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    Community Voices

    Cooking cookies can make you look younger

    Scientists have proven that making cookies can lift skin and “Give you the plastic surgery look”. This is a great way to bring everyone joy. This is a win win situation you get to look younger and get cookies. Stay crunchy my crunchy mommas. 😘

    Community Voices

    Cooking noodles will help with stress levels

    Cooking noodles is a great thing to do if you are stressed or depressed. Specifically for someone such as your daughter or family member. If you are stressed and love to cook you should really look more into this. A specially because it is scientifically proven. Bye

    9 Tips for Cooking With Chronic Illness or Disability

    Since being able to cook again for the past couple of years, I’ve been learning how to navigate the kitchen as someone with a chronic illness that causes limited strength and energy. It’s been a trial-and-error process, but I’d like to share some things that have made my life easier. This advice is for any spoonies out there or anyone who wants to save time and work when cooking. 1. Keep cooking with a chronic illness simple. Look for recipes with few ingredients, as long ingredient lists are hard to source, and many elements take time to prepare. Read the method in advance, check that there are not too many labor-intensive stages, and/or look for ways you can cut corners. Also, you don’t always need to cook a gourmet meal to make it healthy. Sometimes a simple baked potato or a bowl of soup will do the trick. Healthy Living James shares a lot of great tasty and accessible recipes on his Instagram page and in his new cookbook. 2. Cook using packet mixes and meal kits. If I’m not up to cooking something from scratch, I have some packet mixes in the cupboard for making free from bakes, pancakes, veggie burgers, nut roasts + falafel. Some of my favorite U.K. brands are Free and Easy Foods and Artisan Grains. I’ve also found meal kits delivered to your door like Hello Fresh and Gousto Box make your life easier by providing all the ingredients already measured out. Spice mixes are also a great way to add some flavor to any dish and try out a new cuisine from home. You can be transported to the Mediterranean, Morocco, or India! 3. Use kitchen gadgets to make cooking with chronic illness easier. I use a kitchen stool to conserve my energy, a microwave, dishwasher, food processor, a powerful Nutribullet blender, and a handheld mixer that I’d like to replace with the Ninja Kitchen chopper that Deliciously Ella uses for chopping and making dips. On my wish list is a slow cooker, which you can leave all day to do its magic. The Magimix Cook Expert available in the U.K. sounds pretty awesome too. When baking, I’ve found an ice cream scoop useful for measuring out the mixture for healthy muffins and cookies. And get a digital scale – just in case you happen to have the old-fashioned kind with weights, don’t do it to yourself! 4. One pot cooking can help reduce chronic illness fatigue. This is so much easier than having a lot of different elements on the go. I use a large, shallow casserole dish on the hob or make a whole meal in a roasting tin (check out The Roasting Tin cookbooks by Rukmini Iyer for ideas). 5. Batch cook so you don’t have to prepare meals as often. If you can, always make extra so you can have the leftovers for lunch/dinner the next day or freeze portions for days you aren’t up to cooking. My favorite batch breakfast is overnight oats which keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. 6. Buy frozen fruit and vegetables to save time and energy. This is so useful as you can chuck a handful of broccoli florets in your stir fry and save yourself lots of chopping up, or frozen raspberries to your oatmeal, smoothies, and juices (I’ve been using a green smoothie mix lately too). Tinned or jarred fruit and vegetables or freeze-dried fruit are good backups in case you are ever stuck for anything fresh. 7. Buy sharp knives and lightweight cooking implements. Be careful, but these can save work by making chopping and peeling much easier. Lightweight pans and mixing bowls, etc. are also much easier to lift. Try to reuse bowls, chopping boards, and implements if you can to minimize washing up! 8. Minimize distractions while cooking with chronic illness. Brain fog can make it difficult to concentrate, so make sure you have the kitchen to yourself and don’t try to multitask (maybe leave your phone in the other room) while following a recipe. I love singing along to music as I cook, but I tend to save this for recipes I know by heart. 9. Lastly, learn from your mistakes. Mine was attempting to cut through a turnip, never again! And have fun! I find frying onions and melting chocolate very therapeutic! Check out my Instagram page Healing Simone for healthy, clean recipes.

