Friday, January 13, 2012

Cooking Challenged

Do you remember yesterday when I talked about being one of those people *not* allowed to be in the kitchen because you might light it on fire have an accident?  **If you don't, you can find it here.**  I feel bad that you are cooking challenged and I hope that I might be able to lend just a few ideas to you.  Also realize, that some of my ideas might be a little more costly than making a lot of things from scratch.  They also may not be very low in sodium either.

There are a lot of 'convenience' items.  There is canned chicken: 98% fat free, packed in water.  From this you could make quesadillas.  You'll need some frozen peppers and onion mix, some Mexican cheese, some fat free salsa, and some light sour cream.  I like my veggies more soft, so I'd cook them in the microwave; heat the chicken *also in the micro...maybe 15 seconds at most*; put your tortilla in a quesadilla maker, put your toppings on *veggies, chicken and cheese*, put your other tortilla on and away you go!  Use sour cream and salsa for dipping.

Salads are an easy meal.  You could even use the chicken that I mentioned above.  Or, if you enjoy seafood, you could use imitation crab or canned shrimp/tuna.  I will often use Oscar Mayer turkey breast on my salads for lunch.  They do have lettuce mixes in a bag, so throw some in a bowl *don't literally throw it in a bowl or you'll have it EVERYwhere*.  Then you can top with your 'meat', other veggies cut up *tomato, cucumber, onion, etc*, some cheese, and maybe some nuts/croutons and you'll be good to go!  Don't forget your dressing.

And maybe crockpot meals would be easy for you.  Set it up on the counter, throw your ingredients in and walk away!  Seriously.  I bought a large boneless pork loin at Sam's this week.  I cut it into roasts and have marinated each one in a freezer bag.  *Three of them got thrown in the freezer, the other I cooked this week.*  Wash and scrub some potatoes, cut them into quarters, and line the bottom of the crockpot with them.  Add your pork roast *fat side up* on top of the potatoes.  You can also add in cut up carrots, celery, peas, etc.  It's up to you!  Set that baby on low for the day and walk away!  I usually put the roast in and dump the marinade in with it.  If you don't marinade it, you could use the leftovers for BBQ pulled pork.

Soup is another easy meal.  Again, you could use the crockpot to fix this one.  Buy some low sodium chicken/beef/vegetable broth, dump in a small package of frozen mixed vegetables *any mixed veggies depending on taste*, and you can add brown rice to it as well *amount would depend on how much broth you used.*  I've at times added to all of that a 14.25oz can *or two* of diced tomatoes.  They can be the Italian style if that's what you like.  The possibilities can be endless with soup as you can opt out of the rice and use beans *kidney, black, great northerns, etc*.

As for the crockpot, you could probably even use it with the canned/precooked chicken to make a chili.  While I have not tried this, it certainly is possible.

Another option could be using a George Foreman Grill.  They are pretty easy to use and you can cook quite a bit on there.  We've cooked our Hebrew National dogs on there.  I've also done pork chops, chicken breasts, and steak.  All you'd really need to go with your meat would be a veggie and a carb of some sort.  I'd pair the meat with a salad and maybe a slice of bread *or if you're not microwave challenged, you could bake a potato in there.*

These are just a few of my ideas.  I'd also google crockpot recipes or keep an eye out for a good magazine that holds healthy crockpot recipes.  They are bound to be out there, it's just a matter of keeping your eyes peeled.  I will keep an eye out for something that might be of use to you all while I'm in and out of the grocery stores.

If you have other ideas, don't hesitate to share.  I am in no way an expert on being cooking challenged.

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