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Food to have on hand for the boyfriend

I eat relatively healthy and often have my main meal for lunch at work so when I get home I may just make a salad, some roasted veggies, or snack on crackers and cheese. However what do I do when a guy I am seeing comes over after work to hang out and he is hungry?! We end up going out or ordering food but it would nice if I could provide him with something! Occasionally I will cook a full dinner but otherwise I only really have fruits and veggies on hand. I usually swing by the grocery store on my way home from work if I am making meat. What are satisfying foods that I can have on hand or prepared that will last for when the man shows up?

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      1. re: treb

        And cooks very well from frozen. Just put a frozen portion in low pan, cover , and cook until thawed. Then uncover, spread out and cook as desired.

      2. Frozen burritos are fairly filling and can be heated from frozen. I make my own with a bean, rice and cheese filling, but I'm sure a meatier filling would work, too. You can make up some pizzas or calzones also, to bake from frozen. Soups and chilis freeze well also, but I always thaw before heating.

        1. Make a home-cooked corned beef. This will keep well in the refrigerator. You also need swiss cheese and the mustard and bread of his choice. The home-cooked corned beef is what makes this sandwich special compared to just having prepared lunchmeats on hand. I would want a German beer with it.

          1. Beer and frozen pizza provide all the nutrition a bachelor needs. At least, I hope they do! ;)

            1. Have what you need for either pasta or grilled cheese available, and pick up any extra veg that day if you need it, i.e., salad greens. You can freeze the bread and defrost as needed.

              1. It depends on what your guy likes. I'm going to speak in broad generalities and stereotypes. I'm not intentionally trying to dis anyone or pretend that all men are human garbage disposals, but many of us are - or were when we were younger and our bodies were more forgiving of us.

                Something to make a sandwich out of - even if it's grilled cheese, but meat is appreciated by most men. If you have the lettuce and tomato, have a bunch of that pre-cooked bacon in the fridge or freeze - Instant BLT, add some sliced turkey and you have a clubhouse sandwich. Some pre formed burgers (even if you pre-form them yourself) that can be cooked from frozen (yes you can, not ideal, but possible) same with chicken breasts or thighs. Do you have a foreman grill?

                A can of chili or pork and beans? Serve it over a hamburger bun, instant sloppy joes - and you can buy canned sloppy joe mix (manwich.) Does he eat tinned corned beef, tinned hash, or spam, tinned beef stew? Some guys do, some don't, some women wouldn't allow it in their house.

                A couple of frozen pizzas probably won't last long in your fridge and are a great companion to your salad, as are most of the items listed above. Young guys don't have anything against salads, they just don't consider them to be a meal, although if you throw some protein (bacon, chicken, ground meat) and some kind of cheese in then it gets closer. Same for soup. Good stuff, enjoyed it, now what's for dinner?

                Make a big batch of spaghetti or lasagna, or chili, or stew over a weekend. Assuming he doesn't eat it all before you have a chance to do so, divide it into his-size servings and freeze it in freezer bags. Most guys have nothing against microwaved leftovers, especially if you made it for him. You can nibble a bit of it, and again he can share some of your salad or veggies. A way of beginning to blend your meals.

                In general he is going to eat about twice as often as you think someone would, and each time he will eat what you think of as a meal. snack = small meal, meal = feast. When my dad remarried my stepmom about lost her mind. She was raised by a single woman, and she had one daughter from a previous short lived marriage. Suddenly she had two late teen boys and a husband, all of whom considered everything left in the fridge to be fair game for snacks, not something put away as leftovers for dinner that night.

                good luck, and vive la différence.

                38 Replies
                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  All great options so far! I think you Kaimuki Man really understand what I am getting at! "snack = small meal, meal = feast" so true! haha I do not have a foreman grill and he probably would not eat canned meats. Single frozen servings of stew or pasta is a good idea same with the frozen pizza and sandwich suggestions. I try not to buy bread because I end up eating all of it but if I keep it in the freezer I may be able to avoid that. And I definitely should buy beer by the case not 6 packs!

                  1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                    You know, boxed mac-n-cheese (a good one) with a can of ham (the small cans, by the tuna) is surprisingly delicious!

                    1. re: wyogal

                      Personally, I would go with Velveeta Macaroni And Cheese (1 box) mixed with a can of mushrooms (as long as he doesn't dislike mushrooms) and .75 pound 85/15 hamburger meat cooked with diced onion and drained well.

                      A personal "junk food" favorite.

                  2. re: KaimukiMan

                    I agree with Kaimukiman's list entirely and add only stew. Add stock for soup (as a 1st course, of course), add time for a rich stew. Freeze in dinner for two batches.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      Speaking as a guy, I wouldn't want canned chili or frozen pizza.

