Having difficulty cooking meals

Discussion in 'Homebound/Bedbound' started by gb66, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Lately I've been having more and more trouble standing on my feet long enough to cook. I usually put food in the slow cooker at night and then my husband prepares side dishes to go with the meat.

    Some days I just can't do anything. He doesn't know much about cooking from scratch and we both try to limit fried foods. I've run out of ideas for dinner where he can do most of the cooking.

    I also have diabetes and have to limit high carbohydrate food. I eat them, but not a lot at one time. That leaves proteins and fresh vegetables, both are hard for him to cook. He's retired but I always did most of the cooking.
    It's hard to learn in a hurry!

    Can anyone share some ideas for those of us who just can't anymore? Are there any frozen dinner that are tasty? Those I've tried are next to awful. GB66
  2. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    I don't know what your diet restrictions are but know everything about not being able to cook most of the time.

    When I cook I cook in bulk. Instead of a fit portion just a whole bag of rice or pasta or whatever and plenty of vegetables to get a few extra dinners in the freezer for another occassion.

    I also make my own breadspread out of beans and chickpeas with tomato concentrate and oliveoil and herbs and such. So that my sandwich already contains a part of my daily vegetables even if I cannot cook that day.

    I also always have cucumber and tomato and carrots around so I can snack on ready made fast food vegetables when I need to. Cucumber is also very nice thinly sliced on toast.

    And like Diane says, soups are great too to have in the fridge. I also make things like thick small pancakes with chickpea flower and spinach and corn and sundried tomatoes that I can pop straight from the freezer into the toaster to be able to have a healthy in between snack or meal replacement.

    Spring roll pastry is nice too to pop in a lot of vegetables and to freeze back in ready made so you can pop some in the oven at a later time.

    I guess it all depends on what you and your husband think is acceptable as a meal. It helped me to simply make a list of all the nutrients I need to get in daily and figure out in what of my main food they are in to see how I can get to my daily number so I at least don't have to worry about going back in health through lack of right foods.
    Now I know that the way I eat and drink I get in everything I need even if I am not able to cook several days.
    There is enough to worry about without also having to worry about food.

    A very easy base for soup is warm up a pack of tomatojuice and add vegetables to your liking. It doesn't have to be a three course dinner to still be healthy.

    Oh and by the way, potato's are perfect in the skin as well, they don't have to be peeled at all. If you are ok with getting used to slightly different tastes there are many easier ways to cook that do not require to much steps and will even give you more vitamins and such.

    Same with things like cauliflower and broccoli and such, they don't have to be all cut up before cooking. Slicing through after cooking is much easier. Also with making pumpkin soup and such, you can simply toss in a half pumpkin without the seeds and blend AFTER it is cooked instead of cutting it up beforehand.

    Still it IS always a valuable investment to learn how to cook for your husband. It will give him the freedom to make what he wants to eat when you aren't able to make it for him. You could limit it down to a few meals that he really likes that are hard for you to make at first.
    ConfusedInPA likes this.
  3. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Diane, Thanks for the reply. I like soups and stews but have a hard time peeling all the veggies they require. I used to make beef stew and chicken soup. I guess I need some quicker recipes for my husband to cook.

    I'm at a loss, really. We try to get takeout several times a week but most of it is high in carbs. Sandwiches are especially high with all the bread. I had Panera's last night. Low fat chicken soup and a turkey/swiss cheese on french bread. We get that once a week.

    We have a Cracker Barrell Restaurant nearby and they have lots of veggie choices and some meats that I can eat. I have trouble chewing anything that's not very tender because of gum and tooth issues.

    I think I'm very picky about food too. I like it to be cooked just right and restaurants aren't always dependable. Any recipes you could share would be fine. Maybe others will join in and we can all share. GB
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  4. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Soul, Your recipes are all very healthful. I need to eat a more healthy diet. I grew up in the south and most of the meals my grandmother prepared were fried, high in fat, lots of carbs. for side dishes. We had biscuits with every meal and dessert.

    I've tried over the years to make lots of changes but still have a mindset that I have to cook a full course meal. It's a hard habit to break.

    Freida, Hope to hear back from you. Everyone else too. We all have different backgrounds and different ideas to share. This could be a good thread. GB
  5. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    It's all about priorities and if a full course meal is what you feel is important for you right now or makes you feel better definitely go for it. Priorities don't have to make sense to others, it's all about what makes YOU feel better that helps in sustaining health as well.

    That's what I learned in time that I have made the greatest progress by not following other peoples advise that goes for the general but to listen to my inner voice and follow the sometimes seemingly unlogical priorities that seem to distract me most if I don't follow up to them.

    Full course meal, soup is covered by warming up the tomato juice :p Soup is also great to make in bulk and freeze in portions so it shouldn't be a problem to have a soup before every meal. Desert is covered by having your daily two pieces of fruit, leaves you with only having to cook the main course :D

    If you can have chickpeaflower that is good with any kind of vegetable really. And goes great for easy vegetable pancakes with cooked up veggies blended in.

    Veggies can also simply be mixed with some rolled oats or semolina to give it some more filling and you could easily keep some seperate for yourself with less carb ingredients.

    What I found that works real well too is use the grill plates in the toaster/waffle iron to put veggies in between, it only needs a little oil and is packed full of juicy jummy flavor. Works real well with things like eggplant and zuccini and such. Just slice horizontally like in three slices and slip in the iron for a few minutes. Real fast and definitely the tastiest way to prepare! Slice some fresh tomato's to put on top after they are done and you have a yummy plate of food.