    Monika Sudakov

    3 Easy Pantry Meal Recipes for When Your Health Makes It Hard to Cook

    In my ongoing mission to create chef-inspired, super easy, and quick recipes that are delicious and nutritious, I took a field trip to the shelf stable foods aisles of my local grocery store. These three recipes are full of exotic flavors sure to whet your appetite with hardly any fuss. For ease, I provided exact brand names of ingredients that you can use to order online and have delivered to your home. If you can’t find the exact brand, any similar substitution will work just fine. Eating well when you just aren’t up to spending a ton of time or effort in the kitchen shouldn’t mean sacrificing flavor. I hope you will find these recipes user-friendly and yummy. As Julia Child would say… Bon Appetit! Ramen Noodle Bowl Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Yields: Approximately 2 servings 1-6.3 oz box Ocean’s Halo Organic Rice Noodles1-32 fluid oz container Ocean’s Halo Ramen Broth2-2.5 oz packages Bumble Bee Spicy Thai Chili Tuna8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained7-ounce can pickled baby corn, drained1/2-1/3-.75 ounce package Stir Fry Seasoning mix (to taste)2 tablespoons roasted and salted peanutsOptional: Garnish with freshly chopped green onions and cucumber Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Cook all the noodles for 6 mins. Strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Place broth, tuna, water chestnuts, baby corn, and stir fry seasoning in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add ramen noodles to reheat for two minutes. Serve hot garnished with peanuts. Note: If the rice noodles stick together after cooling, they will separate once they heat through in the soup again. Spanish Style Rice with Chicken, Black Beans, and Salsa Verde Gluten-Free and Dairy Free Yields: Approximately 2 servings 1-8.8 ounce package Kroger 90-Second Microwavable Spanish Style Rice1-2.6 ounce package Starkist Premium White Chicken1-15.1 ounce can Bush’s Best Sidekicks Taco Fiesta Black Beans1-11 ounce can Fiesta Style Kernal Corn2-3 tablespoons Herdez Salsa Verde2 tablespoons Fresh Gourmet Santa Fe Style Tortilla Strips Place rice, chicken, beans, and corn in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds or until hot. Stir well to combine. Serve hot garnished with salsa verde and tortilla strips. Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Chickpeas Yields: Approximately 2 servings 1-8.5 ounce package Bareilles Ready Pasta Gemelli1-6 ounce package Minute Mushrooms Garlic Herb Flavored1/4 cup Bella Sun Luci California Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne-Cut1-15.5 ounce can Bush’s Best Sidekicks Rustic Tuscany Chickpeas1/2 cup Simple Truth Organic Basil Pesto3 tablespoons crumbled Fresh Gourmet Baked Asiago Cheese Crisps Place the pasta, mushrooms, tomatoes, chickpeas, and pesto in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds or until hot. Stir well to combine. Serve hot garnished with crumbled Asiago crisps.

    Community Voices

    Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut (and maybe a little fruity, too!)

    <p>Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut (and maybe a little fruity, too!)</p>
    Community Voices

    How do you make food when you're in too much pain to cook?

    Due to my current health crisis I'm unable to cook as much as I normally would. The soles of my feet throb in pain. So that's leaving me searching for pre packaged food. Other than most pre packaged foods being unhealthy I'm allergic to dairy and I'm gluten intolerant. Plus I have high cholesterol so I'm very careful about the saturated fat. Trying to find gluten free, dairy free, low saturated fat pre packaged food is quite the challenge. I've checked out Hungry Root but it is rather expensive. So any ideas of what I can do?

