Impromptu Recipes You've Come Up With

Being low on funds until Friday and hungry, I tried to figure out what I could come up with using only what I already had in the freezer and 5 bucks in cash. I had a couple pie crusts and about 1.75 pounds of lean ground beef, so I thought some sort of pie could turn out well. So, buying an onion, a baking potato, a can of chile, a can of refried beans, and a bag of cheese, I set to work. I give you:

New Mexican Pot Pie

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 large baking potato
1 medium onion
1 can green chile (heat and amount to taste)
1 16 oz. can refried beans
1/2 jar salsa
8 oz shredded cheese
Two 9" frozen pie crusts

Shred the potato, onion, and chile. Cook in one skillet, using a little oil. In another skillet, cook the ground beef. Heat the beans; combine beef, vegetables, salsa, and beans. Fill pre-baked pie crusts, top each with 4 oz cheese. Place in hot oven until cheese is melted and browned. Makes 8 servings, 4 per pie.

I must say, it turned out pretty well for hungry bachelor cooking. The crusts fell in on me in the oven, but that’s probably because I’ve never used pie crusts before. It might be even better with a corn base. I did one in a deep-dish, one in a regular (those being all the pin pans I have), and I think the deep-dish would be the better choice. Though I don’t think I’ll be showing this particular recipe off to any girls.

Sauteed mustard greens with nutmeg.

It tasted pretty awful.

A couple of years ago, I decided to do something different with potatoes, because we eat a lot of them. We’d had them the usual ways, but I figured there must be something else you can do with them. And there was!

Peel and cut up however many potatoes you like (we use four or five), into roughly 1/4" thick slices. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then turn down to Medium. Cook 10 minutes, so they’re still a bit firm and don’t fall apart.
Dice an onion. If you’re feeling ambitious, two onions.
Dice a mess of real garlic. Not the stuff in a jar. Go nuts, use a dozen if you like.
Melt a generous amount of butter in a frying pan on medium heat.
After 10 minutes, drain the potatoes and put them in the frying pan. Cover them with the butter.
Grind a bunch of pepper on top. Not that canned stuff; peppercorns. Season to taste. Then add some more.
Sprinkle liberally with garlic powder AND garlic salt.
Mix until the potatoes are suitably coated, careful not to break them apart if you can help it.
Add another sprinkle of garlic powder, salt and ground pepper.
Add the diced onions and garlic. Mix well.
Cover the frying pan and cook at a notch below MED for about 20 minutes. You might cook them a bit longer, uncovered after 20 min, if you want them all to get browned, but it’s not necessary. Stir them up occasionally.
Try not to taste them while they’re cooking, because you’ll wind up with Potatoes For One.

These go amazingly well with sausages and a vegetable.
They taste so good! You’ll be glad you tried this method.

I made this a while ago, and it turned out really well. I was improvising the whole time, so measurements are mostly guesses.

Thai chicken enchiladas

First, the sauce:
3/4 cup or so of peanut butter (I used the “natural” kind, no ingredients besides peanuts and salt)
1 tbsp. chili paste, or to taste
about 1 can of coconut milk

Heat the above ingredients in a pan until sauce-like.

one onion, chopped
two cooked (I used grilled, but really any method of getting cooked chicken from raw chicken would work) chicken breasts, ripped to pieces
4-6 ounces of shredded monterey jack cheese
the peanut sauce you just made
a stack of flour tortillas
a 9x13 baking dish
6-8 ounces of shredded monterey jack cheese (yes, more cheese)
whole Thai basil, if you can get it (if you can’t, I wouldn’t recommend substituting regular basil, it’s a very different taste)
Usually onions in enchiladas are raw, but I’m not big on raw onion so I sauteed mine just long enough for them to turn clear-ish.

Mix the onion, chicken, the smaller amount of cheese, and all but maybe a cup of the sauce together. The resulting enchilada filling should be somewhat wet. If it isn’t, stir in more coconut milk.

Take one tortilla, put some of the filling down the middle, roll it up, and put it in the baking dish. Repeat until you have filled the dish. Pour the reserved sauce over the top of the whole thing, and then top with the second pile of cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is nicely melted (this was 10 minutes for me). Sprinkle the whole basil over the top of the still-hot cheese.
I intend to revise this recipe next time to include rice - the flavor of the sauce is rather overpowering when it’s just mixed with chicken. My solution for this problem with the first batch was to put the enchiladas on top of rice, but I think the proper way of fixing it will be to add rice to the filling; I just don’t know how much rice yet.

1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
5 or 6 Jalepenos
8oz chorizo
Saute all these ingredience in a pan.

