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Camille'sBigSister

Help! I Don't Want To Cook!

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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

I am a painter also, and am FURIOUS at the time that must be spent on the acquisition and preparation of food!!!! :angry::angry::angry: there are SO many more interesting things to be doing. Guess what, I also paint and refinish furniture, with many painstaking coats....yup, kind of tedious. Am about to undertake a three-panelled wooden screen....haven't decided on the theme yet - - old and French looking, I think.....or Scandinavian - - we will see.

anywho. Do you have a trader Joe's nearby? Where do you live? That saves my life. Here are some things that I eat that are pretty quick and easy:

Cantella's sausages - microwave in 45 seconds - with eggs for breakfast. Sausages are so good, can barbecue also and eat any time of day. Also for breakfast - Mesa Sunrise cereal from Whole Foods. they do go on sale and are affordable. I add almonds and flax seeds for more protein.

Costco chicken. Very good, good-sized, and $5. After I've eaten as much of the chicken as I want, I shred pieces into a salad, or into a corn tortilla quesadilla with herbed Havarti cheese (Trader Joe's) and sautee in a small amount of butter. Then, use more chicken and make chicken salad with mayonnaise, celery, and grapes, add Herbamare seasoning (Whole Foods), put atop lettuce with some gluten-free dressing. Delicious.

Smoked salmon (TJ's or Costco - better value) with cream cheese, red onions, capers opional, on TJ's rice crackers. YUM!!! This is a frequent meal for me. Add some Roasted REd Pepper soup (TJ's) and it's more satisfying.

Summer salad - - gorgeous tomatos, cukes, red onion, and some sliced Ovolini mozzarella cheese (TJ's also) w. fresh basil, white balsamic vinegar and gluten-free dressing for a good salad. Piece of Brown Rice Bread with melted Havarti cheese on it - good lunch. I make a big quantity of the summer salad and eat for 3 - 4 days.

Fish. Get some filets, season wtih whatever you like (gluten free) and pan sear with butter. Add some lemon....microwave some mini potatoes (delicious small potatoes in a bag from, once again, TJ's) and steam some broccoli. I make a quantity of all of this and have leftovers.

TRader Joe's - - pot roast or carnitas, microwave and serve wtih rice and a veggie. Lots of frozen ones can be sauteed quickly and it's healthy. Season veggies with a little butter and some dill or thyme - - tolerable that way. :)

Smoothies.....frozen fruit, banana, rice milk or yogurt, juice - - flaz seeds and protein powder optional. With a handful of nuts makes a good snack.

I make a killer spaghetti, a white chicken chili, and an incredible meatloaf (both with meat and tons of veggies, herbs, a little wine - - very delicious) every couple of weeks - - pm me if you want and I'll send you the recipes.

I"ll post more if I think of it - - - sorry if I'm repeating what anyone else has already said, haven't read the whole post yet!

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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:

I'm with you most of the time, but when I'm working like mad to make a deadline, or to get some gardening done before dark, it's great to come in to a delicious meal somebody else has prepared, instead of a hungry, cranky & resentful family! For that privilege I will gladly hit the dishes.

Leah

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GFP I want to come eat at your house......

And how do you make garam masala? I use Patek's Vindaloo paste from a jar - throw a dollup of that in a pan wtih butter/onions and add some chicken - or - worse yet - throw a dollup of it, w/ a little chicken stock, on some chicken tenders and put it in the microwave :ph34r: Even easier and pour it over rice - serve w/ fresh lime, chopped cashews, white onions and some chutney - - delicious.....but, I am always looking for different gluten-free curries/masalas/ something exotic and Indian.....

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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:

We have that rule too, DH and I. You have to be a REALLY good cook to pull it off. Fabulous incentive!

Especially since the better cook you are, the bigger mess you make :P

Cissie- I forgot to say that I add 1 tsp xanthan gum to the frying mix per cup, though I'm sure it would work without it :)

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

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.

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

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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GFP I want to come eat at your house......

And how do you make garam masala? I use Patek's Vindaloo paste from a jar - throw a dollup of that in a pan wtih butter/onions and add some chicken - or - worse yet - throw a dollup of it, w/ a little chicken stock, on some chicken tenders and put it in the microwave :ph34r: Even easier and pour it over rice - serve w/ fresh lime, chopped cashews, white onions and some chutney - - delicious.....but, I am always looking for different gluten-free curries/masalas/ something exotic and Indian.....

Yep I like Patak's myself ...

