Whole Foods Lifestyle - Those of you who don't like to cook...

06-04-2009, 03:16 PM
what are some of your favorite whole foods meals (mostly dinner type meals)?

I hate cooking. It's true. I have been eating a lot of salads, egg whites, and oatmeal. They are getting boring.

I've been trying some recipes from the Clean Eating book and Mastering Your Metabolism. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. They all seem to have so many ingredients and have so many steps. If I have to cook I like it to be simple and fast. :)

I should also say that I don't mind cooking things in big quantities so I can have them later.

06-04-2009, 03:36 PM
1) Lasagna with whole wheat noodles, low fat cheese, spinach and x-lean ground beef. Love lasagna.

2) Burgers - x-lean ground beef or turkey. Meatballs too. Usually make ahead of time with any extra meat I have and just freeze them. Don't even use a bun, just use two slices of whole grain bread I already have, sometimes the ends of the loaf.

3) Grilled chicken on the BBQ. Love to add a portabello mushroom with chicken into a wrap/bun. Or do chicken with brown rice.

4) Not a favourite yet, but did what could've been a stew in the slow cooker overnight (if the broth had thickened, I have to tinker). Beef, yams and regular potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, beef broth and ww flour. Covered the beef in ww flour and browed it in olive oil first. All into the slow cooker on low until morning. Looking forward to trying a chicken stew.

5) Pizza. On ww pita for me. White pita for boyfriend. Low fat cheese and we each pick our toppings so it's an easy to please dish. So simple.

6) WW pasta and meat with some veggies mixed in if you want -- x-lean ground beef or turkey (this is where the extra for the burgers and meatballs usually comes from).

Pair all of the above with a homemade soup (yay grandma!) or a big whack of veggies and I'm good to go. If homemade soup isn't available, there's also a natural one at my local grocer -- so expensive, but so good.

Good luck finding some options!

06-04-2009, 04:02 PM
Cooking light has quick 30 minute meals that are easy :)

06-04-2009, 08:14 PM
chickiegirl-thank you for all those great ideas!

beerab-I'll have to check that out...quick & easy is right up my alley. :)

06-04-2009, 09:07 PM
Can you make a big pot of soup on Sunday and eat it for 2-3 nights during the week?

My rules for cooking - I like no more than 2 pots, no more than 30 minutes :) I don't mind a lot of chopping.

Some easy ideas:

Stir fries - lots of veggies, a little protein, served over a measured portion of brown rice or udon noodles. Trader Joe's makes an excellent yellow curry sauce - there's really no need for a complicated recipe. Just chop some veggies, saute them in a little peanut oil, add some shrimp or chicken or lean beef or tofu (or whatever), pour on the sauce, add a squeeze of lime - delish!

Omelets - saute up a ton of yummy veggies, add protein of your choice, maybe a little low fat cheese, top with tons of salsa (I love spinach, shrimp, sun dried tomato, low fat feta omelets, topped with green salsa)

Big pot of pasta sauce over a measured portion of whole grain noodles or polenta or gnocchi. It takes me about 30 minutes to make my pasta sauce and I have dinner for about 3 nights (I love reheating nights!). I brown up some turkey (or veggie crumbles or meatballs), onions, garlic. Crush 3 cans of tomatoes, add a can of tomato paste, handful of fresh basil, 1 tbs of organo, a little crushed red pepper (I like spicy), splash of red wine, veggies of choice (spinach wilts down nicely, mushrooms are always welcome, sun dried tomatoes or kalamata olives give it a certain flair, it's nice to do different things so it's not the same old thing all the time). Simmer - done in 30 minutes!

I'm biased - because I find cooking such an integral part of my healthy lifestyle, but I'd encourage you to find a few "tried and true" recipes to rotate through. I do like to try new things, but I bet I make the same 10 things, 90% of the time :)

06-05-2009, 09:15 PM
Glory-Thanks so much for all your ideas.

I really want to like cooking...I just don't...yet. Maybe someday. :)

I'm going to be trying these ideas that have been listed.

06-06-2009, 07:36 PM
Do you have a George Foreman grill? They're pretty easy to cook with. Tip: soak a paper towel in water, and when you're done cooking, lay down the paper towel in the grill after it's turned off (but still hot). It'll steam the cooked residue and make for an easy clean-up later.

I do the batch cooking/freezing thing a lot, too.

