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Monklady123

Cooking From Scratch...

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Yes, I know this isn't the cooking and baking board. But since I hate to cook I feel it belongs more in the "coping with" board, since cooking is one thing I've had to learn as I'm trying to be gluten free.

So those of you who really hate to cook, but now have to cook to some extent... share with me things you cook.

I had a craving yesterday for chicken soup, probably because my dd has a terrible cold and I always associate chicken noodle soup with being sick. So I decided to make chicken/rice soup. In the past I've always bought one of those already-prepared chickens when I needed chicken meat for something. But I can't do that now because my store must use something in the seasoning that has gluten in it -- every time I've tried it I've gotten sick. And the gluten free broth that they carry is kind of expensive. So, I made it from scratch! B)

Whole chicken, water, onion, carrots, salt and pepper, rice. Done. It was very yummy, everyone in the family ate it, and best of all -- that's all that was in it! No odd preservatives, or artificial anything. Pretty cool, for this non-cook anyway.

Anyway...that's my success for the week. lol... I think I just need to plan more and shop carefully so I have ingredients on hand. That way I won't be tempted by some sort of already-prepared thing. (although...I'm going to Costco later this morning, and must buy their madras lentils, a family favorite... unless someone can tell me how to make Indian lentils?)

So, just call me B) because I can make soup from scratch! :lol::P:lol:

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I do Costco roasted chickens really well. But I do alot of "from scratch cooking". Gluten isn't my only issue, so I kinda have to. I love fixing wild rice, as well as quinoa. Both, I get at Costco. Fresh or frozen veggies, meat and fruit....whole foods, are my staples.

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Yes, I know this isn't the cooking and baking board. But since I hate to cook I feel it belongs more in the "coping with" board, since cooking is one thing I've had to learn as I'm trying to be gluten free.

So those of you who really hate to cook, but now have to cook to some extent... share with me things you cook.

I had a craving yesterday for chicken soup, probably because my dd has a terrible cold and I always associate chicken noodle soup with being sick. So I decided to make chicken/rice soup. In the past I've always bought one of those already-prepared chickens when I needed chicken meat for something. But I can't do that now because my store must use something in the seasoning that has gluten in it -- every time I've tried it I've gotten sick. And the gluten free broth that they carry is kind of expensive. So, I made it from scratch! B)

Whole chicken, water, onion, carrots, salt and pepper, rice. Done. It was very yummy, everyone in the family ate it, and best of all -- that's all that was in it! No odd preservatives, or artificial anything. Pretty cool, for this non-cook anyway.

Anyway...that's my success for the week. lol... I think I just need to plan more and shop carefully so I have ingredients on hand. That way I won't be tempted by some sort of already-prepared thing. (although...I'm going to Costco later this morning, and must buy their madras lentils, a family favorite... unless someone can tell me how to make Indian lentils?)

So, just call me B) because I can make soup from scratch! :lol::P:lol:

Congrats! The longer you're at it, the easier it will get. Homemade is so much better than already-prepared foods. Plus you can have leftovers!!!

ETA: If you don't have one already, a crockpot is your friend. :D

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Congrats! The longer you're at it, the easier it will get. Homemade is so much better than already-prepared foods. Plus you can have leftovers!!!

ETA: If you don't have one already, a crockpot is your friend. :D

I do have a crockpot and hardly ever use it! :rolleyes: Honestly, I KNOW how wonderful it is to have that dinner cooked magically by dinner time, no matter how busy one is during the day. But, I have a hard time gearing up so early in the morning to put everything together and in the crockpot. I love getting up early, and am usually up by 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. But -- not to cook! lol... yeah, I've been pretty hopeless in the cooking department in the past. I'm trying to change that mindset, slowly but surely. :P

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I do have a crockpot and hardly ever use it! :rolleyes: Honestly, I KNOW how wonderful it is to have that dinner cooked magically by dinner time, no matter how busy one is during the day. But, I have a hard time gearing up so early in the morning to put everything together and in the crockpot. I love getting up early, and am usually up by 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. But -- not to cook! lol... yeah, I've been pretty hopeless in the cooking department in the past. I'm trying to change that mindset, slowly but surely. :P

You can chop veggies, drain and rinse beans, and mix seasonings together the night before in a big bowl in the fridge. Then just put them and the meat in and turn on. Getting froz veggies makes it even easier.

I have never figured out how to cook from " scratch". I must be scratching the wrong thing cause no food appears.

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Karen is right...it'll be a lot easier to plan ahead. May be a good weekend project to plan a menu so meals are easier throughout the week. And the leftovers are good, too.

And if she ever figures out the "scratch" thing, hopefully she'll let the rest of us poor slobs know. HaHa

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I didn't know how to cook when I was diagnosed. Then I was slapped with a very restrictive diet about a year ago - no sugar, corn, soy, lactose, grains, etc...

