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Healthy Cooking for the Complete Ignoramous

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Old 09-16-2008, 11:48 PM   #1
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Default Healthy Cooking for the Complete Ignoramous

I can not cook. I don't mean I don't know how to cook healthy foods. I can't cook period

I can make very simple things that only require heating or boiling (pasta, tacos, etc) and I've managed to find a few simple recipes that turned out ok, but in spite of my impressive stack of cookbooks, every attempt I've made to go from mostly eating out (when not dieting) or eating various frozen/canned/pre-packaged concoctions to actually cooking has resulted in me spending way too much money on ingrediants I don't end up using because the food never turns out very good :>

So here's your challenge....

I'm single, so I need recipes for one or that scaled down well

I'm veggie challenged...I can deal with some grilled onions and peppers, mushrooms and some of the starchy veggies like potatoes, squash etc, but for the most part I hate veggies and i'm not a huge fan of fruit either...

I'd like to not spend a fortune at the grocery every week

I have a very hard time forcing myself to eat bland food for extended periods of time

So...any tips on cookbooks, cooking gadgets, shopping strategies etc would be awesome.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:40 PM   #2
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Ok, I'm up to this challenge. I love to cook and I think I'm pretty good at finding things that work for people.

So what kinds of things do you like? What kind of time do you have to cook? What tools and implements do you have at home to cook with (do you have a toaster oven? a microwave? a crock pot?).

Do you like soups/stews? Those are easy and can be made really healthy with minimal fuss.

Is there any kind of meat you won't eat?

Let's do this!

.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:55 PM   #3
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I'm pretty open as far as types of foods go, other than the vegetable thing and I do better with cooked vegetables than raw....just don't really know any good ways to cook them. The main thing that grosses me out with veggies is the texture. I love tomato sauce, but trying to eat a piece of actual tomato about makes me gag. I'm fond of a number of things that have broccoli in them....casseroles, soup etc, but if there's too much chewing on actual broccoli, once again, gag reflex :>

I have discovered that I really like squash, but I don't know many ways to cook it and ended up wasting a lot of it, in my amateur attempts to peel it :>

I like Mexican, Italian, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Greek. I love cheese, which I realize isn't a popular "diet" food cuz of fat and calories. I like spicy foods and good breads.

I often enjoy a salad at a good salad bar (ie no iceburg lettuce), but find it hard to duplicate at home due to expense and not so fresh ingredients.

Not a huge fan of soup...I like it ok as a meal starter but not the main thing. Stews I'm more fond of, though it's more of an occasional. I love me some brunswick stew, but I don't know how to make any version let alone a healthy one.

Don't have much in the way of cookware, though I'm willing to aquire more if I'll actually use it. I basically have one 3qt pot a non-stick frying pan, couple of cookie sheets, one baking pan, a couple of not so great knives, measuring cups and spoons, a microwave and a toaster oven. Thought about checking out some of those gadgets that claim to be good for healthy cooking (nu-wave oven, ronco etc) but I don't know if any of them are worth it or not.

Don't have much time in the mornings, so breakfasts and lunches will need to be made in the evening probably and for the most part breakfast foods don't work for me. I feel hungry all day if I don't get some protein at breakfast, but I don't really like eggs. I've tried peanut butter and such, but it doesn't sit well on my stomach and carb based breakfast (cereal, bagels etc) leave me feeling blah til lunch.

In the evening, I don't have unlimited time, but I'd be willing to invest extra time to have a quality meal, rather than something quick but blah....quick and good is better though obviously

I've found that I don't much care for many of the attempts to make processed food staples "healthier" such as low fat or worse non-fat dairy (except skim milk, which i'm fine with) or whole wheat tortillas. I prefer wheat bread to white, but most grocery store breads are pretty blah tasting in whatever variety and for that matter white flour versions of tortillas tend to be less than tasty too, so it may just be that I need to find someplace that offers higher quality items or learn to make them myself.

I'm not a huge fan of pork....but there really isn't a meat I absolutely won't eat. quality and selection is an issue for me. I live in a very small town and the grocery options are limited. Ideas on better places to shop for quality ingredients would be nice. I know there are more options in the city I work, such as whole foods, fresh market, trader joes, etc but i'm not real familiar with any of them.

Last edited by angryyew : 09-17-2008 at 03:02 PM.
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