Meals when cooking is out of the question

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The meal I eat most often is pasta with cheese and peas. I throw in frozen peas with the pasta while it's cooking, then drain the pasta and peas and mix them with shredded cheddar cheese (the cheese melts with the heat of the pasta). It's one less pot to wash than making separate tomato sauce. (Sometimes I use butter and a bit of parmesan cheese instead of the cheddar.)

Other things I eat that are easy to make:

Poached eggs on toast (sometimes with a slice of cheese on top; the heat of the cooked egg melts it somewhat).

Canned cannelini beans: I dump them into a colander to rinse them, then put them in a bowl and dress them with oil, red wine vinegar, and salt (no cooking).

Sauteed frozen veggies (many people have mentioned frozen veggies, which are great, since washing and cutting fresh veggies is a major task). I usually do okra and peas. You have to stay at the stove to stir them a bit, but it only takes about 5 minutes. If you have the energy to tend to the stove a bit longer, tofu with frozen vegetables is not too bad to make (I usually get a stir-fry mix, so I can just throw it in).

When I can't manage the stove, pots, and dishes, I make a quesadilla in the toaster oven: just put some chunks of cheddar cheese on two tortillas and toast them. Then stick them together when you take them out.It doesn't even dirty the plate. (A melted cheese sandwich is also an obvious choice, and I find it a satisfying meal. If I'm still hungry I just make another one.)

If I have a bit more energy, I might make a soup by just sauteeing some onions, adding a small can of tomato sauce, then water and frozen veggies and canned beans. (Having to tend to the onions as they're sauteeing, plus having to cut them up beforehand, can be a bit of a task for us...). I also add chopped garlic and some cumin. The advantage is you can make a lot, and it's not bad even cold.

I also eat nuts, as others have mentioned. Walnuts and peanuts are not as hard to chew. And I eat crackers a lot, like wheat thins.

I'm a vegetarian so none of these suggestions include meat.
 

Hope4

Desert of SW USA
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In case it would help someone, a revival of this thread. :)

For me, food when I absolutely cannot cook (though this food plan does require a bit of food prep):

Canned organic chicken
Canned organic wild-caught fish

My version of steak tartare with:
Raw egg yolks
Raw ground, organic, 100% grass-fed beef
Butter, good salt, and organic pepper, perhaps some organic chives
Black tea.

Organic, 100% grass-fed yoghurt: cow, sheep, or goat
Organic, 100% grass-fed cream, a couple of soft cheeses: mascarpone, queso fresco, etc.

Frozen vegetables, when thawed out can be dipped in yoghurt or sour cream.
Organic lettuce.
A few canned, organic vegetables.
A peeled pear, now and then.
Some blueberries.

Gelatin creams. Usually made with vanilla and stevia. Have been experimenting with glycine and inositol as the sweetener lately, which I like.

Homemade ice cream: heavy cream, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Stevia and/or glycine/inositol as sweetener.

Perhaps some organic rice cakes

Secondary, once-in-while, treats:
Unsweetened, organic carob chips
Organic bread made from rice, or rarely, almond

-----

If one can manage a little cooking:
Hard boiled eggs
Rennet custard


Those are the items that come to mind for a no-cooking food plan, for me. :)
 
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Those are the items that come to mind for a no-cooking food plan, for me. :)
This thread has some great ideas.

Most days: this takes up the whole day. Eating, thinking about eating, wondering what will I eat, begging for food to appear via Immaculate Conception. Since food= suspect and bloodsugar= erratic...this is almost every hour. I live in a town with zero access to Discount Food. Its max retail here.

This update is good: much more in line with foods I can have....ya'll have much more tolerant bellies than I apparently.

I think : open the can of Cannelli Beans, apply salt and vinegar: wins first place for Recipe Suggestions (anything with vinegars will hurt my mouth, so its not an option oh well).

Amy's entrees: I ate exclusively for dinner for about 7 years: lost 45 pounds. I can never again eat an Amy's entree. And that generated the Cumin Aversion.

