South Beach Diet - COOKING not as feasible as I thought....

06-04-2009, 02:41 AM
Ok so I do not have a food processor...or mixer...and whats a ramekin??? truth be told I don't have a decent knife or I am in college and I never thought to buy such things...not to mention I can afford to buy utensils...UHHHH....what's quick and to go that is SBD safe?? Anything? I really don't mid monotony if it's going to help with weight loss. I just need to have something easy to get my hands on...quickly and cheaply...Is there a wonderfood?? I plan to hit up crate and barrel with a vengeance once I have the funds....but for right now I need the least labor/kitchen intensive solution for eating SBD style.... HELLLLPP:?:

06-04-2009, 02:48 AM
I feel your pain, as I'm on a limited budget. Some things I've found that are good for grab and go - sugar free jello containers, cheese sticks, buy a container of plain almonds and portion them out. Mini grape tomatoes are usually like $2.50 a carton and are great for veggies and yummy tasting. There is a yogurt on the west coast made by Kroger (at our Ralph's) called Carb-Master that fits into the stats specified. If you don't mind washing and cutting it, romaine lettuce in bulk is a great buy and you can make a ton of single serving salads off of a package of three. They're definitely cheaper than buying the pre-cut kind. But again, if you don't have a knife that will hack through it, it may be worth the bit of money and time to buy the pre-prepped. One other thing I picked up that I like - Green Giant has these "For You" single serving microwaveable trays of broccoli and cheese sauce. They're 45 calories per serving and I think I paid $2.50 for four little trays. Hunt in the frozen veggie section - there is some yummy stuff and frozen is usually just as good as fresh!

As for not having the cooking utensils, do you have a good will or 99c store by you? I stocked my kitchen with a lot of cheapy things - doesn't have to be crate and barrel (though they definitely have nice things!) Good luck!

PS - a Ramekin is a ceramic baking dish, usually small in size, that's used for cooking custard type desserts. You can get a cheap set at walmart for a few bucks - or if you have Ross by you, that's the way to go.

06-04-2009, 05:38 AM
for lunch i always have a huge salad with spinach cooking involved. you already know string cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt ( i mix sf jam in my plain yogurt). i also make the sausage and cheese breakfast cups once a week and grab and have breakfast for the week, just heat in the microwave and go (i make mine in a baking pan and divide in 6). also, almonds, natural pb.

eta-if you can afford one pan or an electric fry pan it would be alot easier on you. and check out the recipe section it may give you lots of ideas

06-04-2009, 09:14 AM
Ok, first get ONE decent knife and you are in business! (also, hit the closest dollar store, bargain store or goodwill when you can and get a can cook a big pot of something on the weekend and eat from it all week! Like a pot of beans which are cheap and so good for you)

Keep lots of fresh vegs in the fridge you can throw together quickly into a huge salad. Marinate some cucumbers and tomatoes for something refreshing during the hot months. Get those little bags of tuna to throw into salad. For breakfast every day, I have a turkey/spinach sandwich on either ezekial or flat outs, then bring a big salad for cooking required. Make a big frittata (ok, you have to buy a big pan for that) and you can have meals for days from that. Buy a precooked chicken and use that for salad and steam some vegs to go with it.

One little "trick" I do is to "stir fry" a big pot of vegs each week...lots of onions, garlic, peppers, eggplant, squash etc (in creole seasoning)..then I add that to salads, put it on top of chicken/fish/sandwiches etc...adds a lot of flavor to the food and helps to "stretch" it while adding more vegs to your diet.

06-04-2009, 09:19 AM
Chili has become one of my best friends since I've been on South Beach. It doesn't require a whole lot of complicated utensils, just a good knife (and I second Femmecreole's thoughts on getting ONE good one - I got a really good one from Ikea for $12), a cutting board (dollar store), and a large dutch oven/crock pot (Goodwill or any other thrift store/yard sale). If I cook a crock pot full, I'm in business for at least 5 days. I stock mine full of beans and veggies, like peppers, onions, celery, and tomatoes.

06-04-2009, 10:38 AM
Go to ( and see if anyone has a blender, pots, pans, electric fry pan, crock pot or whatever you need.

Thighs Be Gone
06-04-2009, 10:40 AM
Post an ad on Craigslist in your area for items you need. Otherwise, hit a few thriftshops or Goodwill stores.

06-04-2009, 10:49 AM
Re: freecyle ,if you are not familiar with it, items are free. I got a crockpot that way and gave away a tv and microwave there. You can almost always find something you need and it is FREE!!!

