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What and how to cook, when you can't cook

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Vincent, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Long Beach, CA
    Split Pea Soup

    This one takes a little more prep, but I’m posting it because I like it, and you can do the prep a little at a time (or do the prep one day and cook it the next).

    8 servings

    2 cups dry split peas (about a lb)
    7 cups water
    2 carrots, diced
    2 stalks celery, finely chopped
    1 med. onion, finely chopped
    1 cup diced lean ham
    1 tsp dried thyme*
    1 bay leaf, optional
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp salt, or to taste (or chicken bouillon granules)

    Rinse peas. Put everything except the salt into a large pot. Bring just to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer gently with the lid slightly tilted until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

    This can also be made in the Crockpot. Just throw everything in the crock and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

    Per Serving: 208 Calories; 2g Fat (6.7% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 14g Dietary Fiber; 9mg Cholesterol; 433mg Sodium.
    Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fat.

    *Or Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute is good, too.
    merylg and ahimsa like this.
  2. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Long Beach, CA
    Crockpot Pineapple Chicken

    4 servings

    4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
    paprika
    black pepper
    1 (19 oz) can unsweetened pineapple tidbits (undrained)
    2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 Tbsp soy sauce
    2 cloves garlic, minced

    Put chicken in bottom of Crockpot. Sprinkle with paprika and pepper. Mix soy sauce, pineapple and mustard together, pour over chicken. Add minced garlic. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours.
    Tammy, alex3619 and Sallysblooms like this.
  3. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Long Beach, CA
    Pork Chops with Dijon Cream Sauce

    Yield: 4 Servings

    4 boneless center-cut pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick)*
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/3 cup chicken broth
    1-1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
    1/3 cup evaporated milk


    Trim fat from chops. Sprinkle both side of chops evenly with salt and pepper (sometimes I sprinkle on a little garlic powder, too).

    Place the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Add chops to skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

    Remove chops from skillet and keep warm.

    Add broth to skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits. Combine mustard and evaporated milk: add to skillet. Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes or until sauce is thickened slightly.

    Spoon sauce over chops.

    *I also make this with pork tenderloin cut into medallions.


    Per Serving: 180 Calories; 9g Fat (44.6% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 48mg Cholesterol; 175mg Sodium.
    Exchanges: 3 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
  4. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Long Beach, CA
    Crockpot Chicken with Salsa

    4 Servings

    4 chicken boneless skinless chicken breast halves
    1 16-oz jar salsa
    1 large onion, cut in wedges
    1 sweet red pepper, diced*
    1 green pepper, diced*
    1 yellow pepper, diced*

    Place chicken in Crockpot & pour salsa on top. Turn on low. After 1 hour, add the onion and diced peppers. Cook on low for 4-6 hrs or so.

    *I sometimes use a bag of frozen sliced peppers instead to save chopping. It works fine.
    camas likes this.
  5. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Long Beach, CA
    Italian Beef – Crockpot

    This one does use a mix, Italian dressing mix. But if you can handle that, it’s pretty easy and tasty.

    10 servings

    3 lb beef round roast
    2 packages Good Seasons Zesty Italian Dressing mix
    4 cups beef broth
    1 bell pepper, sliced

    Trim any visible fat off roast. Put all ingredients into slow cooker. Cook 8 to 10 hours (or overnight) on low. Pour off liquid and refrigerate. Shred meat and refrigerate. When liquid is cool, skim any fat off the top. Re-warm shredded beef in the cooking liquid.

    (You can skip the cooling and skimming part if fat isn’t an issue for you. In that case you can just remove the meat from the liquid and cool until you can handle it, shred, and return to liquid.)

    Can be frozen in the liquid.


    Serving suggestions: Make an Italian beef sandwich by putting shredded meat on a French or Italian roll with pepperoncini. Also is good in beef burritos. Or you can serve it on top of whole grain noodles or brown rice.
  6. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Southern USA
    Ixchelkali, lots of great ideas! Hubby has had to do all cooking for 31/2 years since my Dysautonomia started. I am now able to do more and your ideas will be great. I know hubby will love having dinner ready instead of doing it all when he comes home from work. I am excited about doing more now. I usually help him cook and I almost always clean up afterward. That took this long to get this far. For over 3 years I couldn't do anything to help.

    I made "cookies" for my parrot tonight for the first time since having the POTS/Dysautonomia. YAY!
    Ocean and ixchelkali like this.
  7. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    Also, if people have family or others in the household to help, I suggest asking them to at least help you prep items. I taught a family member to prep stuff for me -- measuring out ingridients, cutting vegetables, boiling water, steaming veggies, etc. and it saves time and energy. Bonus for people who have kids is that the kids learn a bit about cooking and might be more willing to eat what they have cooked.

    My mom and professional chefs know that sometimes the cooking isn't the hardest part. It's the prep work. Witness the chefs with their legions of sous chefs and assistants!
    alex3619 likes this.
  8. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Southern USA
    True, prep is the hardest part.
  9. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Sth Australia
    Something I discovered at xmas was whole chickens which comes in a bag which one just puts straight into the microwave and it cooks. To my surprise it even browned up well.