                      1. re: Jay F

                        Me neither. If I went to a girlfriend's house, said I was hungry, and she offered me a frozen pizza, I'd just pick up the phone. Frozen pizza is never good eats. Frozen homemade foods and sandwich fixin's would be much better.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          And if you buy cold cuts, prospective girlfriends, get them sliced fresh at the deli rather than buying those Oscar Meyer prepackaged units. And get good bread. It makes ALL the difference.

                          1. re: Jay F

                            Absolutely. All good sandwiches start with quality, fresh bread or rolls. Another plus would be to have roasted turkey, beef, pork loin, chicken, etc. that was prepared by the OP.

                            1. re: MGZ

                              Here's a true man-pleaser (and woman-pleaser too)!

                              Another New Orleans original – the Muffaletta – is a deliciously harmonious collaboration of cured meat, provolone cheese, olive salad and the imperative seeded, white fluffy bread that is the sandwich’s namesake. We can thank Sicily for the round, sesame bread but the ingenious sandwich is a New Orleans invention. In 1906, Central Grocery, right here in the French Quarter, developed the sandwich and has been the muffaletta headquarters ever since. People stand in line on a daily basis for the sandwich, as well as the in-house made olive salad (a pickled concoction of olive, celery, carrot, cauliflower, olive oil and Italian spices). Make the New Orleans original sandwich at home with Chef Emeril’s recipe.
                              The Muffaletta from Central Grocery in New Orleans

                              The New Orleans original muffaletta from Central Grocery

                              . 5 ounces pimento-stuffed olives (1 cup), sliced, plus 2 tablespoons of liquid from the jar
                              . 6 ounces chopped giardiniera (pickled Italian vegetables) (1 cup), plus 1 tablespoon of liquid from the jar
                              . 2 tablespoons drained capers, plus 2 teaspoons of liquid from the jar
                              . 3 ounces pitted Calamata olives (1/2 cup), sliced
                              . 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
                              . 1 tablespoon minced shallot
                              . 1 teaspoon dried oregano
                              . 1 teaspoon dried parsley
                              . Pinch of dried thyme
                              . Pinch of crushed red pepper
                              . 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                              . 1 large loaf seeded Italian bread (about 1 1/4 pounds), split
                              . 1/4 pound sliced fresh mozzarella
                              . 6 ounces sliced capocollo or prosciutto
                              . 1/4 pound sliced Genoa salami
                              . 1/4 pound sliced mortadella
                              . 1/4 pound sliced mild provolone cheese
                              Peperocini, for serving


                              1. In a medium bowl, stir the pimento-stuffed olives with the giardiniera, capers and their respective liquids. Add the Calamata olives, garlic, shallot, oregano, parsley, thyme and crushed red pepper. Stir in the olive oil and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.

                              2. Open the Italian bread on a work surface. Spoon the olive salad on both sides of the bread and spread evenly. Arrange the mozzarella slices on the bottom half of the bread, then top with the capocollo, Genoa salami and mortadella. Arrange the provolone cheese on the top half of the bread, covering the olive salad completely. Carefully close the sandwich. Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic and let stand for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Cut the sandwich into 8 pieces and serve peperoncini on the side.
                              MAKE AHEAD: The recipe can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. The wrapped muffuletta can be kept at room temperature for 2 hours.
                              (Recipe courtesy of foodandwine.com)

                          2. re: MGZ

                            That's so rude! It's not going to kill ya!
                            A GF is not a personal chef or servant. You can turn you nose up if your paying, but if I'm footing the bill and you're eating for FREE time and time again, you should be more gracious.
                            GF is not running a soup kitchen!
                            How about this? Why doesn't BF bring a nice hot pizza, a bottle of wine AND FLOWERS!

                            Girl, feeding your BF is his momma's job, not yours. And jeez, don't ever even offer to do his laundry.

                            1. re: monavano

                              I'm a guy and I agree with you. Be a gracious gentleman, for crying out loud.

                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                Absolutely. If you spend time at your friend's house, that friend should also take your preferences into consideration, and bringing something to the party should be a given. Common courtesy, turnabout is fair play and all that. :)

                                (If SO had shown up at my door with a sack of laundry, I probably would have allowed him to use my washing machine, but seeing your partner's tatty tighty-whities isn't anything I'd recommend in a less than committed relationship.) :D

                                1. re: afridgetoofar

                                  Ha, yeah. Tighty whities are best kept private. Believe me, even when your married, you just don't want to see that!

                              2. re: monavano

                                It's not rude. And neither is MGZ. The OP asked for suggestions.

                                1. re: Jay F

                                  It's not rude to pick up a phone when GF makes a frozen pizza? I'm sorry GF, that's just not good enough for me! We're going to have to agree to disagree with this.
                                  What, should she make one from scratch for him? Stay up late making dough or perhaps get up early so poor BF doesn't have to eat a frozen pizza?
                                  Seriously, just OP thinking about BF's peckishness is lovely and offering nibbles is enough. BF needs to take care of himself. If BF expects GF to feed him after work, he should put a ring on it.
                                  Girl, don't over extend yourself unless and until you know you've got a great guy with good future prospects which includes reciprocation.
                                  Been there, done that.

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    I see. But on my computer, it looks like you were responding to his post about good bread and roasted turkey, which hardly seems rude to me, *given that the name of the thread is "Food to have on hand for the boyfriend."

                                    IOW, she's asking for advice about feeding a guy, not relationship advice.

                                    1. re: monavano

                                      Completely agree to not overextend myself! But we both work long hours so I appreciate if he wants to come hang out with me after work instead of going home. The first few times he didn't even tell me he hadn't had dinner, not wanting to impose. I just feel like I should offer him something, guess its my female instincts or upbringing...or maybe I'm trying to reel him in lol. I think he would eat whatever I gave him, but trying to get a sense of what exactly that should be if its not a night I am formally cooking dinner!

                                      No laundry!!

                                      1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                        You and I think so much alike! I'm always trying to please with food and we know the way to a guy's heart is through his stomach.
                                        How do ya think I got DH? He still remembers the first and second dinner I made him. I knew he was a keeper!

                                  2. re: monavano

                                    Hell, what can I say, I'm a 'hound and from Jersey. Frozen pizza is insulting - the relationship equivalent of saying, "You can stay the night, . . . on the couch." I'll gladly spring for my own pie. I mean, if she came to my place hungry, I'd prepare whatever she wanted- "Sure, a Cobb Salad, no sweat. I've got some aged Balsamic and a first press, artisanal olive oil. . . . ."

                                    If we want to stay with sexist generalizations, keep in mind, "The way to a man's heart . . . . "

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      now we all know the way to a man's heart is not thru his stomach, rather several inches lower, but until the relationship has reached the appropriate stage, and even after the stomach isn't a bad stand in.

                                      I'm surmising from the OP's comments that the guy isn't a huge chowhound and isn't going to be offended by much of anything. Thats why my first comment is to ask what he likes. If he's offended by canned chili or a frozen pizza, don't go there. Maybe its frozen dough and she has ingredients on hand to create a pizza. Chili from a can is often a point of departure, some additional seasoning, some fresh chopped onion and some grated cheese, it can be perfectly acceptable. She's not asking for ideas of food to sweep him off his feet, but stuff to have available on a moments notice - which means by definition it's not going to be garden fresh or simmered for 6 hours by somebody's nona.

                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                        good ideas.

                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                          KaimukiMan - I understand what you're saying, but my point is that generalizations are always wrought with trouble - plus, I loathe frozen pizza. I suppose my basic point is, "If you're a 'hound and want to be involved with a fella, show him what you can do." Make some tasty chow when you have some time, freeze it, and bust it out when he says "Hey, Honey, you got anythin' to eat?"

                                          At bottom, if you're a 'hound, it's probably best to be with another 'hound. Strut.

                                          1. re: MGZ

                                            But, the guy may not be a 'hound. I kinda think that is the point of this thread. and if he's not a 'hound, then, he's not going to really appreciate those efforts, not because he's not an appreciative guy, it's just that those that aren't 'hounds well, don't notice those things.
                                            I used to think that (showing what I can do), but then realized that what I find to be great, my spouse is oblivious to it. It can create a situation where a let-down is inevitable.. frustrating. So I adapted. I still go houndish with my cooking, but cooking for someone isn't always about me.
                                            and we lived happily ever after.

                                            1. re: wyogal

                                              There's nothing in the OP to suggest whether he's a 'hound or not. Then again, I'm of the mindset that a 'hound dating a non-'hound is facing a bit of an uphill battle.

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                Well, after 31 years, it's been great. And really, there is more to life than food. gasp.

                                  3. re: Jay F

                                    Those are go-to munchies that my husband loves. Not everyone likes the same thing.

                                    1. re: wyogal

                                      Yeah, but, you've already married him.

                                      1. re: MGZ

                                        hahahahahaha! He cooked for me on our first real date... lasagna with hamburger, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and like 4 kinds of cheese. He was better at laundry, too, then. He had an apartment, I lived in the dorms.
                                        But, I have KEPT him for 31 years and counting! I like veggies, he likes meat and cheese. I like fresh, he is a fan of boxes and cans.

                                      2. re: wyogal

                                        Does that mean I shouldn't say what I think? Because your husband likes something, I shouldn't say that I don't like it? I'm having a hard time following your logic.

                                        1. re: Jay F

                                          jeez. I was just giving a suggestion using my experience with a man. That. is. all.

                                          1. re: wyogal

                                            Okay. Sorry if I got defensive.

                                            1. re: Jay F

                                              Thanks! :) No worries!
                                              I know it's sexist, but at our house, when I make pizza, I make one for me (more veggies, less sauce- if any, less cheese), and the other I call "Man Pizza" sausage, salami, pepperoni, extra cheese, and just a tiny bit of finely diced onion and green pepper.
                                              and I make incredible pizza.
                                              But, for a snack, or something easy, we actually like Totinos, 3 cheese for me, and combination for him. ha!

                                              1. re: wyogal

                                                I'll have to give Totinos a try. I like CPK myself.

                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  It may be an acquired taste.... like something an 8 year old would like. But, hey, it works for us. They've really gotten smaller. It used to be bigger than my knife blade, but now, it takes just one cut across, blade fits across it with room leftover, :( .

                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                    Love Totino's. And you're right about them having gotten smaller. In the old days, one would fill me up. Now it takes two. But at a buck fifteen a pie, who am I to complain!

                                                  2. re: monavano

                                                    I could never stand going to CPK. It's like being in the world's largest urinal, with its black and white tile and yellow neon tubing. I don't remember the food.

                                                  3. re: wyogal

                                                    Nothing "sexist" about it. Men and women are different. We have different tastes, likes and dislikes.

                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                      (i just added it to avoid backlash here, wink wink)

                                      3. I agree with frozen burritos, taquitos, pizza. Also, the grilled cheese idea is great, too.
                                        Hormel chili without beans, for chili dogs
                                        Frozen burgers
                                        can of rotel and melty cheese (yes, the one in the box) for the burritos/taquitos/bread/chips
                                        Salami sticks

                                        1. This one girl I see from time to time always has alcohol and cheese on hand. As a result, I actually end up seeing her more than "from time to time." She thinks I use her for beer and cheese, which probably isn't far off the mark. It has been more than a few evenings that I go over, we get wasted, bake some fresh bread, roast some garlic and red pepper, break out the cheese and call that dinner.

                                          I'll also second the suggestions for frozen pizza and lunch meats. This other girl I see usually has a prepared deli hoagie in her fridge. We split that, open up some chips and that can be a good dinner, too.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: MonMauler

                                            I forgot garlic. Super versatile. A must-have.

                                              1. re: MonMauler

                                                You sound like a real gem! What lucky girls!

                                              2. A well-stocked pantry is your best solution. Pasta, pesto or marinara sauce (can be frozen in the ice cube tray and then put in a zip lock baggie), sun dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, canned or frozen artichoke hearts, etc etc can be combined for an impromptu meal. You can grill or broil chicken breasts, freeze them and defrost when needed. Some filled pastas can go directly from the freezer to boiling water (portion them into baggies as needed). I've got some butternut squash ravioli in the freezer right now; I'll do a browned butter/dry sage sauce--very simple and easy for those nights I'm too tired to cook but don't want to go out or order in.

                                                Coucous takes a few minutes to cook, season with lemon juice and sage, serve with the thawed chicken and fresh veggies.

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                  it's interesting to notice the difference between the food men list and the foods women list.

                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                    I was chuckling over that myself. :D If you have a microwave, a few baking potatoes on hand might be a good idea, nice and heartwarming is the scent of a baked (nuked, if you're looking for quicker nosh) potato. Some packaged "real bacon bits" on hand to sprinkle on top. Cheese, olives, as have been recommended, nuts, they'll keep pretty well in the cupboard and fridge. M&Ms, beef jerky, popcorn, good for nibbling while watching a movie on tv together.

                                                    When SO and I got together we learnt very quickly that when one of us whined, "Isn't there ANYTHING to eat around here?" it generally just meant we didn't like what the other had on hand for their snack/meal preferences. It's good to know what your guy likes to eat, and stock accordingly.

                                                    1. re: afridgetoofar

                                                      Yes, I was thinking of baked potatoes, too.

                                                      1. re: afridgetoofar

                                                        This is so true. My husband and I like a lot of the same things but we have different ideas of what constitutes a proper snack. If I were stocking my pantry with snacks for my husband (and he wasn't on a diet, which he generally is), it would contain Doritos, tortilla chips, salsa, Velveeta (and Rotel for making dip), various kinds of salted nuts, M&Ms, miniature candy bars, Pizza Rolls, frozen burritos, frozen tater tots, frozen french fries, tortillas, popcorn, olives, Oreos, Little Debbie snack cakes and/or homemade cookies/desserts...you get the picture.

                                                        If I knew I'd be providing full meals, I'd have eggs/cheese/bacon/sausage (breakfast for dinner is quick and easy), pasta (with sauce/pesto in the freezer), and ground beef (he'll eat just about anything made with ground beef, whereas he is pickier about other meats). I wouldn't worry about much more than that until he put a ring on it! ;)

                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                          It sounds like many of us are partnered to the same man. Your list is pretty accurate for mine as well, as is the ground beef part (including being picky about other meats... he complained that the skirt steak I made once was "cheap meat" yet he'll eat ground beef without blinking... WTF?). The only thing he isn't into from above is sweets... which is good for me because I have a huge sweet tooth and if I had to buy them for him, I'd eat them all! What's the most infuriating is that he can eat all of the above and not gain any weight either :-P

                                                      2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                        I keep a pantry like that. My husband looks inside every day and then complains that "we have nothing to eat!"