Now brown 1lb of ground beef. (Drain)

Now combine all ingredience along with your favorite taco seasoning packet. Proceed to follow directions on the back of the packet. (I like the Taco Bell one myself)

More bachelor cooking:

Chop a big onion
Chop 4-5 stalks of celery
Chop 4-5 carrots
Rinse a pound of lentils
Mince some garlic
Dice a pound and a half of buffalo (if you’re watching your cholesterol, otherwise use beef)
Heat a stockpot, dump in the oil of your choice
Toss the (buffalo | beef) with flour, add salt, brown in batches, remove
Dump in the onion, add salt & pepper, sautee till it’s brownish
Add in the garlic, sautee
Discover a quarter-bottle of leftover wine in your fridge, dump that in the pot
Dump in the celery and carrots
Dump in the buffalo
Dump in the lentils
Add a bunch of allspice, black peppercorns, bay leaves, ground black pepper, and whatever else is in your spice cabinet that looks appropriate
Add a quarter-jar of chili powder
Dump in 2 quarts of beef stock
Simmer for 30-60 minutes
Adjust spices & salt
Remove from heat & stick in the fridge till tomorrow because you know it’s not going to taste right till then anyway
Freeze some and eat the rest for the remainder of the week

Easy bachelor chow:

Boil 1 pkg extra wide egg noodles
add 2 pats of butter
add salt/pepper to tast
layer bottom of 9x13 pan with noodles
cover with 2 cups mozzarella
cover with 1 pkg ricotta cheese
cover with 1 can of peas
cover with parmesan cheese
add second half of noodles
cover with 2 cups of mozzarella
bake at 400 for abot 25 minutes or until cheese is browned

Invest in a slow-cooker (electrical crock pot). Throw a pound or two of beef, lamb or chicken (whole or cubed, but not ground or thinly sliced) into any mixture of beer, water, broth or water-based soup you want, seasoned with any spices or chopped vegetables you have on hand, plus barbeque sauce or marinade. Cube up a couple of potatoes. Set on low and leave it either overnight or for the duration of your workday and commute. Drain off everything but the meat and potatoes. Tastiest right then, but the leftovers won’t be half bad for the next day or so.

Chicken Spaghetti

Dice a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Chop up an onion. Press 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. Heat up some olive oil and cook the chicken, onion, and garlic until the chicken is mostly done. If you feel like it, dice some red and green bell peppers, and cook them up as well.

Cook some whole wheat pasta, and drain it.

Meanwhile, mix together a can of chicken mushroom soup, 2 cans of Ro-Tel tomatoes (or 1 can of diced tomatoes and a small can of green chilis), and a can of chicken broth.

Mix everything together in the big pot you cooked the pasta in. Heat it until everything’s hot and blended together. Then add in an 8-oz package of cream cheese, a handful of grated Mexican blend cheeses, and an 8-oz carton of cream cheese. Heat thoroughly, but do not boil because the sour cream curdles.

You can eat it there, or you can put it into a casserole dish, cover with more grated Mexican blend of cheeses, and top with some french fried onions and heat in the oven until the onions are golden brown.

It’s really yummy.

Another bachelor recipe.


Olive oil
1 can of tuna
Some onion, celery, bell pepper, whatever, chopped
Garlic, minced
Dried cranberries, handful
Cilantro, diced up
Some sharp parmesan or asiago, grated
A lemon
Some white wine

Heat a frying pan to medium, a little oil in the bottom and in goes the garlic. Follow with your vegetables. When they’re sweating but not done, crank the temperature up to high and toss in the tuna, dried cranberries, and cilantro. Stir frequently, the oil should be gone by now, so squeeze in lemon juice alternating with white wine splashes, to keep it from burning.

Stop cooking when the celery is al dente. Throw in a handful of the grated cheese and toss into some noodles.

Throw a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies in the wok. When done, add a cup of water, a bag of ramen noodles and the flavor packet. Add some stir-fry sauce if you like. Put the lid on and simmer for 5 minutes. Viola!

All kinds of stuff.

Rasbperry chicken - mix two tablespoons of raspberry preserves, salt, two crushed cloves of garlic, and a little oil, and use it to sautee chicken breasts.

Orange asparagus - sautee asparagus in a little bit of watered-down orange juice with garlic.

poor man’s quiche - mix eggs, cheese, onions, and chunks of bread in a baking dish, and bake it.

Mushroom cream sauce - mix 2/3 cup Mascarpone cheese, 1 cup soy milk, salt, tablespoon soy sauce, 1/4 cup wine, some garlic and 2/3 container of sliced mushrooms and heat for a while until it becomes like a sauce. Serve over pasta.

My wife finally convinced me to keep a cookbook to record recipes that turn out really well so I wouldn’t forget them.


Used this to get through exams.

1 heaping spoonful Nutella
1 heaping spoonful Peanut Butter
Cocoa powder

Mix Nutella and peanut butter in bowl. Add sugar and cocoa powder and stir until mixture is no longer sticky. Consume in small amounts, preferably with milk.

Pot Luck Iced Tea

Basically the same as traditional, but substitute various teas that you only have a small amount of left in the cupboard. I have had some fantastic iced tea this way, although it is always limited edition type tea.

Saute half a chopped onion. Add a lb of hamburger and brown. Drain excess grease. Discover you forgot to buy chilibeans and chili powder. Dump in two cans corn. Look for chili substitute. Find paprika. Add a tablespoon or more, to one’s taste. Serve with rice. :smiley: