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Thread: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

  1. #1
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    We've had all sorts of threads on culinary indulgences here in The Cafe; a recent post on the security of our food supply chain made me instead think about the 'heavy lifters' in my own personal pantry.

    -----

    Rice; I could eat rice every day, I love love love brown basmati rice. Have a great recipe that uses my own homemade stock/broth along with a sauteed onion and a few cloves of garlic; easy to make, tasty, healthy, and inexpensive. The only reason I buy rice in 25-lb sacks is that my local stores don't have it in 50-lb sacks.
    - Hispanic: Top with pepper sauce & squeezed lime
    - Italian: dried Parmesan cheese
    - Indian: curry powder & a dash of olive oil
    - Asian: low-sodium soy sauce & ?

    Potatoes; Cream of potato soup - I have a really good soup recipe that uses about 8 oz of diced bacon (from ends&pieces i.e. a very economical cut), five pounds of potatoes, four quarts of my homemade stock/broth, two large onions, a half-dozen large celery stalks (esp. the center segments w/ all their leaves), pepper flakes & pepper sauce, and a pint of heavy cream; 16 servings (many individual containers going into the freezer), containing approx. 1/2 ounce of meat per serving.

    Beans: Many go for canned beans, but my thing are the 25lb sacks of dried red kidney beans (not really into pintos). Soaking for a day or two in the fridge cuts down on cooking times considerably. Beans & rice, always topped with pepper sauce and various perishables as available: fresh tomatoes, green onions, and/or cilantro.

    Dried split peas; something else that comes in 25-lb sacks. I have a very good split pea soup recipe that uses something like a pound of dried split peas (for speed of preparation, I do much of my cooking by measures not weight), three quarts of my homemade vegetable stock (starting to see a pattern? ), and ~6 oz. of bacon. Works out to less than an ounce of bacon per serving, but lots of flavor for a dish that is close to vegetarian.

    Corn meal; I have worked out an /outstanding/ cornbread recipe - can be good for breakfast, lunch, a dinner side, or even toasted for dessert (dribbled with blackstrap molasses). The only significant perishable components are eggs & milk - but eggs do last quite a long time in the fridge, and milk isn't that big of an issue if bought by the gallon & having portions of it frozen ahead of time. My cornbread recipe was originally half corn meal & half white flour, but is just as tasty using whole wheat flour instead of white.

    Nuts; did you know that the two most popular "nuts" in the American diet aren't technically even nuts all? My two stalwarts are almonds & cashews - has anybody tried the Chili Lime cashews at Trader Joe's?

    Dried fruit; While I buy the occasional pkg of dried apricots at Trader Joe's, I dry close to a hundred pounds of my fresh fruit every year; mostly apples, plums, and figs. Inexpensive, but unfortunately /very/ labor intensive. It is a great feeling to see a dozen huge jars of dried fruit at the end of every summer; they make for healthy snacks year-round, and a few packages get added to my Christmas gifts every year.

    Chili; 56oz of stewed tomatoes, as many pre-soaked red beans as will fit in the crockpot, 1/4 lb of free-range ground beef, two onions, and other minor ingredients. Another excellent dish that has only 0.5oz of meat per serving. The perishable component consists of two green bell peppers - without which chili just isn't the same. :-/

    Ramen; well ok, ramen isn't in the bulk foods / staples category, but maybe it should be? As one of my very few processed foods, it makes for an excellent quick soup when fortified with a healthy serving of kale & sauteed onions.

    Onions, garlic, fresh apples, and purple cabbage; while not bulk staples per se, they transport & store well, and are indispensable components of my shelf-stable pantry.

    Jams: The rhubarb is coming in well again (as usual); the 25-lb sack of sugar I bought this spring will keep me in fig&rhubarb jam for years, at the production rate of 50+ jars of my jam most every year.

    -----

    My only significant gap IMO is lentils; despite being one of the all-time best long-term staples, my efforts have not yielded a lentil dish that I like.
    Still, I have done well with many other foods above, so feel pretty content all-in-all.

    It's always good to go back to the basics; nominations for what keeps you fueled, anyone ?
    Last edited by Kestrel; 04-27-2020 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    All of my fats, carbohydrates and proteins come six (6) non-animal, whole, basic, fundamental staples. I only eat whole grains, beans, whole fresh fruit and veggies, and plain seeds and plain nuts.

    Animal product people think that the sixth item that I listed has had the greatest effect on me, because they think that I am plain nuts.

    Grains, whole: I stock up on plain old-fashioned whole grain oatmeal.

