Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - I suck at cooking....




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EveLHaelf
07-30-2009, 08:32 PM
I want to eat healthier, but I have such a hard time making foods that TASTE good! Usually when I try to eat healthy, my diet consists of tuna, plain scrambled eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, milk, and yogurt, oh and chicken...and my chicken always comes out plain x.x I get tired of my limited food and I end up quitting once again. It's a viscious circle...one that I'm trying to get over.

Does anyone have some suggestions or tips on improving my cooking abilities so that I can actually enjoy healthy eating? I'm really at a loss here, so any help is greatly appreciated! :^:


kiramira
07-30-2009, 09:08 PM
There are a whole BUNCH of things you might want to try:

1. Go to your local WW branch and buy some recipe books. The recipes give you nutritional counts for all recipes, which use normal and easily obtained ingredients.

2. Go to the library and borrow a few recipe books. If you focus, for example, on diabetic cook books, they too give you the nutritional counts for their menus.

3. Take a cooking class through your local Continuing Education program -- often offered by high schools or colleges, these are one and two day courses that can help you with the basics.

4. Our local large grocery store chain offers cooking classes. Perhaps there are some offered at your local large store, too.

5. Online recipe resources are out there: try allrecipes.com...you may have to search for calorie-wise recipes on this site but all recipes have reader input so you can find out if they are worth the effort.

6. Do you have any friends who are good cooks? See if you can get together and swap ideas and recipes.

Just some thoughts to help you on your way!!!

:hug:

Kira

iaradajnos
07-30-2009, 09:08 PM
Well, I actually like cooking and love to watch food tv on PBS, check out recipes, etc. However, with my volumetrics philosophy food now I've had to change. So, I basically now only eat whole foods. I look for recipes that have very few ingredients, short instructions, and require the least effort. I always eat two of my four meals out at the office or "in-the-field" so I have a huge, cloth lunchbox (with a section for my cold foods, another for dry foods, a small compartment with my utencils, splenda, hand sanitizer, and a couple bucks).

I may be way over the top in sharing the below but I thought I would share. I have been logging everything on my 3fatchicks blog because I have a horrible memory but I totally love the food I've been eating. I don't want to forget. I've been losing weight and eating this way since January. Before Jan, I had slowly turned vegetarian (four years ago) and have had to limit dairy (just to support my son who was lactose intolerant for a couple years).

January to June Favorite Foods

Recipes
Baked Items
Meal Combos
Salads
Instant Food Favorites

RECIPES

Fried Ramen Noodles: one package ramen noodles, 1 tsp oil, favorite dried spices (like onion, chilis, garlic), 1/3 c chopped onions, 1 whole vine ripe chopped tomatoe, 1 serving chopped firm plain tofu, 1 chopped carrot, finely chopped dried chilies to taste. (Add on items depending on calories: bean sprouts, broccoli slaw, mushrooms, garlic).

Microwave Bread Pudding: one chopped low-calorie wheat bun, 1/2 c eggwhites, 1 c almond milk, 1 Tbsp nuts, 1 Tbsp cardamom, splenda to taste. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir/flip, microwave for 2 minutes.

Chard: one to two ”package(s)” cleaned and prepped chopped chard, EVOO (amount depends on planned serving sizes, 1 tsp per serving), chopped onion, spice mix (paste of garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, black pepper), 1 can chickpeas (or other bean of choice), 1/2 to 1 can fire roasted diced canned tomatoes. This is a basic Nepali (similar to Indian) style cooking. If you like, you can check out on line for the full cooking method.

BAKED ITEMS

Terriyaki Shrimp: (in aluminum foil), pile shrimp with home-made terriyaki sauce. Bake for about 30 minutes or so. Depends on amount of shrimp. The terriyaki syrup was from the internet (can't recall recipe).

MEAL COMBOS

Canned veges and broth soup, trail mix, mixed canned fruit (my office “drawer” food)

Crackers, cheese, apple, two Girl Scout cookies (80 total) (out-of-office, “field” food)

Low-cal hotdog bun, 1 slice provolone cheese, grapes, dark chocolate chips (out-of-office, “field” food)

Chopped Peaches, cottage cheese with a granola bar

Total cereal with raisins, almond milk, and a fresh fruit.

