I probably can't help you. By the time I left home I knew how to cook enough to avoid starvation. Try taking a class or two. For the last fifteen years or so I've done most of the cooking in our house.
What did you eat when you moved out if you didn't know how to cook?
There are so many ready to eat meals like pf changs meals, bertolli, tgi fridays and they are often on sale. plain chicken thighs on the grill or baked with just seasoned salt is really tasty. cream of mushroom soup can be a staple for cooking with chicken and making a super easy beef stroganoff with ground beef. super easy. i have a southern living quick and easy recipes cookbook (i have 5 shelves of cookbooks since my mom had me cooking at 4) and that contains easy to follow recipes with few ingredients. a crockpot can also be handy since u throw everything in and let it cook while you are gone and then the house smells like dinner when you walk in later in the day. very comforting. a bread machine is inexpensive and you can time it to be made when you get up or for when you get home. many easy options to ease into cooking. it can be lots of fun and if you can legally drink having a glass as you cook is a great way to enjoy the experience and relax :) And yes...grilled veggies are delicious!!!
All good advice, but if you're going to bake or grill meat, please buy a meat thermometer and look up the temperatures on line. You might also consider purchasing a small crock pot. They're wonderful for cheap cuts of beef roast, and you can throw in some carrots and potatoes. It can cook during the day, and your feast will be ready when you get home. To make chili in the crock pot, use tomato soup or spaghetti sauce. Add the canned kidney beans, and let it simmer on low all day. Fry and drain the hamburger and add it to the mixture in the crock pot when you get home. Corn bread is easy to make if you get the Jiffy brand in a box.
Boiling boneless, skinless chicken breast and adding a can of cream of chicken soup after the chicken is tender makes great creamed chicken. You can buy the biscuits in a can or boil some egg noodles to go with it. Baking pork chops with cream of mushroom soup is good too.
You probably don't have a lot of storage bowls, so freezer bags will be your best friend in the kitchen. You can use them to repackage large packages of meat you find on sale as well as to store leftovers.
Making a turkey or pork roast isn't difficult, and you can store individual servings in freezer bags to eat as a meat for dinner or to make sandwiches and salads with, (which is a lot healtheir than deli meat).
Depending upon what kind of kitchen set up you have, you'll need to invest in a few pots and pans. If you have no oven and have a fondness for large meats and poultries, you may want to invest in a roaster. My husband just bought me one a few months ago for $29. I can make a 22-lb turkey or a whole pork roast in it.
Go to the dollar store and get your spices...cheap, cheap, cheap! Onion soup mix is great with ground beef. They also have steak and chicken seasonings.
You can even make desserts without a mixer or oven. Google the recipe for No Bake Cookies. Pudding can be cooked in a small sauce pan or shaken in a closed containter and then chilled, (just make sure to note whether the box says cook and serve or instant).
I'm going to print this out, no joke. Everyone here has given excellent advice except for the meth cooking, lol. The girlfriend advice is tempting, very tempting. I liked everything that sounded simple like the tortilla pizza.
The meat thermometer is a must (my mother doesn't use one). I can't believe I forgot about that! I will also definitely get a crockpot and freezer bags because it sounds like I'm going to have a lot of leftovers.
Sometimes I also think about buying a meal plan, and it wouldn't be so expensive because I would only go to the dining hall for a heavy lunch, but I'd rather save my money.
Darthfader- I assume you're eating better now? haha
OK, here's how to fake being a gourmet Italian cook. My SIL actually pulled this on his fiancee once. She stayed in living room while my SIL was in the kitchen "cooking". She never knew he was next to clueless in the kitchen:
- Trader Joe's has some frozen pasta packages. Easy to cook and tastes good too. Just heat and eat! Read the instructions, even you can do it.
- Buy a romaine heart, cut it up and put it in a bowl. Cover with Paul Newman's Creamy Caesar Dressing. Mix by hand. (Yes, you'll need to wash your hands). Add some croutons over the top.
- Grate some fresh parmesan on both.
- Sprinkle fresh cracked pepper on the salad
- Serve with some warmed up french bread and you're in business.
- Add a nice Cabernet or Merlot to wash it down and you're eating better than at most restaurants and at a fraction of the price.
You'll thank me many times, I know.
BTW, chicks dig it when a guy can cook. This is major foreplay!
Now: GO BUY A COOK BOOK AND LEARN HOW TO COOK FOR REAL YOU SLACKER!
I have tons of recipes to share, but you need to know which end of a chef's knife to grab before I'll send you any!
When I moved out on my own and money was tight I would make rice dishes. Learn how to cook rice (if you like rice). There are so many different things you can add to rice that makes food stretch. I would also make pancakes in the morning. Staple breakfast foods like eggs, butter, cheese and bacon or some type of meat will keep you full for a long time.
Lots of great ideas already here so I'll just give one suggestion of what NOT to try:
Baby Food in jars.
As a single bachelor I thought it was a stroke of genius when I bought half a dozen varieties and took them home to try.
OK, here's what I did eat a ton of as I also pretty much couldn't/wouldn't cook.
Pasta with Prego sauce. Lots of it. Almost every night. The sauce keeps well in the fridge and dry pasta on the shelf lasts indefinitely.
For salad it was either raw broccoli dipped in Italian dressing or raw zucchini slices dipped in same.
Most other fresh produce would go bad long before I got around to eating it.
Very glad I found a girlfriend (the future Ms. OM) who is a world-class cook.
Stay hungry my friends. Appetite is the best relish. try to avoid the Hungry Man, canned chile, frozen pizza type food. Visit the fresh produce section. Invest in a simple basket steamer. grill some chicken, fish or a nice beefsteak. You can nuke a delicious baked potatoe and if you don't eat it all for dinner you can slice up the balance into the frying pan in morning and lay an egg next to them while they are browning. YUM
Back in the day- this was manna from heaven for a single guy--