Any suggestions for improving my meal?

I've been experimenting in the kitchen for awhile now, trying to create a meal that maximizes affordability, availability and versatility, while keeping me alive, staving off hunger and tasting inoffensive.

I've come to the point i consider my meal perfected, as i've eaten it twice a day for a few months now and i've not experienced any ill effects or excessive hunger. but i'm not a chef or a nutritionist, so i thought i'd get some third party opinions on possible improvements to the meal that don't excessively compromise any of it's aforementioned qualities.

update 1: so far, the trend i'm picking up is that i need to add a vegetable component, with a stress on tomatoes and onions, and people also feel strongly about adding more spices. therefor i am currently considering adding ketchup as a topping. it is a vegetable component with an essence of onion and other spices. that should satisfy the bulk of you, right?

update 2: ketchup is no good, so that's out. i have so far decided to supplement this meal by snacking on nuts or seeds instead of chips. this was recommended by at least 2 knowledgeable individuals, and i concur.

[1] 3-4b. if you don't have a rice cooker, then i'm sure you can boil and steam them separately with the appropriate tools and times, but i don't know anything about that.

No nutritionist either, so I've no idea if you're missing out on anything. But my god that sounds like the blandest thing ever. Have you never considered adding something for flavour? Spices are cheap these days

Palindromemordnilap:
No nutritionist either, so I've no idea if you're missing out on anything. But my god that sounds like the blandest thing ever. Have you never considered adding something for flavour? Spices are cheap these days

but... that's what the vegetable bouillon's for. and it does a fine job at that, imho.

Severely lacking in vegetables, which are neither expensive nor difficult to cook. A general purpose sauce prepared with tinned tomatoes and served with pasta or rice is just as simple to prepare, significantly more nutritious, and infinitely more delicious. Sautee meat (if desired), then onion and/or garlic, then whatever fresh vegetables you've got, then add a tin of tomatoes and Bob's your uncle. Add curry powder to make curry. Add chilli and beans to make chilli con carne. You could even replace the tinned tomatoes in the curry with stock and rice to make pilaf, which only requires one pan.

Kind of hard to make recommendations without knowing more about your circumstances. I mean, why are you restricting yourself to a single meal? Why not have several that you rotate through? What's the reason there aren't any vegetables, meat, or dairy in your meal? Are they not available or affordable where you live? Is this all that you eat throughout the day or do you have anything else as a snack? What do you drink? Juices, milk, or just water?

I would say that according to Canada's Food Guide you lack vegetables and dairy. Besides that, eating meals with different ingredients regularly also would help you fill in any nutritional gaps that your current diet may lack.

I'd recommend throwing some chicken in there. You can get some decently sized boneless skinless chicken breast for cheap and then slice it up into manageable portions.

Onions go with anything savory. Slice 'em up into thin strips and throw 'em in.

It appears you are missing out on a great deal if this is all you have been eating. If you are looking for the " biggest impact", you may consider what are commonly called as " superfoods":

https://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=307

Foods such as broccoli, spinach, blackberries, oranges, Almonds ect. are all packed with nutrients and dietary fiber your body needs. It is not just about eating and feeling full, your body needs vitamins to keep your organs functioning and maintain a healthy immune system.

Drathnoxis:
Kind of hard to make recommendations without knowing more about your circumstances. I mean, why are you restricting yourself to a single meal? Why not have several that you rotate through? What's the reason there aren't any vegetables, meat, or dairy in your meal? Are they not available or affordable where you live? Is this all that you eat throughout the day or do you have anything else as a snack? What do you drink? Juices, milk, or just water?

I would say that according to Canada's Food Guide you lack vegetables and dairy. Besides that, eating meals with different ingredients regularly also would help you fill in any nutritional gaps that your current diet may lack.

why restrict: it's just a hobby. i want to figure out the perfect basic dish that satisfies the qualities noted, for no other reason than i find it a fun pursuit.
why only one: to keep things simple.
why no v/m/d: v: vegetables seem superfluous, but i guess maybe not? m: personal reasons. d: i actually drink milk with my meals, so it's covered.
availability: all restrictions are self induced. my goal is a dish that could benefit anyone anywhere.
snack habits: i tried to make sure the meal satisfied my needs without necessitating snacks, but i must admit i do still occasionally eat things like mozzarella sticks or cheese pizza because my body just doesn't feel like it's getting enough lubrication. so i'll eat those about once a week. i also sometimes eat potato chips too, but not because i'm hungry or because i feel any particular need to, but for a strange occasional desire to spite myself.
drink habits: i drink milk with my meals, and soda(!) to hydrate. yeah i know, soda is like the worst thing ever, but it's so tasty, and helps to artificially inflate my calorie count, which i'm otherwise severely lacking. i should probably use juice. >.>

according to your chart, i suppose i really should switch out soda for juice. that could be just the ticket for me.