    One can do fish in a similar way in microwave.
  10. Vincent

    Vincent Senior Member

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    Baltimore, Maryland USA
    I am going to look for a personal chef today on craigslist, or at least someone who can help me. I get so behind the 8ball so to speak; Things have improved but this area is just so difficult for me. I find myself having to walk across the street to get a cheese steak and a piece of lasagna for later, or else I may not eat. I walk because it's safer than driving. I also know once I get behind on my eating all other areas of live will suffer, and when blood sugar drops I will be unable to make decisions. I appreciate and will go over everyone suggestions, and certainly save them and attempt some of them at some point. If I can't find someone to pay to help me then I will just have to get by with the local businesses.

    I'd ask my family but they want nothing to do with me. Probably because they would then have to admit they were wrong all those years when I tried to tell them something was wrong, and they would not listen.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  11. alexa

    alexa

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    I use a lot of frozen veggies. i just heat up water in the kettle and pour the boiling water over the veggies and let them sit for awhile, that makes them perfect, no stove needed.

    i have a lot of cottage cheese when my tummy can tolerate dairy... i mix this with yoghurt and some cinamon and thats dinner.
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Im glad to hear that you are going to look for a personal chef... if you get one get them to cook up heaps so you have a lot of meals there for a while (esp if you have a big freezer).

    If you cant find one.. I suggest advertise for someone willing to do some cooking for you (which mmay even be cheaper to do thou of cause most people dont cook as quickly as a professional chef). Many people who arent personal chefs are still very good cooks (I suggest to have it worked out what to get them to cook before they get there, if you are paying by the hour, the most then could be made of the time).
  13. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Oregon, USA
    Today I baked a couple of sweet potatoes. They were so good that I didn't even put anything on it when I ate it. Slow baking brings out the natural sugars much better than the microwave.

    And there was no prep required. I just washed them and then put them in the oven (e.g., about an hour or so at 400 degrees F) with their skins still on. I baked two because they reheat well. I don't think they freeze very well but they do keep in the refrigerator.

    I don't like using the oven in the summer but once it starts to get cooler then I use the oven more often. I try to remember to cook something else while the potatoes are baking but it's rare that I'm that organized.

    I know others have mentioned potatoes on this thread but I thought I'd share. :)
  14. camas

    camas Senior Member

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    Oregon
    Thanks for all of the great ideas. That yummly site is cool. You all have convinced me to finally invest in a slow cooker. I've found something called an instapot that is a rice, slow, and pressure cooker all in one. Might be good for others who also have little counter space. Will have to try some of your recipes.

    I've never been good about eating my vegetables, but have recently discovered that most everything tastes much better roasted. Just lightly coat whatever you have in olive oil (cut up broccoli, aspargus, carrots, red potatoes, cauliflower, etc.) put them on a cookie sheet (I use a nonstick silpat to line the cookie sheet and run it through the dishwasher afterwards) and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. This is what we often do for our evening meal.
    penny, ahimsa and taniaaust1 like this.
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Sth Australia
    thanks for that roasting idea camas. Ive never thought about roasting cauliflower, brocolli or asparagus ... I do thou sometimes roast zuccini when I do roasted veg.
    camas likes this.
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I have recently roasted both brocoli and zucchini. Both are now on my menu as a result. Roast beetroot was OK but I wasn't really impressed.

    I also have a slow cooker/ricemaker/pressure cooker. Due to the massive time saving so far I have only used the pressure cooking function.
    camas likes this.
  17. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

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    East Coast, USA
    I put leftover roasted sweet potato or winter squash into my vegetable soups. This adds a lot of flavor, and a bit of sweetness.
    L'engle likes this.
  18. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Los Angeles, CA
    Alex - Roast golden beets, if you can find them. Slice them up and put a little walnut oil on them. (I realize that not everybody has walnut oil around the house...but everybody SHOULD...nut allergies excluded.) Maybe a little feta cheese or walnut bits. Awesomeness guaranteed.

    I have a very good (stovetop) pressure cooker but it doesn't get used a lot. It's big and heavy and awkward and hard to wash, and I just don't do well on grains, so that knocks out most of the reason to pressure cook. My cast iron skillet, on the other hand, gets used near every day and lives on the stovetop. I have no position on whether nonstick coatings are hazardous to your health, perhaps they are; but one thing I know for sure is that nonstick coatings get banged up and you eventually have to buy another pan. Cast iron on the other hand will go for generations.

    Food shopping and cooking seem to be the themes of the week. As a direct result of this thread, I finally got myself organized to check out grocery delivery services. There are a few available in LA, one mainstream grocery store (Vons) which I tried this week. Worked great except for one damaged pear.

    This coming week I'm getting an order from spud.com, which is an organic food delivery service. The produce part of it is *sort of* like a CSA box except you can state your preferences (never give me durian!) and you can also edit and add to it after it generates your order-of-the-week. Kinda fun, we'll see how that works. (Only in a few West Coast cities.)
    penny, camas and L'engle like this.
  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Urbantravels, darn, I have never even seen golden beets here.

    Ohhh, a durian, whats wrong with a durian? (feigned innocence here ;) )

    (Shhhh, my family lived in Malaya for several years on a military posting. It became the Malaysian Federation after that.)

    My pressure cooker would be heavy too except the inner part is removable, so the outer part can just sit there.

    Non stick is carcinogenic if over heated. Its hard to do, but people sometimes do burn nonstick pans. If that ever happens, throw it.

    Bye, Alex
    ahimsa and L'engle like this.
  20. camas

    camas Senior Member

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    Oregon
    Yes, beware the durian...

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