Grad Student Eating in Style! Don't Forget to Submit your Recipes!

Oct 24 2010 Published by under Grad Student Eating in Style!

Sci's been in grad school, not so long ago. She knows how HARD it was to make ends meet, and to eat even close to healthy on a budget. But over time, she learned that it wasn't impossible. There are good foods out there, quick to prepare and tasty to eat! And as grad students, we are all in this together! So let's share some recipes, get together, and show the world that grad students are BETTER than Ramen! (Well, ok, maybe SOME of the time we are better than Ramen).

So submit to Sci your recipes by October 30th!!! I require

1) Recipe: with ingredients and instructions
2) A basic price breakdown, can be VERY basic, but the idea is, if it costs $20 or more, it better feed more than 6.

That's not so hard, is it?! Sci's been posting her recipes for inspiration, and today I post one that is special. It is special because it's the only recipe that I have ever really tweaked on my own to make it something that is all mine.

May I introduce...Sci's very own Scicuriously Lazy Healthy Stuffed Cabbage.


This makes cabbage delicious. And the secret of cabbage? Cabbage is CHEAP. Really cheap. I saw a 20lb dutch flat once at the farmer's market. TWENTY POUNDS. And it was $10. That's a LOT of cabbage. You won't need that much.

You will need:
1 Medium Cabbage
1 egg
1 thingy of ground turkey
2 tomatoes
1 large onion
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp ground savory
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 jar marinara sauce

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thaw the turkey if it's been frozen.

2) Take a large pot and bring a good bit of water to a boil (enough to cover your cabbage).

3) Cut off the base of your cabbage, and using a knife, take out the hard core center.

4) Dump the cabbage in the boiling water. Have two forks at the ready.

5) After a minute or two, the outer leaves of the cabbage will start to soften. Using the forks, carefully pry the leaves loose and set them aside on a cutting board or paper towels or something. As far as fork usage goes, the gestures you want parallel pretty closely to how you get thin cryostat slices onto slides. Only a lot bigger.

6) Keep doing this until all the large leaves are off. It won't take long. Leaves the size of your hand or larger are what you want. Once they get smaller than that, take the rest of the cabbage out of the boiling water, and chop it up fine. You'll want more than 12 usable cabbage leaves.

7) Set aside your 12 finest leaves. Use the rest to line the bottom of a large baking dish. I like Pyrex.

8) Now, take your ground turkey, and mix it in a bowl with your onion (chopped fine), your tomatoes (chopped), your egg (obviously cracked), the extra cabbage you chopped up, and your spices. I recommend using your hands and having fun getting all goopy with the kneading.

9) Once everything is mixed, take your 12 best leaves. Fill each leaf with a small handful of your meaty mixture. Fold your leaves so they look like nice little pockets, and nestle them against each other in the cabbage-lined baking dish.

10) Once all your mixture and leaves are gone, taking the jar of marinara sauce and pour it generously over the cabbage rolls. I usually use about half the jar.

11) Put the whole thing in the oven and bake for 1 hour.

12) OM NOM NOM. You'll make 12. I find two to be good for dinner, and you can bring 1 per day for lunch as well. Really it'll help feed you for about a week.

Now, this is Sci's personal recipe. Usually these things involve rice, but at the time I had been eating a TON of rice (as poor grad students do), and was tired of it). So they are meaty, but the extra cabbage adds a little crunch that is nice. In addtion, I use turkey instead of beef (you can use beef), because I'm a health nut like that. The lazy part is because I don't make my own tomato sauce. Nobody's perfect.

Price Breakdown for the Hungry Grad Student:
Cabbage: usually less than $0.70/lb, I usually end up spending about $3-$4 on a cabbage
Tomatoes: $3
Onion: $0.50
Eggs: $2.00 a dozen or so
Spices: these are more expensive, but it's GREAT to have them around. I use rosemary in everything. They will run you around $4 per.
Marinara: get the cheap kind $2

Total: $11.50 if you have all the spices, add another $10-20 if you need to buy more spices, but once you've got them, you're good to go.

Cheap, and it makes 12! It's a lovely warm thing to have in fall or winter.

11 responses so far

  • How much turkey in one "thingy"?

  • HennaHonu says:

    If it takes an hour and half to make, I don't have time for it... what happened to quick to prepare???

    • scicurious says:

      But it IS quick, it's like 30 min, and then in oven, and you can ignore it while you get stuff done for an hour! And I'm willing to put in the time if it feeds me for a week.

  • Coturnix says:

    You want slow version of this? Try this recipe!

  • aek says:

    Many noms to you, Sci et al:

    Here's hoping that you are amenable to using crock pots, because those are fab for creating "whatever's cheapest at the food market" stews. Here's yesterday's results (I have 2 c.p.'s and am jonesing on Freecycle for another....)

    Turn crockpot to high.
    Drizzle olive oil lightly over surface.
    Dump in one medium eggplant cubed (at 2/$1)
    Add 9 sliced radishes - about one bunch ($1/2 bunches)
    Six cups spinach leaves - or as much as you can cram in to fill (at 2#bag/$2)
    Liberal drizzling of olive oil over all about 3 T total, but to taste and texture ($5.99 1quart bottle)
    Liberal sprinkling of ground peppercorns ($1.99 bottle w/ mill Trader Joe's)
    Sea salt to taste ($1.99 box Trader Joe's)
    Tarragon 1T or to taste ($2.99 .5 oz bottle)

    Allow eggplant and spinach to simmer until broth is released and olive oil is absorbed.
    Stir occasionally.

    Add 1/3 cup rice and turn to high until rice is cooked and broth is absorbed (about 1/2 hr, but varies according to size and heat settings of crock pot). (Price - $6.99/20# bag).

    Add your protein of choice and thoroughly, but gently incorporate. Here are some of my favs:

    Ricotta cheese 1 c ($3.99/ 32 oz.)/ Parmesan cheese 1/4 c ($2.99/8 oz)
    One 14 oz can wild salmon ($2.50 on sale at major retail pharmacy chain)
    Three 5 oz cans chunk tuna ($.50/can on sale at m.r.p.c.)
    1 cup dried yellow peas ($1/bag)
    2 12 oz cans pitted black olives ($1/can on sale at m.r.p.c.)

    Then for dessert/breakfast/midnight survival, etc:

    Turn crockpot on medium or high.
    1 cup baby carrots or two to three regular carrots coarsely chopped ($1/2#)
    2 medium to large sweet potatoes cut into 1" or greater slices (skin on) ($1/2#)
    1 oz raisins ($2.99/24 oz)
    2-3 large apples (for baking/eating, such as MacIntoshes, MacOuns, Ginger Golds, Rome, Cortland, Sun Crisp, Northern Spy, Paula Red) (6/$1)
    2-3 pears (bosc, seckel, bartlett) ($1/1#)
    liberal sprinkling over all with pumpkin pie spice ($1.99/1 oz bottle Trader Joe's)
    5-6 figs ($1/pint)

    Simmer until apples and pears release juices.
    Stir occasionally.

    The aroma will be intoxicating.

    If desired, top with plain or vanilla yogurt or cream.

  • Snarkyxanf says:

    A variation on roast chicken from Cook's Illustrated (Named "French Chicken in a Pot"),


    Whole chicken
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 small onion
    1 small celery rib
    6 garlic cloves, peeled, trimmed
    bay leaf
    rosemary (optional)
    1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

    Equipment: dutch oven (oven safe pot with lid), tin foil, meat thermometer.

    Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Heat olive oil in dutch oven on stove. Put chicken breast-side down in dutch oven, surround with onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary.

    Lightly brown (5min). Flip breast side up. Cook until vegetables and chicken browned (6-8 min). Cover dutch oven with tin foil, lid.

    Put dutch oven in oven, cook until 160 degrees F in breast, 175 in thigh (measure in thickest parts; many chickens have built in thermometer, for an M lb chicken, will take roughly 0.5(M-4)+1 hours or more).

    Let chicken rest on carving board (tent with foil). Strain liquids from pot, simmer slightly to reduce, stir in lemon juice to taste to make jus. Skip this step if you want/don't have a lemon. Serve.