What helped me was to have a well stocked kitchen with great kitchen appliances. It was expensive, but it makes cooking fun! If you have everything you need at your fingertips and you don't have to make-do with the crappy old hand-mixer that you got when you moved into your first apartment, then you feel like you are a cook. When you feel like a cook, then you can cook. I also invested in some good cookbooks and was religious about following the directions. Now I know what things go with each other and I don't need the cookbooks as much.

I bought new plates and flatware a few months ago because hey, if I'm a cook who makes great food, people should eat it on nice plates with nice flatware (not expensive - I got it on clearance). Everything tastes better if it's presented well. This is especially true if it has no sugar, corn, soy, gluten, grains, lactose, etc. Try serving that on chipped plates and mismatched flatware! It doesn't taste nearly as good!

I've also learned to pay the price for good food. Have you seen the movie "Food Matters"? There's a great line in there about how much money we'll spend for a house or car, but we want the cheapest food that we can find. What a mind-shift it took me to be okay about buying organic meat since it costs a ton of money, but it's much better for my family and tastes better! I buy organic as much as I can and the freshest food that I can - I go grocery shopping every other day.

Cooking has become my hobby. I love it! I love food (even though I have a strict diet)! I love my kitchen because of all the great things in it! My kids benefit from my hobby and love the food, too.

It takes time, but I think that the kitchen is one place where you can't skimp if you have any kind of food issue. Food should be enjoyed and you shouldn't feel out-of-control of your life. My kitchen is my sanctuary. I hope you find some peace in yours, too. It sounds like you've started to.

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I have to say, I realized early on that if I didn't learn to cook I was never going to enjoy food again, given that I really don't let others cook for me unless we're traveling. I think your idea of convenience changes. A neighbor of mine has a son that she is supposed to have on a gluten free diet. (In her defense she has 5 kids). But the thought of having to make muffins from scratch is completely overwhelming to her, and to me it takes 10 minutes. (Full disclosure: I have one child).

This is just a huge shift in thinking, but I think all of us need to be eating "from scratch." I wish I had easier suggestions as to how to make that happen.

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Well.. my Day 2 "cooking from scratch" dinner: salmon (sauteed in a pan with some lemon juice and water), roasted potatoes with onions and red peppers, and cut-up strawberries (I did add a bit of sugar because they were sour). Not bad, eh? lol..

Now tomorrow is leftovers -- there's chicken soup from last night, some salmon, potatoes, probably no strawberries because they'll get eaten, but I do have a pineapple that's ready to be cut. Summer will be easier, I think, because of all the yummy fruit and fresh vegetables.

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I do have a crockpot and hardly ever use it! :rolleyes: Honestly, I KNOW how wonderful it is to have that dinner cooked magically by dinner time, no matter how busy one is during the day. But, I have a hard time gearing up so early in the morning to put everything together and in the crockpot. I love getting up early, and am usually up by 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. But -- not to cook! lol... yeah, I've been pretty hopeless in the cooking department in the past. I'm trying to change that mindset, slowly but surely. :P

You know something I have done is put my meal in the crockpot at night before I go to bed. When I get up in the morning it is done and I put it in the frig and just heat it up at dinner time. I like doing that better then getting up early :)

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I love to cook but I also like to make simple things that don't require a lot of work and are hard to mess up.

As someone else mentioned the crockpot--that is my favorite way to cook these days. If you haven't seen it yet check out http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ Everything on there is gluten free.

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Dh and I have noticed that we seem to spend our entire weekends gathering (shopping for) and preparing food. Fortunately for us, we've always liked cooking, but I can't imagine how difficult it must be for someone who does not enjoy the process.

Look into the concept of "Once a month cooking". While the name is a tad misleading, the concept of planning, gathering and preparing a majority of your meals on a set day just might make your life easier.

The idea is to get the majority of the work out of the way at once. If you are going to chop onions, chop a whole bag. If you are going to brown hamburger, brown 5 lbs. Plan your meals, cook some in advance, have the ingredients for the rest prepared, stored and ready, so mealtime is just assembly, not starting each day from scratch.

It may not make cooking any more fun for someone who doesn't like it, but it will make it easier and faster.

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One thing that I have said since I started eating gluten free was that I was thankful that I loved to cook and I couldn't imagine how it would be if that wasn't the case...so I really do feel for you. But it sounds like it has become your new hobby and it will also allow you to eat foods that you thought you would never have again i.e fish and chips for me :)

One tool that you might want to consider adding is a pressure cooker for those days when you can't quite get the slow cooker going in the mornings. I got one of the new generation cookers and it is wonderful - it gets used just about every day for some part of the meal. Brown rice takes only 20 minutes - dried beans take between 10 and 20 depending on the bean - fresh green beans only take about 2 minutes after coming to pressure - the most tender beef brisket or corned beef brisket you'll ever eat takes just a little over an hour - often you can do the complete meal in the cooker - the list could go on and on. The new cookers are much different then the one I had when I got married many years ago - lots of safety features built in.