Vegetarian Meatballs, 1 c marinara sauce, 1 tsp oil, mushrooms, onion, 1 Tbsp parm cheese.

Crumpets, whipped low-cal margarine, cinamon powder, splena to taste with 1 c almond milk and a 1/2 grapefruit

Vege burger, low-cal wheat bun, 1 slice provolone (or 1/4 c shredded low-fat) cheese, 1 cup chopped spinach, 1 small whole sliced vine-ripe tomatoe, mustard, tobasco sauce

PB&J 1/2 sandwich on 80-100 cal double fiber bread with almond milk and fruit or fresh vege

Baked terriyaki shrimp, rice, with side of bell peppers

Apple slices with cheese

Hummus with carrot and bell pepper slices

SALADS

jicama salad [with julienned jicama, peppers, onions, cucumbers, orange slices (lemon juice with splenda)] on a bed of spinach with 1 Tbsp of walnuts and shredded cheese or feta (everything portioned depending on calories and food group needs)

spinach, chopped walnuts, feta, raspberry dressing, cranberries (or raisins) with side of flat bread

INSTANT FOOD FAVORITES
Trail mix
canned mixed fruit
granola bars
vegetarian meat balls

July Favorite Foods

Recipes
Baked Items
Meal Combos
Instant Food Items
RECIPES

Cardamon Bread Pudding: sweet Portuguese bun, 1 Tbsp finely chopped pecans/walnuts, 1 c almond milk, 1/2 c eggwhites, 1 Tbsp cardamon powder, cinnamon powder, splenda to taste.

Beans, Veges and Vinegar: 1/2 c canned beans (black, cannelli, chickpea, etc), 1/4 mashed avocado, chopped onions, chopped tomotoes, 2-3 Tbsp parm. cheese, 1/2 vinegar, splenda to taste, fresh ground black pepper.

Veges, Tofu and Pad Thai Sauce: 1 serving Firm Plain Tofu, 1 tsp oil, 2 finely crushed/chopped garlic cloves, 1/3 c chopped onion, 1 whole chopped vine ripe tomatoe, 3/4 c julienned jicama, 1 c broccoli slaw (potential add-ons: bean sprouts, mushrooms, zuccini, bell peppers, carrots), 2 Tbsp Pad Thai sauce, 1/3 c water, 2 dried hot chilies, salt, dried onion and garlic powder, 15 fenugreek seeds, and tumeric powder.

Hot Kashi Cereal with Banana, Nuts, and Prune: one packet hot kashi cereal, 1 c almond milk, 1/2 c water, one (frozen and cut to large pieces) banana, one prune, and 1 Tbsp finely chopped pecans, splenda to taste.

Yogurt, fresh berries and Kashi Cereal: 1 c plain low-fat yogurt, 1/2 c fresh blueberries, 1/2 c chopped fresh strawberries, 1/2 c Go Lean Kashi Cereal, 1/3 c Go Lean Crunch Kashi Cereal, splenda to taste. (Alternatives: fresh grapes, frozen peaches, strawberries, blueberries, mangos, pineapples).

Jicama Salad with Oranges on Bed of Spinach: Usually made in a large batch than about 1 1/2 cups for a serving. Juliened jicama, thin slices onion, julienned bell pepper, orange slices (peel cut off, segments cut then cleaned off of seeds and tough parts), lemon juice/splenda mixture, cucumber.

Tapenade with Roasted Peppers on Provolone/Gouda slice and Low-Cal Wheat Bun: 3 Tbsp tapenade, 2 Tbsp roasted peppers, 1 tsp sunflower seeds, 1 slice provolone cheese, 1 low-cal (80 per serving) wheat hamburger bun. Eaten with slices of carrots and cucumbers or bell peppers.

Flaxseed Bread with Peanut Butter and Banana: One flaxseed bread slice (100 cal), 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 1 sliced banana. Served with sliced carrot.