    Will cost roughly $10 for a very large chicken. The skin will not be crispy (unlike, say, roast chicken), but the meat will be very juicy and tender. I often add more vegetables than specified.

    • Snarkyxanf says:

      Sorry, that's 0.5M - 1 hours (see what I get for not proof reading). 1 hour for a small 3.5 - 4.5 lb chicken, 2 hours for a 5-6 lb chicken, about an hour and a half for medium sized ones.

      Buy a meat thermometer. It's worth it. Adds to your geek credibility if you have calibrated, NSF standard equipment in your kitchen.

  • I have my own recipe for stuffed cabbage in the oven right now (thanks to your inspiration), but I was talking to my mom while I made it and she let me in on a trick: She just shreds the cabbage, makes meatballs, and pours the tomato sauce on the whole thing. It doesn't look as fancy, but you don't have to worry about parboiling the cabbage or burning your fingers while stuffing... and it tastes exactly the same. You could even throw it in the crockpot if that's your style. This time around I made 1/2 traditional stuffed cabbage, and 1/2 "deconstructed" (as they say on top chef).

  • Socal says:

    Just wanted to say that I recently found your blog and am loving it!

    Anyway, onto the food: I made this soup the other night and although it might not sound too appealing, it was actually very tasty with a lovely velvety texture and is good to take into the lab for a fall lunch.

    Cauliflower and celery soup

    4 ribs of celery
    1 cauliflower
    1 medium onion
    2 garlic cloves
    2 small to medium potatoes (or 1 large)
    2 cups chicken stock (I use sachets from Trader Joes)
    2 bay leaves
    ~1 cup milk (I splooshed it in when I made this and didn't measure it)
    1/4 cup cream (optional)

    Makes 4 servings

    Chop the onion and celery and fry with a small amount of butter or oil in a large pot until soft. Add the potato (chopped into ~o.5 inch cubes) and crushed garlic and fry for a few minutes more. Add the stock, bay leaves and some black pepper, cover and simmer for 20 mins. Add about a cup more water with the chopped cauliflower, re-cover and simmer for another 20 minutes until the vegetables are all soft. Remove the bay leaves, add some of the milk then liquidise the soup in a blender (or with a hand-held thingy). Return to the pot and add more milk or water to thin as necessary. To make it a bit more luxurious, stir in some cream.

    Cost: cauliflowers in season cost $2 - $3; the other vegetables cost maybe another $2, the stock sachets and milk about $1. A jar of bay leaves is probably quite expensive, but I use them often in soups and stews so they are a good store-cupboard item. Total cost for 4 servings: ~$5.50

  • Paula says:

    Fast and cheap food:

    Salmon cakes w/ black beans and mashed potatoes.
    Bare bones:
    -1 can salmon ($2)
    -1 can black beans (.75)
    -potatoes ($3? depends on kind, time of year, amount of potatoes)
    -small onion (.50)
    -garlic (.50)
    -fresh parsley ($1)
    -bread crumbs (optional) ($2)....this will last for many meals and items

    Staples you probably already have on hand:
    -olive oil and/or butter
    -salt and pepper

    Chop potatoes (leave skin on to save time and add fiber). Boil in salted water. (Add whole garlic cloves too for garlic mashed potatoes.)

    Drain salmon, and I like to pull out the big hunks of skin. Mix salmon with egg, bread crumbs, parsley, finely chopped onion and garlic, olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Shape into patties.

    Drain and rinse black beans. Heat on low in small pan. Add olive oil, optional garlic and onion. To fancy up the dinner, add chopped spinach (fresh or frozen) and chopped tomatoes to beans while they heat.

    Fry salmon cakes over medium heat til brown on each side.
    Drain and mash potatoes (and garlic), adding butter, salt, pepper, milk.
    Ta dah. To fancy up, dollop sour cream on salmon and/or black beans.

    This makes about 6-8 salmon cakes, several servings of beans and potatoes.

    Or, my ex husband was really fond of tuna and rice, which is exactly what it sounds like. Add butter and seasonings, and if you have $, spinach. stir it all together. Boys seem to LOVE this and it makes a ton.

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