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Any recipes with food I can keep in my room?

Long story short, bad roommates who have gone through $200 worth of MY groceries in four days.

Anyone have any recipe ideas using only food I can keep in my room? I don't have a fridge, but do have access to the stove/oven/microwave and have a crockpot in my room.

ANY ideas would be greatly appreciated. Stupid roommates do not listen.

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  1. My only recipe is. Yes, I have dealt with this problem.

    1) Get a small studio fridge,maybe 70 bucks.

    2) I had a large plastic camping cooler for my dry goods. Inexpensive.

    3) A couple of small airtight containers for your leftovers.

    4) Always clean your dishes,pots,pans,etc...When using the kitchen.

    A lock for your door.

    You should be good to go. Keep your food and drinks safe.

    No more moochers. Problem solved

    1. In any communal living arrangement, there have to be rules about sharing expenses equitably. It sounds like you need to call a meeting to establish some food policies and label what is yours in the fridge. If your self-serving roommates can't abide, a small fridge for your room will be much less than the last grocery clean out (providing you can lock your door.) Get yourself a good crock pot cookbook or better yet, new roommates.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Chefpaulo

        I've tried talking to my roommates, but they will not listen. I've written my name on my food. I've put everything in a shoebox in the fridge with my name on it. Nothing works.

        I'm saving up to move out, but until then I could really use some recipes.

        1. re: danishenanigans

          notes and rules don't work with this type. sorry but they just don't.

      2. I had this problem once. I:

        1. kept food at work (forget the obnoxious office fridge swiper stories as they take a pass when it's stuff you have to prepare from scratch - they only grab sandwiches and stuff).

        2. once every week or 2, I'd bribe them to CLEAN THE DAMN HOUSE and in return I'd make up a great veggie stirfry (it was CA so vegetables were as dirt cheap as the bathroom was filthy). I got a clean-ish house and they were fed for a day or 2 (they were a bunch of druggies so didn't really eat THAT much but as emglow mentions a lock isn't a bad idea, they really didn't go into my room as I never had pot or meth, but another housemate usually did have some, I wonder how much she lost to their attrition)

        3. scouted out the best taquerias on the way home so I could hole up in my room with a honking big burrito.

        4. found by eating out at decent cheap places I still came out ahead rather than hoping something was still in the fridge at home.

        5. dry pasta and canned goods for the occasional pasta puttanesca. try it with canned clams as well sometime.

        I saved up a deposit on the next place fast using these tactics. I also saved my laundromat quarters, not in a jar, but in the pocket of a jacket I never wore in my closet.

        1. I suggest letting some things ahem "ripen" in your room before returning them to the fridge. That way, once they get the runs, they may learn their lesson.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Tokyoite

            Yeah, my wicked thought when reading this post was "exlax".

            1. re: sandylc

              Exactly, a nice big pitcher of 1/2 iced tea and 1/2 senna may also do the trick nicely.

          2. Buy some canned dog food. Place in Tupperware with your name on it.

            When I dealt with a roomy like that I ate a lot of cereal. Kept the cereal in my room and luckily he had no interest in my soy milk in the fridge.

            Dried ravioli can be stashed in your room. Maybe get some dried milk. If you buy or make sauce, can you freeze leftovers or will they take that? Maybe store them in leftover sour cream or yogurt container.

            2 Replies
            1. re: youareabunny

              HA! or containers printed up as 'medical samples - biohazard' and tell them you have a gastroenterological situation!

              but with folks like this the best place in the fridge for the good stuff is at the bottom of the vegetable crisper under the raw spinach.

              1. re: hill food

                That's what I do. Spinach is excellent, maybe get some oddities at the ethnic market to hide things in or under. Or say you get hot during those special days and keep your feminine products in the fridge, then store some stuff in there.

                That's how I hide things when I goto the theme park :). Nobody ever pokes around those!

                Then again this depends what gender your roomies are.

            2. If you are near a Trader Joe's you can stock up on shelf stable foods. Do the roommates eat vegetables? If not buy some fresh or frozen. Quick meal is steamed veggies with raiment noodles (cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, and then season to taste).

              Also, Tootle "dorm room cooking" tor lots of recipes / ideas. And if you can afford it, buy a small fridge for your room and keep it locked!

              1. This peanut hot sauce is good over rice and with steamed fresh veggies, but could be eaten with canned rinsed beans and shredded bagged carrots, too.

                Hot Peanut Sauce
                Makes 4 servings

                1 Cup crunch peanut butter
                4 Tablespoons soy sauce
                1 1/2 T. lemon juice (fresh is best)
                1 generous tsp. honey (or more, to taste)
                2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 1 tsp. from a jar of minced garlic)
                1 tsp. chili powder

                Mix all together in a saucepan & heat briefly to warm (or put in a glass bowl / 4-cup measure and microwave 1 - 2 minute on medium-- careful not to overcook). It should be a thick pouring sauce. Add teaspoons of warm water to thin sauce, if needed.