06-04-2009, 11:49 AM
I love freecycle and thrift stores. In our area, church operated thrift stores are the best. I don't know if the intake ladies are really picky, or if the people donating don't want to be caught donating "crap," but the quality of stuff is often much better, and the prices lower. I bought a $3 crockpot, and it had never been used (still in the box, wrapped in the original plastic).

Love, love, love thrift stores.

06-04-2009, 11:49 AM
A George Foreman grill is also very usefull for cooking. You can even grill veggies on it.

Shannon in ATL
06-04-2009, 12:40 PM
The George Foreman grill is great. I got mine for a gift, but I see them on sale at Target, particularly the slightly smaller sizes that go on sale when a new 'bigger and better Foreman grill' comes out.

If you are talking about using the ramekin for those mini muffins I see recipes for on here a lot I know people who have used a regular coffee mug. :)

Thrift stores are good, too. I've never used freecycle, but I've heard good things about it.

Thighs Be Gone
06-04-2009, 12:44 PM
Kaplods, I liked you before but now I like you even more! :) WTG for going green and advocating it! I agree--also awesome on the pocketbook.

06-04-2009, 01:13 PM
RightWeigh, you are a riot! :lol3: Loved your post! There are actually tons of threads in this forum discussing the issue of doing SBD with low cooking abilities/interest and there are also quite a few that address doing SBD while in college. Unfortunately, we're having some problems with the search function right now. When it's fixed, I'll link to some of them for you in this thread, but you could also look on your own.

In the meantime, are you on a meal plan at school? If so, try to schedule a meeting with the nutritionist or whomever is in charge and let them know that you're on SBD. Ask them to help you find ways to meet the diet's requirements while working within the meal plan. I lost the bulk of my weight while I was a grad asst. at a private college and though it was sometimes monotonous, I found tons of things I could eat. The salad bar is your friend (for cottage cheese and hard boiled eggs, too!). See if they will grill/cook boneless/skinless chicken breasts for you. Cut up low fat turkey lunch meat to put on salads. Buy WW bread if it's not available at your school (though, personally, I'd try to get them to inclulde it!) and use it to make sandwiches, toast, etc. You can TOTALLY do this!

06-04-2009, 02:17 PM
Ok so first off..THANK YOU ALL...this is so useful and I am soooo in love with this community all over again! PopcornFiend Thanks for dropping that ramekin knowledge on ya sounded an awful lot like a star wars character...but i think i know what you're talking about! Uhhmmm I've never stepped foot in a crate and barrel, lol. I was at the mall and passed by it and saw a blender or somethin and figured that was the spot. I will definitely go to Ikea and find a 12 dollar knife (GULP) it's for the greater good. Cooking is pricey...and grneyedmustang THAT CHILI IDEA just might be a winner!! beachgal i am not on a meal plan...but the salad bar advice can be salvaged...I have friends who love buffets:dizzy:

BArgoo started something by recommending that freecycle place! :carrot:!

06-08-2009, 12:46 PM
RightWeigh, are you living off campus? How have you been eating prior to this without cooking? :?: Sorry, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around this...I've cooked all my life and it's really hard for me to understand. :^: Have you been eating lots of microwaveable food or eating out a lot, maybe?

As the smart chicks have noted, you can get tons of great stuff for cooking from yard sales, freecycle, e-bay, and Craig's List. Your local paper should have ads for yard sales and they often are on Fridays and Saturdays. If your class schedule allows, you can get there early on the first day of the sale and get the pick of the litter! Another GREAT resource is to e-mail/call/canvas your relatives for someone who is looking to get rid of old cooking tools/plates, etc. There are usually many people looking for college students to offload things on. I currently have a stash of stuff I'd love to give to someone! :lol: Seriously, though, most of my college friends got their supplies from family and friends who were getting rid of old things. I have friends now who get a lot that way, too. Crate and Barrel will be mucho, mucho expensivo. Instead, do Ikea, if you have it (lucky duck!), and check out Wal*Mart and Target for other things if you can't get them used or online. They'll be much cheaper. Yes, getting good quality tools can be a better thing to do, but if it turns out you don't enjoy cooking or you don't like how that particular appliance or tool works, it's better to find out with a less expensive version, IMHO.

Here are some online lists of tools to purchase:

Cooking Dude's list of Kitchen Tools (
From someone who disagrees with me: "Kitchen tools: Why getting the good stuff is worth it." (
SOYOUWANNA STOCK YOUR KITCHEN? ( (pretty sassy...even downright rude style of writing)
How to Choose Essential Cooking Supplies for a Beginner in the Kitchen (
Beginner’s Kitchen Essentials (
List from Beginner's Kitchen ( (be aware that they sell these supplies, so they may have a vested interest in telling you that you need more stuff than you actually do)
How to Stock a Brand New Kitchen With Kitchen Supplies and Equipment (

Figuring Out How to Cook
Pick out recipes that appeal to you (from our recipe forum or from online sites like and let us know if you need help figuring out how to make them. We'd be glad to give ideas and advice. You may also find some help from the following websites and books (you may want to check out the library for the books to make sure you like them before you purchase any):

How to Cook Revised Edition: An Easy and Imaginative Guide for the Beginner ( (book)
How to Cook Chicken: A Beginner's Guide ( (site has a lot of articles and videos for beginner cooks)
On-line Tutorials from Cooking Dude (
Advice for beginner cooks ( (read the comments for advice)
Cooking Basics for Dummies ( (book)

Pre-Made/Easy-to-Use Ingredients
As for pre-made things or easy-to-use ingredients, there's a lot out there that could make it easier for you. Here are some of my favorites:

Pre botttled simmer sauces for stir fries and curries--my favorites are from Seeds of Change and Trader Joe's (do you have one near you? They're inexpensive and indespensable for SBDers, IMHO!)
Brown rice in a microwaveable pouch (Uncle Ben's makes this, as does Seeds of Change)
Some Kashi microwave meals (read the ingredients)
Ezekiel cereal, bread, and other products
Pre-chopped bagged veggies (especially broccoli or rainbow slaw--I add these to salads to boost the veggie/nutrient content, but they are also helpful for making your own slaws)
Health Blends frozen veggie mixes from Green Giant (these are seasoned with healthy things like herbs and olive oil, which are safe on SBD, and taste GREAT!)
Whole wheat couscous--it cooks up in five minutes or so, is in tons of recipes, and is really yummy. You can make a lot of cold dishes with it, too, so you can pack them to take with when you go to class.
Canned refried beans--fat free or vegetarian--these are super good with just a little salt and garlic powder, microwaved, with some LF cheese and SF salsa on top. Comfort food!
Canned beans (rinse them to get rid of extra sodium)--these are so easy to use and very versatile.
Natural PB. Just watch out on serving size, as it has a lot of calories (you can have 2T a day), but this is an easy staple for sandwiches and on fruit and veggies.
Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges. Incredibly portable and super-delicious, these are amazing on pears and apples and also good with veggies.

I'm sure there's more, but that's enough to start. :goodluck:

06-08-2009, 01:22 PM
Laurie- I just want to say HOW HELPFUL your posts are! I love reading them and always find something that puts a spark in me to look further into or try something new!

SO, just wanna say :thanks::hug:

06-08-2009, 03:15 PM
Right Weigh Those 1 min muffins I triple t he recipe and make 6 muffin sized muffins in 4 minutes in the micro in a slicone muffin tin I got at Target or in a pie plate or a 8X* baking Dish There is a lot you can do with it! Do you have a stove or just a micro fridge?
You can make a Veggie burger Parm with a veggie burger a low sugar sauce and LF Mozz/Italian cheese soo good and have a salad!
BTW I agree with Rikki Laurie is a font of fabu info! SHE ROCKS!

06-08-2009, 06:37 PM are the greatest:carrot:...ALL of that was very,very's exactly what I're the greatest! All the responses are good....thanks again everybody...KO i promise i'm still convinced those silicon thingys are gonna melt or make my food taste like rubber...:p

06-08-2009, 10:59 PM
TRW Get an 8X8 Pyrex Dish or Pie plate bake it, cut it and ziplock bag it PORTION CONTRol!

06-10-2009, 11:45 AM
Wow, :thanks: chicks! I feel so blessed by all the advice and support people have given me here and just want to return the favor. :goodvibes: I learn so much from all of you!

I know what you mean, RightWeigh, about the silicone thingies. But I have to say that I've used them a lot and they work great! If you use a muffin-y one, it helps to put it on a cookie sheet just so it's not so floppy. They make clean up very easy!

06-23-2009, 03:23 AM
yay for easy clean-up...still haven't bought ANYTHING...but when i o man...:carrot::carrot: