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Camille'sBigSister

Help! I Don't Want To Cook!

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Hey, y'all! This is my first post, but I've been reading a lot of strings, and feel as if I know some of you. I haven't been diagnosed yet, but when nature decides to cooperate with me, I'll be sending my specimen to Entero Labs. Given the histories of my mother and my sisters, however, I'm pretty sure my weight loss and increased number of attacks of diarrhea have been caused by gluten intolerence. Oh, well; it is what it is.

Here's the HUGE stumbling block that's making me mad as hell: I'm sick and tired of cooking, and thought I was through with it!

I'm 73 years old; I have (by my first husband) six children, all of whom are married; I have eighteen grandchildren; and I've been married for 30 years to my second husband. About 3 1/2 years ago I began taking lessons in faux finishing, and a whole artistic thing sort of snowballed from there. I'm now a stencil artist, a faux and decorative finishes artist, a so-so muralist, and I know how to refinish cabinets and furniture. (That last one is a killer! No way would I work that hard - not even for myself!) So there I was, ready to start my own little business, when boom!

Now I have to waste hours of every day on FOOD? I don't want to cook!!! I want to paint!!! Does anyone know a source for buying prepared, gluten-free meals? Help!

Cissie

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There are gluten free meals out there but then you have a lot of additives. You could always set aside one day to prepare things and freeze them until you need them. Meats can be cooked and frozen unless they will be used in 4-5 days (although it's best to use them within 3), rice, beans. Things that take time to cook. Then all you would need to do is add veggies and reheat the other foods which would take less time out of the day so you could paint more. Check out www.glutenfreemall.com for an idea of gluten free meals and either order them online or check out your local store. Many of the companies that make gluten free foods have their own website so you can check out what stores carry them. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Welcome! :D

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My hubby takes one or two evenings (usually Sunday and a weeknight) to fix a bunch of meat (grill or bake) and we keep enough out for a few days and freeze the rest. We also try to fix a few sides about 3 times a week to use for leftovers for lunches and dinners. When he is busy working his 80+ hours during the fall and winter, I do the cooking and do the same thing.

We pre-cook then freeze my homemade sausage (takes about 10 minutes to throw together one evening then should be cooked a day or two later) one day every week or two so my breakfast easy - just scramble some eggs and you are done!

I always have some chicken so I can make chicken salad to take out in a cooler if we go anywhere.

I try to make some Chebe bread a few times a week if I don't have some potatoes to warm up for a snack too. That takes about 30 minutes in an evening while I am chillin'.

With 3 kids and 2 schedules to track (who is home when), both working full time, boating all weekend, swimming - 2 of the kids and not at the same time, fencing, 4-H, band, track, choir, etc., etc., and my side business (did painting for a while and LOVED it too), a house that was a rental and we are fixing up, we have very little time too and this system has worked VERY well.

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Gluten free cooking needn't take hours every day. I 'budget' an hour a day for cooking, eating, and cleaning up dinner - thus giving me leftovers for lunch the next day. Stir fries and soups make this easier, as do grilling and salads.

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I'm an artist too & I completely understand being swept up in a creative frenzy & not wanting to do anything else for weeks at a time!

Luckily, at such times, I'm completely oblivious to what I'm eating, thus am perfectly happy with a subsistance diet of rice cakes, peanut butter, raw veggies & fruits. Or I'll make a big batch of soup or stir fry & eat the same dish for several days.

Then there are times when cooking itself becomes the creative frenzy. Believe me, it can happen! At such times I thoroughly enjoy a nice kitchen binge & freeze some of the results for the studio-frenzy times.

The key to enjoying cooking is to do lots of it when the spirit strikes you, instead of having it be a daily burden.

Also... might your husband do some of the cooking? Mine doesn't do much, but he grills, & makes a mean tuna salad, & I enjoy his contributions greatly!

Leah

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Thanks so much for all the good advice, and for caring! I've been feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, thinking this diet was about to take over my life. Guess I lost my perspective. Sooner or later I'll get it all worked out.

Leah, you're spot on about the creative frenzy! That's exactly how I feel, and how I eat, when the muse strikes. The creative frenzy in the kitchen comes over me sometimes, too, although not often enough to suit my husband, bless his heart! He can't cook, but he can grill, so I'll buy one this weekend. We used to have one just off the back deck, but we enclosed the deck, and it's now my studio.

Cissie

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Firstly it really doesn't need to take long ... the problem is at first when your getting used to it but once you are its really no longer than you want...

There are 101 meals that can be whipped up in the time it takes to cook rice or gluten-free pasta. I use this as a yardstick because if you take the time from putting water on to boil to taking rice/pasta off there is a lot you can do in the time inbetween...

I divide dishes into those that have prep time and those that don't by this sort of yardstick.

You can also add things like grilled meats and especially in summer just accompany wioth a green salad.

The other class of convenience foods I call 'cook n forget' ... they are the slow cooker types.

10 mins of prep and stick it in the slow cooker overnight. Make lots and put the rest in single portion freezer bags or better still the straight from freezer to micro tupperware.

However I can see why its frustrating but how about also trying some cooking you never tried before .. most people tend to have a set of meals they fall back on especially cooking for a family so perhaps try cooking some "exotic" dishes from far away places....

While your working you can just eat some simple crudites of choice like carrot, cucumber etc.

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Along that same topic - we use a crock pot all the time in the winter. Throw in chicken in the morning and wow, stew, meatloaf, chili, BBQ, etc. and then it is all ready - just about 15 minute in the morning of prep and you are done.

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Guest Robbin
:) Welcome to a fellow artist. I could go without eating for days when the creative urge hits, if it weren't for hypoglycemia stopping me. I also have the kind of husband and son that eat :blink: lol, so I have to cook for them too! One thing I bought is a pressure cooker and that has changed my cooking life alot. Slow cookers, microwaves, and grills can make clean-up time a breeze too. The idea of setting one day aside for cooking lots of food and then freezing is a good one. Another thing I do is cook extra each night and use leftovers for lunch the next day. Bread making is a hassle for me so I make quick breads like biscuits or buy them, that way sandwiches are an option. Hey, put that muse to work on creating easy meals!! Take care :D

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Great ideas! I'm going to add a crock pot to my shopping list, as well as those freezer-to-microwave dishes. I'll even drag out the pressure cooker, which I haven't used in ages. Now, gfp, where do I find recipes for those 101 meals that take no more time to prepare than cooking rice?

I cook rice often, and prefer it to potatoes. I was born and raised in Memphis, which isn't far from rice country, so I grew up eating rice: rice with butter, rice with gravy, rice in soups and gumbos, rice pudding . . . . Gosh, that brings back such good memories!

We rarely ate meat in the summer, only fried chicken on Sunday; and even chicken was hard to find during the war (WW II). Once in a blue moon, news would sweep through the neighborhood that there was meat in the butcher shop at Kroger's, and all the ladies would rush down, with meat coupons secured in their pocketbooks! Mother used to swear that it was horse meat, but she cooked it nevertheless.

But summer was synonymous with vegetables. The local farmers, having risen before dawn to pick their crops, would truck in their wares two or three days a week. Early on a summer morning, before it got hot, we'd hear the sing-song of the market man drifting down the street. "MarKET! Market man! Nice fresh butterbeans, peas, okra, corn, tomato-os!" Mother would invite him to sit on the cool back porch, pour him an enormous glass of sweet ice tea, select our meals for the next two days, and send him on his way again, quart jar of that tea in hand. Sometimes (Glory be!) the market man's wife would have had time to shell their butterbeans or peas. We children loved that! It meant less time shelling peas and more time for playing. But there was usually corn to shuck; there were beans to string; and squash, cucumbers, and other vegetables to wash. Mother would cook all those wonderful things, and have dinner done by ten o'clock in the morning. After that, it was too hot to cook (no air conditioning in those days). When daddy got home from work, all mother had to do was heat up the hot foods, set out the cold foods from the ice box, fill glasses with ice, and pour that ubiquitous sweet ice tea. Well, that was actually my job - filling the glasses with ice. How I hated wrestling with those damn aluminum ice trays! The levers never worked! I would have to turn the trays over and run hot water over them, and some of the ice cubes would inevitably fall into the sink; THEN I would have to fill them with water and slide them back into the ice box without spilling half the contents on the floor. I was so traumatized that, after I married, and even after the advent of refrigerators with ice-dispensers in the doors, I HAVE NEVER EVER MADE ICE TEA!!!!!

Good grief! I've written an epistle, when all I meant to do was say I like rice and vegetables. Sorry.

Cissie

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Great ideas! I'm going to add a crock pot to my shopping list, as well as those freezer-to-microwave dishes. I'll even drag out the pressure cooker, which I haven't used in ages. Now, gfp, where do I find recipes for those 101 meals that take no more time to prepare than cooking rice?

OK lets start off with 10 variations on gluten-free pasta....Im hitting summer recipees mainly here....

Its also more challenging because the pasta takes less time to cook!

1./ Cook pasta... while the water is waiting to boil warm some sour cream and add smoked salmon and chives ...

Wait for the pasta to finish cooking, drain and pour over the sauce....(you will be twiddling your thumbs for 8-10 minutes while the pasta cooks

2/ Instead of salmon ... take some cooked ham and some dried porcini mushrooms .. stick the porcini in a cup in the micro and heat it till almost boiling (the flavour comes out this way) then add the cooked ham and if you like cooked chicken, a dash of celery salt, pepper and its done... grated parmesan is optional.

if you have no cooked ham/chicken you can just cube it and flash fry it while the pasta is cooking and then you can add the juices from the pan too.

3/ While cooking the pasta stick a cup of basil, a clove of garlic some olive oil, table spoon of pine nuts and parmesan in a food processor or in a cup with a hand blender. the oil should be enough to just make it all paste and a little extra ... instant pesto. You have time to clean the processor before the pasta finishes.

4/ basic bolgnaise (this needs timing to do in 10 minutes but that is just practice)

Walk into the kitchen and switch on two hobs if they are electric and stick the pan on for the pasta meanwhile start sling onions (this is practice and I guess you can chop an onion in 30 secs like me, if not its just practice but I don't wanna teach you to suck eggs ... just shell em quickly :D)

Start frying the onion in some olive oil on fairly low then continue to chop some garlic, if you wanna do it in 10 mins then I cut both ends of the garlic, hit it with the flat of a cleaver (lay the cleaver on it then bang it .. be careful garlic oil can burn) then the skin falls off ... then mince the remaining garlic with a rocking motion.... with practice takes 20 seconds .... as the onions are clear add mixed herbs, minced beef and the garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes then add a tin of tomatoes... and some tomatoe puree if you have some. If the tomatoes are not pre chopped you can do it in the pan I just use a flat spatula and cut them on top of it... it cuts the cooking time down....

take out a cup and some corn starch and add a little water to make a paste and then a bit more till it pours...

when the pasta is cooked drain it and leave it in the seives as you take the sauce off the heat and add the corn starch, stir it in and bring it back to near boiling whilst it thickens .... dribble a bit of olive oil over the pasta stick in a bowl and add the sauce.

5/ Basic arribiata ... (my way)

Start with onions then start chopping bell peppers and some chilli ... simply add this instread of the meat...

6/ Primavera ... gluten-free tagliatelli (the challenge here is it usually only takes 5-6 minutes for gluten-free tagliatelli or vermicelli)

While vermicelli is cooking, heat oil in saucepan. Add garlic and chicken breasts cut into slivers; saute until browned.3/4 cup tomato sauce. Add 3/4 cup chicken broth (If I don't have my opwn I use kallo organic gluten-free)

Salt and pepper to taste 2 cups broccoli florets, 1 cup sliced zucchini, 2 carrots, sliced (the trick is very thin)

1 red pepper, seeded and sliced

You can also use pre cooked vegetables which have been frozen or put aside....

7/ Fettuccini Pollo aromatico

chicken breasts, bone and skin removed, 1/4 small onion, chopped, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons fresh basil, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 pound fettuccine, cooked

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Saute chicken in the butter over medium heat for 5 minutes; add onions, cream and all the seasonings. Let cream mixture come to a boil and add fettuccine. Add cheese and toss until sauce clings to pasta. Serve hot.

8/ Leftover pasta salad ... well I usually end up cookingf too much rather than too little :D

Brush zuccini and egg plant in strips with olive oil and mixed herbs then on a griddle cook through until they show nice brwnded parts .. optionally add some artichoke in oil...(I say this because artichoke takes ages to cook, even in a pressure cooker). or most decent antipasta which is simply grilled veg in oil... while doing this you can actually make your own antipasta, stick in jars and have ready to add to other recipees ....