                Pour over cooked rice (or brown rice), topped with cooked vegetables.

                Vegetables should include 1 legume beans (chick peas, kidney beans, lima beans or butter beans) and at least 2 others (try to vary texture & color) - spinach, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, peas, celery, corn.

                Alternate - serve with a bowl of cold raw vegetables and hard cooked eggs (vegetable suggestions: shedded cabbage/coleslaw mix, grated carrots, young beans, bean sprouts, diced cucumber, celery, tomato), and any cold cooked legume bean.

                3 Replies
                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                  This, or any peanut sauce, is also absolutely delicious poured over a nuked sweet potato. Makes a great lunch.

                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                    Mmmmmm...sounds like what Indonesians call gado gado. Thanks for reminding me. I really like it and haven't thought of it in years.

                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                      I feel a really good peanut sauce includes fish sauce and a touch of chili paste, and fish sauce is one thing the roommates most likely won't swipe.

                    2. Eggs (even if previously refrigerated) are shelf stable for a few days, as long as you cook them thoroughly.

                      1. This casserole feeds 4 and could be used to bribe roommates.

                        Seven Seas Casserole

                        1 can tuna, drained
                        1 1/3 Cups Minute Rice
                        1 can condensed cream of mushroom (or celery) soup
                        1 1/4 Cup water or milk
                        1/4 teaspoon salt
                        8 oz (1 cup) frozen peas, thawed
                        slices of cheese (optional)

                        Grease 1.5 quart casserole. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Mix soup, water & salt in saucepan & bring to a boil. Pour half of soup into casserole dish. Then layer rice, tuna, peas. Add remaining soup. Bake 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with cheese and bake 2-3 minutes longer (until cheese melts). Serves 4.

                        1. I think a small cooler would hold things for 12-24 hours if you have ice cubes from the communal freezer. That way you could take leftovers as lunch the next day. Sometimes frozen hamburger is available at a local market in one pound pacakges. It would help keep things in the cooler cold until it defrosted and then you could use it for dinner. You can buy shelf stable milk. I like to get the package of small sizes (1/2 pint?) to use on cereal in a hotel that doesn't have breakfast available and use some for my coffee. This would be good for individual packets of hot cereal, too.

                          Pick up some rotisserie chicken on the way home. Microwave a baked potato. Just buy enough vegetable for one or two meals. Use rest of chicken for your lunch or next evening's meal kept cold in a cooler. Make loaded baked potato with cheese and broccoli. Although cheese should be refrigerated, it doesn't spoil easily and should do ok in a cooler. Learn to make your own gravy with chicken stock or bouillon. Make "hot turkey" sandwiches with rotisserie chicken.
                          Onions, carrots, potatoes, winter squash etc don't need refrigeration. If you buy fresh vegetables, just get what you need for two or three days. Most should keep in a cooler. You might use plastic food storage containers to freeze larger blocks of ice for your cooler.
                          Good luck.

                          1. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions should keep in your room fairly well. Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature, as should avocados. Root vegetables like carrots and daikon will keep for a few days as well.

                            Fruit of many sorts, including lemons.

                            Dried goods - pasta, rice, oats, lentils, etc will be fine. Dried mushrooms keep quite well - get shitakes at an Asian market, and reconstitute what you need for a meal. Sundried tomatoes (dried, not in oil). Powdered parmesan in the green can (not great, but it will keep).

                            Canned goods - tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, green beans, chickpeas or other beans, broth, tuna, chicken, artichoke hearts.

                            Get a half dozen eggs at a time, and eat eggs two nights in a row. Canned goods can keep - canned corn, tomatoes, chicken, tuna, chickpeas, soups, etc.

                            Condiments such as vinegar, mustard, oil, ketchup, fish sauce, soy sauce, tabasco, etc keep just fine at room temperature.

                            Depending on your climate, butter can last a fair time. Clarified butter or lard can last a *long* time at room temperature.

                            From the above list - Pasta with tomato sauce, tuna salad with vinagrette, curried tuna with rice, chickpea curry, chickpea salad, beans and rice, soups of various sorts, pasta with sundried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, marinated tomato and onion salad, fried eggs, baked eggs, omlettes, stewed lentils and rice, canned vegetables by themselves or in soups.

                            I like the idea of having a cooler with ice packs to save left-overs for the next day. You can have sets of ice packs to swap out, and it takes care of the volume problem a bit (one can of something is often too much for a single person and one meal).

                            I think the trickiest part would be the meat. You've got canned tuna and salmon, canned chicken, Spam and it's relatives. It turns out canned meat is a thing, but I have no idea what it tastes like. One option would be to stick with beans, rice and eggs for your evening meals, and get protein when you are out, plus eating a lot of the meat on the day you grocery shop.