Here is the garam masarla I make though its never the same twice....and I usually do it all by eye so measures are somewhat guesses...

100g coriander/cilantro and 100g cumin seeds (this 50/50 is classic from Mexican to Indian)

50g black pepper corns,

30g cassia bark, cloves, brown cardamon

15g nutmeg, ground ginger

10g bay leaves.

Stick everything except the ginger into a medium grill, low oven or just a large frying pan (I just use the pan)

heat slowly until they start giving off steam but don't let em burn.

take em off and grind down in a mortar and pestle.... (or spice grinder if you have one, I don't) you can also stick them into a pepper grinder...

seive the mix and get as much out as you can, regrind, add course salt if necassary (abrasive) add the ginger and stick it in an airtight jar.

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I'm trying to catch up, after losing two days to a migraine and related problems. There was hidden msg in one of the gluten-free products I ate. :angry:

gfp: I've learned a lot from your posts! When are you going to write a cookbook? You could call it "Quick Cooking for Celiacs." A guaranteed success!

I thought risotto was out of the question for a quick meal. I've always added stock cup by cup, stirring constantly. So all that time-consuming stirring isn't necessary?

I was going to ask what a garam masala is, but someone else's post, and your answer, cleared that up for me. I like curries, but I've never tried Indian cooking. I certainly shall now.

Your quick-cook gumbo sounds great to me; I've thrown together a few myself. I'm proud of you for using okra! Most folks turn up their noses at it.

I tried using the quote button to answer your post, but, as you can see, all I succeeded in doing was adding two more of the same post. :blink: I'm so confused! :lol:

Leah: Love your cleaning up rule! Maybe I'll suggest it to my husband. If I can catch him in a "hungry, cranky and resentful" enough mood, he'll probably readily agree. :P By the way, I too am squeamish about red meat. When I make meat loaf, I have the butcher grind pork, veal and turkey for me.

Susan: I'd love to have those other recipes, so how do I pm you? For that matter, what does pm mean? I live in the Atlanta area, so will have to check on Trader Joe's. We have a wonderful market here, called DeKalb Farmers' Market. I've heard that it's a tourist attraction, though I've never seen any tour groups when I was there.

Have you decided whether to go with French or Scandinavian on the screen? I took the Cabinets and Trim workshop because I knew I could use the same techniques on furniture. I have an ugly (cheap) bombe chest sitting in my entry, and I thought I'd convert it to a gorgeous French chest to use in my bedroom. There are a couple of Aqua products I'd like to try on it. Maybe I'll tackle that project in January, the dead of winter here.

Chelsea: Thanks; I'll add the gum to the frying mix. Fried green tomatos, fried okra anyone?

Cissie

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gfp: I've learned a lot from your posts! When are you going to write a cookbook? You could call it "Quick Cooking for Celiacs." A guaranteed success!
I think its just reversing all your training you gave yourself in looking after a big family... and allthe care and attention you put into that.

I thought risotto was out of the question for a quick meal. I've always added stock cup by cup, stirring constantly. So all that time-consuming stirring isn't necessary?

If you leave it on low and covered its usually OK till close to the end when the stock is almost adsorbed..

A stir every so often won't hurt though... but it might stick a little... but its still very edible.

I was going to ask what a garam masala is, but someone else's post, and your answer, cleared that up for me. I like curries, but I've never tried Indian cooking. I certainly shall now.

Curries are a whole seperate world of cooking :D

There are plently you can make in 15-20 minutes and others take 3 hours of actual prep time (I made a special white curry a week or so ago that took most of the day but that was for guests)

Like everything else its not possible to make the perfect anything without care and attention but the secret is in just how close you can get in a few minutes ....

Nearly all of it depends on knowing the cooking times of different things for instance carrots take a set amount of time according to the size you chop them butt you can always microwave them and cook them from the inside at the same time and then if you are making a dish like curry that needs liquid add the whole lot... its not quite the same because they don't have the same chance to soak up the flavors ... but it can be damned close!

The other thing we didn't hit on yet is the crock pot. I have actually considered buying a second one and my kitchen is tiny. In nearly all cases things like the gumbo or curries can be rushed to 20 mins but you can make extra portions and put these in the crock pot overnight.

Stick them into a freezer to micro "tupperware" and you have a ready meal... gluten free but also very nutritious. I'm a big believer in keeping the juices from almost everything ....as I mentiond earlier chicken stock for instance is full of calcium in its best form for the human body to adsorb ...

The other thing for quick curries is using soft vegetables (technically fruit) like zuccini and eggplant ... and yes okra.

Your quick-cook gumbo sounds great to me; I've thrown together a few myself. I'm proud of you for using okra! Most folks turn up their noses at it.

Heck after suggesting it can be made in 30 minutes which still carries sever penalties for even suggesting its possible in parts of Louisiana I thought leaving out the Okra would be criminal....

I tried using the quote button to answer your post, but, as you can see, all I succeeded in doing was adding two more of the same post. :blink: I'm so confused! :lol:

You will get the hang of it.... you just use the quote and type underneath. You can preview the post to check....

Leah: Love your cleaning up rule! Maybe I'll suggest it to my husband. If I can catch him in a "hungry, cranky and resentful" enough mood, he'll probably readily agree. :P By the way, I too am squeamish about red meat. When I make meat loaf, I have the butcher grind pork, veal and turkey for me.

I like that rule too.... since I coo probably 90%+ of everything (and my girlfriend is a good cook) yet I still get moaned at for leaving a mess :( and have to tidy/wash . .. life is so unfair!

Susan: I'd love to have those other recipes, so how do I pm you? For that matter, what does pm mean?

You can send a message just to a single person by using the little pm button next to peoples posts... if someone sends one it should pop up and tell you and you can read/reply etc. but please Susan, share recipes :D

I live in the Atlanta area, so will have to check on Trader Joe's. We have a wonderful market here, called DeKalb Farmers' Market. I've heard that it's a tourist attraction, though I've never seen any tour groups when I was there.

These really are the best.... I buy nearly all my produce from markets... and tend to let this decide what Im going to eat rather than looking for certain things.

I love wandering rounbd the market buying what looks good but I hate goin gout looking for one specific item because chance is you just find wilted ones that day.

Do you want me to continue the rice/pasta dishes or shall I start adding other less than 20 mins dishes that don't take rice or pasta?

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on the rissotto, I had never made it either b/c of the constant stirring that I though was required, but I found a rissotto rice at Ingles of all places that doesn't require stirring constantly, and I have a recipe for asparagus and mushroom rissotto cooked in the rice cooker - no stirring! It is wonderful and creamy too!

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on the rissotto, I had never made it either b/c of the constant stirring that I though was required, but I found a rissotto rice at Ingles of all places that doesn't require stirring constantly, and I have a recipe for asparagus and mushroom rissotto cooked in the rice cooker - no stirring! It is wonderful and creamy too!

Well if the mix doesn't then the basics don't?

I tend to add that bit of extra stock and at the end just remove the lid and stir while I put in the grated parmesan and this thickens it up ...

Anyway, new rice recipe

Last night I had duck (confit) with a vegetable rice left over from lunch ...

However for reasons of my waistline I took off the skin and leave it in the oven to crisp until its almost no remaining fat. The rest of the fat I reserved.

For brunch today I took a onion and some shoulder smoked pork and fry them up with mixed herbs in some of the reserved duck fat while sticking the rice on. Once cooked I'm adding garlic (Im actually doing it now) and the extra meat from the duck I saved from last night and a can of cooked lentils ... the skin will be crumbled and put in at the end.

I just thought I could have added a zuccini as well.... oh well.

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WOW! I feel that my additions will be inadequate compared to some of the wonderful cooking ideas here! I usually stock up for a few days on salad in a bag (easier than chopping) and cook several days worth of chicken at a time, and throw together salads for lunch quite a bit. That gets me the fiber I need (I'm having trouble replacing all the whole grain breads I used to eat!) and it's FAST.

That's all that I can add...but I am going to have to write some of these great ideas down for myself!

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gfp: Well, of course carrots can be microwaved to shorten their cooking time! Why hasn't that ever occurred to me? When I gave dinner parties, I planned my menu two weeks ahead of time, then wrote down every step according to prep and cooking time, what could be cooked ahead of time (be it days or hours), serving dishes and table linens to be used, etc. I would also set the table the night before. Those days are over. Most of our friends are European, and as time went by, and we all grew older (My husband will be 80 in January.), they stopped coming to the States, and we stopped flying over to Europe. But, Lordy, the lovely memories we have!!! My husband doesn't like to travel any more, but I often throw my things in my car and take off!

But I digress. I used to make my own chicken stock, but now I use Horizon's Free Range Chicken Broth, and cook it down to about half to enhance the flavor. I'm going to make a risotto by your method - stir every now and then, and add extra stock at the end.