Dude, that "meal" needs quite a bit to make it cover basic nutrition. If you're not going to include meat, then at least add broccoli, carrot, onion, cabbage and mushrooms. Sauteed would go quite well. And add some spices, just a bouillon cube is nowhere near enough. Some thyme, paprika, chili flakes and lemon grass at least.

Akytalusia:

Drathnoxis:
Kind of hard to make recommendations without knowing more about your circumstances. I mean, why are you restricting yourself to a single meal? Why not have several that you rotate through? What's the reason there aren't any vegetables, meat, or dairy in your meal? Are they not available or affordable where you live? Is this all that you eat throughout the day or do you have anything else as a snack? What do you drink? Juices, milk, or just water?

I would say that according to Canada's Food Guide you lack vegetables and dairy. Besides that, eating meals with different ingredients regularly also would help you fill in any nutritional gaps that your current diet may lack.

why restrict: it's just a hobby. i want to figure out the perfect basic dish that satisfies the qualities noted, for no other reason than i find it a fun pursuit.
why only one: to keep things simple.
why no v/m/d: v: vegetables seem superfluous, but i guess maybe not? m: personal reasons. d: i actually drink milk with my meals, so it's covered.
availability: all restrictions are self induced. my goal is a dish that could benefit anyone anywhere.
snack habits: i tried to make sure the meal satisfied my needs without necessitating snacks, but i must admit i do still occasionally eat things like mozzarella sticks or cheese pizza because my body just doesn't feel like it's getting enough lubrication. so i'll eat those about once a week. i also sometimes eat potato chips too, but not because i'm hungry or because i feel any particular need to, but for a strange occasional desire to spite myself.
drink habits: i drink milk with my meals, and soda(!) to hydrate. yeah i know, soda is like the worst thing ever, but it's so tasty, and helps to artificially inflate my calorie count, which i'm otherwise severely lacking. i should probably use juice. >.>

according to your chart, i suppose i really should switch out soda for juice. that could be just the ticket for me.

No, that is not going to be helpful either:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fruit-juice-is-just-as-bad-as-soda

I think you are misunderstanding that just "keeping your stomach from shutting down" does not equate to being healthy in any way. Your body needs far more than what you are providing, that is why I linked the "superfoods" list above. You have to consider what your bodies many systems need to function properly rather than just keeping your stomach working. Your immune system needs a variety nutrients and you can get too much or too little of what your body needs by trying to eat only one thing. You would be doing long term damage by restricting valuable resources from your diet, when what your body needs is balance. Your body's systems are complex, there is not a " one food solves everything answer" to maintaining proper health. But what do I know? My degrees are only in Immunology and Pediatric Medicine.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

More on this :
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9250133

Lil devils x:

Akytalusia:

according to your chart, i suppose i really should switch out soda for juice. that could be just the ticket for me.

No, that is not going to be helpful either:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fruit-juice-is-just-as-bad-as-soda

Even the food guide recommends favoring actual fruits and vegetables over juice.

OP, I think what you are trying to do is actually quite complicated. Since this isn't out of pure necessity I think you are going to need quite a few more ingredients to create a single dish that covers all of the nutrients and vitamins your body requires. I don't think even Canada's Food Guide is sufficient information, since it assumes that you will not be restricting yourself to as few ingredients as possible. I think to create the perfect single meal would quite possibly require months, or even years, of study of the dietary requirements of the human body.

EDIT: and wait. Did you say you drink soda to hydrate? As in, you don't drink water? If so, the food guide recommends you drink water.

Yeah, I'm not a scientist or anything like some people here, but it's clear that you aren't filling out a healthy diet. There's no such thing as a single basic meal that will cover every nutritional need. That's why humans are omnivores, we need a lot of different things to keep ourselves running properly.

You don't have to eat meat of you don't want to, but being a vegan is not about restricting your diet to a handful of ingredients. Anything you cut from your diet needs to be made up elsewhere, and a lot of nutrients are only found in a small handful of foods.