    #ChronicPain #Cooking #FoodAllergies #HighCholesterol #Anxiety

    8 people are talking about this
    Monika Sudakov

    Things to Cook When Your Health Makes Meal Planning Feel Impossible

    Depression, chronic illness, and other mental health and physical conditions can make some of the most basic things in life seem virtually impossible. Eating can be one of the most overwhelming of these basics. Thankfully, many of us live in areas where takeout and delivery are only a quick phone call away. But… what if you want to make something simple to eat that doesn’t take much time and effort or leave behind a huge mess to clean up? For those who may want a few “chef-approved” go-to “recipes,” these are for you. Consider them less “recipes” in the formal sense as there won’t be super specific measurements or ingredients. These are more like guidelines or templates that you can adjust based on your likes and dislikes and what ingredients you have on hand in your pantry. Breakfast: Veggie and Egg Beater Frittata 1 egg beater single-serve cup, thawed — You can purchase these and keep them in the freezer for up to a year. 1 spoonful of salsa — I keep some Pace Picante in the fridge at all times for a quick and easy way to kick up the flavor in anything. 1 handful of chopped veggies — Every grocery store sells precut vegetables either in the produce section or at a salad bar. Having some of these on hand or frozen can be a great way to add fresh vegetables to a recipe without the hassle of cleaning/chopping the veggies or messing up a knife and cutting board. Optional: chopped ham, turkey, or other deli meat. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray or line it with foil for quick cleanup. Whisk together all the ingredients, put them in the loaf pan and bake for approx. 20 mins or until the eggs are set. Serve immediately or refrigerate leftovers for a quick, easy-to-reheat meal any time of the day for up to four days. Lunch: Easy Mediterranean Dump Salad This will make more than one serving worth of salad, which keeps great in the refrigerator for multiple meals. 1 can Bush’s Rustic Tuscan Flavored or Plain Chickpeas, drained 1 can artichoke heart quarters, drained 1 can roasted peppers, drained and chopped, or 1 can diced green chili peppers, drained 1 pouch vacuum-sealed mushrooms — Walmart carries Minute Mushroom-brand portobello mushrooms that give a great rich flavor. 1 pouch ready-to-eat quinoa or rice 2-3 spoons of your favorite salad dressing — I like to keep some Ken’s Steakhouse Sweet Vidalia Onion on hand but use whatever you like. Optional: goat’s cheese or feta to garnish. Dump all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Stir well. Serve. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Dinner: Simple Pan Roasted Veggie Dinner Roasting vegetables is the easiest way to cook them so that the natural sugars caramelize and give the veggies great flavor. Use a foil-lined baking sheet for quick and easy cleanup. Again, you can purchase pre-chopped veggies for this to make for easier cleanup. I recommend cauliflower florets, peeled and cubed butternut squash, baby potatoes (halved), and Brussels sprouts (halved). Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the veggies on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil or sesame oil for a more pronounced nutty flavor. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Toss to combine. Bake for approx. 30-40 mins, stirring the veggies occasionally to ensure they roast evenly. The veggies are cooked when they are tender to a paring knife and slightly browned. To serve, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and garnish with Parmesan cheese. The leftover veggies could be used to make the Veggie and Egg Beater Frittata recipe and could be added into the Easy Mediterranean Dump Salad! I hope these “recipes” are a useful reference for when cooking just feels like too much work. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with not having the bandwidth for any food preparation. If a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, toast, oatmeal, or ramen noodles are all you have the energy for, that’s OK. As long as you are nourishing your body in some way when your illness hits hard, what you eat matters less than just eating something.