About those severe penalities in parts of Louisiana for suggesting that okra could be cooked in 30 minutes - Did you have to escape under cover of night? :lol::lol::lol: If you use baby okra, it doesn't take long to cook. I throw whole baby okra in with butter beans and field peas, in the last 30 minutes of cooking. I guess you know that we (in the South) cook green beans, butter beans, turnip greens, collards, and field peas with a hunk of salt pork.

I love markets too! My problem is that I can't resist buying everything that looks good, which means that I spend the next two days cooking and freezing, before anything can spoil. My eldest children have sweet memories of market-shopping with Grandmother in Memphis, when we would go for a visit. :):):)

I've never felt brave enough to cook a duck. My husband (second generation Italian-American) likes lamb, as do I, but I don't cook it any more because I can't stand the smell of the fat!!! <_<

Yes, please do add less-than-twenty-minute meals that don't use rice or pasta. I'm ready to branch out. Thanks ever so much for your ideas!!! :rolleyes:

Dionnek: What's the brand name of the risotto rice you found at Ingles? Mine comes in a large, square glass jar, and I think the brand is Rice Tec. It comes from Texas.

What's your recipe for asparagus and mushroom risotto? I'd really like to have it. Do you ever use white asparagus? I've never found any around here that was tender; it always has hard, woody stalks up to the very tippy tops. My husband and I were in Germany once during asparagus season, and boy, how we feasted! I don't remember having any tough stalks. By the way, I have a great recipe for an orange buerre that's wonderful with asparagus. I adapted it from a Martha Stewart recipe. ;) It's not a quick-cook thing though.

Jabberwife: Don't apologize. That's a good, fast way to cook and eat! I would add a carbohydrate and some fruit, because my husband is diabetic and needs to eat a certain balanced diet.

Cissie

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The rice for the risotto is called Vigo arborio rice (imported from Italy - it's in a small yellow bag). Funny, the recipe on the back calls for continuous stirring, but I just followed another recipe I had for the rice cooker - here it is:

Rice cooker Asparagus and Mushroom risotto:

1 1/2Tbsp olive oil

1 1/2TBS butter or margarine

2 Tbsp minced shallots

1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. arborio rice

2 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used more)

3/4 lbs (or whatever) asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces (I used green)

1 (14 1/2oz) can chicken broth plus water to equal 3 cups

butter and parmasan cheese (optional) to finish

Set rice cooker to on and heat olive oil and butter in cooker until melted. Add shallots; cook stirring occasionally utnil soft (about 2 min). Stir in rice until grains are evenly coated; cook stirring occasionally until grains are transparent except for a white spot on each (about 4 min.) Add mushrooms and asparagus; cook stirring 1 min. Stir in broth and water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.When done, stir in butter and cheese if desired.

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stirring is the only way to *properly* do risotto, but if you like it without the stirring, then who needs the extra work?! :-) (the stirring releases extra starches during the cooking process that regular simmering/steaming won't do, which creates a large amount of 'creamy' sauce.) even regular cooking will render it creamier than regular rice, because of the starches it still releases during cooking.

I encourage everyone to give a real risotta a chance once, but it *is* very time consuming to prepare it via the 'true' method.

(interestingly enough, the starch release that creates a creamy sauce makes it an idea addition for making a rice based stuffing for thansgiving. other short grain rices will do similar things (but require more stirring), but arborio rice is the real key.)

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does this *have* to be done in a rice cooker, or will a covered pan work? I'd like to try it....

One thing I forgot to mention is I used a copper bottomed stainless pan which distributes the heat.

stirring is the only way to *properly* do risotto, but if you like it without the stirring, then who needs the extra work?! :-)

It depends, if its just for me then that's different to preparing for guests.

The real chicken stock is perhaps a key here.... you get all the gelatine out which sets at room temp and when you add the parmesan it thickens again. I usually let it stand 5 mins as well once the parmesan is in.

Its not a perfect risotto but it comes close enough <_< ... by which I mean its better than a microwave or ready meal :D just like any gumbo made in 30 minutes is not the real thing.

dionnek: In my opinion :ph34r: there is very little in the way of mushroom dishes that don't get better with porcini mushrooms :D

They should be soaked first ... you can cheat with some cream and butter in a microwave till it is just boiling then add the dried porcini and let stand 5 mins then add the mushrooms to the risotto ... and at the end add the butter/cream and stir well before leaving to stand.

edits: Forgot the most important part .... oops

I encourage everyone to give a real risotta a chance once, but it *is* very time consuming to prepare it via the 'true' method.

