Limited Choices - 10 Foods or Fewer

   By ChefErin  Jan 08, 2009

Gourmet Magazine recently published an interesting statistic: "one out of five Americans lives on a diet of ten foods or fewer. Among the most common choices? French fries, fried chicken, chocolate chip cookies and Kraft macaroni and cheese."

Ten foods or fewer. Wow. I just don’t think I could do it. Almost every meal I cook involves a recipe that I’ve never tried before. I realize this may make me something of a culinary daredevil, but I was stunned by the thought of such limitation.

I fully embrace the idea of comfort foods - food you’ve liked forever; a recipe you know by heart, something easy to put on the table when you have to have dinner ready in an hour. I have my share of fall-backs tucked into the recesses of my brain, but to cook or eat only those foods week after week would drive me batty.

Still, the idea got me thinking. If I could only have ten foods, what would they be? First, I thought about exotic items, food I save for special occasions like caviar or lobster. If you are going to be limited, at least indulge, right? Then I thought about comfort foods like chili or mashed potatoes and gravy. Who could live without them?

Finally I started a list, basic things that I could rotate through. This is what I’d pick: Steak, Pork Tenderloin, Salmon, Spinach, Arugula, Cheese (am I supposed to pick only one???) potatoes, chocolate, tomatoes and mushrooms. I could stick to this list only if herbs, spices and seasonings (including onions, shallots and garlic) were unlimited.

How about you?  Do you find yourself eating the same ten foods?  If you had to choose just ten, what would they be?

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breadrye by breadrye | glenolden, PA
Nov 20, 2009

Diet Decaf Tea I have to have this as I drink it all the time,Tilapia,chicken,steak,smart start cereal,jalapeno,nachos,melted cheese,hot sausage and my last would be brocolli all would have to have spices but i could live with these it would be hard.

pjclayton57 by pjclayton57 | Oceanport, NJ
Nov 02, 2009

Wow, that is a difficult challenge! I love most food and love to experiment while cooking. If pressed, I would have to choose the following: pasta, pizza, spinach, shrimp, bananas, cheese, chocolate, chicken, steak, tomatoes.

melsplace by melsplace | Oak Park, IL
Oct 18, 2009

I would go with fish, skinless chicken breast, OJ, wheat tortillas, organic 1% milk, coffee, mixed vegetables, fat/free whip cream, truvia sweetener, frozen bag blueberry's/strawberry's, tomatoes, wheat pasta. OK! I think I went abit over 10.. Thanks have a great week!!!

Rebecca251 by Rebecca251 | Charlotte, NC
Oct 15, 2009

1.) Dark chocolate 2.) Skim milk 3.) Cheese (cojack, pepper jack, muenster, mozzarella) 4.) Onions 5.) Tomatoes 6.) Peppers (red, green, yellow and orange bell) 7.) Bread 8.) Butter 9.) Citrus fruit (clementines, lemons, limes,oranges) 10.) Gourmet Salad Mix (arugala, endive, radicchio, bibb lettuces)

momagarry by momagarry | MILWAUKEE, WI
Oct 02, 2009

This one really makes you think. We tend to think we need tons of ingredients when we really do not.

sareyes29 by sareyes29 | McAllen, TX
Sep 08, 2009

My 10 foods: Cheese, Potatoes, Bananas, Wheat Pasta, Tuna, Chicken, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Eggs, Wheat bread!!!

marysavesmoney by marysavesmoney | Monroe, NC
Sep 02, 2009

Sushi, dark chocolate, strawberries, fish, turkey, chicken, bread, butter, okra, salad

mstavie by mstavie | santa maria, CA
Aug 29, 2009

It is easy for me to pick ten foods,lobster,salad,corn on the cob,dill pickles,cod.shrimp,potato's,tuna,rice and green beans. I love food.

zenniferz by zenniferz | FOWLER, CO
Aug 25, 2009

Because of my limited budget, I normally buy, Pasta, bread, chicken, milk, cheese, yogurt, fruit juice, green beans, peas, and potatoe chips. I have my own patio garden where I grow tomatoes, zuccini, cauliflower, eggplant, and strawberries. I think if you grow as much as you can, your diet improves and you know that it is fresh and organic.

Dawn1234 by Dawn1234 | keiser, OR
Aug 14, 2009

i would have pees,must have yogurt,fresh fruit cantaloupe, watermelon,tomatoes, bread for tomato a hardy wheat bread, and any kind of cheese . these are the things i like to eat and could probably live on them

blessedculinary by blessedculinary | Savannah, GA
Aug 13, 2009

I Couldn't really choose ten foods. I'm into food and cooking so I try different things all the time. I cant limit my self with just ten.

Laurel51 by Laurel51 | VENICE, FL
Aug 09, 2009

Chicken, Fish, Cheese, asparagus, Butternut squash, Pizza, Cake, Ice Cream, Diet coke,

junconventional by junconventional | RICHMOND, VA
Aug 04, 2009

Hmmm 10 things: spring mix, beef, chicken, string beans, grapes, cheese, sweet potatoes, bananas, fish, mangoes.

rulistenin by rulistenin | Jackson, WY
Aug 03, 2009

It's fascinating how similar many of the lists actually are. Hmmm... well, my 10 would probably be cheese, cereal, brown rice, rice milk, tomato sauce, beef, frozen fruit, plain yogurt, vanilla ice cream and salad. LOL, I could so easily come up with a completely different top 10 list now... including bananas, tomatoes, tuna, baby spinach, pasta, squash, sweet potato fries, olive oil, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. I'm getting sooo hungry!

tammycross by tammycross | Irondale, MO
Jul 31, 2009

I would need: cheese, salad, special k, pasta, peanut butter, soy milk, equal, tomatoes, mushrooms, chicken. No pork of any kind, ever. I need to add some fruit but what to give up??? Maybe trade mushrooms for wild strawberries, or bing cherries! Argh!!! Can not limit to just 10, thank God I dont have to! Good day all.