osteohopeful09

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(making this thread in MD forum since there's a lot more activity)

Hello friends. How is your cooking situation while in the basic sciences years? .

I like to use what little time I have free to make a meal or two for myself, but
Im not a very good chef. I mostly just cook up frozen chicken + broccoli, lol, or canned tuna + spinach leaves. Lots of olive oil in everything!!

So what do you do? MacDonalds? Order out? Have someone cook for you? or have you been teaching yourself to make quick modest meals? Sometimes I think i should just switch to a LeanPocket-only diet~!!!! Would save me time.
 

thedoctor8706

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Grilled cheese sammiches..... mmmmmm :thumbup:
 

Marcus Brody

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Good food is either expensive or inconvenient, two luxuries I could never really afford. Resorted to a lot of canned or frozen stuff...
 

IHeartNerds

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Dude, this isn't college. Buy some cookware, go to a real grocery store, and begin living like a normal human being. If you don't know how to cook anything, look up some episodes of Good Eats with Alton Brown on youtube. Medical school doesn't take that much time - I cooked on my surgery Sub-Is where I was working 100+ hours a week.
 

SB100

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Dude, this isn't college. Buy some cookware, go to a real grocery store, and begin living like a normal human being. If you don't know how to cook anything, look up some episodes of Good Eats with Alton Brown on youtube. Medical school doesn't take that much time - I cooked on my surgery Sub-Is where I was working 100+ hours a week.
I think Good Eats is probably the last place to look. Alton Brown spends hours (condensed into single episodes) just making a submarine sandwich and the like.

I live right by a Trader Joe's and I got a cookbook that has all recipes using Trader Joe's items. Saves you the headache of not finding certain items, and the recipes are pretty good!

Another suggestion is, if you really feel pressed for time, make things that are easy to freeze/reheat ahead of time. I spent much of first year making soups, stews, and casseroles.
 
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im a dude so im really lazy when it comes down to cooking.. usually cook like once or twice a week. most of the times, I tried to grab the healthiest meal in hospital, like wheat bread sandwich with lots of veggies on the side or salad bar. if im at home, i usually walk to nearby subway and try to get the healthiest sandwich.. like honeyoat bread/buffalo chicken/lots of veggies/vinegar. for breakfast, a lot of times i get fatfree organic milk, special k protein cereal w/ fatfree yogurt and some fruit.

but i occasionally smoke cigarrette, so my attempt to eat healthy is probably futile lol:D
 
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For the most part I'm pretty good about cooking- and when I do cook, I cook a lot of food that I put into individual tupperwares for lunch, or freeze for later. I make a lot of soups (veggie, lentil, butternut squash), turkey tacos (mix it up with some rice, beans, salsa, guac with cabbage for a taco salad), bake a bunch of chicken breasts at once that I can throw in pitas, or eat with veggies or salad.

I cook once or twice a week but know how to spread it out for the rest of the week. I like it because I know I'm eating healthy (olive oil, low salt, no preservatives), and it ends up being pretty cheap. I like freezing my own stuff so I can have a "quick meal" that is also healthy.

Big on dishes that incorporate rice (brown) and beans- spreads things much further. Also use a combination of fresh and frozen veggies- the frozen ones are good because I can use them whenever, but I also try to buy the fresh veggies that are in season.

There are times I get lazy for a week, don't go to the store and end up eating at school or doing PB&J- but after a few days/week of this, I feel disgusting and get my act together again!! Cooking is key, even if it isn't super fancy.
 

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I cook almost all my meals. I make large (for one person) batches and then eat it for multiple days. It's not really a big time sink.
 

ar2388

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whole wheat pasta!! that is my main food group right now :) they even make pasta that gives you a full serving of veggies per 4oz and then you get more good stuff in the sauce you add on top :)
 

QofQuimica

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I cook almost all my meals. I make large (for one person) batches and then eat it for multiple days. It's not really a big time sink.
This is what I do, too.