Most of my food must be cooked not raw. So the dishes are constantly accumulated. They are all mine. Husband won't wash mine.

Husband will bring me food from the deli at our local market which at least tastes good. But food ruts keep happening and subsequent food aversions set in . The delicious chile rellenos ARENT anymore . He does not read expiration dates. He dares not bring back experimental food.

Currently, I'm also living on some Egg Flower Soup. Produced in Inglewood California, clearly made by people who know how to cook. Hats off to Inglewood (but husband, please note the expiration date, and Oh no, what if I eat it for the next Seven Years.

I am seriously considering: find somebody to come here and cook one after noon a week.
 
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Does anyone care to admit how often they burn things? Or otherwise Cognitively Impair: the resulting foods?

My pot of lentil soup: the lentils never softened. And I begged a friend for her lentil soup recipe, to no avail.
do not take for granted: if you can actualy cook edible foods.
 

Shoshana

Northern USA
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@poetessinmotion

This is an old thread,
but you might find a few ideas that might help with food and meals.

Even if you just find 2 ideas that you could use, it would help a little.

I noticed one, that if your parents or someone else would cook a large batch of something,
and then, freeze it in small portions for you, (Or you to freeze it in portions)

then you could use it on days you do not have the help.

Also, some ideas were boiled eggs (IF you and daughter could eat those)
or canned foods. Canned soup or canned beans?
Or any type of nut spread, if you can eat those?

I have a "rice cooker" it is called,
that i put a number of things in it, quickly, when able, (i don't chop any)
and then close it, and it all cooks itself, turns itself off when done, so i do not need to look at it, or stir, or worry about anything burning. I can go to sleep and not worry about it.
Makes warm food ready to eat, later.

Others have a different type of cooker, maybe INstant Pot.

Just hope to give you any idea, that might help you.
 
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@Shoshana, you're a treasure ❤️❤️❤️

I will read the thread, make a list and put it on the fridge.

My mom usually cooks a few dishes and brings them home, but they don't last much. Teenagers eat lots! So having ideas at hand is always useful.

I have a crock pot, and I am thinking of cooking more quantity and putting the rest in the fridge. I don't even mind eating the same for several days if it is nutrient dense and good for my stomach.

I guess I can organize better 😊
 

Shoshana

Northern USA
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@poetessinmotion

When I was able to, I would run the crockpot overnight.

It did work well, but it was too heavy and hard for me to empty the contents or wash the pot itself.

The "rice cooker" has a lightweight bowl, in it, that soaks and then washes much more easily.

Oh yes, teens are hard to keep any food enough ready!
Maybe hide some of it. :rolleyes::D:p

Also, maybe she would help more and more willingly, if you told her it is the only way for you and she to stay there, if she does ….some task you have trouble with, such as laundry, or a list she can check off when she does things on it.

Again, just ideas. For you to choose if any of them work for YOU. :hug:

Does anyone else have ideas for simple, VERY simple foods or meals?
@RebeccaRe @Wolfcub

Also, any ideas people have for making house tasks simpler? Or make them disappear from view? :woot::D

I suggest using every shortcut possible.
Stop "folding" laundry. Just keep clean and dirty in 2 different places.
Air out things, and wear extra times between washes.

Other ideas? ANd , can any of you find links to other past threads that have ideas for either:
easy to do, foods,
Or, easy ways to do house chores? I tried to search and only could find this one.
 
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@poetessinmotion

When I was able to, I would run the crockpot overnight.

It did work well, but it was too heavy and hard for me to empty the contents or wash the pot itself.



Also, maybe she would help more and more willingly, if you told her it is the only way for you and she to stay there, if she does ….some task you have trouble with, such as laundry, or a list she can check off when she does things on it.



I suggest using every shortcut possible.
Stop "folding" laundry. Just keep clean and dirty in 2 different places.
Air out things, and wear extra times between washes.
There are many good ideas here!

