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to cook or not to cook

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by DocToBe, Jul 11, 2000.

  1. DocToBe

    DocToBe Member
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    How many people in med school feel that it's a nusiance to have to cook dinner... how many eat at a cafeteria, etc? My master plan is to cook a huge vat of rice, and also a huge vat of chicken breast with my George Foreman Grill. I will then cut up the chicken and mix it with the rice, and eat it with ketchup after I get out of my anatomy lab, then go straight to my study area and hit the books. Eating can be such a pain.
     
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  3. WingZero

    WingZero Senior Member
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    I'm in a similar dilemma, although aside from cooking being a nuisance, my cooking skills are poor to non-existent. I was spoiled during college where we had one of the best campus dining facilities in the country - I stayed on meal plan for all four years. I realized how pathetic I was when I asked the school I will attend if there were any meal plans for graduate students [​IMG] I'm not a real stickler when it comes to food, so theoretically I could survive on hospital cafeteria food for the next four years... I just worry that the cost all those cafeteria meals will add up to an unecessary and avoidable financial burden... [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by WingZero (edited 07-11-2000).]
     
  4. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    Take a cooking class before you start school! You'll be amazed at how well you can eat for cheap when you cook it yourself. I just found out my student housing has a gas range... I'm in heaven! If I can just afford a little Weber BBQ, I'll be a very well fed med student. Cooking is NOT difficult, and I find it very relaxing. Were you good in orgo lab? Then you can cook! [​IMG]
     
  5. Methuselah

    Methuselah Senior Member
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    Hey DocToBe,
    How is that George Foreman grill? I'm thinking about getting one.
     
  6. DocToBe

    DocToBe Member
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    The George Foreman Grill is a lifesaver to those who have difficulty cooking things that are relatively easy to cook. One can prepare chicken breast, steaks, hot dogs, hamburgers, veggi burgers, and anything else that is usually cooked in a conventional frying pan. Plus, it is slanted which allows much of the fat within the foods to be drained off of them while they simmer. It was truly a great investment, especially since if I am going to be cooking once the fall comes, I will be eating mostly chicken breast with rice for dinner because I can make a whole week's supply at once (~5 boneless chicken breasts and a large bowl of rice). I'd say go for it.

    DocToBe
     
  7. DocToBe

    DocToBe Member
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    WingZero,

    The cost of eating in cafeterias is the ONLY reason why I am probably going to cook for myself. If the cost of eating food prepared by others was the same as food prepared by myself, I would surely eat out.

    DocToBe
     
  8. Djanaba

    Djanaba Senior Member
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    DocToBe, don't forget your fruits and veggies, 5 a day!!!

    [​IMG] For me, cooking is not a nuisance. It is a stress reliever, a part of my day I look forward to (usually; the day before an exam it's EasyMac for me). Classes or hanging out with friends who cook can get you hooked. Plus, it's a lifelong skill. The more things nonmedical you've got in your life, in many ways, the happire and more balanced you'll be -- of course, that doesn't necessitate cooking! [​IMG] Good luck! (ps, chili makes another great make-and-save, one-pot week long meal.)
     
  9. psi1467

    psi1467 Senior Member
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    The Foreman is a must. Quick, easy, and hardly any clean-up.
     
  10. Johnboy

    Johnboy Junior Member
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    This is an outstanding post. I am faced with the same predicament; how to eat cheaply and well while very busy (mind you, I'm entering the Doctor of Pharmacy program this fall, not medical school, so I probably have it easier than you). I wish I could just eat two pills every morning and not have to worry about anything. Same thing with sleep in the evening. Safeway grocery stores charge too dang much. John.
     
  11. bsthomas

    bsthomas Member
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    I also have a foreman grill. It is a pretty good investment.
     
  12. UnderGrad

    UnderGrad Senior Member
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    I wondered about this whole cooking thing, too. I'm not in med school yet, but hoping to be one day. If I were alone, I would probably exist solely on Ramen noodles or cook a large quantity of food over the weekend and just eat the same thing all week, like you guys have said. However, I don't have just me to worry about. . .my SO probably would get very tired of chicken breasts with rice every night.