OP, during your first two years, you will have plenty of time to cook, especially as a first year. Third year it varies--I did a lot more cooking on family medicine and a lot more eating in the cafeteria on surgery. (It's hard to cook when you're never physically at home!) Fourth year you'll have plenty of time again, although obviously you won't be able to do much cooking while you're away on interviews. But I like to make sandwiches to take with me on flights, because airport food is vile, and it's expensive to boot. :thumbdown:

I agree with the suggestion that you should get yourself some simple recipes that you can use to teach yourself how to cook. There are plenty of websites with quick and easy receipes; just google that phrase and you'll get tons of them. :)
 

Melicopter

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Frozen chicken and broccoli sounds like a good meal to me! I'd eat it. :)

I get huge bags of frozen vegetables. They're awesome. I eat pasta and veggies most of the time. Like someone else, I get ww pasta so I'm not loading up on simple carbs every night. Sometimes I make a big vat of something like spaghetti sauce or chili so I can freeze some - I do that about every other weekend. Weekends are nice for trying out new foods/recipes too.

I also eat crock pot meals on occasion. I have a cookbook called "Fix it and forget it" that is full of crockpot recipes. Those can be nice to have when you get home in the evening - although they cut into your morning, so it's a toss-up.
 
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Breasts, salmon, lean steak, fish daily. There is no excuse not to eat healthy imo
 

namethatsmell

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If you can use the following you're all set regardless of how little time you perceive you have...

Frying pan-- eggs, impromptu stir-fry with whatever you got, etc.
Pot (of the metal variety)-- pasta, rice, beans
Bread machine-- self explanatory
Crock Pot-- put things in it and walk away

I didn't used to cook for myself, and I ate crap all the time and felt accordingly. Like the above posters, I generally make things in bulk and then freeze/consume for a bunch of meals. If you are a little patient with yourself starting out (as you will make mistakes and some of your creations will taste like fecal matter)...you'll slowly get a sense of what works/what doesn't. Once you get a smell repertoire under your belt, you can branch out pretty easily/quickly.
 

coralfangs

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If you can't cook, look up recipes for casseroles. Those are the easiest to make. Basically all you have to do is to pile **** into the pan and bake.
Make sure you have a good variety of ingredients (meat and vege) then compliment it with some carbs like bread, pasta or rice.
Every pot should last you for a couple days.


I generally cook something easy in large batch on Sundays and eat it during weekdays. Then I would try to cook proper dinners on Fridays and Sats to satisfy my cravings for gourmet dishes. The city I live in doesn't have too many good restaurants (for a guy who moved from NYC) so I force myself to cook.
 
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I mostly live on soups, salads, chicken breasts and pasta.
Sometimes I bake cookies.

My cooking is pretty terrible, but I will work on it.
 

Gabby

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Good food is either expensive or inconvenient, two luxuries I could never really afford.
Disagree. All you need is a crockpot, some veggies, some chicken, and 5 minutes to dump them all in together and hit start. Voila, dinner for a week.
 

Gabby

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This is what I do, too.

OP, during your first two years, you will have plenty of time to cook, especially as a first year.
To be fair, this depends on the school. Obviously, nowhere is going to have an MS1 schedule as brutal as surgery in third year, but I have a friend who's an MS1 right now at a school that requires attendance 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. attendance. She comes home and all she has to look forward to is studying because they have quizzes every Monday morning on the previous week's material. Needless to say the only time she feels she can cook is between blocks.
 

DrYoda

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To be fair, this depends on the school. Obviously, nowhere is going to have an MS1 schedule as brutal as surgery in third year, but I have a friend who's an MS1 right now at a school that requires attendance 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. attendance. She comes home and all she has to look forward to is studying because they have quizzes every Monday morning on the previous week's material. Needless to say the only time she feels she can cook is between blocks.
You can make a decent meal in less than 30 minutes. Hell, depending what it is you can spend much of the "cooking" time reading notes. There is not an M1 or M2 in the country that doesn't have the time to regularly make food.
 

Gabby

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You can make a decent meal in less than 30 minutes. Hell, depending what it is you can spend much of the "cooking" time reading notes. There is not an M1 or M2 in the country that doesn't have the time to regularly make food.
Again, to be fair, you don't know everyone's situation so don't speak for everyone. I didn't have to be at school 8-5 regularly as an MS1, but on those days that I did, I'd come home, grab something from the freezer (usually a crockpot dish I made over the weekend), watch TV over dinner, and then study until 10ish. If I had to do that schedule M-F and get home to then dissect that day's material, I wouldn't have 30 minutes a night to cook.
 