Because I do mostly paleo I use the crockpot a lot. It is great for meats. I can cook a lot of chicken or meatballs with already prepared sauce. I think I will just boil eggs and keep them in the fridge too.

I cut potatoes in half, bake them in the oven and keep them in the fridge. They are great as a prebiotic. I also boil several carrots together and keep them as a snack.

Regarding clothes, that is an interesting method. Do you just keep them in piles inside the closet? I'm afraid they will catch mold, but I'll put a small dehumifier in the room. Anyway, I like the idea of not folding!
 

Wolfcub

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Well, I can usually come up with quick and easy meals, but don't have any "gadgets" so am unfamiliar with those.

Cooking batches of something (like chili, curries, soups, etc) and freezing in portion sizes is a good idea, but it does mean one day having to do a lot of cooking, preparing, bagging up etc so that works only if one has the energy for it at certain times.

I really love simple stews. I use a can of chick peas/black eye beans/kidney beans etc, put any chopped veg. in, plus some onion or garlic, seasonings, herbs. Ready in 15 -20 minutes, and not too strenuous to make plus full of potassium, vitamins and goodness. I just make buttered toast to go with it.

Anything that can just be put in the oven and cooks quickly is great too. Frozen quiches, pizza..... NO preparation involved! (except if you want to make salad to go with it)

Baked beans....yum. I make a baked bean curry. So easy. (You could make a "batch" of this for freezing? Cut onion small-ish, fry in a little butter or oil until going brown-ish. Then add some salt, chopped garlic and some curry powder. Fry that for 1 minute together, then add just a tablespoon of water, so it doesn't stick. Put the baked beans in, stir well, and heat 4 minutes. This is so tasty.
 

Wolfcub

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......And then there are baked potatoes :nerd::D
Perfect. No work involved except maybe washing them first or making a little cut in them so they don't explode:wide-eyed:
All you need is some quick veg (frozen veg?)to go with it or salad leaves, and something tasty like cheese and butter to go IN it!
 

Shoshana

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Other ideas? ANd , can any of you find links to other past threads that have ideas for either:
easy to do, foods,
Or, easy ways to do house chores? I tried to search and only could find this one.
@Judee
or someone else, could you have any better luck finding any other threads we have had, on these 2 topics?
I know we did write some good ones in the past, but haven't been able to find them, now.
@Mary ?


Regarding clothes, that is an interesting method. Do you just keep them in piles inside the closet? I'm afraid they will catch mold, but I'll put a small dehumifier in the room. Anyway, I like the idea of not folding!
I just set them in a loose pile, as i am able to, and toss a towel or light fabric over the top of them.
I am not able to handle drawers now. So i just have them on a shelf.

I also had to put everything i could, in easy to reach places, not in cupboards, and up on shelves, or hanging up.
I had to do extreme prioritising on what is truly essential and what is not.
 
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Shoshana

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Thank you very much @Judee !

Yes, that was one of the threads that I was searching for. It does have some good ideas!

And thank you for trying to find the one(s) about easier ways to clean and keep house. I remember writing in it, but cannot find it. The topic often comes up again, and i wish i could find it.
@Mary
Do you know a better way to find it?
 
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When I'm really really exhausted I have either a banana with peanut butter or a bowl of yogurt with grape nuts mixed in and call it a meal. Maybe not the healthiest meals ever, but they check enough boxes nutritionally that I feel it's okay.

When I have a bit more energy, this one pan Mexican quinoa recipe has become my go-to. You just open a couple of cans, pour everything into the pot, and let it simmer until it's ready (you can lie down while it simmers!). It's nice and nutritious with minimal effort and dishes. And I buy pre-minced garlic so I don't have to worry about peeling and chopping.
 
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Lots of great ideas here! Trying to eat well each day has been a big issue for me lately, so this thread is a big help. I've very limited in what ready-made meals I can eat, so I've been looking for ways to reduce the effort required in cooking. Some ideas:

Cooking a big batch of food and freezing it when I've got the energy is a great one. I like to freeze them in single serves so I can just nuke them in the microwave and eat right away. If you can get ahold of those clear plastic takeaway containers, they work really well. I do things like put half rice and half stew in the one container.