Just to start, you need more vegetables. Several more. Rice and beans are ok but won't cover your protein requirement, so you need to add some nuts or something. And, in what may be a first for a modern human, I'd bet you're low on sodium, although the bullion may make up for that. In any case, there's no solution to this problem. I'd encourage you to keep experimenting with food if that's something you like to do, but you'll never find a single meal that you can eat forever without damaging your health.

Akytalusia:

update 1: so far, the trend i'm picking up is that i need to add a vegetable component, with a stress on tomatoes and onions, and people also feel strongly about adding more spices. therefor i am currently considering adding ketchup as a topping. it is a vegetable component with an essence of onion and other spices. that should satisfy the bulk of you, right?

Ketchup? Seriously?

That does not count as vegetable component, sorry to say. It's not fresh, it's full of sugar and salt and preservatives.

Just go buy actual, real vegetables. Chop them up and cook them. It's not that difficult.

Blood Brain Barrier:

Akytalusia:

update 1: so far, the trend i'm picking up is that i need to add a vegetable component, with a stress on tomatoes and onions, and people also feel strongly about adding more spices. therefor i am currently considering adding ketchup as a topping. it is a vegetable component with an essence of onion and other spices. that should satisfy the bulk of you, right?

Ketchup? Seriously?

That does not count as vegetable component, sorry to say. It's not fresh, it's full of sugar and salt and preservatives.

Just go buy actual, real vegetables. Chop them up and cook them. It's not that difficult.

Tinned tomatoes are, like, a dollar a pound, and are incredibly useful.

I'm a health freak so I can help you as far as nutrition goes.

If you're using rice, potatoes aren't necessary and vice versa since they serve the same function in a meal.
Get an onion, a tomato and a cucumber in more or less equal amounts, cut them into tiny pieces and mix them up in a small bowl.
Tasty salad which doesn't need spices.
If you don't eat meat, make a hard boiled egg or maybe some fish.
Don't use the same vegetables every time. You can chop up some broccoli, carrots and green beans and cook that.
All of that combined should fill you up and it's pretty healthy.

As far as drinks go, I wouldn't drink soda or juice to hydrate. They contain huge amounts of sugar and will make you fat. If you want fruit juice, eat fruits. The juice is nature's reward for eating all that fibre. I especially recommend grapes, berries and citrus fruits. Make a fruit salad for dessert (my favorite one is a mix of strawberries, blackberries and red grapes).
Spices (especially stuff like black pepper and paprika) will cover your face with zits.
Personally, I would recommend still mineral water as a drink. Best thing to drink, no exceptions.
Don't eat food from tins. It has so many artificial chemicals in them, it's ridiculous.

Also, nuts and seeds, some of the most nutritious things you can eat.

Also also, regardless of your diet, you should take at least a basic A-Z vitamin tablet and a separate tablet with just vitamin D every day (minimum daily intake should be 2000 IU). I take 8 different vitamin supplements but again, I'm a health freak.

That should be enough for now.

Vanilla ISIS:
Spices (especially stuff like black pepper and paprika) will cover your face with zits.

Uh, no. The only risks posed by spices are from excessive consumption of irritant compounds like capsaicin or piperine, which is hard to do by accident.

Personally, I would recommend still mineral water as a drink. Best thing to drink, no exceptions.

Unless you're living in Flint, Michigan, tap water is basically identical. Actually, it's often fluoridated, which is even better.

Don't eat food from tins. It has so many artificial chemicals in them, it's ridiculous.

False blanket statement. Plenty of tinned food contains little in the way of additives. Tinned tomatoes (AKA God's gift to chefs) are just tomatoes in tomato juice with a small amount of (entirely natural) citric acid added, and maybe a bit of (again, natural) Calcium Chloride if you're American.

Also also, regardless of your diet, you should take at least a basic A-Z vitamin tablet and a separate tablet with just vitamin D every day (minimum daily intake should be 2000 IU).

Adequate consumption of dairy products (which isn't much at all) and enough exposure to sunlight makes Vitamin D supplements pointless.

I take 8 different vitamin supplements but again, I'm a health freak.

This is both unnecessary and expensive.

Vanilla ISIS:
If you're using rice, potatoes aren't necessary and vice versa since they serve the same function in a meal.

yeah, i know. i added the potatoes to help with the whole staving off hunger bit. i once heard neil degrasse tyson mention offhand that it was possible to survive on a mix of rice and beans. which was a major influence in the creation and direction of the dish, despite being unable to source this clip. i added the potatoes because they are super cheap, available everywhere and really help to add substance to sustenance.