MilkmanAl

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Why does being somewhere from 8-5 prevent one from cooking? I wouldn't have eaten too much over the past 5 months if that was a problem since my hours were quite a lot longer than that. I'm gonna have to agree that there is always time to cook during M1 and M2, regardless of where you go, should you want to do it. If I can cook myself meals working 5-8, you can cook working 8-5.
 

Melicopter

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Sure, if you're used to cooking you can cook a meal in minutes. Try to remember a time when you were less comfortable in a kitchen, though.

I say this because I was amazed that my husband didn't immediately step up and start cooking when I started med school. Then I watched him one day... he takes about an hour poking around the kitchen, looking in the fridge and cupboard, looking in cookbooks, then decides he can't make anything from what we have, and settles on a box of mac 'n' cheese. If you're not used to cooking, it really is time-consuming to figure out what to make and how.
 

Parietal Lobe

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Why does being somewhere from 8-5 prevent one from cooking? I wouldn't have eaten too much over the past 5 months if that was a problem since my hours were quite a lot longer than that. I'm gonna have to agree that there is always time to cook during M1 and M2, regardless of where you go, should you want to do it. If I can cook myself meals working 5-8, you can cook working 8-5.
Being somewhere from 8-5 doesn't. Being in med school from 8-5 might. I don't know about your school, but at my school, I require an hour outside of class for every lecture in class. Typically, we go from 8-noon, with some labs now and then running from 1-3 or 1-5. On the evenings I'm home at 5:30, I start going over my notes around 6:30ish and finish around 10:30-11 p.m. and then I try to pre-read for the next day before bed. I don't cook on those nights. I just don't have time. And I'm an MS II by the way. The days I get out at noon or even at 3, I have more time in the day after I'm done studying, but when I get out at 5, the only thing I really have time for besides dinner, is reviewing notes/making my own notes and maybe pre-reading before bed.

If you can attend class from 8-5 p.m. every day, come home and study everything you did that day, pre-read for the next day, and you still have time to cook dinner every night, good for you. You're a smarter student than I am.
 

Xerxes1729

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Prepackaged foods have only been around for about 50 years. If that stuff all disappeared tomorrow, do you really think you would have to choose between staying in medical school or starving to death? Throughout human history, basically everyone had to make their own food.

It's totally fine if you don't want to cook, but don't act like you're unable to cook. If you're in medical school, you're clearly smart and hard-working enough to figure it out.
 

MilkmanAl

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Prepackaged foods have only been around for about 50 years. If that stuff all disappeared tomorrow, do you really think you would have to choose between staying in medical school or starving to death? Throughout human history, basically everyone had to make their own food.

It's totally fine if you don't want to cook, but don't act like you're unable to cook. If you're in medical school, you're clearly smart and hard-working enough to figure it out.
Agreed. No matter how busy you think you are, you can spare 20-30 minutes one night every 4-5 days to fix yourself meals for the week. If you're not the cook en masse kind, 2 minutes to boil water then dump rice or pasta in it won't kill you, either. 6-8 minutes for a nice piece of meat (which can be made concurrently with the rice or pasta, mind you). It's really not a matter of time; it's a matter of just doing it. If you don't want to cook, that's fine, but don't act like you can't.
 

chiz2kul

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pasta pasta pasta and salad week in and week out.

Fruits on the side, eating out 3ce or so a month.

Then more pasta.
 

Marcus Brody

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Disagree. All you need is a crockpot, some veggies, some chicken, and 5 minutes to dump them all in together and hit start. Voila, dinner for a week.
I'm kind of a culinary fundamentalist. Compromising ingredients or technique would be sacrilege. So I eat either garbage or gourmet, to avoid losing sight of the difference.

I did have a steak for the first time in about 6 months this week though. A nice wet aged ribeye, 2" thick with good marbling... brought to room temp, and kosher salt + peppercorn crusted, then pan-seared and oven-finished on my trusty cast iron pan to MR/rare perfection. :love: It was either that or spaghettios.
 
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Dude, this isn't college. Buy some cookware, go to a real grocery store, and begin living like a normal human being. If you don't know how to cook anything, look up some episodes of Good Eats with Alton Brown on youtube. Medical school doesn't take that much time - I cooked on my surgery Sub-Is where I was working 100+ hours a week.
This.
 