Fried Veges with Kasha: prepared kasha (fry dry kasha with egg; in other pan w/ 1 Tbsp oil fry onion, carrots, add egg/kasha mixture with water; boil for about 45 minutes; equals about 100 calories for 1/2 c), 1 tsp EVOO, 1/3 c chopped onion, 1 c chopped veges, 1/2 c beans, 1-2 Tbsp parm. cheese. (Alternative: vary amount of veges, vary type of veges, vary type of beans, vary type of cheese–depending on potential frig items and calorie needs)

BACKED ITEMS

Asparagus: cleaned and prepped, one full “package” of asparagus, laid out on glass oven ready pan, EVOO, salt and pepper.

Sweet Potatoe: (baked after asparagus in the juices/oil left over) sliced, with skin individually calorie-listed sweet potatoes. Usually bake four at a time.

Broccoli: cleaned and chopped, laid out on glass oven ready pan, EVOO, salt and pepper. Baked for approximately 45 minutes at 410 degrees.

Fish: inside aluminum foil, place prepped fish (salmon is skinned), prepared fresh dill (cleaned, chopped, “marinaded” in lemon juice), salt and pepper. Baked (along with other items) for 25-30 minutes.

Shrimp:

inside aluminum foil, place shrimp, onions, garlic, ginger, 1-2 tsp oil (depending on planned quantities served vis-a-vis shrimp quantities), meat masala, canned fire roasted diced tomatoe.

Shrimp and Feta (recipe in one of the preferred cook books): tomatoes, onions, feta cheese (need to look this up)

MEAL COMBOS

Vege in Broth Soup (2 servings equal 100-120 cal), 10 olives, Hersey’s Pretzel and Chocolate (Sweet and Salty) Granola Bar.

Peanut butter, jelly on 80-100 calorie bread; almond milk; carrot slices.

Beans, salsa, chips, parm. cheese

Baked asparagus, baked sweet/roasted potatoe, 1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheese

Refried Beans (1/2 c), chopped onions, chopped tomatoe, 1/4 c shredded cheese, tortilla, 2 c chopped spinach, lemon juice, tobasco, salt and pepper. On tortilla, spread refried beans, Heat tortilla in dry frying pan, add shredded cheese, onions, tomatoes, lemon juice, tobasco, salt and pepper. After heating, place tortilla on plate and add spinach (add additional lemon juice)

INSTANT FOOD FAVORITES

Canned vege in broth soup,
Hersey’s Sweet and Salty Pretzels and Chocolate Granola Bar,
Peaches or Tangerine Slices in Splenda,
Low-cal/High-Protein Power Bars,
Sugar Free Pudding


MandiK
07-30-2009, 09:15 PM
Here's a tip:
Take thawed chicken breasts and put them in a container. Add enough fat free italian dressing to coat all of the breast and then put them in the refrigerater for a few hours (I usually put the dressing on in the morning and then cook the chicken for dinner when I get home from work). When you cook these, they will be moist and have lots of flavor without adding a lot of calories.

Eumie
07-30-2009, 09:15 PM
Do you have a crock pot? They make everything easy! Throw in some chicken and pour in a bottle of sals and let it cook. It comes out tender and delicious. If you are a little more adventurous sear the chicken on both sides in a little bit of olive oil and garlic before you put it in the crock pot. If you don't have a crock pot, then just do the same and cook in the oven on low heat for 1-2 hours.

Toss some veggies into your scrambled eggs. If that's still hard for you, add a little part skim mozzarella to disguise it. Or parmesan cheese.

Mashed cauliflower is a yummy substitute for mashed potatoes. Just oversteam it in a steamer and then mash or blend with a blender or food processor.

Jennie-O has great turkey tenderloins that are really healthy.

Get the Taste of Home comfort food makeover cookbook. It's wonderful for when you're craving those old standbys.

EveLHaelf
07-30-2009, 11:25 PM
Great ideas ladies! Thanks for all the tips they were really helpful. I just got back from grocery shopping and I am looking forward to experimenting and learning new recipes. And I am looking for cooking classes in my area, too!

:hug: to all!

gailr42
07-31-2009, 12:51 AM
Iaradajnos - Wow, what a collection of recipes. I love bread pudding. You are a real "Volumetrics" inspiration!