06-06-2009, 08:26 PM
Or, if you really don't like to cook, there are places where you go in and do food prep and then the company freezes them, you take home a couple of weeks of frozen dinners - made from whole food. I'll be danged if I can think of the names of them right now..... Anyway, they have all the ingredients - you just chop and mix.

Cooking Light and I think Weight Watchers have cookbooks that feature recipes with 5 or less ingredients. CL has a new one called Fresh Food Fast that's good.

06-06-2009, 08:30 PM
Tonight I browned a chicken breast (no skin and no fat) and set aside. Next, I prepared Lipton Oriental boxed rice according to directions. Placed 1/3 of the rice on a plate and topped with 1/3 of the chicken (sliced) and spring onion and water chestnut slices. Added steamed carrots and broccoli as side vegetables. The entire meal is about 450 cal and cost about $2.50/serving. Be creative, add a few peas, mushroom slices, top with some sprouts or a few almond slices.

06-08-2009, 12:18 AM
One of my standbys:

Tilapia seasoned with a pinch of salt, plenty of fresh cracked pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Sauté it on the stove with just a tiny smidgeon of butter (for flavor). When it is almost done, add the juice of one lemon and a splash of white wine. Let the sauce reduce while the fish finishes cooking. We usually serve this with fresh veggies sauteed in peanut sauce over a bed of quinoa. So good and it only takes 20 mins from start to finish and most of that is chopping!

06-08-2009, 12:22 AM
Also, have you tried cooking in a crock-pot? That definitely isn't fast, but you can throw in a few ingredients in the morning and come home to a delicious dinner that evening! I've done chicken, soup, roasts, and even casseroles in my crock-pot. It's a lifesaver during busy days!

Thighs Be Gone
06-08-2009, 01:13 AM
I do like to cook but today I got out the food processor:

Today I whirled up some chick peas with fresh garlic and a bit of almond milk to add some creaminess to it

Then I whirled up tomatoes, cilantro, onion and a lil' bit jalapeno..

We ate both of these with baked pita chips...dessert was angel food cake with strawberries..

This wasn't the healthiest I realize--mostly because of the pita chips--but it's the weekend so I had a lil' sumpin', sumpin'....

06-08-2009, 03:30 PM
Hyacinth - thank you for that tip! I didn't know that. That will make life so much easier :) We use ours a lot.

WaterRat-Thanks for the cookbook ideas. 5 or less ingredients sounds perfect.

Samantha100-Chicken and rice is definitely something I've been making a lot. Mainly because I can make a bunch of both and have it all week. It is getting a bit old though. I haven't ever tried mixing veggies in...I think I will.

digitalrequiem-thanks for your ideas. I'm not sure if it's because I'm unexperienced in the kitchen...but your first recipe sounds complicated to me. lol. I'm sure it's very easy...I'm just really bad. However, we do have a Crockpot. I'm embarrassed to say that I only know how to make fattening dishes in there though. I'll have to look into that.

Thighs Be Gone-Thanks for that idea. It sounds yummy. I'll try just the first part for now, I don't think I'm ready for angel food cake yet ;)

06-08-2009, 11:04 PM
Cinnamon -- Don't be afraid to experiment in the kitchen! Even if it turns out looking like a**, it probably still tastes good. I adapted that mantra years ago and I've only had 1 or 2 of my 'experiments' that weren't edible. On those nights I just quietly throw it away and make a sandwich or something...lol.

06-09-2009, 01:31 AM
Here are some more tips that I saw recently:

A peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with a glass of 1 percent milk and an apple.

Precooked chicken strips and microwaved frozen broccoli topped with Parmesan cheese.

Scramble eggs in a nonstick skillet. Pop some asparagus in the microwave, and add whole wheat toast. If your cholesterol levels are normal, you can have seven eggs a week!

A bag of frozen vegetables heated in the microwave, topped with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts.

Prebagged salad topped with canned tuna, grape tomatoes, shredded reduced-fat cheese, and low-cal Italian dressing.

Keep lean sandwich fixings on hand: whole wheat bread, sliced turkey, reduced-fat cheese, tomatoes, mustard with horseradish.

06-13-2009, 02:57 PM
I'm having the same issues with cooking and what not. I like to be able to cook something on sunday and have it for lunch for the whole week while i'm at work. I'm only in to my 2nd week of my journey, so Im having a lot of trouble with the nutrition part..ugh...:(

But what I did for my first week was on Sunday I made two "loaves" of meatloaf, I found the recipe in the biggest loser cook book. I used fat free ground turkey breast and used my magic bullet to chop up garlic, onion, carrots, and spinach and tossed it in with the turkey then I just packed that for lunch all week. I did get a big tired of that, so I'm thinking of trying that crock pot soup idea to see how long that lasts.

