get a few roasting chickens.
you can break it up (tons of video on youtube) and then cook individual parts. or you can just roast the whole damn thing. in either case you can use the chicken backs for some stock to make consomme and stock and you can use those to make sauces and soups with leftovers. freeze chickens you dont need and take them out of the fridge in the morning. you can also save the fat (pour over cheesecloth and a strainer) and use that for cooking. i also like the leave the skin on the parts, salt it, leave uncovered in the fridge overnight and you get this perfectly seasoned part of chicken and the skin shatters when you bite into it.. delicious.
stock is super easy. any combination of carrots, onions, celery, leeks. heat those in oil. add roasted chicken backs. add filtered water, a bay leaf or two, and mixed herbs. a packet of herbs go a long way. lasts me a week or a week and a half. to make consomme (clarified stock) put it in the fridge. skim off fat. freeze it. then take the frozen stock out. put over cheesecloth and strainer and the gelatin will clarify the stock.
get a bunch of seasonal veggies at the beginning of the week. roast and pickle all you can. store them in containers cheap restaurant to go containers. pickling is super easy (just boil a brine of salt and sugar and herbs and things then add to raw veggies in containers). to roast veggies add salt, pepper, and oil and stick in oven. farmers markets can actually be a bargain. if you get a csa you support local farms and you get a good amount of veggies. the variety also forces you to try different things.
all you have to do then is cook the chicken, heat the veggies, make some sauce (stock plus frond works). or you can get some tomato based pasta sauces or salsa and use those for sauces.
i live basically like that and i can go down to 50 bucks a week on food and i dont spend much time cooking. maybe an hour or two on the weekends (i also baby sit stock while i do other things, but you're not actively doing things). 30 minutes at most on weekdays (mostly with chicken). i can make do with ten minutes if i'm not using chicken
a good breakfast is an omelette (love making french omelettes) made with lots of butter and sometimes herbs. a salad from a salad bag plus a quick vinaigrette and you're good. or fry up some bacon or sausages. a good omelette will take 5 minutes total time including prep. a quick vinaigrette takes seconds to make
my biggest intake of carbs is beer which i have one or two daily.
i dont like gomad because it makes you so uncomfortable.
another thing i like doing is making chili. super easy. get some meat. chuck is good. various ground meats is good. when you're home heat some water. add dried chilis. reconstitute for 30 minutes. blend. meanwhile brown the meat add chopped veggies. add stock. add chili. add whatever seasonings you have. make a big batch, freeze it, and all you have to do is nuke it.
frozen fish is also good value. they generally come in vacuum sealed packages. i basically heat salted water add frozen fish packages and blanch some veggies in the same pot. wing the cooking time. cut packages. add veggies. add whatever sauce.
Edited by indesertum - 1/19/12 at 9:34pm