Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Hate cooking




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ali_cat
10-25-2004, 12:35 AM
Ok, I admit it, I dispise cooking. My microwave is my best friend, and I'm paying for it with my waistline. What tips are there to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible?


nelie
10-25-2004, 01:08 AM
Ali,
Try to eat things that require no or little cooking. I'll get some frozen veggies, put them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave them (sometimes with a wet paper towel on top to get a steam effect). I'll make some hardboiled eggs, they require no supervision just put eggs in water and go check on it 30 minutes later. I also eat a lot of raw veggies, which just means cutting some veggies up. I also have a george foreman grill which I just put veggies or meat on it and then just check in on it. Another thing you could do is get a crockpot, all you do for crockpot recipes is throw in the ingredients in it and check in on it a few hours later.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

Dawnajoy
10-25-2004, 09:46 AM
I don't despise cooking, but have very little time during the week. I cook on Sunday for the week. I only have the major cleanup once, and the kids and I have meals ready to eat all week.

I do my shopping and prep at least half of my veggies before I put them away. You could buy the pre-prepped ones, which is even easier (bags of broccoli florets, coleslaw mix, salad, etc.)

This weekend I cooked boneless/skinless chicken breasts and 95% lean ground beef. The ground beef went into the crockpot with veggies, beans and tomatoes to make chili. The chicken made chicken/veggie soup (put aside single servings for myself) then added some noodles and made the rest for the kids, as well as into several sandwich bags in individual serving sizes for the work week. Each weekend I try to do a different meat (last weekend was pork loin). I then make two batches of veggies, this week was an italian zucchini, eggplant, mushroom, peppers combo and a fajita-flavored stir fry. In the morning I just grab a bag of protein, a bowl of veggies and usually a 1/2 cup serving of brown rice and head out the door.

I forgot to make brown rice this weekend, so I'll have to remedy that tonight.

It really doesn't take very long, and I like it way better than the prepared frozen dinners. I find that my own concoctions taste better, and I get to eat a lot more food for my points. I also think they are somewhat healthier.

If you really really really hate to cook, it may not work for you, but I find that a little effort one day per week saves me TONS of effort throughout the week.

Dawna


Girlie
10-25-2004, 11:29 AM
I don't really like to cook either, but I have to learn to make simple things if I'm going to get through this. It's also a good thing not liking to cook, then you don't get tempted to cook rich, fattening things.

I do eat a lot of pre-packaged items like WW Smart Ones or Healthy Choice meals. The sodium isn't good though so that's one downfall. But we have a lot of canned soup, frozen meals and salads. You can simply boil boneless chicken breasts on Sundays, dice/shred them and have bagged salad (huge bags from SAMs club) and have salads for dinner all week and small ones with my frozen meals.

DH goes to school during the week and I'm often on my own and a salad is just fine for me.

vmelo
10-25-2004, 11:41 AM
Ideas:

1) Pre-cooked rotisserie chicken w/ pre-packaged, cleaned salad. (the leftover chicken can be used for the next day's lunch or another dinner).

2) Cook pans of things: e.g., baked ziti (lowfat mozzarella), lasagna (lean meat, lowfat cheese), etc. This does take the initial effort of cooking, but you can usually get six servings out of one effort (freeze the servings and reheat them).

3) Cook big pots of things - Every once in a while, I'll make a big pot of chicken vegetable soup or another soup I like and freeze it in 2-cup batches. Then, whenever I'm in the mood, I'll take out a serving. Again, it takes initial effort, but it's quick eating after that.

I think there are many options these days for people that are too busy to cook. Most vegetables are sold prepackaged and sliced. Lettuce is sold already cleaned, etc. It will cost you a bit more, but you can still eat healthy even if you don't like to cook.

ali_cat
10-28-2004, 12:30 PM
These are all fairly good ideas. I just can't stand cooking. I use my Forman as little as possible just becuise I hate to clean the thing. On top of hating it, I'm not very good at it either. A friend of mine can vouch for that. I'll try some of this though. Thanks.

katia
10-28-2004, 01:40 PM
What do you hate about cooking? Maybe instead of avoiding it, figure out what aspect of cooking really bothers you and take steps to address that particular issue.

If you hate cleaning your Foreman grill, try buying pre-cooked meat or cook your meat a different way. I broil chicken breasts and line the broiler pan with aluminum foil before putting the chicken on. Clean up? Take off the foil. That's it.

If you feel like you aren't good at cooking, pick one or two days a week to try cooking something and eat frozen dinners, fresh fruit, raw vegetables, sandwiches, salads, etc. the rest of the week.

You can also make it more fun by inviting some friends over and having everyone bring part of the meal. Having company in the kitchen may make it feel like less of a chore.

ali_cat
10-28-2004, 04:11 PM
It's just...boring to me. It's not my thing. Why spend half an hour or more standing over a hot stove for food that will be gone in 10 minutes, when I can pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave and go about doing something else (more than likely, homework)? And that's not counting clean up time or putting leftovers away.

That aluminum foil thing is a gooooood idea though! Thanks for that one. Anything that makes it all faster is a good thing.

srmb60
10-29-2004, 01:44 PM
I used to spend time cooking ... ya know? stirring sauces, baking biscuits, dreaming up desserts and concocting casseroles. But since we've been eating leaner and cleaner, it's often just a matter of putting a protein in the oven, cooking veggies in the mic and taking salad out of a bag.

katia
10-29-2004, 02:07 PM
I don't have many more quick ideas, other than to take advantage of pre-cooked and pre-washed options in the grocery store. Salad in a bag, rotisserie chicken, frozen vegetables in interesting combinations, etc. You don't have to spend even 10 minutes throwing together something healthy and interesting if you plan what you are going to eat ahead of time and keep your kitchen well-stocked.