Switching from a pot on the stove to a pressure cooker helped a lot. The biggest barrier for me at the moment when it comes to cooking stews is all the chopping, so I think I should look into frozen vegetables a bit more. Sometimes I freeze my own veggies - for example, I can never get through a pumpkin before it starts to go off, so I chop it up, vacuum pack it in single-stew portions and freeze it - then it's all ready to go straight in a pot.

Someone recently suggested I try a mandoline slicer to help make chopping a bit easier, has anyone tried one?

A big killer for me is cleaning up afterwards, so meals that only use dishes that go in the dishwasher are great. Things like sandwiches, salads, leftovers etc.

I recently got a pie maker, and it's been super helpful! I can use a piece of baking paper instead of pastry to cook a 'poached' egg in five minutes with zero cleanup. I've also tossed in things like canned salmon or beans for a quick dinner.

Green beans are great, when I'm wiped a handful of them become my veggies.

Yogurt is super useful. If I know I'll want a quick breakfast the next day I'll mix up some yogurt and oats the night before.

Chicken broth's another idea - a kilo of diced chicken breast in three-four litres of water with salt to taste, boiled for around 45 minutes. I then freeze the broth and chicken separately in single-serve amounts. I use the chicken in all sorts of ways such as in a jaffle/toasted sandwich, and the broth as a super filling meal. Pop the frozen broth in a pot on the stove and let it melt, toss in some protein (e.g. the boiled chicken from the broth or a beaten egg) and some vegetables (frozen ones would work great here), and bring it to the boil. If you're eating carbs, you can cook some rice noodles on the side and toss in as well. Super filling and warm.

Sometimes I just put some canned beans and boiled chicken in a bowl with some cheese (and maybe some quinoa if I've got it in the freezer) and microwave it to melt the cheese. Kind of an odd combination but it's quick and filling. If you can eat baked beans you can probably skip the cheese.

Quiches can be super quick, just beaten eggs with some chives, cheese, beans, carrots, canned beetroot... whatever you have on hand. Toss in the oven until done.

Baked potatoes are also good. Sometimes I just toss a potato in foil in the oven for an hour and then eat it straight with a bit of salt. Chicken thighs are another thing you can just throw in the oven with zero preparation. Put two skinless and boneless chicken thighs in a small pie dish and cover with foil, and bake them in the oven next to a potato for an easy meal. Eat with a handful of beans or steamed veggies if you've got the energy to prep them.

Twice baked potatoes as well, bake a potato like normal, take it out and mash it with a fork (maybe add milk or butter if you want it smoother), then put in in a pie dish with chives, cheese, bacon, carrots - pretty much anything that'd work in a quiche words here too. Toss it back in the oven until the cheese is browned and you're done.

There's probably more but I think I've written enough : )
 
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Someone recently suggested I try a mandoline slicer to help make chopping a bit easier, has anyone tried one?
The biggest barrier for me at the moment when it comes to cooking stews is all the chopping, so I think I should look into frozen vegetables a bit more.
A product like this one can help with slicing, dicing, and chopping--it's kind of like a mandolin slicer and a chopper all in one: https://www.amazon.com/Vegetable-Chopper-Mandoline-Slicer-Container/dp/B07JGXJCQY/

I don't know how much energy it takes to push things through the dicing blades. My mom used to have a mandolin. It does help make slicing a bit easier, especially for things you're trying to slice thin, but using it can still leave me out of breath.

I think I should look into frozen vegetables a bit more.
These are great! They're pre-chopped, and don't go bad in case you don't have the energy to cook the week (or month, or year...) you buy them. My grocery store has a great bag of mixed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots--I mix them with some olive oil and seasoning, pop them on a pan (covered with foil to minimize clean-up) and roast them until they're nice and brown, and I have a good meal.
 
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