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Help: I hate Grocery Shopping & Cooking!



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MICHELLEXXXX
SparkPoints: (6,131)
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8/6/13 11:55 P

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Have you considered joining a CSA? You can shop less and get fresh produce.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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CMCOLE
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8/6/13 6:17 A

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just as a sample, I looked up "five ingredient recipes"

those shouldn't be TOO complicated, and may give you some ideas in addition to those you've already received

allrecipes.com/recipes/everyday-cooking/qu
ick-and-easy/5-ingredient-recipes/




LOUNMOUN
Posts: 1,230
8/5/13 7:00 P

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I have some guidelines when I plan meals that help me fill in the list. I will have 3 to 4 meatless dinners each week. (bean, lentil, or pasta dishes usually) I will have soup once a week. We generally have Indian food one night per week.
I plan 28 meals and use that list in rotation for a couple of months before making a new list. I laminated it and cross meals off with a dry erase marker as we have them. I save the list for future.

I pretty much have the same thing for breakfast or lunch every day so I don't plan it out.
Leftovers are used for breakfast,lunches or put in the freezer for another time.


Maybe if you assign a theme to each night it will help inspire you to find meals that fit. Mexican food, pasta, meatless, slow cooker, soup, clean out the freezer night, salad, grill, breakfast-for-dinner, sandwiches, etc.

If you don't like to plan meals just make a list of 14 or more dinners and just rotate the list for a couple of months. You don't have to rack your brain every single week or eat things that are odd or complicated.



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MICHELLEXXXX
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8/5/13 2:15 P

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Some no/little prep ideas; serve all with easy sides such as salad, steamed vegs, and/or broth:
deli made riceless sushi
turkey/cheese rollups
deli made shrimp kabobs
microwave omelet
frozen turkey burger patties

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


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LGREGG07
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8/5/13 9:49 A

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a website I use to help me plan dinners is eatyourselfskinny.com. She has a ton of recipes just about anything (pasta, vegan, side dishes, fish, etc.) I love to cook but with my job I find that I'm too tired/hungry to spend a lot of time in front of the stove. Also, it might be too hot for it right now, but slow cookers are a lifesaver when you don't feel like cooking.

and since you're not a big fan of ground beef, have you tried ground turkey? Its leaner than ground beef but have the same texture. I used it to make burgers, meat sauces, in tacos, you name it! Chicken sausages are also another protein than you might enjoy more than regular chicken. It has the flavors of sausages and tastes great with sauteed onion and peppers!



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AZURELISA
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8/4/13 10:50 P

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I will definitely check out those websites! Typically, I decide what to make, read 3-5 recipes and then make it with whatever I have in the cupboard. I have literally substituted every item in a recipe before. LOL

Thanks for your thoughts!



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JAMIRBLAZE
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8/4/13 10:32 P

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I like Eatingwell's recipes, too. Skinnytaste.com is another good resource. I buy meat in bulk (which I break down into 1lb packs and freeze), so I usually see what I have packaged in the freezer, pick a recipe and go from there. You can always explore meat-free options as well to give you more variety.



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NIRERIN
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8/4/13 10:16 P

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what would go on the list if you weren't trying to make better choices? make that list, pick the three things you think shouldn't be on it, and figure out what to put on to take the place of those items. so if you were going to buy lunchmeat, you might want to grab a rotisserie chicken to chunk up to put on your sandwiches instead. if you were going to buy a bag of candy or chips, buy a bag of fruit instead. this way you aren't trying to reinvent the wheel in one week, you're weeding out the stuff you shouldn't be having while slowly introducing what you should be eating more of.
do the same with meals. you already have a list of fallbacks. so take a look at your staples and see what you can do to make each staple a better choice for you. so if you love boxed mac and cheese, that may be as simple as making sure you have some frozen broccoli [or whatever vegetable you might like to toss in mac. beans, squash, cauliflower, spinach and other dark green leafies, peppers, onion, mushrooms, it's really what you like] to toss in the pot while the macaroni finishes cooking.
and by the same token, if you're buying premade meals, read the labels. find something that's a little better than what you were buying before. keep some frozen veggies in the freezer to heat up as a side to the frozen dinner. if you have a microwave safe bowl you can heat a cup of most veggies in it in the microwave in under 2 minutes. you don't need to add water or do anything special, just dump them in and stir halfway through.

-google first. ask questions later.



AZURELISA
Posts: 96
8/4/13 10:03 P

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Thank you all for your thoughts! You each had some interesting things for me to keep in mind.

Let me clarify though, that I do know how to cook. I managed to raise 2 girls and taught them how to cook and bake. In High School I took 2 years of food classes and even won a Purple Rosette Ribbon in a 4-H Fair Competition for my dill dip and veggie platter, won the highest ribbon. Dang, I wish I had that recipe now!! LOL

So, in the end I looked on my bookshelf and found a Cooking Light cookbook I didn't even realize I had (probably belongs to one of my girls, hehe). I found 7 dinners and went grocery shopping. I will say that I was surprised that most of the items I needed WERE on the perimeter of the grocery store, and some spices I didn't have.

I am going to keep track of what does and doesn't work for me. I think I've realized that changing my eating is key to losing weight, but it starts with changing my cooking habits. ...at least until I win the lottery and hire a full time chef. hehe

Thanks for your encouragement, I feel all grown up again (no more 3yo temper tantrum)


Edited by: AZURELISA at: 8/4/2013 (22:04)

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ICEDEMETER
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8/4/13 1:47 P

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A few things you might want to think about:

1 - Plan the veggies for meals first, and then the protein. For instance, you might want to have roasted asparagus on Monday, mixed veggie skewers on Tuesday, broccoli salad on Wednesday, spaghetti squash on Thursday, caramelized brussels sprouts on Friday, quinoa with spinach and onions on Saturday, and a stir-fry with broccoli/cauliflower/snap peas/onions/mushrooms/bok choy on Sunday. This gives you the base for your shopping list. Once you've got that figured out, then think about which protein would go best with each one. For example, grilled trout with the asparagus, chunks of pork loin chops on the skewers, white fish with the broccoli salad, tomato sauce base with mixed beans and lentils over the spaghetti squash, eye of the round roast with the brussels sprouts, the quinoa already has protein, and so left-over roast in to the stir-fry.

2 - To keep things simple, think of your 3 favorite meals. Plan on having them in rotation during the week, just changing up the spicing and preparation method to keep them from being boring. Have fish 3 times: once grilled with garlic/dill/paprika, once poached with lemon/onion, and once fried in toasted sesame oil with almonds. Roast a pork tenderloin, and have it one night with cherry sauce, then next part of greek-spiced skewers, and throw the rest in to a stir-fry with a honey hoisin sauce.

3 - Challenge yourself to try one new recipe every week. You might want to start with something based on batch-cooking, so that you can freeze a bunch of servings for later. Maybe a chili, or a spaghetti sauce (which can be served over pasta, over zuchini, over cauliflower, or anything else!), or a casserole.

4 - Check out the fruit and veggie guide here on the site --- it's a great place to start with picking a new fruit or veggie each week, and has tips on ways to prepare them.

I just started learning to cook this past year, and know that a lot of the recipes seemed really intimidating with all those ingredients! I started with just basics (roasted meats, roasted veggies) and started learning to make really tasty, healthy sauces. The sauces and spices can totally change up the meal, so that even the "same thing" 3 days in a row all seem different.

What actually made it possible at all for me was a change in attitude --- instead of looking at cooking as a "chore", I started making it a "game". I have a lot of fun randomly pulling things out of the pantry and creating sauces and spice combinations. There have been a few quite spectacular failures, but those were good for the laughs... Most things have ended up being surprisingly good. I focus on the micronutrients that I need (iron, folate, calcium, sodium), and build meals that fill those needs.

Please try and have fun with it, and remember that *healthy* can taste fabulous!

Start weight: 240 lbs
Goal weight: 155 lbs (reached March 7, 2014)

Afraid of a colonoscopy? Believe me - they are much less frightening than surgery and chemotherapy.

Colonoscopies allow polyps to be removed before they can become cancer, or let cancers be found before they are too widespread. If you are 50 or older, or have any symptoms, please don't let fear stop you from covering your butt.

Get checked!


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NHELENE
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8/4/13 1:39 P

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For a beginner cook, I really recommend the "Cooking Light" series of cookbooks. Most of them have "5 ingredient, 15 minute" meals, which are simple to prepare. See if you can find them at the library and see if the recipes meet your tastes.

I flipped through this one at a friend's house: www.amazon.com/Cooking-Light-Fresh-Food-Fa
st/dp/0848736451/ref=pd_sim_b_6
and it has a set of weekly menus and shopping lists for those menus.

My one big dislike about the Cooking Light recipes is they tend to rely on pre-packaged ingredients such as salsas, dressings, etc., but I think they are still a good place to start.



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GRAMCRACKER46
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8/4/13 1:29 P

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I love to cook, but really hate meal planning. I go blank there. So I have accumulated many favorites and keep them in a binder. It's important to try new recipes often also; helps with weight loss.

For meal planning: There are lots of great web sites. I like Allrecipes.com. Also Taste of Home has some good ones too. But really SP has a great recipe section.

For the grocery shopping: Shop the perimeter....produce, dairy, meats, etc. Buy as few of the packaged foods in the middle of the store as necessary. Also because it helps with weight loss and is healthier.

Remember the old adage: if you keep doing what your doing, the results will be the same. So time to make a few changes.



Sharon from Florida





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AZURELISA
Posts: 96
8/4/13 1:06 P

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I am sitting here with a pad of paper in front of me knowing I need to write a shopping list and make a quick grocery shopping run. Coffee & Dog Food... that's all I have managed to write.

Besides hating doing grocery shopping, I have no idea what to buy! I thought writing a list of meals for the next week would be helpful but that sheet of paper is blank as well. I don't even know I could cook that's easy AND healthy for me.

I want to lose weight and I know that will only happen once I start cooking better and moving more.

I do not use the SP menu because it is too complicated and too many items. The food is just bizarre to me and not appealing, I've tried it.

I don't really like chicken, which seems to be everyone's staple of their "go to" dinner. I do like fish, but every time I cook fish it tastes exactly the same every time. Steak is too expensive for daily meals and I can only tolerate a little ground beef.

I feel like a whiny 3 yo, and I apologize for that. I just feel like I am at the end of (my very fat) rope.



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