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Food Suggestions

Monday, February 03, 2014

It was suggested that I post ideas of foods that I like/that work for me to help people get ideas.

Some reminders of things I am looking for:

VERY easy and quick HOT meals that are suitable for lunch, mostly. I'm overwhelmed right now with school and struggling to even remember to eat, and the more work that goes into preparing lunch frankly the less likely I am to eat. This is also true for weekends--if I take a weekend day off from work, that almost always means I have something I else that I need (or desperately want to do, like spend some much needed quality time with friends.). While left overs are an awesome thing, I can't really do a lot of batch cooking, either--not only do I not have a lot of time for it, but our fridge is VERY small and it's already pretty full (fridge and freezer both) with the basics. I also do best if I have a recipe or at least pretty easy to follow directions--I am not adept at making up things as I go along with food. I can cook reasonably well with a recipe.

Some things to avoid: I can't handle spicy foods at all right now--not even mildly spicy. Stress is eating holes in my stomach (not literally, I hope!) and spicy foods or acidic foods (such as tomato sauces, lots of pineapple, etc.) tend to make it worse. Sometimes tomatoes even raw are a problem right now (which makes me sad because I love fresh tomatoes). I can't have bananas in the apartment at all, nor any fish or seafood other than canned tuna because of my husband's food allergies, and carrots are very, very difficult because of his allergies. I also would like to avoid sour cream, unsweetened yogurt, mangoes, and avocados because I *really* hate them.

That said, there are lots of food I enjoy that I probably can still eat.

SOUP. I love soup. I eat a lot of soup, but it's mostly canned. Sometimes my husband makes soup and I get left overs, but his soup takes forever to cook. Sometimes my mom sends me soup care packages (I love my mom!) because I adore her soups but it takes pretty much all day to cook and produces TONS and I just can't deal with either the time nor the volume right now.

bibimbap. It's a dish a friend introduced me to, though I have no idea how to make it. She calls it the Korean kitchen sink dish (as in everything but)... it's supposedly a great left over dish. Don't know, but it's yummy.

Olive oil, herbs and bread... a suggestion someone had so that I would get more healthy fats. I don't know whether or not I'm getting enough healthy fats... but I know I like herbed oil and bread.

Rotisserie chicken... another thing someone suggested that I thought was a great idea. And the local grocery store makes husband-friendly versions, which means we could even get that for dinner and I get the leftovers... a sort of win-win. We've done it before, but not for a long time and I completely forgot about it.

Black beans and corn/black beans and rice--no idea how to prepare either dish but I like both when other people make them.

Eggs are a staple for me, though I only know how to scramble, fry, poach, and hard boil them. Eggs make the world go around--full of vitamins and minerals, easy on the stomach, quick to cook, and inexpensive.

Chicken--we often buy chicken for dinner and my husband will save me a breast for lunch.

Turkey--assuming I can get it in small enough quantities. I've never cooked turkey but I like it; my husband is allergic to it.

Canned tuna. Which sadly is one of the few fish I like.

beef (though we do tend to eat a fair amount of beef for dinner so I tend to avoid it for lunch).

rice. Love rice, and think maybe I can try making now.

Corn tortillas

noodles. I eat a lot of *blush* ramen noodles because they are easy, and a lot of egg noodles, but we do try to eat some multigrain ones too (not as fond of whole wheat ones, sadly).

Barley. YUM

Quinoa, though I have no clue what to do with it.

Most fruits, though I'm not as fond of cooked fruit; I tend to just eat it as is... what we get typically varies by season, but ideas are oranges, clementines, apples, grapes, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, melons, pineapple when my stomach will let me, strawberries, pomegranates, kiwi, plums, pears, real peaches (not canned), etc.

Most veggies, though I'm not adept at cooking them and tend to just eat them raw--usually not even in a salad. Just munching, usually plain. Common ones we get (for my lunches/snacks; most of these are not husband-safe): cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, snap peas, tomatoes (when stomach can handle them), broccoli, frozen peas, jicama, baby spinach (only raw, though; hate cooked spinach) mushrooms, green peppers. I don't get them often but I also discovered that I love sweet potatoes if they are cooked savory rather than sweet--candied yams are overpoweringly sweet to me. I'm not a big fan of onions--prefer the milder flavor of leeks, and only eat onions if they are thoroughly cooked.