Congrats on your successes - may you have many more!

Kathy

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Lots of good ideas here, thanks everyone! :)

Crockpot at night -- I wonder why it never occurred to me to do that? lol.. excellent idea.

Pressure cooker -- my mother had one (back in the Old Days) and it scared me to death. I might take a look at them if you say the new ones are different. I've also heard that a rice cooker can be used to prepare a whole meal.

Once-a-month cooking -- I'll take a look at the concept. When I was making my soup the other day I was grumping about cutting up the onions, so it makes perfect sense to cut up a whole bunch at one time.

Great blog, I've bookmarked it. :)

My experiment for today is going to be bread from the cookbook by Robin Ryberg, the one who uses only corn starch and potato starch. Totally skeptical, but we will see...

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Well.. my Day 2 "cooking from scratch" dinner: salmon (sauteed in a pan with some lemon juice and water), roasted potatoes with onions and red peppers, and cut-up strawberries (I did add a bit of sugar because they were sour). Not bad, eh? lol..

Now tomorrow is leftovers -- there's chicken soup from last night, some salmon, potatoes, probably no strawberries because they'll get eaten, but I do have a pineapple that's ready to be cut. Summer will be easier, I think, because of all the yummy fruit and fresh vegetables.

What I love to make with leftover salmon is a salad - especially easy with the ready-to-eat salad greens. Add a few nuts if you can eat them, and some olive oil/vinegar/lemon. yum.

You're off to a great start! I started writing down the meals we have plus notes on how I cooked things to make my own menus / cookbook. So you have 2 entries already!

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Having always cooked everything from scratch I find it even more important now that I have celiac disease. That way I control everything that goes into my food. I make my own mustards, interesting ketchups (i.e. papaya), seasoning blends, rubs, pestos, marinades, vinaigrettes, preserves, etc. We eat extremely well (i.e. often have duck, roast lamb, braised short ribs, pork belly, pheasant when available, and so on) and choose things that are naturally gluten free. I am so disappointed with most gluten-free foods available and I prefer to make my own. Cooking is such a huge part of my life and I refuse to change it just because I must now eat gluten free.

To encourage you in your cooking endeavour, maybe head to the grocery store and find something you have never cooked with such as jicama, lemongrass, or whatever. Let it inspire you to try something fun and exciting! I would also recommend getting a good basic spice pantry (i.e. McCormick's spices that are gluten-free) and cook with fresh herbs. It makes ALL the difference. Good ingredients to begin with really help - none of that icky processed stuff. You can get a bunch of intriguing greens for salads such as radicchio, endive, mustard greens, and so on. Add some toasted nuts, your favourite cheese and a lovely vinaigrette (i.e. vanilla bean) and there you go.

My culinary library numbers nearly 500 books and continues to grow. Remember that many recipes in regular books are gluten-free or can easily be gluten-free by easy substitutions. So, if you have a few good basic books start from there.

I teach cooking classes; many folks have come as they hate cooking but want to love it. Many have, in turn, been motivated to make stupendous stuff that seems that it would be challenging but really is not. I get phone calls from people who said they used to hate lamb until taking my classes - now they love it. It is very gratifying. Do not be intimidated by food! Have fun with creativity and innovation. Remember that you learn from "mistakes".

Cooking meat to temperature, for example, is a revelation alone. Risottos are fabulous but don't take ages to make. Cooking with interesting techniques such as en papillote (in parchment paper) is fun and creative. Cooking really is exciting and forever changing. Flavour is key. Do not be scared to experiment! :)

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My background from the mid 70s has been in teaching cooking and writing about food but as the years went on and I developed lots of health issues I lost my interest in food preparation.

Living with a gluten/dairy free diet and adding in lots of other diet restrictions has made my meal planning terrible. About 2 years ago I decided that the only one who would be able to make me eat better was myself. I decided rather than to constantly try to duplicate foods I had grown up with was to develop a "safe" list and cook meals from that list.

Now as I am getting ready for total knee replacement surgery next week, I have a freezer full of food for my DH to bring to the hospital. They will not provide gluten free or dairy free foods. This coming weekend is the last splurge of preparation. I will be preparing baked haddock, salmon patties, grilled chicken and pancakes to add to my stash. I have desserts, granola bars, muffins, brownies, chicken soup, chicken cut up for sandwiches and a lots of little packages that he can grab on the way to the hospital.

I figure I have enough to get me through the next month.

At this stage in life I thought life might be different for me, but alas the best laid plans of mice and men...

Asked the surgeon to take care of my wrinkles and arm flab too, but he said he only had the room for 1 1/2 hours and didn't have the time to perform miracles!

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