    I find cooking to be extremely time consuming (if you count preparation and clean up in with "cooking"). The only time I look forward to it is when I am procrastinating :) I know he would be perfectly willing to make sacrifices knowing the rigors of med school. I was just wondering how other med students with families, etc., got by.
     
  13. Sheiila

    Sheiila Member
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    just how much grease is on those chicken breasts, that you need it to drip off the George Foreman grill???

     
  14. buttercup

    buttercup Senior Member
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    you know, I've been wondering about this same thing too, I'm so glad others have the same thought process (I thought I was just being way to worrisome [​IMG])

    I don't have a foreman grill, but I'm planning on adhering to the DocToBe diet as well- make a bunch of rice in my rice cooker and then steam up some veggies and chicken in my wok. When i need variety I just add thai peanut sauce or schezuan sauce, soy sauce.
    I love stir-fry.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. GeoLeoX

    GeoLeoX Ancient
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    I have a gas grill. You wouldn't believe how quickly things cook. Chicken breast = about 5 minutes. Vegetables even less time. My favorite is corn on the cob still in the husk. Simply turn the grill all the way up, strip the silk from the husk and throw it on there. Turn it once after about 5 minutes, cook 5 min more and it's done!

    Also my wife is a big fan of the "Big Salad". It's very cheap to get good lettuce (that bagged crap is just awful) and whatever else you like on your salad. Don't forget croutons! Also, try Goddess salad dressing from Annie's. It's the best if you can get it. Luckily, I live on the west coast near a Trader Joe's.

    I get a couple of faves that I stick with until I see something better. It evolves, I have been doing this cooking thing for about 10 years now and what i eat now is very different from what I ate 10 years ago, but not much more expensive. (actually, probably less as I stay away from the more expensive prepackaged foods).

    I also recommend DiGiornio frozen pizzas. They rise in the oven and you can usually get them (here at least) for less than $6. Cheaper than Papa Murphy's. Sorry for all the provincial info, I realize that it may not benefit everyone, but hopefully someone.


    Geo
     
  16. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    a roasted whole chicken can feed you for a week, and it's so cheap & easy! Salt, pepper & paprika on the outside, stuff a cut lemon and some herbs inside (rosemary?), roast at 350 for an hour or so, and delish!
     
  17. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    Hey GeoLeo-- give me your take on gas vs. charcoal. What kind of gas grill do you have? I'm thinking charcoal, for reasons of economy and taste, but of course gas is so easy...
     
  18. DocToBe

    DocToBe Member
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    Djanaba: To be perfectly honest, my eating habits are far from the reccomendations. I do, however, take a multivitamin with the hopes that it will help circumvent some of the essentials I miss.

    Sheiila: There is very little grease on the chicken breasts, but if you cook them straight from the freezer some water will come off them.

    Buttercup: I didn't think about adding veggies to my rice/chicken mix. Do you use frozen veggies or fresh ones? I need to get a rice cooker because I don't have one and have been using the old pot method. How much does a cheap one go for? BTW: The sauce varieties are an excellent idea. That should help with the redundancy issue. Do you have any specific reccomendations for brands of sauces? Do you put your sauces on the whole bowl after you make it or on each serving? Thanks for the info.

    GeoLeoX: I also do the huge salad thing once in a while when I don't feel like having my chicken with rice. I make a huge bowl of chicken-ceasar salad
     
  19. Sheiila

    Sheiila Member
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    Well, since this is cooking school... this is strange for me, a mom and premed, because I think of cooking and med school as two completely opposite worlds...

    I would suggest a cooking weekend now and then. Go home to mom or whoever you know that has a real kitchen. And make a giant pot of beef stew, a huge lasagne, chicken meals, etc, etc. And buy some reliable freezer/microwave containers, and make your own little frozen dinners. Good stuff frozen is better than living on ramen noodles. Then bring a small freezer to med school with you. Find a microwave, and you're set. Make food that feels like you ate something, so you don't snack on junk all the time, and get FAT. (remember the "freshman fifteen"?) Oh, and remember to make some vegatarian meals for when you are adjusting to anatomy lab.
     