9/ Prawn and or crab meat .. to do it quick buy pre-cooked and shelled prawns and crab meat and any other similar your budget stretches to. Flash fry i olive oil and garlic then add fresh cream and optionally chives.

Pour over pasta .. obviously

10/ 2 tablespoons Olive Oil 1 Red Bell Pepper -- diced 1/2 cup Thinly Sliced Scallions 2 Cloves Garlic -- minced 1/2 tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger + 1/2 teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger 1/2 pound Snow Peas -- trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces (use frozen snow peas if fresh aren't available) 1 cup Chicken Broth (or kallo instant organic gluten-free) 1/2 teaspoon Salt, pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper teaspoons Cornstarch

6 ounces Angel Hair or Capellini Pasta

Directions:

Start heating a large pot of water to boiling for the pasta. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until hot but not smoking over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring frequently until the scallions are tender, about 4 minutes longer.

Stir in the snow peas and cook until the snow peas are just crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Add the broth, salt, and black pepper and bring to a boil. In a cup, combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water, stir to blend., and stir into the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute longer.

Meanwhile, cook the angel hair pasta in the boiling water until just tender. Drain well. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl, add the pasta, and toss to combine. Spoon the pasta mixture onto 4 plates and serve.

More later ....

My girlfriend is hungry and want me to cook!

OK, that just took 10 mins to make a BBQ sauce for pork cops....

1. container of apple and pear puree (compote in French) ... table spoon gluten-free soy sauce... pinch celery salt some chilli oil (just dried chillies soaked in sunflower oil) .. dash of gluten-free worcseter sauce (it makes everything so English!) some gluten-free cajun spices and my own garam marsala crushed garlic and some scallions .. drop of sesame oil and throw i the pork chops....

anyway... what I meant to say is that for instance the pesto sauce once made keeps a few days refrigerated so you can then make a really quick tomatoe and mozeralla salad (adding greens of choice) and just dribble pesto over it ... spice it up by grilliing some pine nuts and or gluten-free bacon in strips.....

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Hello there, gfp. Oh, my gosh! You mean to say that I can use my beloved "Wooster" Sauce? (That's the way mother pronounced it. Her people were from southern Mississippi and Louisiana, and for some reason they pronounced some words the English way. Another word is "again," which rhymes with "rain.") I was afraid Worcester Sauce might have gluten in it, because the label doesn't say gluten free.

You make a roux with cornstarch? I would never have thought to do that. In fact, I've been a bit down-hearted, wondering how on earth I'd ever be able to make a gumbo or a thick soup without flour. Come to think of it, maybe rice flour would also work.

Thanks ever so much for the recipes!!! I'll print them out, and try them one by one. When I make a tomato/mozzarello/basil salad, I drizzle it with Brianna's Vinaigrette. Using pesto would be a nice change. There's such a thing as gluten free bacon? What's the brand? We might not have the same brand here though. (I'm guessing you're English, and a wee bit Italian.)

Cissie

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So I guess you need southern substitutions :)

I make chicken fried steak and gravy with a blend of brown 2 pts. rice flour, 3/4 pt. potato starch, and 1/4 pt. cornstarch. I call it my "frying" blend, since it's probably a bit grainy for baking but isn't for frying and gravy. I've made a roux with just cornstarch, but it comes out looking wierd with an odd texture. My gluteny husband couldn't tell the difference though between normal flour and not when I used that blend listed. I've also made fried chicken with it. That blend works fabulously for white gravy, which of course as you know is made from a roux. :)

Lea & Perrins is gluten-free in the US, but it's not in Canada. For bacon, I use either hormel or oscar meyer because they'll clearly list gluten as either wheat, barley, rye, or oats. I usually use oscar meyer. Depending on where you are, I've also used Petit Jean bacon without a problem.

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Hello there, gfp. Oh, my gosh! You mean to say that I can use my beloved "Wooster" Sauce? (That's the way mother pronounced it. Her people were from southern Mississippi and Louisiana, and for some reason they pronounced some words the English way. Another word is "again," which rhymes with "rain.") I was afraid Worcester Sauce might have gluten in it, because the label doesn't say gluten free.

