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Inventing a meal is easier than you think it is. Here’s the secret to making actual food that people will actually eat. The secret to making food is that you only need a few basic staples in your kitchen. Most people usually always have these items on hand:

A starch- any kind of bread, pasta, egg noodles, rice, potatoes, starchy beans (garbanzo) etc…

A fat: margarine, butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, peanut butter, nut butter, cheese etc…

A protein-peanut butter, eggs, tuna fish, ground meat, tofu, lunchmeat etc…

A vegetable-most people usually have some type of vegetable on hand, either canned or frozen. One head of cabbage is extremely versatile and cheap. More importantly, cabbage has a long shelf life in the refrigerator.

To give whatever you’re inventing some zip, you can add:

An acid- such as a dash of vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, limejuice, Tabasco or hot sauce. Onions and/or garlic add zip too.

Salt and pepper

Sugar

These items combined in any number of ways will create delicious food that people will eat.

Example: olive oil drizzled over hot spaghetti noodles with a dash of pepper and Parmesan cheese. A dash of lemon juice gives it extra zip. This is a popular dish that only combines a starch (spaghetti), fat (olive oil) and a protein (parmesan cheese).

The list of things to do with cabbage is nearly endless:

Coleslaw – shredded cabbage with vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise.

Stuffed cabbage rolls – ground meat, rice, and tomato sauce.

Cabbage can be stir-fried with any number of items, such as onions, apples, and sausage or ground burger.

Cooked shredded cabbage with cream cheese, cream or sour cream is delicious.

Try combining peanut butter with unusual items.

Example:

Heat up peanut butter with olive oil, garlic and hot sauce and drizzle over noodles. Peanut butter and cream cheese on bagels is tasty and very nutritious. Peanut butter on pancakes sprinkled with sugar is a favorite of children. Peanut butter combined with cream cheese is very nutritious and tastes great on a bagel.

The list of items to make with starchy vegetables is endless as well. Potatoes can be shredded and fried with onions. Or try otato pancakes with Parmesan cheese. Mashed potatoes, potato salad, boiled potatoes or baked potatoes are easy and delicious, too.

Garbanzo beans, (another starchy vegetable) can be pureed with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to create a vegetable dip or spread.

The above ingredients are really only factors in an equation that can be combined in any number of ways to create delicious and nutritious foods.

If you aren’t totally comfortable with experimentation, good places to start are those 3 ingredients or less cookbooks that are found in any bookstore. The recipes found in those types of books are very basic and a great way to avoid running to the grocery store too many times in a week.