Personally, I would recommend still mineral water as a drink. Best thing to drink, no exceptions.

i know i should drink water instead, but i just cannot stand the taste of my tap water, and the thought of spending money on water is basically blasphemy to my economic paradigm. but if so many people feel so strongly about it, maybe i'll think more on it.

Also, nuts and seeds, some of the most nutritious things you can eat.

maybe i should use these as my snacks instead of chips. actually that sounds like a great idea.

Also also, regardless of your diet, you should take at least a basic A-Z vitamin tablet and a separate tablet with just vitamin D every day (minimum daily intake should be 2000 IU). I take 8 different vitamin supplements but again, I'm a health freak.

that's absolutely not happening. unmitigatable personal reasons.

Akytalusia:

Personally, I would recommend still mineral water as a drink. Best thing to drink, no exceptions.

i know i should drink water instead, but i just cannot stand the taste of my tap water, and the thought of spending money on water is basically blasphemy to my economic paradigm. but if so many people feel so strongly about it, maybe i'll think more on it.

You can just get one of those filters that go on your tap. Makes water taste better and are pretty cheap. We only change our filter every 3 or 4 months, so it costs maybe $60 a year, Canadian.

Drathnoxis:

Akytalusia:

Personally, I would recommend still mineral water as a drink. Best thing to drink, no exceptions.

i know i should drink water instead, but i just cannot stand the taste of my tap water, and the thought of spending money on water is basically blasphemy to my economic paradigm. but if so many people feel so strongly about it, maybe i'll think more on it.

You can just get one of those filters that go on your tap. Makes water taste better and are pretty cheap. We only change our filter every 3 or 4 months, so it costs maybe $60 a year, Canadian.

i did some research into this brita thing just now. i guess the brita water bottle looks like a good option for me. if i can find one of those in my local store, i will adopt this and cut soda out of my diet.

Akytalusia:

Drathnoxis:

Akytalusia:

i know i should drink water instead, but i just cannot stand the taste of my tap water, and the thought of spending money on water is basically blasphemy to my economic paradigm. but if so many people feel so strongly about it, maybe i'll think more on it.

You can just get one of those filters that go on your tap. Makes water taste better and are pretty cheap. We only change our filter every 3 or 4 months, so it costs maybe $60 a year, Canadian.

i did some research into this brita thing just now. i guess the brita water bottle looks like a good option for me. if i can find one of those in my local store, i will adopt this and cut soda out of my diet.

Adding a little bit of lemon or lime juice to the water makes it taste a whole lot better. Nothing better in the summer than a bottle of ice water with some lemon slices in there.

Also if you really can't stand drinking plain water you could always make some tea. It's a hell of a lot healthier than soda and you still get a bit of caffeine. It'll stain your teeth, but so does most soda, and unlike soda you won't get any cavities from tea.

Lentils and Quinoa would both be a good idea as would any leafy green, an acid like a small portion of vinegar would likely be smart as would vegan meat, this is a very basic list but would improve it quite a lot. Also, there are what is literally what are called food rescues that are are a more rare form of food bank that if large enough has little or no restriction on what you can get for free. Instead of donations, they barter with stores to buy food the stores know that they will have to throw away and give it out for free. So there is a free way to up verity but it does or at least can massively increase complexity.

The OP might want to add some additional protein to the meal, chickpeas would be good. You might add some curry mix along with the chicken stock for flavour.

**Edit** wait did you say twice a day for 2 months?!? No, you need to vary your diet, there are some good books and blogs that I could recommend for you. Slow-cooker recipe's are your friend if you work and don't feel like spending an hour in the kitchen when you get home.

You're gonna get scurvy, dude. Seriously, if you can't be assed to do some basic googling for nutrition so that your body doesn't suffer extreme harm on your "hobby", you should not be putting your body in this sort of danger.

Get some broccoli or parsnips or something, yikes.

Reading this made my body sad. Pretty sure my stomach cried a bit.

As someone from California, the lack of avocado in your meal makes me sad and confused.

09philj:
Unless you're living in Flint, Michigan, tap water is basically identical. Actually, it's often fluoridated, which is even better.

That's why I wrote MINERAL water. I don't think tap water is healthy in general. You piss and shit in it, you wash your clothes in it, you bathe in it. Even water filters don't get rid of all of that nasty stuff (especially plastic fibre, especially in the US and the UK) and you get it in your body when you drink tap water.

