i would recommend getting a pizza stone, it makes pizza come out much crisper!
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« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2007 09:19:41 AM »

Meat kind of freaks me out too.. well beef does anyway. I grew up on moose and I swear beef wreaks in comparison..  Lips sealed anyway..

Can he handle burger? I know if I throw it in the skillet and turn up the overhead fan I can get through burger ok. Also seasoning helps the smell.

What about fish?

« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2007 03:57:01 AM »

This is something my little nephews like and is fairly quick.
Cook pasta or noodles, While it is cooking mix together vegetables of choice I use defrosted veg  mix with baked beans in tomato sauce and slices of hot dog or ham basically cold meat of choice. When the pasta/noodles are cooked drain and mix with the rest of the things. Place in an oven dish. Pour over some pasta sauce top off with a little cheese if you want then put into the oven to warm through for about 15 -20 mins depending on the oven and how much you have made. Then enjoy.
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« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2007 08:01:01 AM »

Hopefully, he will be near a Trader Joe's, as they seem to be popping up everywhere *yaaaaaay!*  . TJ has many pre-cooked meats, ready to heat and eat - including little mini roasts, all of the meats pre-seasoned. Yummy!  They also sell fresh pizza dough by the pound for 99 cents here in Southern California. The prices are pretty good, depending on what you buy, of course.    They also have the frozen meatballs, both meat and a vegetarian one, too.   Sometimes, I don't bother to put anything with them, just fry and eat in a bowl.

re the pizza dough: you don't have to use tomato sauce, pizza sauce or spagette sauce, etc.  I have put fresh asparagus spears and a swissy cheese or parmesan on top and it tastes excellent!  You can put anything on the doughs. Maybe slice those frozen meatballs on top before baking.

Even in regular grocery stores in the meat dept:  prepacked and cut up, meats and vegies together, ready to stir fry!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2007 08:03:11 AM by staciart » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2007 10:06:05 PM »

So far he only knows how to make noodle ramen, pasta with sauce from a jar, microwave mac and cheese and sandwitches.

Noodle ramen is so good. Cheesy

Hopefully, he will be near a Trader Joe's, as they seem to be popping up everywhere *yaaaaaay!*  . TJ has many pre-cooked meats, ready to heat and eat - including little mini roasts, all of the meats pre-seasoned. Yummy!  They also sell fresh pizza dough by the pound for 99 cents here in Southern California. The prices are pretty good, depending on what you buy, of course.    They also have the frozen meatballs, both meat and a vegetarian one, too.   Sometimes, I don't bother to put anything with them, just fry and eat in a bowl.

I love Trader Joe's. Great for easy to make lunches.

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