                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                          Um, I'm trying not to read too much into your response but also I just replied in a general way. I don't eat a lot of red meat so I usually don't have any on hand, frozen or otherwise. I do sometimes have a rack of lamb in the freezer...for my son, that's his favorite meal. I love lamb too but otherwise don't buy it.

                                                          The main point I was trying to make is to just keep a well stocked pantry. If you have the basics (shelf staple and otherwise), and can improvise, you can make a meal out of what's on hand without too much effort.

                                                          1. re: alwayshungrygal

                                                            I appreciate that, and i really wasn't trying to be a sexist pig. As far as making a meal out of what's on hand, I completely agree that a well stocked pantry is always a great idea, along with a well stocked fridge and freezer. I greatly appreciate the fact that you understand the need for speed and as much as possible a no fuss no muss solution.

                                                            What I don't see most guys getting excited about butternut squash ravioli or artichoke hearts. If your guy is different, great! I have no doubt your butternut squash ravioli is 1000 times better than anything Chef Boyardee ever sold, but speaking stereotypically it isn't "guy food", especially young hungry guy food.

                                                            As several posters have mentioned red meat is often a primary food group. If you don't like it and don't like it in the house, don't like to cook it, then now is a good time for him to understand that, and to appreciate more of what you like. But don't forget the OP has already established that what he eats typically and what she is used to eating are different, and she's looking for ideas about him food, not her food.

                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                              Thanks Kaimukiman for basically understanding my point. And I know you're not a sexist pig :)

                                                              The butternut squash ravioli (from my local farmer's market) is just for me--a single parent/empty nester. Nobody else to cook for unless my son is home for a few days or I have other guests. So that was really just an example of how I utilize my stock. This weekend I threw together another easy pasta dish using some onions and parsley, and a brussels sprout dish with pecans (from the freezer) and garlic.

                                                              Again, the point was just to keep a well stocked pantry, and by that I also meant fridge/freezer/dry larder (onions, garlic etc) but you articulated that better than I.

                                                              As for "his" food, how about keeping some browned beef in the freezer? How would that hold up (any chance of freezer burn)? There must be a thousand ways to use browned beef.

                                                      3. I always have cheeses on hand, usually three types, and a good assortment of olives, and then usually something like a sopresata I can add to a platter of cheese and olives (though pepperoni or salami would work, too.

                                                        Keep eggs on hand, and you have the makings for a frittata or an omelet with whatever veggies/herbs/cheese are around. Pasta is shelf stable, and if you keep angel hair on hand that cooks in a flash.

                                                        And yes, good beer, good wine.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. Jenni-O frozen turkey patties. Make and freeze some stuff like chili.

                                                          1. Pretty good stuff here. Lunch meat/cheese for sandwiches, good frozen food/pizzas, makings for a meat & cheese plate, maybe some olives/nuts.

                                                            Pasta and sauce is good advice so is ordering out.

                                                            Booze of his liking.

                                                              1. re: amecpete

                                                                Word. By and large, guys are pretty easy to please.

                                                              2. I always find cube steak rather handy: It's cheap, fast/easy to cook and very adaptable for anything from Asian noodles to burritos or my husband's favorite, the Pioneer Woman's Marlboro Man sandwich (which he'd probably eat every day if he ever finds out how easy it is to make).

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Mestralle

                                                                  That Marlboro Man sandwich has been on my list to make. Glad to hear your guy likes it :)

                                                                2. Has anyone mentioned crock pot yet?
                                                                  OP, you and BF can both come to your place after a long day's work to the wonderful smells of the slow cooker.

                                                                  1. A few years ago, I ate exactly like you do. My then-boyfriend was always sweetly confused at the lack of food options in my place. We both love good, fresh, homemade food, but I found that when he was hungry, he was just fine with frozen processed stuff. I started keeping Tyson chicken strips, frozen tacquitos and frozen potstickers on hand. They were convenient for him and I wasn't tempted to eat them (like I would have been if it was bags of potato chips or ice cream). I also kept a bunch of uncooked sausage in the freezer. If I had eggs, he'd be good with a big breakfast for dinner, or it can also be made into a sandwich or added to a baked potato to give it some protein.

                                                                    I also started stocking some good salamis and hard cheese, since it kept well and was easy to grab and yes, good bread, stored in the freezer.

                                                                    If you have a Trader Joes convenient to you, they have a lot of nice frozen stuff and single serving meals that you can stock.

                                                                    And I hope he's loading up on fruits and vegetables for when you're at his place!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                      great point about what he keeps on hand (or brings over) for her!