Plenty of tinned food contains little in the way of additives. Tinned tomatoes (AKA God's gift to chefs) are just tomatoes in tomato juice with a small amount of (entirely natural) citric acid added, and maybe a bit of (again, natural) Calcium Chloride if you're American.

I like to stay as healthy as I can so I avoid tinned food unless I'm really in a tough financial situation, which hasn't happened since 2012. I will however give you this one, you'll probably be fine eating tinned food.

Adequate consumption of dairy products (which isn't much at all) and enough exposure to sunlight makes Vitamin D supplements pointless.

Dairy is also not that good for you. I's good when you're at an age when your mother breastfeeds you but after that, you shouldn't drink it. It can even weaken your bones if you're 50+.
Also, gamers aren't really known for getting a lot of exposure to the Sun, they sit inside and play games. In the US, almost half the population has a vit. D deficiency and that's a serious problem. Medical professionals advise taking vit. D. I've convinced my mom to take it every day and even her doctors have noticed the positive changes.

This is both unnecessary and expensive.

If every supplement is different and serves a different function, it's not unnecessary.
I'm an athlete and have been for over 20 years. I train 2 hours per day on average, I need more nutrition than most people.
Also, you only have one body. You'll ruin it and it's over. I don't mind spending money on improving my health. A lot of people here talk about spending money on Steam sales, buying games in bulk that they will never play. Buy some vitamins instead, at least you'll get something out of it.

Akytalusia:

Vanilla ISIS:
Also also, regardless of your diet, you should take at least a basic A-Z vitamin tablet and a separate tablet with just vitamin D every day (minimum daily intake should be 2000 IU). I take 8 different vitamin supplements but again, I'm a health freak.

that's absolutely not happening. unmitigatable personal reasons.

Based what you meal looked like before all the advice given to you, you might be malnourished.
I'm going to assume that you're under 30 so that hasn't manifested itself in any noticeable way yet but it will.
You might have your "personal reasons" but people do all sorts of things for "personal reasons", such as not vaccinating their children.
Taking supplements will allow you to be more lenient when it comes to your diet when you're younger and will allow you to live a normal healthy life when you're older.
It's your choice but remember that you only have 1 body.

Vanilla ISIS:
That's why I wrote MINERAL water. I don't think tap water is healthy in general. You piss and shit in it, you wash your clothes in it, you bathe in it. Even water filters don't get rid of all of that nasty stuff (especially plastic fibre, especially in the US and the UK) and you get it in your body when you drink tap water.

...Jesus Christ, you have no fucking idea how the water treatment system works, do you? We don't discharge sewage, even treated sewage, back into the river where it can be extracted again. Unless your plumbing was done by a moron, clean water comes in and grey water goes out, never into any other part of the house. Even your fucking toilet uses drinkable water to fill the cistern, which is insanely inefficient.

Dairy is also not that good for you. I's good when you're at an age when your mother breastfeeds you but after that, you shouldn't drink it. It can even weaken your bones if you're 50+.

1) The average adult should consume 700mg of calcium per day. As I said, not much dairy. (Or any none dairy source of calcium)
2) That claim is based on one study which failed to prove a causal link between milk consumption and fracture risk.

In the US, almost half the population has a vit. D deficiency and that's a serious problem. Medical professionals advise taking vit. D. I've convinced my mom to take it every day and even her doctors have noticed the positive changes.

1) That's using the probably incorrect assumption that less than 30 nanograms in every millilitre of blood is insufficient. It's more likely to be closer to 11 nanograms.
2) Does she just not ever eat fish, eggs, or any of the many, many foodstuffs fortified with Vitamin D?

If every supplement is different and serves a different function, it's not unnecessary.
I'm an athlete and have been for over 20 years. I train 2 hours per day on average, I need more nutrition than most people.
Also, you only have one body. You'll ruin it and it's over. I don't mind spending money on improving my health. A lot of people here talk about spending money on Steam sales, buying games in bulk that they will never play. Buy some vitamins instead, at least you'll get something out of it.

You are overcomplicating basic human nutrition with woo and pseudoscience. No systematic review has ever found evidence that the average person would benefit from vitamin supplements. Even if you're regularly doing strenuous exercise, a modest increase in carbohydrate and protein intake is the only thing you need to compensate. (Also I'm obliged to warn you that if you're somehow taking in 4500 micrograms or more of Vitamin A per day you need to stop because it will kill you.)

 

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