This is really important, if you don't know what its meant to be like then you don't know how close you are getting .... the same goes for most of the recipes.

This is one reason I chose the gumbo ....common wisdom says 6 hours and you will bever make a 30 minute one so good but if you do cook a real one and can isolate whats missing to can compensate.

Everything I have made so far on this thread is a compromise and I would echo tarnalberry to please try the real thing too, not only once but every so often.

These recipes (and I made a few disclaimers) are for someone to do when they normally cannot be bothered to cook. The start point was what can be cooked in the time it takes to do the rice/pasta on my pretext if you are cooking rice/pasta anyway then why buy a pour over sauce when you can make 101 things in the time it takes the rice/pasta to cook?

The over-riding principle is isolating cooking times/order.

eKatherine: Try a good quality stainless pan with lid and copper bottom. Your method is equally valid but one of the things with the real method is that the rice soaks up the flavors as it expells the starch so its a different quick-dish. However as an idea you could prefry the whole thing in a skillet before adding it to the rice cooker...

In fact combining the two recipes could come even closer to the real thing.

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That rice cooker recipe wouldn't work in my rice cooker, which is programmed to give a soaking period at the beginning of a cycle.

Before my electric pressure cooker gave up the ghost, I made "risotto" by cooking arborio rice in it for 14 minutes with just enough water to make it quite al dente. As soon as it was done, I added all the other good stuff and finished it with stirring in only a few minutes.

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does this *have* to be done in a rice cooker, or will a covered pan work? I'd like to try it....

I always make risotto in a regular pan (though I do the stirring, so it never gets covered ;-) )

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These are some great cooking tips--can't wait to try a bunch of them!

We cook our own food all the time, and never even ate out much before gluten issues. But lately I've seen ads for chef-cooked meals delivered to your home, and some of the services do gluten-free cooking. If I remember correctly, it sounded pretty reasonable ($7/meal), though I don't know if there were any hidden charges or how good the food is, how trustworthy, etc.

Has anyone tried one of these services? Might they be a solution for the creative binge times (I do that all the time, too, and find myself asking the kids, "Are you hungry again? I just fed you yesterday!" They think I'm kidding. . . .)

Carol

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These are some great cooking tips--can't wait to try a bunch of them!

We cook our own food all the time, and never even ate out much before gluten issues. But lately I've seen ads for chef-cooked meals delivered to your home, and some of the services do gluten-free cooking. If I remember correctly, it sounded pretty reasonable ($7/meal), though I don't know if there were any hidden charges or how good the food is, how trustworthy, etc.

Has anyone tried one of these services? Might they be a solution for the creative binge times (I do that all the time, too, and find myself asking the kids, "Are you hungry again? I just fed you yesterday!" They think I'm kidding. . . .)

Carol

You should look into finding yourself a personal chef, who will come into your kitchen and in one day fix up to a week's worth of meals for you. You get the menu and instructions for serving, plus food cooked to your own specifications.

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You should look into finding yourself a personal chef, who will come into your kitchen and in one day fix up to a week's worth of meals for you. You get the menu and instructions for serving, plus food cooked to your own specifications.

How does one find a personal chef? I love the idea!!! :D:D:D

Cissie

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These are some great cooking tips--can't wait to try a bunch of them!

We cook our own food all the time, and never even ate out much before gluten issues. But lately I've seen ads for chef-cooked meals delivered to your home, and some of the services do gluten-free cooking. If I remember correctly, it sounded pretty reasonable ($7/meal), though I don't know if there were any hidden charges or how good the food is, how trustworthy, etc.

Has anyone tried one of these services? Might they be a solution for the creative binge times (I do that all the time, too, and find myself asking the kids, "Are you hungry again? I just fed you yesterday!" They think I'm kidding. . . .)

Carol

I thought I was answering you, Carol, but that post disappeared into the ether. Apparently I still have a few kinks (in my brain :lol: ) to work out, when I'm trying to reply to more than one post on a string.

What I was trying to say was that I found a company, PurFoods, online. They deliver gluten-free meals, and will list all ingredients in a meal if you click on one you're interested in. They're at www.glutenfreemeals.com.

This would be a great help to me when I visit my sisters or my children, so no one would have to fret over what to feed me. I could order meals and have them delivered to wherever I'm going.

Cissie

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