    If you like sushi but if the rice is to much on you you can also make sushi rolls without the rice and just put veggies inside like really thinly sliced and slightly cooked zuccini and such.

    And if you are into fried but not the high fat the airfryer might be something to look into. You can fry things with half a spoon of oil or no oil at all.
  6. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    one word from me: stirfry

    I do this type of cooking all the time. Buy the cut up veggies already washed, add some cooked cut up chicken. I like to use a little coconut oil in the skillet (don't even need a wok) or some olive oil. Heat it up for about 30 sec. add your cut up veggies, whatever you like, stir for about 5 min. on med. high heat. Add S & P and any other seasoning you like. Lately I've been using some turmeric tossed in and some minced ginger with the cooking. There's all types of flavoring you can use to change the flavors. Today I bought a bag of prewashed cut up kale but I've also tossed in some washed, cut up spinach at the end of the cooking. It takes about 30 seconds for it to wilt.

    I know this will help you get fresh veggies into your diet.
  7. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the great suggestions. I was talking to my husband last night about looking for pre cut, fresh veggies. I used to buy them at Kroger but we no longer have that store. He said he doesn't know if ours has them or not, but will look. I use canned mostly. He hates to peel and chop. (but he does sometimes). lol

    I'm sure there are things out there that I'd try if I could go shopping. I used to always be looking for new stuff to try. I haven't been able to shop for years now. He takes a list that I write and seldom gets anything that's not on it. lol

    When he was working, he worked sometimes up to 70 hrs. a week years ago. I did all the home stuff. That's why he's so lost in cooking now. And I'm having a hard time in the kitchen when he helps me. I can't concentrate on but one thing at a time and if he askes me questions I get mixed up in what I'm doing. He's been retired for almost 8 years, but until recently, I have been able to do most of the cooking. This is new.
  8. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    GB I can so imagine how confusing it must be to try and cook together. I know how lost I am when I have a friend over that helps me with cooking. I'm sure you'll find a way that works for both of you in time. It's more then ok that it takes time to find new ways to do things.
  9. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Freida, Yes, it sounds like you have had the same experiences! My husband used to cook years ago when the kids were young. He was a big help in the kitchen back then. As the kids grew up and moved away though, I started doing most all of it.

    His working hours increased and that's the way we functioned for many years. I do love to cook so I guess a part of me is grieving for the loss of not being able to do what I used to do.

    Maybe with warmer weather coming I'll be able to do more since my pain level declines in the warmer months. This winter has been one of the most painful times I've ever been through. I live in the southeast too, I'd never make it up north. I'm originally a FL gal and I really miss the hotter weather.
  10. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member


    I use a lot of chicken broth in my slow cooker recipes. I'm going to switch from fresh to frozen veggies and see if that helps cut down on the time on my feet.

    I really rely on slow cooking. it's a great way to cook for me. I'm not able to eat most beans, just the green not gassy ones. lol
    Can't tolerate cabbage either and I love it. I take Gas-x but still have lots of stomach cramping. Thanks for you suggestions.
  11. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member


    Thanks for all your good suggestions. You eat a very healthy diet. Are you a vegetarian? I am trying to add more veggies to my diet. I do love them.
  12. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member


    I've been checking out some stir fry recipes. I think maybe the ones with a little soy sauce or teriyaki would be good. Going to be brave and try new things.
  13. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    GB yes I am a vegetarian. It openend up my window of possibilities and I really started to actually cook when I became a vegetarian back in '91.
  14. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Leah: I always carry charcoal tablet in my purse, and a box at home. You are warned not to use them too much because they suck up all your vitamins, meds. you take, but they're sooooo quick acting when you really need them.
  15. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    I buy a cooked chicken at the market and for the 2 of us it lasts for about 4 meals. I don't like beef (can't chew a steak because of TMJ) so chicken and turkey or a piece of alaskan frozen salmon is basically staples for us.

    I only use canned beans, I've never liked CANNED VEGGES........GOS. FONT AS CANGED AND SOE ETTERS REFSE TO TPE.

    GONG TO TR TS AGAN.........!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Holly-Admin Administrator

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  17. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member


    Leah, When the kids were young it was back in the day when we didn't pay much attention to eating healthy. It was in the '70s.

    My hubby and I were both thin when younger and so were our kids. He used to make things like breaded veal cutlets that we bought already breaded. Now we don't eat fried stuff.

    He made great baked beans, can't eat those anymore. There was an oven fried chicken recipe with garlic and potato chip crust, it was delicious! Now, this is off limits. Too much fat and carbs.

    He makes a great breakfast and we have that once a week. He went grocery shopping today and we did get some Birdseye frozen vegs. to try. Our grocery doesn't carry a lot of the stuff I find on line that looks good. They have a LOT of their own brand and it's not that great.

    Really miss Kroger.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  18. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member


    Soul, I think vegetarian sounds really like a healthy lifestyle. I have to eat protein to help stabilize my blood sugar and I can't eat most types of beans. I do have less problems with my IBS when I don't eat too much meat. Especially red meat or pork. I do better with chicken, turkey and fish. Also eat some eggs and lots of cheeses.
  19. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Sunflower, We eat mostly chicken, turkey, and fish. I would love some easy recipes for cooking frozen fish. I've never had poached fish. That sounds good. I used to bake it years ago. Now I usually just have canned salmon patties.
  20. Soul*

    Soul* Well-Known Member

    GB one cup of cooked quinoa provides about 18 grams of protein. Nuts are a good source too.