  20. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie
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    Hmmm...here's an idea for chicken and veggies..quick, easy and clean. Get a whole chicken and a ziploc bag big enough to hold it. Get your fave veggies and fruit (apples and raisins work well...with celery, carrots, onions and whatever else). Put the chicken in the bag. Stuff with raw veggies. Coat chicken in olive oil (or whatever oil you want) and worcestershire sauce (you can add chicken broth if you want). Seal bag, put on microwave-safe tray. Cut 2 small ventilation slits in the top. Place in microwave. Microwave on high for 30 minutes. Remove. Serve. The chicken is tender and you have your veggies. When you're done with the chicken, just throw away the ziploc bag. Easy!

    [​IMG]
     
  21. buttercup

    buttercup Senior Member
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    OK Doc, for veggies- fresh- they're cheaper and more nutritious, not to mention the whole taste thing. Ginger especially is really cheap, and if you add a little bit grated to your wok, it makes everything super-yummy. I like to keep chopped tomatoes, ginger,brocoli, bok choy, garlic and mushrooms in little tupperwares in my fridge. That way when doing the stir fry thing I just toss in the broccoli, ginger, bok choy and mushrooms, and when making homemade pizza or brushetta I toss in the tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms. Saves a lot of time. Rice cookers shouldn't be too expensive, but I don't really know since I was given mine pre-used from a friend, maybe around 50 bucks? With regards to sauces I prefer "a taste of Thai" peanut sauce. it's the only one for which the first three ingredients are penuts, chili, coconut and not water or sugar or (ick) vinegar. As for schezuan sauce, I try and look for those that I see in Japanese restaurants (or, even better, steal a whole bunch of sauce packets every time you eat chinese or japanese/sushi take-out [​IMG])

    and, to top it all of, a $3 bottle of chianti or pinot grigio (depending on the season [​IMG])
    cheers!
     
  22. Hey! I like this post a lot! i have a good recipe which allows you to get creative without much risk. Basically anything goes and I've never had a bad batch. This is for chili. You can make a ton of it and eat it with rice, tortillas, as a burrito or whatever.

    First, saute the veggies (or meat if you like), such as onions, garlic, green peppers, in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Then you add canned beans which have been drained. (or if you like, precook your own beans). I use black beans, kidneys and red beans. Turn the pan to simmer, and add a large can of tomatoes. For spices, add salt, chili powder and lots of cumin. Make it to taste. This takes very little time and is not much work at all!! You should let this simmer for at least 20 minutes, longer gives it better flavor.
     
  23. GeoLeoX

    GeoLeoX Ancient
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    fiatslug:

    re: gas v. charcoal, you hit the nail on the head. gas = fast, charcoal = flavor. Gas is so fast that you would have to be crazy (or someone who really knows how to cook) to go back to charcoal. Charcoal takes FOREVER! As far as what type of grill do I have, the answer is a cheap one. I don't even know the name. The only thing to really look for in a gas grill is that you cook over indirect heat. That is, food doesn't cook directly from the burner, but rather from lava rocks or someokind of medium that heats evenly. Get to know your grill, it is you friend. It will have hot spots and cold spots (don't we all?) After a while you (and only you) will know how to cook anything on it.

    Hope this helps.

    Geo

    [This message has been edited by GeoLeoX (edited 07-14-2000).]
     
  24. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
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    GeoLeoX: I hear those chimney charcoal starters make pretty quick work of a grill fire. I'm also swooning for the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie (you've all seen the super cheesy infomercial, no doubt: "set it, and forget it!"); it kind of functions as an indoor grill. I think the microwave is the most overrated appliance; I never use mine!
     
  25. Brit Girl

    Brit Girl Junior Member
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    Cooking tips from this side of the Atlantic!
    If you're eating a lot of chicken breasts, try turkey instead. Here it's like half the price of chicken and tastes almost exactly the same.
    Try stuffed turkey breasts:
    Lightly brown the turkey under a grill/in a pan
    Cook some finely chopped white onions, spring onions,bacon and ham in a pan, put in a bowl and mix with a little bit of cream cheese.
    Cut the turkey breasts lengthways and stuff.
    Wrap in aluminium foil and bake/ steam for about an hour.
    Serve with potatoes or rice.
    Tastes fantastic and is really cheap.
     

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