You make a roux with cornstarch? I would never have thought to do that. In fact, I've been a bit down-hearted, wondering how on earth I'd ever be able to make a gumbo or a thick soup without flour. Come to think of it, maybe rice flour would also work.

The sauce is Worcestershire sauce, or "WOOster-shr". Worcester, "WOOster" is a city in central Massachusetts (and maybe in England, for all I know). I make sauces using rice flour or white buckwheat flour.

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The sauce is Worcestershire sauce, or "WOOster-shr". Worcester, "WOOster" is a city in central Massachusetts (and maybe in England, for all I know). I make sauces using rice flour or white buckwheat flour.

You've never been to the South to cook, have you? The way people pronounce things down here would drive you nuts :)

Wooster sauce sounds about right, depending on region :P

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You really can whip up a bunch of meals very quickly. One thing I do is buy frozen chicken breasts, a bottle of really good gluten free sauce (usually curry of some sort) and frozen veggies. I thaw and cut up the chicken breasts and throw on the sauce and dump in the veggies. In 20 minutes I have a weeks worth of meals.

I also buy a lot of bagged, pre-washed salad greens. Then I have frozen artichoke hears and strips of grilled, frozen chicken. I take handfuls of salad, dump it into a bowl, microwave the chicken and artichoke hearts, dump on some salad dressing and I have a very healthy lovely meal. :D

I use mixed nuts and fruit as a snack. Every now and then I have a big cooking frenzy and make a bunch of ribs, some chili, things that take a long time to cook but don't require a lot of preparation.

Sounds like you're having a blast! I hope I'm having as much fun as you at 73!

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eKatherine, that's so funny! I know how to spell Worcestershire, since I've been looking at the label all my life. I just wrote it phonetically as a joke on myself. I really must start using those little yellow faces, but I don't know how.

ChelsE, your "frying" blend will become a staple in my kitchen. It's okay for you to laugh at us Southerners; heck, we laugh at ourselves!

NancyM, sounds delicious! Don't you love those pre-washed greens and veggies? You're right; I am having a blast at 73! You will too, if you'll always be curious.

To all: I'll eventually figure out how to use quotes. I just learned to use a computer a year and a half ago, and some things still throw me for a loop.

Cissie

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ChelsE, your "frying" blend will become a staple in my kitchen. It's okay for you to laugh at us Southerners; heck, we laugh at ourselves!

Oh, no worries there! My whole family and my husband's family are from Arkansas. We know all the barefoot Arkie jokes, and a fair share of Aggie jokes! :P

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Hi Cissie, and welcome to this board. I had a good laugh or two reading through this thread, you sound like such a fun person! I hope I will be as lively and having so much fun at your age.

I hate cooking, too, it takes away from what I really want to do. So, I cook only once a day, and make enough to last more than one meal (I can't eat so many things, that really meat and vegetables are all I can eat). Usually it's some sort of stir fry. I don't follow recipes if I can help it (and there really aren't any left that work for me, anyway). I start out with whatever meat looks good to me on any given day and brown it with shallots. While it browns, I chop up whatever vegetables I can find in my fridge, throw them in and let them simmer until cooked, and that's it. Easy, delicious and nutritious.

Too bad my sixteen-year-old nephew arrived from Germany today, who undoubtedly, like all teenaged boys (and some teenaged girls) eats like a horse, and I will have to make more of an effort for the next five weeks (I just hope I can survive).

The yellow faces on the left (smilies) are easily activated by simply clicking on the one of your choice when you want to insert one. It will show up as a code in the posting window, but will be a smilie when you add your reply.

:D

Good for you to have learned to use a computer just recently, and even daring to use a forum now! Too many older people assume that they're too old for something new like that. How sad that they'll be limiting themselves by thinking that.

My aunt in Germany, who is about your age, takes computer courses, too, and learned English a few years ago, just for fun. She has stayed such a young at heart and fun person by doing things like that!

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sorry opened this and got distracted.... so its the next day now.

Hello there, gfp. Oh, my gosh! You mean to say that I can use my beloved "Wooster" Sauce? (That's the way mother pronounced it. Her people were from southern Mississippi and Louisiana, and for some reason they pronounced some words the English way. Another word is "again," which rhymes with "rain.") I was afraid Worcester Sauce might have gluten in it, because the label doesn't say gluten free.

You make a roux with cornstarch? I would never have thought to do that. In fact, I've been a bit down-hearted, wondering how on earth I'd ever be able to make a gumbo or a thick soup without flour. Come to think of it, maybe rice flour would also work.

Thanks ever so much for the recipes!!! I'll print them out, and try them one by one. When I make a tomato/mozzarello/basil salad, I drizzle it with Brianna's Vinaigrette. Using pesto would be a nice change. There's such a thing as gluten free bacon? What's the brand? We might not have the same brand here though. (I'm guessing you're English, and a wee bit Italian.)

Cissie

First off you need to find specific GLUTEN FREE worcester sauce and soy sauce. They are relatiuvely expensive but you don't use much .....

Their are a few ways to make gluten-free roux... depending what consistency you want but the ones I used are cornstarch because of the self-imposed 10 minute limit! However this is probably as good as any for pasta dishes excepting canneloni/lasagne etc.

You can make a normal roux with butter and rice/potato/chick pea and other gluten-free flours.... or a mix of a few.

For instance thinkening a curry I use chick pea but when making boeuf bourgnion I use a mix of rice and potatoe ... gluten free bacon depends where you are.... In the UK much of it is injected with wheat starch as a forming agent and make it slice thinner however real butchers bacon with nothing added is gluten-free. You need to take local advice on this... Im sure lots of the cooks here know the best US brands and places.

Indeed I see ChelsE has already helped out..

Anyway, that was just the first 10 variations on a theme ... what to do with gluten-free pasta in the time it takes to cook... more or less just off the top of my head. This is the type of thing I tend to make for myself when alone so I thought I would start off like that and just stuck to pasta (and Italian) to prove the point. There are a few that take a little longer I missed out and I bet I can find 20 more if I think... I usually let the market decide what looks good rather than planning which I only really do for dinner parties.

The whole point is you just need to do things in the correct order ... you are cooking for yourself mostly so I'm just coming up with things which are nutritious, use fresh veg and meat etc. Since you obviously know how to cook Im just listing stuff and the order to get it done in the requisite time ... later we can do the 15 mins total prep time for dishes to put in a crock pot... though some of these take 24 hours in total you are only actually doing prep for 15 mins... and the benefit is you can leave it cooking and eat when you're ready.

I won't pretend these dishes are as good as one which has love and attention put into it, they are not but then neither is a dish you cook for yourself as nice as one cooked for you. You spent your whole life pouring love and attention into cooking for others so these ideas are just to break the habit... my gradma could never cook anything that didn't take 6 hours :D she had a large family and her job was feeding it which she did very well.

If you have access to an Asian supermarket this expands your choice even more.... probably 1001 not 101

Practically all stir fry can be made in 10 minutes ....

If you like we can do 101 recipees :D in the time it takes to cook rice ... I doubt you will be the only one to benefit but I need to do them at your level not someone who can't cook else it will take forever.

The other thing I tend to do is make my own stocks and mixes...

chicken stock for instance is excellent and since I need the calcium (and most of us do) especially you probably I use all the bones. .... this is something i usually have going 1-2 a week and if its only for you then you can use the chicken bones and scraps from what you eat .... its also incredibly cheap.

mixes i tend to make up are garam masarla (because Im english and curries are our national dish now), I also love them and also my own mixes like mexican and cajun ... just to use as the base for something else.

Once you have them it cuts down the prep time ....

11/ chicken risotto (technically this is cheating because the rice goes in after 3-4 minutes but I'm including it because its simple, easy and delicious...and with the variations actually something I would serve at a dinner party and I'm really fussy.)

Start off with a big frying pan olive oil and a finely chopped onion until its clear then add some chicken and cook through (if you made your own stock you will have the meat you take off the bones and this is ideal but if not just chop up a chicken breast while the onions soften) along with some mixed herbs and thinly sliced garlic ....(I also tend to add chopped celery but this isn't exactly traditional)

(optionally I add pork shoulder here ... this takes a while to cut...because I need to control my calories and I cut off most the fat then reduce the olive oil accordingly...) you can also add a gluten free spicy saussage (anything like chorizo) ... so we are basically making Italian gumbo...

this should fry until the pork shoulder is cooked....I make cubes about 1/8" then add a cup full of arborio rice. You can use other rice but then its probably technically a paella. (this gets me an extra recipe :D)

fry the rice for about 1-2 minutes in the mix of oil and everything and it becomes just a little transparent .. at this point you add optionally a glass of dry white wine or a dry vermouth (again check the brand is gluten-free) and a 1/2 tsp of celery salt

