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  • Suggestions for the inept cook?

    Late in life I've been given cooking chores. I want to contribute more to the household but find fixing dinner very difficult. Husband does the shopping. Does anybody have recipes, menus or tricks that would minimize the strain of making dinner? I'm a T10 para, 35 yrs. post who's tired and not very inspired. I'm cooking for 2 (soon to be 3 (adult son moving back in)) omnivores. All suggestions or commiserations are welcomed. Thanks, Linda
    Last edited by dragon fly; 06-18-2013, 09:25 PM.

  • #2
    I love my crockpot...throw ingredients in and dinner cooks while I'm doing other things. I'm only cooking for 1, but I try to cook things on weekends that will give me leftovers for later in week. The frozen veggies in the steam bags tend to have 2-3 servings also.

    If you have someone who could help, cooking up a large amount of ground beef or chicken and freezing in divided up bags is a great timesaver. My mom cooked up 8-10 pounds of ground beef for me last summer and then bagged it up and put in my freezer. Made it so much easier when fixing things like pasta, tacos, etc.

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    • #3
      Watch the Food Network. Many of the shows are geared to fast and easy meals. You may just get inspired! Also, I love Rachel Ray's magazine. It's full of easy recipes and every one I have ever tried has been good. Hope this helps!

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      • #4
        The crockpot is fantastic! Many recipes on Pinterest. Breakfast, main meals and desserts. I like to do chicken with taco seasoning for tacos and burritos. What I like about it is that I have the energy in the morning to get it started and then by dinner time, when I am tired, it is done.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dragon fly View Post
          Does anybody have recipes, menus or tricks that would minimize the strain of making dinner? I'm a T10 para, 35 yrs. post who's tired and not very inspired. I'm cooking for 2 (soon to be 3 (adult son moving back in)) omnivores. All suggestions or commiserations are welcomed. Thanks, Linda
          Hey Linda,

          First, get the adult son to cook

          Second, WolfeMan is always posting simple and interesting recipes here.

          See his posts at /forum/search.php?searchid=16982510

          Or visit his YouTube channel The Wolfe Pit Channel

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          • #6
            http://www.cooks.com/ There are piles of recipes here. There also are tons of other sites. I do tons of cooking. No matter what I make, it probably takes me 2-3X longer than AB, no matter practically what it is. Prep time takes longer. Longer to just get all things together. Cleanup is longer, but maybe only 1X. I really not care about extension in time. I love cooking and practically all that I make.

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            • #7
              www.emeals.com

              worth every penny.

              we use the slow cooker clean eating plan.

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              • #8
                I use the microwave oven to heat up 1 dish meals. One of my favorite is mashed potatoes, green beans, deli ham or turkey topped with 2 eggs and tomato slices. It takes just minutes to put it all together and the microwave doesn't heat up the kitchen.
                Just another tricky day. C5/6 incomplete, 43 years out.

                You'll get through.

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                • #9
                  there's a wonderful series of 'saving dinner' cookbooks which have shopping lists +/menus arranged seasonally through one year.
                  the recipes are easy but delicious.
                  my husband is our grocery shopper also and the 'saving dinner' shopping lists were great, he just kept a copy of the book in his car and took it into store to shop.
                  whenever he or one of our kids would cook dinner i'd rave about it and tell friends, family etc. what great cooks they were. eventually, all three of of my family members became truly interested in cooking; our daughter graduated from culinary school and is a professional chef! if you encourage your husband and son to cook and praise every single effort, you might not have to cook very often ; )
                  i use dr. macdougall's instant soups and nile spice instant soups for lunches and times when cooking isn't possible. the black bean soup makes a good filling for baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, works as an easy meal. we also rely on prewashed mixed greens for salads and frozen
                  berries, peaches, mixed fruit for snacks and dessert if we're out of fresh fruit.

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                  • #10
                    no boil lasagna with whole wheat noodles, you can use veggies or meat in some of the layers. It's the same as any lasagna recipe, you just add an extra cup of water to the sauce before pouring on top, or omit water if using vegetables in layers. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray or rub with olive oil. (keeps foil from sticking to cheese) bake at 350 for 1 hour.

                    glop (it's what we call it) browned ground beef, or any meat really. Boil 2-3 boxes of mac and cheese. rummage around for seasoning. I add taco seasoning if i feel south of the border along with diced chiles, rotel..etc. Drain noodles. add cheese sauce to noodles and whatever else your heart desires, either layer to be cool or just dump it all in a pot or casserole dish. Can be made in advance and reheated for dinner.

                    Italian beef...pot roast, pack of zesty italian dressing mix, 1 jar of pepperoncini, 2 cups beef stock, day old sub rolls. Stick it all in the crockpot (aside from the rolls) Cook it forever (at least 6 hours on low or about 4 hours on high...long, low and slow is the best) pull the meat out of the pot, place on platter and slice thinly or just say "heck with it" and shred it. Put meat in rolls, cover with a ladle of the cooking liquid for "dipped" top with some of the pepperoncini, or better yet some hot giardiniera (best is in oil)

                    tuna casserole

                    pasta salad...box of whole wheat rotini or two, canned garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, can of sliced black olives, artichoke quarters, tiny mozzarella balls mini pepperoni, bottle of italian dressing, crushed red pepper flakes. Cook pasta for 1 minute less then al dente, drain all things in liquid, drain pasta and run cold water on it for a few minutes. Put pasta in big bowl or big roaster pan, add all ingredients, mix until blended..let sit chilling in fridge

                    lowfat cream cheese makes an excellent base for faux-florentine sauce or faux-alfredo sauce the lazy way. melt (in microwave or in pot on stove) 1-2 blocks of cream cheese with 2-3 table spoons of olive oil, mix in 1-3 cups of milk (less milk for an all cheese sauce) add garlic powder, a bit of salt, and parmesan cheese (stop here for alfredo). I also add frozen or fresh spinach, sauteed mushrooms and leftover boiled chicken or shrimp for my sauce. I make enough to freeze a container or two for later use.

                    there are soooo many easy things out there. once you get your bearings with a few simple go to dishes start branching out. before you know it you'll be making so many easy things.

                    Always boil pasta in salty water (think ocean salty) about 1 tsp of salt, always bring to boil with a lid, add a tablespoon of olive oil to boiling water, then add pasta...do not re-cover.

                    I always keep instant brown rice around along with a few roll of 90% lean ground beef. Keep whole wheat or vegetable based pasta around for fiber.

                    Beans are very versatile

                    Buy wholly guacamole in the box when it's on sale and store it in the freezer a bit of that added to beans or glop makes it sing.

                    think of what you all enjoy eating on a regular basis and work with what you like to build your menus

                    plan a week of food and shop for the menu

                    happy cooking!!
                    CCS/Walker C6...it's a long story

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all your suggestions. I wish I had more affinity for food. Rather than living to eat, I'm the type that eats to live. These menus and recommendations will help though. Thanks again, Linda

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