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Only 15 ingredients week-in, week-out

Okay, here's the question: Imagine that as a cook (and eater) you are limited to 15 ingredients, week-in and week-out, year after year, and for the rest of your life. What 15 ingredient would you choose? (By the way, forgive me if this has been the topic of a previous discussion board, but I couldn't find it.) By the way, this is not 15 ingredients plus fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish! This is 15 ingredients TOTAL - so obviously a limited diet is implied. Water is free...

For me: brown rice, eggs, flour, sugar, pepper, salt, navy beans, garlic, almonds, milk, parmesan, chicken, kale, broccoli, red onion (I guess...)

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  1. We're vegan and I'm gluten-free and currently low vitamin K (so no greens, broccoli, asparagus, etc :-( so not interested in further restriction, even as a mental exercise. I did, however, about a year of very (self-)limited diet years ago. I ate millet or brown rice, green peas and an avocado or two nearly every night for supper. Breakfast was usually a smoothie of banana and one other fruit (blackberries or strawberries usually) and lunch was usually a red bell pepper and some nuts (often pistachios), or dried papaya or dried pineapple. I think this was also the phase when I was eating lots of dates and probably using kelp. That's 13 but I've probably forgotten a couple. I still like all these ingredients but currently have a lot more variety even as a GF vegan who is temporarily (I hope!) green-free. We probably use 15 or more ingredients in homemade GF vegan pizza...

    Of your 15 we couldn't go long without the brown rice, garlic, (kale, broccoli except under medical necessity, and that's not easy), onion, and almond (mylk). We use lots more black beans and garbanzos then navy beans and already do or easily could do without the others.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lgss

      Yes, I suppose my question was a little like an unnecessary writing prompt. But, I thought it would be interesting...

      1. re: lgss

        i'm with lgss. while my dietary restrictions aren't as severe as hers, i've already had to give up enough to abhor the idea of having to consider further limitations! as others have stated, i easily use at least 15 ingredients for most dinners. heck, my breakfast typically has at least 6 or 7!

      2. Ooh, fun experiment:

        1. Coffee
        2. Whole chicken
        3. Rice
        4. Black Beans
        5. Eggs
        6. Garlic
        7. Onion
        8. Chili powder
        9. Salt
        10. Pepper
        12. Lime
        13. Milk
        14. Zucchini
        15. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

        1. 1. rice 2. onions 3. eggs 4. chili peppers 5. garlic 6. apples 7. sugar 8. soy sauce 9. ginger 10. parmesan 11. tomatoes 12. olive oil 13. mango 14. balsamic vinegar 15. arugula

          The overlaps are going to be interesting. I'm predicting lots of eggs, rice, onions and garlic.

          1. how specific are we getting?

            1. beef
            2. chicken
            3. beans
            4. oil
            5. rice
            6. corn
            7. carrot
            8. onion
            9. garlic
            10. peppers
            11. tomato
            12. salt
            13. sugar
            14. milk
            15. lemons

            requesting an additional 6, 21 seems like a good number
            16. fish
            17. spinach
            18. cheese
            19. flour
            20. eggs
            21. yeast

            1. Red chile, pork, garlic, corn, pinto beans, beer, flour, lamb, lettuce, tomato, onion, potato, rice, fish, beef.
              Holy Guacamole, I still need avocado!