I'm having a lot of trouble eating veggies. In the past i've always had to drown it with cheese for me to be able to eat them. And that would not be very helpful with my weight loss goals, lol. So the meatloaf recipe was great for me because I could sneak them in without really tasting them. :D Does anyone else have any recipes like that?

06-13-2009, 09:24 PM
Take a bag of mixed frozen veggies, cook in microwave, add some protein (precooked chicken strips, pouch of tuna, etc) and mix with some curry sauce from a jar. THere are lots of flavors - in the ethnic food aisle.

You can also now buy frozen rice, white or brown, with added veggies or plain.

06-15-2009, 09:06 PM
I love canned, seasoned tomatoes for easy meals. I will mix some with frozen, microwaved veggies and top with parmesian cheese, or add to rice along with black beans. I like to make a big batch of brown rice and keep that in the fridge because it is so easy to toss stuff into it and microwave it.

I also use my slow cooker a lot. At least once a week I make a three-bean, lean turkey chili that my husband and I both love. I also use it to make easy chicken. I usually just dump a jar of salsa in with the chicken or sometimes a couple of cans of cream-of-something soup. You can serve this over rice with steamed or roasted veggies.

Roasted veggies are also easy. I usually roast broccolli, just 'cause I love it. I just cut the florets into a big bowl, drizzle lightly with olive oil or spray with Pam, and sprinkle with seasoning salt, then mix it up and spread onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and put in oven at around 400 until done. (Usually 15-20 mins.)

07-16-2009, 01:45 PM
But what I did for my first week was on Sunday I made two "loaves" of meatloaf, I found the recipe in the biggest loser cook book. I used fat free ground turkey breast and used my magic bullet to chop up garlic, onion, carrots, and spinach and tossed it in with the turkey then I just packed that for lunch all week. I did get a big tired of that, so I'm thinking of trying that crock pot soup idea to see how long that lasts.

That's an excellent idea!

And thanks cinnamon for posting this. I'm in the same boat and am also struggling with what to make. I don't hate cooking perse, but doing it nightly is just not going to happen :oP.

07-16-2009, 02:38 PM
I will marinate and grill an entire costco bag of chicken breasts at once. It just barely fits on my grill. Then I have chicken for salad, chicken on my pasta, chicken stir fries chicken burritos. I refreeze the breasts after cooking usually 3 to a bag and take them out when I have only one thawed one left in my fridge.

Pasta primavera - cooked chicken cut in strips. Bag of veggies with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower etc. Spaghetti, sauce. While pasta is cooking**, stir fry the veggies from frozen until JUST heated through but still crunchy. Heat jarred sauce in the microwave. When almost hot add cooked chicken and heat through. pile all on a plate and top with a sprinkle of parm

Chicken burritos. Cooked chicken. Canned black beans, whole wheat tortillas. Salsa, small amount shredded cheese. Homemade taco seasoning or store bought kind that is just a spice blend. I mix 1T taco seasoning in a drained rinsed can of beans and store in the fridge or freeze if you cant use it up. Good on salads or put ~ 1/3 cup in a burrito with chicken, cheese salsa and veggies if you like. Nuke until warm

Chicken salad. Chop cold chicken add apples, walnuts, celery, other chopped veggies, salt, pepper, cayenne. I add a little bit of mayo and if you are in the mood for a creamy chicken salad add cottage cheese. I hear this will keep for a day or so but I always eat as much as I make.

**MTA: if you are cooking for 1, cooked pasta freezes well in individual portion sizes. Place frozen pasta in a colander and pour hot water over it until it thaws and heats through.

07-16-2009, 02:43 PM
Evelhalf - sneaking veggies...spaghetti sauce is the best way or soup. Buy an immersion blender (also called stick blender). When you puree those suckers you wont even know they are there! My husband hates veggies but will eat pureed veggie soup like crazy. The exact same soup unpureed he wont touch. I put carrots zucchini etc in my spag sauce.

Also the best way to deal with batch cooking is use your freezer. Make that meatloaf but freeze it so you dont have to eat it ALL at once. Make a huge pot of soup and freeze in individual servings. When you get enough stocked you can make one new dish a week but eat something different every meal.