While spicy foods don't settle right now, I have a ton of herbs. No more fresh herbs as it's winter (sniff) but we have a pretty extensive herb selection. My go to one tends to be Italian seasoning though (not sure what all is in it--rosemary, basil, oregano, sage?)

I love cheese and right now cheese is loving my stomach (probably because it's naturally basic). I hate milk unfortunately--it always tastes like it's turning to me--so while I can cook with it, I won't drink it, so most of my calcium comes from yogurt, cheese, and supplements. The exception are the blue cheeses--I'm allergic to molds and i think blue cheese just pushes that limit too far... can't stand the stuff. But I like brie, cheddar (preferably mild), Gouda, Havarti, Parmesan, mozzarella, provolone, colby jack, etc.

I like sweetened yogurts fine (such as the Dannon ones with the fruit on the bottom). I've never tried Greek Yogurt. I've never cooked with yogurt though.

Nuts: I like pistachios, almonds, and cashews. And peanuts, though they are technically not a nut. I do not like pecans or walnuts.

Legumes: I like most legumes but have no experience at all with cooking with them if they don't come in a can (I don't like kidney beans or lima beans and have a mild allergy to soy, but I think I like pretty much everything else) and the only recipes I have for them are the kind that takes all day to cook. So I never think to cook beans etc. because I don't know what to do with them.

I confess I'm embarrassed to be even asking for ideas--I'm just really overwhelmed by everything right now and as a result I'm not eating, or eating crap (or if not crap, not what I really need either). I'm either not getting enough calories (by a long shot) or I'm eating too many calories because I grab something fast but loaded. And since I'm trying to lose weight even though I swear my body is gaining weight by osmosis or something, I'm trying to avoid calorie heavy foods... but it's not healthy for me to under-eat either. Because of my stomach issues (mostly due to stress), I'm tending to eat too many carbs because they settle the stomach... but then I'm having problems because I'm not getting enough protein.

This is not a definitive list.... I like a pretty wide variety of food, to be honest. These are however mostly foods my husband CAN'T have (his veggie list is mostly limited to baby spinach, turnips, parsnips, rhubarb, and rutabaga, for example, though he can sometimes have foods that he has to be careful with, such as tomatoes if they are really cooked down or kale. He also can't have corn, or any legumes, any nuts, any seafood, etc.). So these are not things that we can cook for dinner and then me have leftovers.
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    Breakfast cookies: Makes 10

    1 really ripe banana
    1 egg
    ½ cup (125 ml) natural almond or peanut butter
    1/3 cup (80 ml) maple syrup
    ½ tsp (2 ml) vanilla extract
    1 cup (250 ml) spelt flour
    1 cup (250 ml) old fashioned oats
    ½ cup (125ml) shredded unsweetened coconut
    ¼ cup (60 ml) flax meal
    ½ tsp (2 ml) baking powder
    ¼ tsp (1 ml) baking soda
    1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, mash up your bananas, then add the egg, nut butter, syrup and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to blend it all together.
    3. In a second bowl, combine the flour, oats, coconut, flax, baking powder and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry in three additions, mixing well between each addition.
    4. Using a ½ cup (125 ml) measure, scoop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) between the cookies. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Give them a couple of minutes on your counter before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.


    1530 days ago
    Wow - this is a blog!!! :-)
    1531 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    OK, so this may not be the "healthiest" list, but it is what I have been eating lately. You like corn tortillas, so this might sound good. For many "scrounge dinners I've started heating 2 corn tortillas in a pan for a couple of minutes until they soften and brown a little on both sides. Then I add a slice of Kraft (or other) 2% cheese (cheddar or american depending on what I have on hand, you could use any cheese you have on hand like). Once cheese is melted fold and eat like taco. As a variation I add 1 of the 90 calorie buddig chicken or turkey or any other deli meat slices (heat in microwave for about 15 - 20 seconds to take the chill off) and add that with the cheese.

    Another variation is the PBJ taco. Again I heat 2 corn tortillas and spread the peanut butter (about 1 tbsp per tortilla but I don't really measure it) (could use any nut butter) and add about 1/2 tbsp jelly per tortilla. Really NOM!