I really like cooking, it's fun for me to try to find new healthy recipes to make eating well more flavorful. The one thing I have noticed is that with practice, I've gotten much more efficient. When I never cooked, I thought it was hard and intimidating, now I just try one new recipe a week and it seems much easier.

Of course, my newfound love of cooking may have a little something to do with the deal my boyfriend and I struck when we moved in together - whoever doesn't cook does the dishes. Since I don't like doing the dishes, I've spent the time to develop my culinary skills!

funniegrrl
10-29-2004, 02:26 PM
I think developing some kitchen survival skills are just a necessary part of a healthy life. After all, brushing my teeth isn't my thing ... it's just boring ... and why spend all that time brushing and flossing when I'm just going to eat again at some point anyway? :D

As the others have said, preparing healthy food can be more about "assembly" than cooking. I actually enjoy cooking, but most of my meals consist of a quickly-cooked protein (pan-grilled chicken breast, stir-fried shrimp, etc.), an easy starch (rice, couscous, pasta, baked potato, etc.), and steamed or microwaved vegetables, or bag-o-salad. You can marinate the meat for extra flavor in something like low-fat bottled vinaigrette. Cook two chicken breasts instead of one, and you have the makings of a salad or sandwich for lunch the next day. Or, use deli turkey or canned/pouched tuna. You DON'T have to make "entrees" and "side dishes" and stir and chop and fuss. There are so many convenience foods in the market these days that for the most part all you're doing is HEATING the food. How fancy and flavorful you want to make it is all up to you. And, in my view there is nothing wrong with using Lean Cuisines and the like in moderation, as long as you keep an eye on the nutrients and supplement with extra protein or vegetables when necessary.

jansan
10-29-2004, 11:57 PM
I am one that really loves to cook. I find it relaxing as well as creative. Eating low cal has even made this more fun in order to reproduce good tasting foods that are healthier to eat as well as very lean. But I understand, one of my very best friends absolutely hates cooking as well and only does it so her kids and husband wont starve. LOL, I sometimes cook fancy meals for them, and they are soooo grateful....

I believe cooking your own food, knowing what and where your ingredients come from, can be important to living a healthy life for many decades to come. It puts you closer in touch with your environment. Perhaps, if you are willing, you might work on making cooking more interesting or at least entertaining. Perhaps making the kitchen itself more pleasant, playing good music, or putting a small tv there you could watch at the same time. Or cook with a friend and socialize. Or not.

There is also a program on the cooking channel called '30 minute meals' or something like that. You might check that out and see if it interests you.

If making more peace with cooking isnt of interest to you, I guess I would check out your area to see what sort of delis and fancy groceries with prepared foods you can get in your area. There is always take out foods, and I believe more and more nice restaurants are doing take outs, and even delivery. YOu can call some and ask.

Most people hated exercise in the beginning too, and now have come to really like it. Similar thing? sometimes you just have to bite the bullit and do things you dont like to do in order to make your life better.

Jan

Suzanne 3FC
10-30-2004, 12:17 AM
I used to hate to cook, and lived on Lean Cuisine. I love to cook now, though. I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, and LOVE being able to enjoy so many flavors and high quality ingredients. I like the complete control of what goes in my meal, so I can make sure it's healthy. I don't believe in simple "cottage cheese and peaches" type diet meals, and think food should be enjoyed. Cooking Light offers excellent recipes that are not very difficult. I also buy regular cookbooks, and edit the recipes until I think they are healthier, and practice portion control for the rest :) I like to find good foods that freeze well, and cook in advance. I live alone, so I always have leftovers.

Jansan, I love your reference to exercise, it really is like that! You may have to force yourself at first, but then your body craves it. With cooking, you'll end up loving the never ending variety, and higher quality foods.

ali_cat
10-30-2004, 02:25 AM
Unfortunately keeping my kitchen well stocked isn't much of an option. I found that I'm such a terrible binger that if I have a lot of food in the kitchen, I'll just keep eating it. Until I get that fully under control, I try to keep food to a minimum. And I guess I'm just stubborn, but I've never cared for exercise despite actually having it incorporated into my life for a full year before I got off track and stopped (still don't really know how but hey). But...enough complaining, I'll just hush about that for now.

Thank you guys for replying. I'll try some of this stuff. I do cook with one of my best friends occasionally, and it's a little easier I suppose, but that's because I feel obligated. It wouldn't be fair for her to have to cook for both of us. I just don't care about myself as much as I do for anyone else. As long as I keep fairly quick and easy things around, it shouldn't be too bad I guess. Unfortunately they don't make ultimately healthy things in packs like Lean Cuisine, thanks to all that sodium.

Talk to you later.

MoveMoveMove
11-12-2004, 08:07 PM
I just don't care about myself as much as I do for anyone else. :eek:

That may be an area to work on.

I finally had to realize that I am worth taking care of. I still haven't started cooking yet but I do go to the gym on a regular basis. I don't necessarily like it but I go ;) .

Make yourself a priority, you're worth it.:wave: