For advising me on tomato sauce please skip to the bar. For general advice, kindly read on.
Experience: 8 semesters in High School (every day for four years) of Culinary Arts. NOT Home Economics. We actually cooked food. And lots of it. From morning snacks, to pastries, to BBQ to literally a ton and a half of food (3000+ pounds of food) for a single charity event. So I am familiar with methods and standards. What I am not familiar with, is cooking for 1.
Ramen. Really, that was pretty much it. A little beef or chicken maybe twice a week, but about 3 packs of ramen a day.
Spaghetti. Tomatoes and onions, with a few diced bell peppers for sauce. Throw in some ground beef for protein.
Salad. Romaine lettuce (rough chop) with a little diced onion, tomato wedges, carrot slices (however I feel like cutting them) and Italian dressing.
Lots and lots and lots and lots of tea. Green tea. Black tea. Herbal, Chinese Rose Bud, Aged Green Tea, etc...
Desired Diet: Mostly fruits and vegetables. Meat will be mainly used for Japanese dishes. Pasta made from scratch.
I am currently living on-campus as a university student. I much prefer eating healthier, tastier food I cook myself, than some buffet meal plan. I am trying to keep my food expenses low ($50 or so a week, or less. I typically go shopping only when I have no food left, which I expect to be about once a month, and I only buy what I know I will eat. Meaning, no chicken nuggets, TV dinners, brownie/cake mixes, etc...
I like tomatoes. A lot. So I am more than willing to eat tomatoes in one form or another each day (maybe it runs in the family...).
My main issue, is that I lack creativity.
I have dried garbanzo beans for hummus.
I have avocados for Guacamole.
I have lots of pecans and almonds. Some walnuts.
I would like to make a carrot cake with minced pecans. However, I have no cake-pan (on my list...). I am used to using false-bottom pans w/ aluminum foil and water bath. Could I get a recommendation for a good, sturdy (we used stainless steel back in class) pan, and a recipe that won't leave the surface of the cake rubbery?
General college-student budget-eating-yet-still-healthy-and-fresh tips?
So... I have a tomato sauce in the works. I tossed half a diced onion on an un-oiled saute pan, then added some tomato squares (freshly sliced) and let that heat up open-aired. After it cooked down a bit, I added some thyme, cayenne pepper and oregano and stirred it up with my wooden spoon. I then sliced up some more tomato and added that (total of 2 1/2 lg tomatoes). Replacing the lid, I diced up some coloured bell peppers (Approx 1 1/2, I used mini peppers), added those,and left to simmer.
Please do not jibe me for calling it a tomato sauce when it is not all that tomato-ish. I can't really make a stock pot full of the stuff at a time.
It was quite aeromatic a while ago. I lack a chinacap or other strainer. I also do not have a blender, so a coulis is out of the question.
How might I go about creating a better sauce, having minimal equipment and only what I can buy at my nearest Publix?
I apologize if I seem a little sprawled all over the place with my thoughts. I am quite tired.
Other than flash-boiling the tomatoes and removing the skin.