                                                                    2. I live with my BF but I still keep a few things around that he likes to eat in case I'm not home one evening or there's no leftovers for his lunches and he doesn't want to go out (he works at home through the end of the month). He is not a very good cook.

                                                                      Currently in the freezer there are a few individually portioned servings of "Taco Stuffed Shells" (these: http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2012/...) along with some mexican rice, and some mini size meatloafs (http://traceysculinaryadventures.blog...). I also have some of this soup but he hasn't been real interested in it: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/01/ch...

                                                                      All of the above are easy to heat up from frozen and serve. I also keep some hot pockets, and frozen sweet potato fries/puffs on hand. In the pantry I have trail mix, beef jerky (which I also eat if I need a protein boost), and pistachios for munching. Oh and I have some cartons of tomato soup and makings for grilled cheese, which we both like, moreso for lunches though.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                        Beef jerkey is a good one! Interestingly every guy I've dated has loved it. Me, not so much.

                                                                      2. For one bf, it was cheese. Actually pretty dangerous since he considered it a snack, not a meal, and would eat half a pound at once before dinner.

                                                                        Frozen pizzas are good. My bf grabbed about 10 when they were discounted to $2.50.

                                                                        Eggs? They keep for a month after their sell-by date if refrigerated, and an omelette with salad sounds pretty good.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: jaykayen

                                                                          Yes, my SO LOVES cheese. I like cheese but not like him and similar to what you mentioned he can nearly finish a cheeseball before dinner.

                                                                        2. I freeze packages of shaved steak (butcher-sliced sirloin, I believe) I get from my supermarket, along with some good sub rolls. I also keep on hand a jar of Cheez Whiz, a can of mushrooms and an onion. When one of my son-in-laws stop by unexpectedly and it is near mealtime, it is no trouble to make a steak and cheese sub with or without fried onions and mushrooms. They love them!

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: NHCarol

                                                                            I'm stopping by your house!
                                                                            Do the sub rolls defrost ok? I've been hesitant to freeze them so I never over buy, but if you've seen good results, I'll give it a try.
                                                                            It's not often I come across a really good hoagie/sub/cheesesteak roll, so I'd like it if I could stock up.

                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                              You didn't ask me, but I frequently freeze rolls, buns, bread, english muffins etc, as it takes us forever to go through them. I don't find there to be a problem at all as long as you defrost them "naturally" ie, don't put them in the microwave.

                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                Now that I think of it, I freeze loaves of sandwich bread all the time. I guess that I just thought that rolls would lose that certain something something that makes them so darn good when fresh.

                                                                              2. re: monavano

                                                                                I have had good luck with freezing Fontini sub rolls. The secret is to defrost them on the counter and not in the microwave. They have some heft to them and hold up well with a lot of filling.

                                                                            2. My rotation...for my teens that is.

                                                                              Pillsbury crescent rolls...if I have leftover ground beef or turkey, I put in here along with a little bit of cheese & hot sauce. My family devours these.

                                                                              potstickers (I get from TJ's or Ranch 99)
                                                                              El Monterey chicken/cheese or beef/cheese taquitos (flour)
                                                                              Sandwich rolls (Costco purchase is too much so I always freeze a bunch)
                                                                              Spicy chicken sausage from TJ's (I pan saute sliced lengthwise & serve on roll with roasted peppers)

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: ceekskat

                                                                                Frozen Pillsbury roll products is brilliant. You can even slap together a pizza! Just tons of possibilities.
                                                                                Although, can you freeze Pillsbury rolls?

                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                  I froze it once & the result was not good. They do stay in the fridge for a few weeks. Will pick it it up from Safeway now & then when I see it on sale.

                                                                                2. re: ceekskat

                                                                                  Not sure if you eat the taquitos yourself or have tried them. I used to love them as a kid and recently had a taquito craving and bought two boxes and they were awful. It seems that they are not only smaller both in length and width but also less filling and more processed flavor than they used to be. 10 years ago they sort of felt like homemade

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    I eat them. There are some brands that may be better than others. I put a little cheese on them, and dip them in Salsa Brava.

                                                                                3. I'm trying to think back to my days when I went a'courtin.

                                                                                  Usually when I went to the gf's house, we were going out or order-in to watch a movie on the Betamax so no cooking was involved.

                                                                                  If we were just hanging out, drinks and snacks were fine - cheese and crackers, chips.

                                                                                  Sometimes I would bring something - steaks, chicken... etc. Of course, she would have to cook what I bring, as she should. lol... Just kidding. I actually would do the cooking.

                                                                                  As you progress in your relationship, you'll figure out what to stock in your pantry, but for now - beer, wine, juice, fresh fruit, cheese, crackers and other snack items would do it.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. Fun thread!