    Beans: one pound of tofu daily, but I am stocked up on bulk beans.

    Seeds and nuts: small stock.

    Fresh hot Habaneros: I get them fresh. Same with veggies. My only beverage is tap water. My only supplement is one generic multi vitamin/mineral daily, and salt dosed in granular form daily in tap water. In three more days, I will have four years success keeping 70 pounds, 30% of my body weight off. Age 60, 6'00", 163 pounds, very large, muscular calves and thighs, seven brisk, hilly pedestrian miles per day. I lost the 70 pounds four years ago, 15 pounds per month for five months, by going on a lettuce Only diet. I got rid of ten months of sciatica and gained two self defense cases.

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  3. #3
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    +

    Very good idea for a thread Kestrel


    Personally, I've never really bought much prepared food, believe the fewer the ingredients the better & keeping it simple.
    Buying stuff to make food, enjoying cooking & not just eating.

    What keeps me fueled,, mostly coffee w/ whole milk & legumes


    Must say, I truly crave grilling something/anything,, apples I don't care, just something
    Last edited by orbital; 04-27-2020 at 03:05 PM. Reason: add

  4. #4
    KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Oh yeah on the Chile Lime Cashews.
    Last edited by KITROBASKIN; 05-02-2020 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Bloviation and probably not helpful to the thread

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    +

    Why I thought this was such a good idea for a thread is literally nutrition.
    Good nutrition is preventative maintenance for you, nothing is more straightforward than that.

    Now I don't want to hijack the thread, but simple ingredients, ones you can actually buy in bulk are going to be far better for ones health.
    (not the 120 pack of cookies from the warehouse club)

    We live in a world now that is completely focused on health, immunity ect..
    ...good nutrition/understanding ingredients is the absolute simplest way to have a solid foundation in oneself.

  6. #6
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    Why I thought this was such a good idea for a thread is literally nutrition.
    Good nutrition is preventative maintenance for you, nothing is more straightforward than that.
    Now I don't want to hijack the thread, [...]
    Not at all, by all means please feel free; food security and sensible nutrition.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    I was a lacto ovo vegetarian for a year back around 1977.
    A book in particular was recommended at the time:
    DIET for a Small Planet, and her followup book
    Recipes for a Small Planet


    by Ellen Buchman Ewald,
    Diane Coleman (Illustrator)
    , Frances Moore Lappé (Introduction)

    Features numerous casserole, bread, salad, cereal, and other recipes in which complete proteins are formed by combining the proper ratios of legumes, seeds, grains, and dairy products.

    Overall, her first couple of chapters were exceptional regarding the proper combining of foods to create complete proteins, and why it is important to have complete proteins. She, however was NOT a good cook, and her recipes do not compare to Bobby Flay
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    We've had all sorts of threads on culinary indulgences here in The Cafe; a recent post on the security of our food supply chain made me instead think about the 'heavy lifters' in my own personal pantry.

    -----

    Rice; I could eat rice every day, I love love love brown basmati rice. Have a great recipe that uses my own homemade stock/broth along with a sauteed onion and a few cloves of garlic; easy to make, tasty, healthy, and inexpensive. The only reason I buy rice in 25-lb sacks is that my local stores don't have it in 50-lb sacks.
    - Hispanic: Top with pepper sauce & squeezed lime
    - Italian: dried Parmesan cheese
    - Indian: curry powder & a dash of olive oil
    - Asian: low-sodium soy sauce & ?

    Potatoes; Cream of potato soup - I have a really good soup recipe that uses about 8 oz of diced bacon (from ends&pieces i.e. a very economical cut), five pounds of potatoes, four quarts of my homemade stock/broth, two large onions, a half-dozen large celery stalks (esp. the center segments w/ all their leaves), pepper flakes & pepper sauce, and a pint of heavy cream; 16 servings (many individual containers going into the freezer), containing approx. 1/2 ounce of meat per serving.

    Beans: Many go for canned beans, but my thing are the 25lb sacks of dried red kidney beans (not really into pintos). Soaking for a day or two in the fridge cuts down on cooking times considerably. Beans & rice, always topped with pepper sauce and various perishables as available: fresh tomatoes, green onions, and/or cilantro.

    Dried split peas; something else that comes in 25-lb sacks. I have a very good split pea soup recipe that uses something like a pound of dried split peas (for speed of preparation, I do much of my cooking by measures not weight), three quarts of my homemade vegetable stock (starting to see a pattern? ), and ~6 oz. of bacon. Works out to less than an ounce of bacon per serving, but lots of flavor for a dish that is close to vegetarian.

    Corn meal; I have worked out an /outstanding/ cornbread recipe - can be good for breakfast, lunch, a dinner side, or even toasted for dessert (dribbled with blackstrap molasses). The only significant perishable components are eggs & milk - but eggs do last quite a long time in the fridge, and milk isn't that big of an issue if bought by the gallon & having portions of it frozen ahead of time. My cornbread recipe was originally half corn meal & half white flour, but is just as tasty using whole wheat flour instead of white.

    Nuts; did you know that the two most popular "nuts" in the American diet aren't technically even nuts all? My two stalwarts are almonds & cashews - has anybody tried the Chili Lime cashews at Trader Joe's?

    Dried fruit; While I buy the occasional pkg of dried apricots at Trader Joe's, I dry close to a hundred pounds of my fresh fruit every year; mostly apples, plums, and figs. Inexpensive, but unfortunately /very/ labor intensive. It is a great feeling to see a dozen huge jars of dried fruit at the end of every summer; they make for healthy snacks year-round, and a few packages get added to my Christmas gifts every year.

    Chili; 56oz of stewed tomatoes, as many pre-soaked red beans as will fit in the crockpot, 1/4 lb of free-range ground beef, two onions, and other minor ingredients. Another excellent dish that has only 0.5oz of meat per serving. The perishable component consists of two green bell peppers - without which chili just isn't the same. :-/

    Ramen; well ok, ramen isn't in the bulk foods / staples category, but maybe it should be? As one of my very few processed foods, it makes for an excellent quick soup when fortified with a healthy serving of kale & sauteed onions.

    Onions, garlic, fresh apples, and purple cabbage; while not bulk staples per se, they transport & store well, and are indispensable components of my shelf-stable pantry.

    Jams: The rhubarb is coming in well again (as usual); the 25-lb sack of sugar I bought this spring will keep me in fig&rhubarb jam for years, at the production rate of 50+ jars of my jam most every year.

    -----

    My only significant gap IMO is lentils; despite being one of the all-time best long-term staples, my efforts have not yielded a lentil dish that I like.
    Still, I have done well with many other foods above, so feel pretty content all-in-all.

    It's always good to go back to the basics; nominations for what keeps you fueled, anyone ?
    +

    Pardon quoting your entire op, but all very good ingredients.


    One of my very favorite things to make are soups/stews.
    Take a few of your base staples, combine w/ some local vegetables & maybe some dried beef and you have a terrific soup that'll last for several days.

    Another couple of things that are good to have around and don't spoil are; vinegar to balance a dish
    & also honey for a bit for sweeter.

    also: Butter,, you have to cook w/ butter ( it's a catalyst for flavors like garlic , chili & on & on)
    Last edited by orbital; 05-17-2020 at 01:52 PM. Reason: butter

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Anyone know where to buy 15 bean mix in 25 pound bags . I love the mix but i hate paying over 2 bucks per pound
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Don't forget the oats; 150 servings for $10 is quite a staple..

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    +

    Pickled items are great to have on hand

    Imagine a rich white bean stew w/ a few pickled jalapeńos on the side.

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    +

    Pickled items are great to have on hand

    Imagine a rich white bean stew w/ a few pickled jalapeńos on the side.
    Oh yeah!!!
    My best friend's mom used to make Italian hero sandwiches layered with fresh mozzarella cheese, and pickled eggplant in garlic and olive oil. Sandwiches to die for.

    Pickled tomatoes, peppers, and onions stay for a long time.
    ______________________________

    About ten years back my son went gluten free for a year or so.

    I found that I could make rice flour and oat flour by throwing it into the blender and letting it run for a bit.
    If you also store some active yeast, you can make breads, pancakes, waffles, etc.
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  13. #13

    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Anyone know where i can buy asain sauces in gallon jugs? Im trying to save money
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  14. #14

    Default Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    We have an Asian market locally that sells all kinds of things in bulk.

    Also check out restaurant depots. Where restaurants shop. You usually need a business license to be a member but it is generally better food than the grocery store and much less expensive. Just have to store it.

    For instance I will buy 40lbs of boneless chicken breasts (smallest quantity available) for $1/lb. It has no added fluid like grocery store meat.

    Also get 25 lb sacks of all kinds of beans and lentils. Rice comes in big sacks as well.

    I organize and freeze the meats and put the dry goods in Mylar in 1-5 lb quantities for storage.

    Onions and sweet potatoes I get from there are great too and are about $14 for 50 lb sack. Usually have a few that get tossed, but they are fantastic tasting otherwise.

    All kinds of stuff in bulk for very low prices.

    Otherwise we have local farmers that will sell you an animal, raise it, then have it butchered. You pick up the meat from the butcher all packaged. So I stock a lot of meat in the freezer. Like a pig, a lamb, half-quarter steer (usually split with someone). Ends up being much less expensive most of the time and the meat is better. Plus supports local farming and butchers.

    So for say an Easter Ham, I have a ham, will thaw and cook it, eat it, then when I get sick of ham, make stew/ soup/ broth with it and mix in the dry good to make stuff like Ham and sweet potato soup. That can also be eaten and frozen.

    Good to have a lot of food around IMO.
    Last edited by StagMoose; 05-22-2020 at 11:20 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Quote Originally Posted by StagMoose View Post
    We have an Asian market locally that sells all kinds of things in bulk.

    Also check out restaurant depots. Where restaurants shop. You usually need a business license to be a member but it is generally better food than the grocery store and much less expensive. Just have to store it.

    For instance I will buy 40lbs of boneless chicken breasts (smallest quantity available) for $1/lb. It has no added fluid like grocery store meat.

    Also get 25 lb sacks of all kinds of beans and lentils. Rice comes in big sacks as well.

    I organize and freeze the meats and put the dry goods in Mylar in 1-5 lb quantities for storage.

    Onions and sweet potatoes I get from there are great too and are about $14 for 50 lb sack. Usually have a few that get tossed, but they are fantastic tasting otherwise.

    All kinds of stuff in bulk for very low prices.

    Otherwise we have local farmers that will sell you an animal, raise it, then have it butchered. You pick up the meat from the butcher all packaged. So I stock a lot of meat in the freezer. Like a pig, a lamb, half-quarter steer (usually split with someone). Ends up being much less expensive most of the time and the meat is better. Plus supports local farming and butchers.

    So for say an Easter Ham, I have a ham, will thaw and cook it, eat it, then when I get sick of ham, make stew/ soup/ broth with it and mix in the dry good to make stuff like Ham and sweet potato soup. That can also be eaten and frozen.

    Good to have a lot of food around IMO.
    Awesume info i did once did order cola syrup at a restaurant was a very good deal. Im lucky for chicken we are known as the poultry capital of the world. I love dried beans i just use my vacuum sealer and then place bags in the home depot 5 gallon buckets
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Kestrel

    Send me that cornbread recipe. I'm working toward some better bread... jiffy mix doesn't cut it anymore.
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    Be prepared for the truth.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    I don't buy in bulk but keep a steady supply of certain items. I keep a good supply of liver in the freezer. And canned salmon - wild caught; pink and red. Salmon is much better than the larger fish (tuna, shark, swordfish etc.) with respect to mercury content.I never ran out even though the covid19 hoarding made them disappear (grocery shelves, amazon, etc.). Sardines. Always have cans on hand. I also keep a good supply of good ingredient avocado oil mayo (either Primal Kitchen or Chosen Foods). Never ran out of that either. Still have lots of Kerrygold butter. I always grab a few when shopping. Eggs. Always keep a stock as I eat them almost every day (from Whole Foods). Meat. Freezer is always full.

    Last edited by 5S8Zh5; 07-24-2020 at 12:17 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    We bulk purchase flour. Yeast was in short supply here, so we got ahold of a sourdough "starter." Highly recommended if you like bread. Starter, water, flour and salt make a great loaf...
    The TK20. Yes, it still rocks- WoodsWalker

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    +

    I buy different spices/seasonings in bulk & make my own Tex/Mex blend.
    ..a pinch in eggs or a few Tablespoons in rice cooking liquid, all meats == really anything.

    Kosher salt
    Granulated garlic
    smoked Paprika, a little goes a long way
    ground chili pepper
    freshly ground whole dried Arbol Chilies (or your fav heat maker))
    although I haven't been to one in 20 years,, a couple packets of Taco Bell seasoning
    ground Cumin

    With little effort, you can make a half gallon & have the blend for a long time/saving lots-o-$


    enjoy

    quick note: adjust each ingredient to ones taste or heat tolerance, , that's cooking


    Last edited by orbital; 08-15-2020 at 02:47 PM. Reason: quick note:

  20. #20

    Default Re: Cooking from scratch - Food staples bought in bulk

    Gluten free peanut butter cookies

    1 cup peanut butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix ingredients in bowl. Roll dough into balls and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart (grease cookie sheet first or lay down parchment paper). Use wet fork to make grid pattern in each dough ball. Bake for 9 minutes. Take out from oven and let cool. Makes 16-24 cookies.

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