(celery salt is a great season all - I call it the healthy MSG... and it adds that bit of depth which is sometimes missing from 15-20 minute food. )

then you need to add the right amount of chicken stock .. this is a bit of practice and depends heavily on the type of rice you use (and the lid to the frying pan) but once you get it right you can practically forget it while it cooks which excuses the 3-4 minutes cooking before you add the rice ;)

Basically 3 measures of stock to each measure of rice is a good starting point....if you are using stock cubes then make sure you boil a kettle as soon as the onions are chopped :D

once the stock is in you can add dried porcini ... if its autumn and you have access to fresh then they need frying with the chicken etc. but then you would wanto to be a bit more selective about the exact herbs ... (thyme and nipitella which is a particular type of thyme but hard to find outside Italy) the you just cook it on low until the stock is adsorbed.

12/ seafood paella.... pretty much like above except you can leave out the wine and substitute pre-cooked prawns, clams etc.

13/ "curry paste" Indian curry.... curry paste is a valid way to make any curry, you can make your own or buy a commerical one and use it as a base. A surprising number of pastes are gluten-free and contain only spices fried in oil and stuck in a jar.

In most cases the suggested recipees are on the jar's but soem work out better than others.

You can make double or triple and stick the rest in a crock pot for an extra day as well.

Mostly you can get away with a can of tomatoes and an onion added to whatever meat as a base.

things like potatoes are nice to soak up the juices but these need longer to cook....(you can add these to the part going into a stock pot)

You can also add canned cooked lentils

14/ Chilli..... with trimmings

After putting the water on to boil for the rice ....You can start off with the onions and a seperate pan with cumin and cilantro seeds. while the onions soften just heat the seeds and keep moving around just to toasting....

Pull them off the heat and grind in a mortar and pestle you can make a week or two's supply at once but they loose the fresh ground flavor any longer. keep the heat on.....

Seperate off enough to season your tastes... and throw in with the meat of your choice, ground beef is fastest... meanwhile open a can of cooked kidney beans and seperate off a few to add to the chilli if you wish and take the rest and flash fry with another onion and some of the cumin, cilantro and celery salt.... and chopped garlic

by the time this is cooked you can add a can of tomatoes to the chilli pan ....and throw the kidney beans into a food processor and stick on pulse for a few goes (I like refried beans largely recognisable as beans not puree ...) now turn off the heat if electric or put on low if gas.... and empty the beans back for a minute or so.... while cleaning out the processor.... grab an avocado and scoop it out into the processor adding some

garlic and the cilatro cumin mix some lime juice and corn oil.

Obviously if you have other preferences on the guacamole go for it....

By the time the rice is done you should have chilli with refried beans and gaucamole.

As above you can make extra and stick it in the crock pot.

15/ .. and this is with trepidation ... quick gumbo....

OK .. firstly this would probably get me killed in parts of Louisiana .. quick gumbo? but lets try. It will be frantic...

1 pre cooked chicken which you know is gluten-free.... and pre-cooked shrimps deshelled....

onions, celery tops, carrots chopped, garlic, smashed with a cleaver then chopped ...

Spices : In a small cheesecloth bag or tea ball, place: tsp black peppercorns, cracked (use a towel and back of cleaver) A few parsley stems and a bayleaf, 1/2 tsp each dried thyme, tarragon, oregano, basil.....

Start off with a big pan and boiling water from a kettle (this will be used for the quick stock) and a seperate pan and a microwave bowl with water for the carrots (its the only way to cook em fast enough) add these to the rest of the quick stock after 10 minutes in the micro with all the juice

Pull off the chicken breast and obvious meaty parts and throw the rest in the pot... if you have the prawn shells and heads throw these in as well. Everything so far is in the quick stock pot....

meanwhile you need to kick off the roux.... a mixed gluten-free flour is better than corn starch for this ....

tastes vary as to the color of the roux from caramel to coffee ....you are going to have to keep stiring this....

Once this is going you can start off the louisiana long grain rice ....