QofQuimica

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To be fair, this depends on the school. Obviously, nowhere is going to have an MS1 schedule as brutal as surgery in third year, but I have a friend who's an MS1 right now at a school that requires attendance 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. attendance. She comes home and all she has to look forward to is studying because they have quizzes every Monday morning on the previous week's material. Needless to say the only time she feels she can cook is between blocks.
Nonsense. Any person who is capable of planning for a quiz one week in advance is also capable of making and eating home-cooked meals every day by planning for them one week in advance. Those meals don't have to be gourmet fancy kinds of things, either. How long does it take to turn on the stove? You can read while you wait for the water to boil and the pasta to cook. Likewise, how long does it take to turn on the oven? You can read while you wait for the oven to prewarm and the chicken or fish to bake. How long does it take to throw some veggies and meat in the crockpot and read while the food cooks? Most importantly, how long does it take to type a few numbers into the microwave and hit "start?" That's how long it takes to rewarm the extra food that you made over the weekend, when you weren't in school all day, and you had a spare few minutes to do the above.

I found that making three meals over the weekend with four extra portions each pretty much had me set for the rest of the week, with a few extra things like a veggie burger needed to fill in here and there. I'd also eat out maybe once a week or so. Third year it gets more complicated because you don't have a nice regular schedule like that when you're on inpatient rotations. But even when I was on outpatient rotations, where I was working 8-5 and coming home exhausted (and needing to read!) at the end of the day, I was still able to eat home-cooked meals every single day by doing the above.
 

Parietal Lobe

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Maybe it's just me, but I've never been a fan of telling people I don't know and whose schedules I don't know whether or not they'll have time to do the things I can do.

One of the best pieces of advice I got when starting first year was from a second year who I asked "will I have time for a social life?" and she said "it depends on you. Most people will. A few people may be struggling so much that they won't. It depends on what category you fall into." She was 100% right.

I'm not the smartest kid in the class. On non-test weeks, I go out on Friday or Saturday night, but some of my friends go out every night of the week and still make the same grades as me. Likewise, other friends do nothing but study, even on non-test weeks and they're just getting by. Telling anyone how much studying they do or don't need/how much time they have or don't have is terribly presumptuous, imo. And I say this as someone who doesn't have time to cook on nights that I get out of school at 5 p.m. (note, I never said I didn't have time to heat something in the microwave I had cooked earlier, as you implied). If you'd like, I'll give you a play-by-play of an evening like that the next time one rolls around.
 

QofQuimica

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Maybe it's just me, but I've never been a fan of telling people I don't know and whose schedules I don't know whether or not they'll have time to do the things I can do.

One of the best pieces of advice I got when starting first year was from a second year who I asked "will I have time for a social life?" and she said "it depends on you. Most people will. A few people may be struggling so much that they won't. It depends on what category you fall into." She was 100% right.

I'm not the smartest kid in the class. On non-test weeks, I go out on Friday or Saturday night, but some of my friends go out every night of the week and still make the same grades as me. Likewise, other friends do nothing but study, even on non-test weeks and they're just getting by. Telling anyone how much studying they do or don't need/how much time they have or don't have is terribly presumptuous, imo. And I say this as someone who doesn't have time to cook on nights that I get out of school at 5 p.m. (note, I never said I didn't have time to heat something in the microwave I had cooked earlier, as you implied). If you'd like, I'll give you a play-by-play of an evening like that the next time one rolls around.
Had I told you how much time you need to study or how much time you had (which I wasn't even responding to your post in the first place, but we'll ignore that triviality ;)), I would agree with you. But as you pointed out, I don't know how much time you specifically need to study or how much free time you specifically have. I'm glad to hear, however, that you do at least have enough free time to stick some food in the micro when you get home in the evening. :)

All kidding aside, my point is this: Eating food at home has nothing to do with how smart you are or how much free time you have on a school night. No one is suggesting that you or anyone else take hours to cook a gourmet meal on a day when you're busy. But if you plan ahead, and I refuse to believe that anyone who is a med student isn't clever/creative enough to plan their meals one week in advance, you can do it. I don't even need you to tell me your evening schedule. Since you have time to go out most Friday and Saturday nights, all you have to do is go out one half hour later than you normally do, and there's your cooking time. Or, since you have enough time to read/post on SDN, there's some more possible cooking time.

Of course, the question of whether you *want* to spend that time cooking is not the same as whether you *can* spend that time cooking. But if cooking for yourself is enough of a priority, you will find a way to make the time. No one studies constantly for every waking hour, and even people who barely make it by in med school still have a free half hour here and there.
 

Parietal Lobe

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But if you plan ahead, and I refuse to believe that anyone who is a med student isn't clever/creative enough to plan their meals one week in advance, you can do it. I don't even need you to tell me your evening schedule. Since you have time to go out most Friday and Saturday nights, all you have to do is go out one half hour later than you normally do, and there's your cooking time. Or, since you have enough time to read/post on SDN, there's some more possible cooking time.
That might have been the point of the other poster, but it wasn't mine. Of course I have time to cook on the weekends on and on days when I'm not at school from 8-5. I was initially replying to someone who said that being at school from 8-5 has nothing to do with having time to cook when you get home. My point was that it does because on those long days, all I do is study when I get home. Luckily, my schedule isn't like that every day so I'm good. But your post came along on the same wave and my point was simply that since I don't know people's schedule and how much they study, I refuse to tell anyone what they will or won't have time to do. I have my opinions of course, but perhaps the person who has school every day from 8-5 just can't budget the time to cook on the weeknights. I don't know. I just don't like to assume everyone has the time I do. Some have a lot more and I know that some have a lot less.
 

MilkmanAl

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You really think that there are some people who absolutely do not have 10 minutes to spare to cook dinner? That's nonsense, but even if we entertain that somewhere there is such an unfortunate soul, all they have to do is go to sleep 10 minutes later.
 

coldweatherblue

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I cook almost all my meals.. doesn't take much time at all and it's the easiest/cheapest way to eat tasty, healthy food. obviously on call or something it's hospital food.. but at other times, I agree with the above: how is it possible to not have time to make food? especially first two years.. most of the time i was so sick of useless boring studying that I spent MORE time enjoying making a meal so I could *not* study.
 

Parietal Lobe

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You really think that there are some people who absolutely do not have 10 minutes to spare to cook dinner? That's nonsense, but even if we entertain that somewhere there is such an unfortunate soul, all they have to do is go to sleep 10 minutes later.
Hm, so now suddenly, it takes 10 minutes to cook dinner. Just a few posts ago, it was 30 minutes. You'll just keep changing the argument in order to win it. No offense, but anything that takes 10 minutes to cook (excluding pre-packaged food) probably has zero flavor to it and in those cases, I'd opt for something from the freezer. I really don't see why this is such a big deal. I say that some nights, I don't have time to cook and you'd think I said the world is flat with the way people argue that I do.
 

DrYoda

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Hm, so now suddenly, it takes 10 minutes to cook dinner. Just a few posts ago, it was 30 minutes. You'll just keep changing the argument in order to win it. No offense, but anything that takes 10 minutes to cook (excluding pre-packaged food) probably has zero flavor to it and in those cases, I'd opt for something from the freezer. I really don't see why this is such a big deal. I say that some nights, I don't have time to cook and you'd think I said the world is flat with the way people argue that I do.
Like I said before, for stuff that takes a long time to cook you don't need to stand in front of the stove while it cooks. Read notes and check it every once in awhile.

As for ten minute meals; Omelets are my favorite.
 

MilkmanAl

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Seriously, man? Are you kidding me with the timing stuff? Just to humor you, I think I was pretty clear about cooking larger portions intended for multiple meals taking longer than cooking for one evening. I'm also not freaking Betty Crocker; my time estimates aren't exact (though they are pretty close).

I make spaghetti all the time that takes only a few minutes to prepare and is far from flavorless. Basil, pepper, salt, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan are all it takes. My lunch today was a chicken breast sauteed with lemon zest, rosemary, olive oil, and onions together with some South American-style black beans and rice (think cumin-heavy), That took about 20 minutes to make just because you can't rush rice. The chicken+beans and rice will be good for at least 5 rather large meals. If those are flavor-free, you must be eating some seriously lively dishes.

edit: Oh, the chicken had just a pinch of sugar to make it caramelize nicely and to make it blend a little better with the cumin, just in case any of you are looking for dinner ideas. ;)
 

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I cook almost all my meals.. doesn't take much time at all and it's the easiest/cheapest way to eat tasty, healthy food. obviously on call or something it's hospital food.. but at other times, I agree with the above: how is it possible to not have time to make food? especially first two years.. most of the time i was so sick of useless boring studying that I spent MORE time enjoying making a meal so I could *not* study.
No kidding. I'm like ****ing Emeril Lagasse now thanks to medical school.
 

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I usually live on simple stuff that is easy to prepare. Bake a big pan of marinated chicken breasts at the beginning of the week, make some rice, and throw in a veggie and you have dinner for a week with about a 30 min cook time (actually 10 in front of the stove). I'm thinking about branching out to the crock pot though.
 

Ilovewater

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It's understandable that you might not have enough time or be too tired to cook on weeknights, but there's always time to cook on the weekend! I usually just spend 2 hours on Saturday to cook two dishes that'll last me for an entire week. Most people don't even need to spend that much time...I just clean a lot after cooking. Plus, cooking your own food is way healthier and cheaper than eating out.
 

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In the last couple years they have gotten better at freezing techniques, there are some amazing frozen meals that you heat up in 10 minutes on the stove. For example, Bird's Eye makes a really good shrimp scampi, costs like $2.00 and heats up on stove in a few minutes

http://www.voilawednesdays.com/varieties/
 

mvenus929

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Jul 6, 2006
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Cooking is a priority for me. I will give up my social life to cook. One, because it's one of those activities that helps me unwind, and two, because I enjoy the end result most of the time. I have a lot of go-to simple dishes that take maybe 5 minutes to prep and I can be eating 30 minutes later. Last week, I made use of my crockpot; spent some time prepping chicken for the freezer (I buy lots of chicken breasts, cut off the fat and rinse it and whatnot, and freeze it in individual portions), and threw some in the crockpot along with some stuff for sauce, came back three hours later and all I had to do was make rice to put it over.

My roommate is Indian, and she's going to teach me how to make curries and whatnot, which she makes quite often in large portions, then refrigerates them for later in the week. In return, I help her learn to cook other things that she can easily make so that she actually enjoys her food (otherwise, like many of you, she wastes money by going out to eat; she says that's her biggest expenditure of the month other than rent).
 
Sep 1, 2009
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Go ahead and crucify me as sexist, but since med schools are 50-60% women these days, (compared to my 1974 graduating class, which was about 5-7% female), does this have something to do with the interest in cooking? I honestly don't know any male doctors who know or care anything about cooking. On the other hand I can pump eight quarters into the vending machine at the hospital faster than anyone to come out with my can of Beefaroni. I have to bring my own plastic spoon, however.
 

mvenus929

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Jul 6, 2006
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Go ahead and crucify me as sexist, but since med schools are 50-60% women these days, (compared to my 1974 graduating class, which was about 5-7% female), does this have something to do with the interest in cooking? I honestly don't know any male doctors who know or care anything about cooking. On the other hand I can pump eight quarters into the vending machine at the hospital faster than anyone to come out with my can of Beefaroni. I have to bring my own plastic spoon, however.
My class is actually only about 40% female (and we're still trying to figure out how that happened). We have a lot of guy cooks in our class. More women (though the most prominent of the women cooks are really bakers; they're not really known for their cooking skills), but there are quite a few guys that are pretty amazing cooks. We had a potluck last night and had one guy bring an apple pie, and another bring some sort of Indian dish that tasted amazing. We have quite a few guys that, as far as I know, live alone or with a bunch of other guys that bring lunch to class everyday, and it's often not just a sandwich.

So, I don't think it's entirely due to the fact that there are more women in medicine, though that might play a role.
 
Sep 1, 2009
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Thanks for the pie story. I often get tired of buying Lil' Debbies' snack cakes from Servomation after my entree of Servomation Spagetti O's with a garnish of greasy canned Servomation sausagues. Probably why my coat pockets are filled with Pepto-Bismol. I probably have a 95% occlusion of my LAD.
 

slowbutsteady

slowbutsteady
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I eat exactly the same thing every single day of the week.