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Old 01-24-2006, 08:33 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Pasadena, MD
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Wow, even more great responses. I've really picked the right board here. Thanks!

I should have added cured meats to my "no" list already, as was suggested. I'm in the same place as you, Constance, regarding the meats. I will probably eat some beef, but won't go for the deli ham, for instance.

We have a food processor here and I can see the value of that for sure. What vegetables are on the "no chop" list for this device? I know, for example, that trying to chop bell peppers in it leads to something of a mess due to the outer skin, but many others work great, including herbs, to my surprise. Ours is a Cuisinart with 3 blades. I don't know if you can buy more or not, but it still works great.

Washing as I go is a good point. I might adapt that to my particular situation by making sure to wash just after eating or something, but avoiding a pile up is important with health concerns, or even without.

At present, I could have help in the kitchen but ultimately I will not, so I am trying to plan with "no help" in mind. My goal is to find a way to live on my own in some capacity, which at this time is not possible. Barring any internet marriage proposals, it's just me doing this.

I'm a little frightened by having a stool on wheels in a smooth floored kitchen while wielding a knife, but I am going to explore the possibility of getting one with a back at least. The footstool accompaniment makes a lot of sense as well, and might be more flexible if I can find one high enough. My concern with the stool idea is this - when you're chopping or otherwise working in a kitchen, you typically have to move around to get the next ingredient, clean your hands, or otherwise deal with the space limitations of a cutting board. How do you manage to stay at the stool for this process? I guess it's really about preparedness in that regard.

What can you tell me about crock pots? I'm noticing the cook times could be a little inconvenient in terms of when I would prepare and when it would finish. Could I prepare everything and put it in the night before, cook it overnight, and let it sit till dinner? Alternatively, could I prepare the night before, stick it in the fridge and set it to cook when I get up? Either option would be great for me, as I can do a great deal more the later at night it gets. If I could prepare my meals at 10pm and then do something simple to set it up for the next day, I'd be much closer to my goal.

I need to compile a more organized list of the recipes I have at this point - there aren't many, but I'll see if I can list them here...
  1. fish/chicken with tomato and basil + steamed vegetable. I could see cutting tomato the night before and storing in the fridge. I'd cut the basil in the food processor, then put both in the oven with olive oil. What's a good vegetable side for this, or better yet, what could I incorporate into the tomato/basil? I did this with corn on the cob over the summer and it was great, but that obviously is not available year round. It's also slightly labor intensive for me.
  2. brown/mixed rice with some vegetables and egg, kind of stir fried. Should I think of using any particular seasoning with this? I could steam batches of rice and freeze, then throw into the pan with the food processor-ed vegetables and egg.
  3. alternative flour pasta with an organic no-sugar added tomato sauce with vegetables thrown in. I'd also want to add protein, so maybe chicken in a skillet first. This one needs a little help in terms of specifics or in making it easier. I don't really know when to put in vegetables for them to cook properly, for instance. I can envision also making pesto without the cheese. Does that freeze well? Would it work with almonds as well as pine nuts?
  4. The crock pot chicken recipe posted in this thread looks great.
So, right now I'm a little shy of what I'll ultimately need (about 14 recipes seems like a good ballpark.) I wouldn't have a problem with soups or most any other dish as long as it involves both a protein and a vegetable or 3. Protein is quite important for me, and I try to eat a fair amount at every meal.

I'd like to get a taco-like recipe up here (I love that chili powder/cumin "taco seasoning" taste), sans shell probably, but that tends to be high prep with bell pepper, onion, and tomato cutting. As I mentioned before, I'd also like to incorporate a lot of leafy greens, which seem to be excluded from the roasting and crockpot recipes I've seen around the net.

I'm also interested to get some mid-day snack/lunch ideas that avoid the ingredients I listed as problems. It's really hard to figure out a snack that involves protein without constantly turning to peanut and other nut butters. If any of you have created and marketed "healthpockets" I want to buy stock in your company.

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Old 01-24-2006, 08:50 PM   #12
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,655
Hey aren't we all in some boat or other...legs disabled by polio. Umm, lots of ways to compensate. but first do your research on foods you can and want to eat, and ways to fix them...web sites, organic and natural foods cook books, etc. THen plan the way to do them...sitting, using tools like a food processor, presure cooker, crock pot, electric roaster.

a food processor will slice thin and chop, but an electric knife will give you nice wedges of potatoes or onion with less force than a conventional knife.
just an example.

also plan on kitchen safety...hold food with a carving fork or hand protector to prevent knife cuts. turn handles into stove to prevent hot spills. get an Ove GLove potholder or some well insulated mit to protect from burns. etc. Cooking seated is different for balance and coordination.

enjoy the discovery and the food!

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Old 01-24-2006, 10:35 PM   #13
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: PA
Posts: 584
Originally Posted by ClassicalVoice
Thanks. How do you chop while seated though? I can see using a paring knife in this fashion with an apron or some sort of protection, but for regular cutting board chopping, how does one obtain leverage from a seated position? I'm certainly not against the idea - just not sure how to implement it at the moment.

Would a grocery store brown as you discuss? I have gotten a good tip about having them pre-chop meat in small sizes. I don't know how far they'll go.
I was thinking a stool that would make you sit high in relation to the counter. Bar stools come in different heights and a 30" might make you "tall" enough to get the leverage you need. On equipment we use at school (such as standers that we put the Wheelchair bound students in for weight bearing) have wheels that lock with a little lever on each wheel that you push with your foot to lock or unlock so you would be scooting around only if you want to. The footstool is a good idea and can probably be attached to the stool if you are a bit creative. As far as browning, I work part-time in a grocery store and there is no kitchen equipped to with a stove so we would not be able to do it. As Constance said, a good sous chef is invaluable. For your tacos, check in the produce section. I've seen trays of pre-shredded lettuce and pre-diced veggies for tacos.
Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.--unknown, at least to me
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:02 PM   #14
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Location: Pasadena, MD
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I could see one of those nonstandard chairs where you essentiall kneel to sit being ideal if it was high enough. That way the whole knee-counter problem is avoided. I'll have to see what's available.

Do you have a chicken hat?
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