    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    Why and How I Cook With a Seizure Disorder

    As a person with a disability, I try to busy myself with hobbies and passions. With hemophilia, my most daring passion is to pursue peak physical fitness. For my seizure disorder, I also chase after a skill that many might consider taboo — cooking. I love food and I love eating — it’s always been an important part of my life. All the relevant male figures in my life are proficient cooks, and I wanted to follow suit. And it gladdens me to know that my family believes I have a talent for it. I usually dive into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, and Thai cuisines — with the occasional mix of Middle Eastern. But this is not an essay on what to cook. This is my primer on how I do it despite possibly losing consciousness any time of the day — God forbid while holding a hot stove or a knife. I understand the risks of cooking, and it would be highly foolish of me to disregard all the risks involved. This is why I try to minimize them as much as possible. I’m pretty stubborn, but I personally find it necessary to pursue these things for my mental health. Why— I do it for my family. As a person with a disability, I often feel like I need to do more than what’s expected for my family. I feel like I have to do it to make up whenever I drag them down with my illness. I’ve already developed a reputation in my household as an able cook. So I simply owned it and made nourishing dishes for my family. It also helps me feel that I’m of service to others. I do it for my mental health. Cooking has become a relaxing escape for me from the struggles of everyday life. To be able to do something I enjoy, and create things that are beneficial eases my mental health. It gives me inner peace. I find it hard to feel productive, especially due to my illnesses. And preparing meals makes me feel that I’m of use. It helps me feel empowered. As a person with a disability, it’s a powerful emotion to feel productive and capable. Being able to work around and beyond your capabilities reassures one that even if they may seem “incomplete,” they can still have a semblance of “completeness.” Cooking a meal may sound simple, or even shallow for some, but for a person who is supposedly denied the possibility to cook, it’s encouraging to be able to pursue it. It gives my life more meaning. Being able to pursue cooking even with a seizure disorder helps me learn a valuable lesson when it comes to living with a disability. So far, it’s taught me how to live with my illness instead of against it. Given that I possess complex medical conditions, the possibility of recovering is quite slim. But being able to do these activities or passions allows me to cooperate with my illness and see it as a companion, rather than a nemesis. How— I don’t go it alone. I’m lucky in this aspect that I’m with my wife and we have a nanny for our baby. I don’t ever want to risk cooking alone since seizures are unpredictable. Having a companion guarantees that someone will be able to help you out of a dangerous, potentially deadline situation. I have a plan ready in case of the worst. Make a list of the things you need to keep in mind and implement as you go. Think things through, from how you will organize the workspace down to how you will prepare your ingredients. Is the area safe in case you have an attack? Is there a chair you can possibly sit at the onset of your aura? Aside from having a recipe on hand, minimize the risk of accidents by planning ahead and learning how to work around and with your illness in creative ways. I try to be mindful of my seizure triggers and aura. It’s absolutely essential for anyone with a seizure disorder to be familiar with the nature of their attacks. In my case, my seizures are caused by emotional stress. And a common aura — the feeling you have before a seizure actually happens — is a feeling of dejá vu. I try to avoid cooking when I’m in distress or when I have uneasy feelings or strange visions. These are signs that I’ll most likely have a seizure within the day. I minimize the use of dangerous tools. The kitchen is one of the more dangerous rooms in the house. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a room with knives, heated pots and pans, and fire. Knowing that it’s dangerous, minimize the use of the things that make it so. I ask my companion to slice, chop, or dice vegetables and meats for me and I’m not hands-on with a stove. Again, the key is minimizing risk and managing the situation to work for you. I try to be a manager/supervisor rather than a chef. Similar to how a head chef works in a restaurant, more often than not I don’t do the actual cooking. I do, however, manage my surroundings and instruct or advise my sous chef/s on what they have to do. I guide them on how they can make a meal turn out great. You may not be on the frontline, but you’re the one pulling the strings in the kitchen. It’s a healthier use of your skill on multiple levels. One, it keeps you safe; two, you’re able to share and apply your knowledge and skills to others; three, you’re still able to pursue your passion; and lastly, you’re not simply productive, but you’re participating in the growth of other people. It may not be ideal for people wanting action, but that’s the point of respecting one’s limitations. You, otherwise, put yourself and others at risk if you try to work against your condition and place yourself in a tough spot. The most empowering thing you can do to express yourself as a person with a disability is not challenging limitations. It’s the ability to learn to live and co-exist with limitations that’s truly inspiring. It’s an image of peace, acceptance, and transcendence — not struggle, pain, and resistance.