The Gumbo:

chicken you pulled off, andouille sausage, sliced about 1/4" thick on the bias (you may substitute hot or mild smoked sausage if good andouille isn't available) and/or fresh Creole hot sausage, browned the rest of the shrimp, lump white crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage , sliced okra (also par boiled in the micro) 1 onion: chopped, bunch green onions with tops, chopped, tinned roasted bell peppers, chopped, celery, chopped, more garlic smashed and chopped bay leaf and chopped fresh parsley ... black, white and cayenne peppers: to taste, salt to taste and Tabasco to taste.

brown the onions then add the rest... give it until the rice is almost done and add the stock through a seive.

Take this off the heat and add the roux.... and then stir through the roux leaving until you have drained the rice and rinced in boiling water...

Not quite the real thing but takes 6-8 hours less time

Quick egg freied rice

1/4 cup water and pinch salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce

1/4 cup basmati or thai rice rinced in cold water.

Cook the rice until its almost done (5 minutes from end and still a bit chewy) drain and in the same saucepan bring water, salt and soy sauce to a boil. Add rice back and stir. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes.

1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1/2 onion, finely chopped (or fresh salad onions even better) 2 tablespoons green beans, lightly beaten egg and pinch ground black pepper

Heat oil in a medium skillet or wok over medium heat. Saute onions and green beans for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in egg and fry for 2 minutes, scrambling egg while it cooks.

The rice has now stood for 5 minutes : Stir in the cooked rice, mix well and sprinkle with pepper.

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Hi, Ursula! I spent some of the happiest years of my life in Deutschland! :D Von drei und sechzig bis acht und sechzig. Ich habe biBchen Deutsch gelernt, aber nun habe ich viel fergessen. (Sorry about the "biBchen. :) My computer doesn't type in German, so the capital B is the best I can do.) My first husband, our six children, and I lived in Frankfurt. He worked as an electronic technician for the FAA, which provided electronic technicians for the Air Force. We were under the auspices of the Department of State, and lived in HICOG, in case you're familiar with Frankfurt. The University of Maryland had a branch there, and offered college courses in German, as well as lots of other subjects. I studied German for two semesters.

I was probably one of three or four American women who learned the language. I never understood why all the women, be they associated with the Army, Air Force, or the American Consulate, were content to live such circumscribed lives, confined to the PX, the Commisary, and the American housing complexes. Boring!!!

My Putzfrau (She didn't speak English, so I got a lot of practice in German with her.) came once a week, and that was my day to drive downtown to get my hair done and to shop. My hairdresser, Beate, was German, married to an Italian hairdresser.

We bought a VW Microbus, and drove all over western Europe. The Army schools (The State Department paid tuition for our children to attend.) encouraged travel even during the school year, and were wonderful about helping kids catch up with their studies. We camped everywhere we went, until our last year there, when I put my foot down and insisted on staying at B&Bs.

Where does your aunt live? And your nephew? I know what you mean about boys' eating habits! My sixteen-year-old grandson (Lives in West Virginia.) was here a few days last week, and boy, did I cook!!! He loves my cooking! I've never used pre-mixed anything, and buy organic veggies and fruit. He actually enjoyed our trip to a farmer's market.

I've always been so picky about food, so you can imagine how astounding this gluten thing is for me!!! How ironic! I think God has a sense of humor! :lol::lol::lol:

Have a lovely wochenende!!!

Cissie

Oops! That should have been "Wochenende." :)

Cissie

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Cissie, my aunt, my six brothers, my sister and their families (including my nephew, of course) live in and around Hamburg.

It sounds like you had an interesting, adventurous life.

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Too bad my sixteen-year-old nephew arrived from Germany today, who undoubtedly, like all teenaged boys (and some teenaged girls) eats like a horse, and I will have to make more of an effort for the next five weeks (I just hope I can survive).

Sixteen is an excellent age to learn to cook! I have nineteen year old twin boys & they are good & adventurous cooks. Sometimes they cook things I can't eat or won't make (I am very squeamish about red meat) but just as often they make something delicious that I can enjoy. The rule in our household is that whoever cooks is excused from cleaning up, which is an excellent incentive!

Leah

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The rule in our household is that whoever cooks is excused from cleaning up, which is an excellent incentive!

Leah

Leah-

I'm moving in. I'll cook!! I absolutely HATE the clean up. I could cook all day as long as somebody else cleans up after me!! ha

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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