                                                                                    A male bachelor friend taught me this trick:

                                                                                    Pop one frozen "Santa Fe Frozen Rice and Beans" ( I now make my own version...) in the nuke...er microwave. Add cheese and hot sauce. Serve with chips.

                                                                                    I also like to make pizza and pasta with my SO. Both are kinda fun and interactive, relaxing even. Then we hit the couch for TV night...and you know where that can lead...

                                                                                    I am with the others who say to skip (mostly) the frozen stuff. Cooking ~can~ be sexy. Fore-fore-play if you will.

                                                                                    I keep(homemade) pizza dough in the freezer at all times, and the ingredients to make simple red sauce (canned tomato, olive oil, garlic...) plus good cheese (Romano, Parmesan etc...)

                                                                                    Most of all the food should be kinda fast and not too fussy. Save that for those "special occasions".

                                                                                    1. pedalfaster 3 minutes ago
                                                                                      Fun thread!
                                                                                      I was just going to say the same thing!

                                                                                      1. First of all-- What Kaimuki Man Said. He's right. Beyond that, when my sweetheart first started coming over to watch football games and I hadn't gotten the memo yet, I'd sometimes make tuna salad (hurr hurr, I know) served with crackers, mostly because I always had tuna and not much else of interest. I think he was a little surprised, but he always devoured it. Still does! Might be a thought for you.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: monavano

                                                                                            Thanks! Great mons think alike. (Oh dear...)

                                                                                        1. I have college age boys, and they drop in all the time. some things I keep on hand -
                                                                                          Eggs are really handy - you can make a frittata, spaghetti carbonara (keep bacon or pancetta frozen), or even just an omelet.
                                                                                          Frozen chili can be repurposed into a quesadilla.
                                                                                          Pulled pork (also prepared and frozen) can be used for taco or burrito fillings, sandwiches, etc.
                                                                                          Frozen ramen ( I get it at the korean grocery) - stir fry some veg, add the ramen, top with an over-easy egg.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                            Quesadillas! Great call. Definitely along the grilled-cheese-sandwich line, but somehow more popular. They seem to vanish before they're made.

                                                                                          2. I hope you've found some good ideas you can use among the dating advice, WhatsEatingYou.. ;))

                                                                                            My favorite ideas, from experience, include stocking a couple of cheeses, salumi and a handful of olives that keep well in the fridge, to use for an antipasto snack, sandwiches, or pasta dressing. If you have your usual components for a salad or other veggies on hand for your own dinner, I think a more substantial meal can be made without much bother. My answer when he called to say he was stopping by would be, "yes, I'd love to see you. Would you mind grabbing a good loaf of bread?"

                                                                                            I also like the suggestion of keeping some whole wheat tortillas in the fridge to use any of the veggies, cheeses or meats you have on hand. A quesadilla is a fabulous snack, and you can also make a wrap sandwich with them if you don't want to fry.

                                                                                            If you are willing to do some cooking and freezing, you can do chili or soups if you think he will like them because it's easy to pull out a serving and have a hot meal ready in 5 minutes, and your salad will be a nice side dish.

                                                                                            Good luck!

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                              Antipasto is always a good thing to have in the house.

                                                                                            2. Hummus and something to eat an excessive amount of hummus with. And beer. That's all it took to make me feel in heaven with the last girl.

                                                                                              1. I would suggest that if you don't have a panini press, you might want to invest in one.

                                                                                                If you're not that hungry and just looking for a few veggies, you could grill them in the panini press and give them a drizzle of evoo and/or balsamic and call it a night. A panini press also makes awesome sandwiches and is the "best" way to re-heat a slice of pizza. Both of which are terrific "guy foods." I used to pick up thin crust margarita pizzas from my favourite pizza place and freeze them. For me, they'd be great re-heated one piece per meal w some arugula tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette atop. If someone stopped by, I had something tasty to serve quickly and could add toppings to suit their tastes...even if it's just a fried egg if that's all you have in the fridge.

                                                                                                If you pre-cook bacon and store it in your freezer you can put together a guy-friendly sandwich at the drop of a hat. With or without any cheese, it's a great quick meal. I always found that bread was easy to pick up at the last minute and as long as I had something in the fridge or freezer to go inside, I was in good shape if my boyfriend or anyone else stopped by.

                                                                                                1. every guy is different... truly. for me, my boy defaults to subs, so in the house, we always keep breads, meats, cheeses, etc on hand. he'll also happily snack on fruits, nuts, crunch'n'munch ;) and sherbet.... he's also a fan of bagel and cream cheese, and smoothies... even tho we essentially live together, and i do the majority of the cooking, sometimes i only cook something for me, and he just snacks... sometimes he eats what i'm having; sometimes he'll go grab something for himself..
                                                                                                  easy things to keep on hand...
                                                                                                  nacho or burrito or quesadilla or fajita ingredients

                                                                                                  1. IMHO, simple is best. As a younger man, I wasn't terribly picky about my meals. Hot, good, and filling were my three primary concerns.

                                                                                                    That said, I probably would have crawled through concertina wire for a young lady who had a plate of cold fried chicken and a 12-pack of decent beer waiting in their fridge for me.

                                                                                                    Ahhh what the hell am I talking about, If I were a bachelor nowadays, I'd still be willing to make that crawl.

                                                                                                    Also deviled eggs... When my wife makes her deviled eggs, my son and I usually race to see who can eat the most at a single sitting.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: deet13

                                                                                                      Good call! I just hard-boiled some eggs with the intent of deviling them for the game later today and I'm already getting some hints that I could pick up the pace if I wanted to...

                                                                                                    2. What about roast chicken from a rotisserie shop? I bet he'd like that, maybe with some sides that you make, a salad or two? You could also make a pot of chili on the weekends, and freeze it; ditto pasta sauce. If breakfast for dinner is okay by him, you could do an eggs and bacon etc. nice and quick; ditto sloppy joes that you could elevate by going easy on the sugar/ketchup component by using some red wine in place - have some nice potato rolls to hand and toast 'em, make a salad, and wham dinner. There's always a good old steak or chop with a baked potato, and you could get an assortment of deli meats/cheeses for a hot sandwich meal. Enjoy the challenge. It'll be fine. :)

                                                                                                      1. How about having some frozen burritos or tamales on hand?

                                                                                                        1. This topic has been well-covered, but as a man who always ends up doing the cooking I thought I'd weigh in on some easy things that I wouldn't mind showing up to. I do have a rather large appetite so I know that things like portions are important.

                                                                                                          I love roasted rotisserie chicken from the store. There is nothing like grilling chicken thighs that you've brined yourself but we are talking about easy, informal here. Roasted chickens tend to be inexpensive and delicious.

                                                                                                          Pasta with sauce from a jar is the easiest. Quick, simple, classic. I either get an organic sauce or just revert to Classico (not spectacular but consistently acceptable across the board). Grate a little fresh parm and you have a solid base to a meal. One of the best things is that you can make huge portions for no added effort and little extra capital. Turn things up a bit by cooking some seasoned ground beef or sausage while the pasta boils, finishing it with the sauce while the pasta strains.

                                                                                                          Pasta, chicken, salad is a delicious, low-impact full dinner.

                                                                                                          Another super easy and hearty meal that I love is roast chicken thighs with potato, sweet potato, onion, shallot, sausage, zuchini, squash, whatever....really anything. Ten minutes of cutting up the vegetables, coating everything with olive oil, sprinkle a little salt, season with as many herbs as you might like, then 45 minutes to an hour in the oven. This requires more time to cool but is a real set and forget meal.

                                                                                                          Speaking of sausage, talk about an easy, quick, delicious, macho man-approved item. Yum.

                                                                                                          Though I do make my own, I'm definitely not opposed to canned chili as a fallback as long as it's good. Stagg is good. I'm not a big sandwich for dinner guy but having the materials around can't hurt. Even a burger is pretty quick and easy if you have good ground beef.

                                                                                                          Ravioli or tortelloni are always delicious, easy, and quick (unless you're making them by scratch. Gnocchi too.

                                                                                                          Fish is probably the most healthy and can be easy to defrost when frozen.

                                                                                                          These are just some of the lower-impact items I like to cook, by no means an exhaustive list. It's always nice to share a meal after a long day, even if you can't let the soup simmer for 4 hours (ha).

                                                                                                          1. OMG, BF's gonna need a gym membership!

                                                                                                            1. Hah I just had to comment because I am married and I have this problem. My husband travels for work due to the industry he is in he may be away for weeks or even months at a time. I don't stock the fridge much while he is gone and when he comes back and is hungry I have nothing. and neither of us want to go to the store. That said here are some ideas, some I've done, some I haven't.

                                                                                                              1. While they are a billion calories the microwavable chicken potpies are something he can heat up if I'm not hungry.

                                                                                                              2. Chili. Keep the staples and freeze some beef so you can make it ahead of time then store it in the fridge. It's better the second or 3rd day anyway.

                                                                                                              3. When you make something like lasgana you can make a double batch and freeze half of it.

                                                                                                              4. Think of appetizers you can make with the staples you have.
                                                                                                              Potatoes can make a lot of different things.

                                                                                                              5. Speaking of potatoes you can make a baked potato in the microwave and add all kinds of toppings to it.

                                                                                                              6. Breakfast - do you have eggs + another ingredient? You can make a breakfast item, omelet, eggs and toast, eggs and bacon, etc.

                                                                                                              7. Keep some tortilla chips as a staple and you probably have things in your kitchen to make nachos

                                                                                                              If all else fails make him a sandwich. :P

                                                                                                              If you have a George Foreman you can make a panini or grilled cheese with it with little mess.