    Also I agree that mixed nuts and fruit make a really satisfying pretty healthy meal. I often use it myself for lunch when I'm really busy. As a variation trail mix is also good. Make it yourself with your favorite dried fruits, nuts, etc.

    My breakfasts right now consist of greek yogurt (I really like the Chobani Simple) and gluten free oatmeal. This would also work for a quick and healthy lunch as you have trouble eating in the mornings.

    1537 days ago
    Here is a crustless quiche recipe that you can adapt to whatever you have on hand:

    1/2 to 1 cup of cooked meat
    1/2 to 1 cup of cooked veggies
    1 cup shredded cheese
    6 eggs
    1 cup of milk
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 cup parmesan

    Preheat oven to 375

    in a 2 quart casserole dish layer veggies, meat, and cheese.
    in a bowl combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper beat well.
    pour over other ingredients in casserole dish.
    sprinkle parmesan on top
    bake 25-35 minutes until set and top is beginning to brown.

    The rotisserie chicken works really well for this.

    For the veggies I have tried, broccoli and swiss chard. I also usually saute green and red bell peppers and onions (about 1/4 cup each diced) in a bit of butter but that's because I put them in everything :) I sauted the swiss chard too and sprinkled on a just a little garlic powder. The broccoli I steamed.

    You could get some of the steam fresh veggies that you microwave and use those and the rotisserie chicken. That would make it fairly quick to put together.

    You can also use different cheeses. When I made it with the swiss chard I used 3 cheese Italian blend.

    I am going to try it with mushrooms, spinach and swiss cheese later this week.

    This makes more than enough for hubby and I to eat for dinner 2 times. I just make salad to go with it.

    The good thing is this recipe is good for any meal!
    1538 days ago
  • MIPCY1
    I tend to buy pre-cooked meat and make wraps. Heat the meat up in the microwave, grab a tortilla, throw meat, cheese, and whatever veggies I'm into in the wrap. It's really flexible. Hubbie uses salad dressing on his, I prefer it dry. Or, turn the wrap into a salad. This option lets me skip my food allergies.

    I'll also take the pre-cooked meat and throw it on a baked potato with cheese and veggies.

    Stir fries are also awesome left over. Just throw it back into the skillet to heat it up.
    1539 days ago
  • FIT4MEIN2013
    Great list! I have definite go-tos, like eggs. I always have them boiled (cover with cold water, bring to boil. Take off heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Immediately place under running cold water and add a large amount of ice. I never have one that fails to peel easily!) in the house ready to grab. Sometimes I sautee onions, then add an egg scrambled then cook until done. I eat them with a high fiber English Muffin. emoticon

    PS- I also use medium eggs to save a few calories.
    1539 days ago
    For a long time, I ate some sort of egg wrap for lunch. I would sautee some spinach (usually frozen, since it keeps for a long time and is cheap) in a little butter or olive oil, then would cook up some sort of protein (veggie sausage patty, bacon, etc). Add in some scrambled egg and cook to the desired state of doneness, add in a bit off cheese and let melt, and then fold into a multi-grain or low-card tortilla. Fast and filling!

    I have a great recipe for roasted veggies with quinoa. I'll try to dig it up, but you basically just roast up some veggies like parsnips, and serve them with quinoa with some seasonings. It was absolutely delicious, and so healthy.

    Hang in there!

    Found the link!
    1539 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/3/2014 11:13:42 PM
    1539 days ago
  • CIPHER1971
    A bit more detail on the recipe I suggested before:
    Cook your pasta, drain, return to hot pan, add about 1/2 can of tuna, and 2-3 tablespoons of creamy cheese (eg. Dairylea, or Philadelphia). You could add some chopped sweet pepper or similar. Stir and serve.

    Hot lunches - why not bake potatoes - you can serve with tuna, cheese, baked beans, bacon pieces, coleslaw etc

    Dice chicken, mushrooms, onion, sweet pepper, bean sprouts, stir fry until chicken is cooked through, add cooked noodles mix and serve. (you can add soy sauce or worcestershire sauce if you like)

    I hope you get lots of yummy ideas
    1539 days ago
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