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Chronic illness - need healthy shortcuts for decent meals... with no oven.

(10 Posts)
Cagliostro Tue 17-Jan-17 21:09:35

I am super disorganised as it is (I have ASD), and due to illness can't cook much at all, stuff like grating/peeling hurts a lot. Our oven is pretty useless so I prefer to cook on the hob when I can, and our kitchen is tiny so don't have much work/storage space, even our fridge freezer is below standard size.

I use some ready meals and there are a few sauces etc that I don't mind but I feel really crap after eating them. A lot of the time I just don't eat or have toast but I don't feel better for it.

I'm thinking I need to use my freezer better, but not entirely sure how. I have tried the whole batch cooking thing (we do have a slow cooker which lives in a cupboard as no surface to put it on) but it gets a bit 'feast and famine' and even a day or two of epic cooking will take so much out of me that I'm useless for a week after, and then there's no room in the freezer for our usual frozen veg etc.

I'm thinking little bags of chopped onion/garlic/pepper/celery would be good, as then I can just fry and add tinned tomatoes for pasta sauce.

Lentil stew (which nobody but me eats!) I can do in a regular pot and get a few portions in freezer bags.

Cagliostro Tue 17-Jan-17 21:10:48

I pressed post before saying - if anyone has any ideas I'd appreciate it smile

TheSpottedZebra Tue 17-Jan-17 21:23:34

Definitely have look in the freezer section for chopped and frozen onion, garlic, or onion/carrot/celery mix. All great as bases to dishes.

And Yy to tinned tomatoes.

Tbh, I often don't peel veg, if I'm going to boil them. New potatoes can be boiled as they are, or quickly halved if they're bigg'uns. And carrots too are often clean.

Do you have a microwave?

AtleastitsnotMonday Tue 17-Jan-17 22:19:52

I would certainly be utilising the frozen ready prepped veg, you can get prepped sweet potato and BNS which are life savers as BNS in particular is a pig to prep. The frozen chopped onions and peppers are great to. If you like eggs Spanish omelette would be good.
If you buy ready done veg and chopped chicken breast or prepared prawns you can have have a stir fry on the table in minutes.
If you've not discovered them yet try the Heinz Creations range. They are a range of various pulses with different seasonings, things like Mexican beans and spiced chickpeas which are great with cous cous or rice. The Mexican beans also make great quasedillas if you combine with some cheese.
Fish lends itself to quick cooking and simple flavouring. I don't know if you have a grill but I often just grill a fillet of fish or chicken with some lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve with a salad and fresh bread if you fancy it.

ladygrinnings0ul Wed 18-Jan-17 11:28:52

I just got a soup maker I literally just put pre chopped veg and some nice stock and in 20 mins you have a nice soup. If I make a tomato soup I use the left over as a pasta sauce or for casseroles.

imip Thu 19-Jan-17 18:41:01

I'm making this right now. Sorry I'm on the mobile app and not sure how to do the link, but it is on BBC good food website and it is called basic tomato and basil sauce for pasta.

You could buy frozen chopped onions and garlic (I use my magimix to chop them). And pre-chopped basil.

If you check in the comments for variations if it gets a bit same-y.

I sometimes squeeze sausage meat out of their cases to make meatballs. It's simple and easy, all prepared on the job, but you do need to cook it for a while for good flavour.

Blondie1984 Thu 19-Jan-17 23:35:41

I wonder if you might find a food processor helpful - you could use that to do all your chopping/grating and mean that you don't need to use up precious space in your freezer for ready prepared veg
You can get some really compact ones these days so it need not take up a lot of space...

Cagliostro Fri 20-Jan-17 00:55:26

Thanks all smile

Yes we have a microwave so hoping that can help a lot. We do have a food processor as well, it's an amazing fancy one (wedding present) but again can't live on the counter due to lack of space. I also can't lift it (or the slow cooker) - but DH can, so I get him to if I make pesto etc.

I have to say I am immensely tempted by a soup maker. My mum has had one a while and everything tastes amazing for zero effort. It even cleans itself! Which is a huge plus. Even simmering a soup on the hob and then sticking the hand blender in it is just too much for me most days, so the fact that this would do everything in one fell swoop is making me think it would quite possibly be worth the money.

finova Sat 21-Jan-17 01:05:37

Cupboard meals:
Mexican soup

Sachet Mexican microwave rice-microwave
Add to pan with:
Tin toms
Tin sweetcorn
Tin kidney beans
Squeeze tom purée
Stock pot (chicken or veg)
Shake of cumin, cayenne and oregano

Simmer for 15-20 mins

Top with cheese/sour cream/spring onions

Tuna pasta

Cook pasta

At same time simmer:
1 tin condensed mushroom soup
Tin tuna
Tin sweetcorn
ground pepper

Mix and serve

Could also serve tuna mix with frozen mash

Egg fried rice

Cook 2 sachets of micro rice
Micro 2/3 eggs and scramble (pause micro to mix)

In pan cook mushrooms (could buy pre sliced) add garlic purée and frozen peas. Could add frozen prawns too.

Pour in rice.

Add soy sauce, sesame oil and spring onion (snip with scissors).

Twinchaos1 Tue 24-Jan-17 20:09:00

I would consider a slow cooker. They are cheap to run and low hassle to prep for.

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