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Menu ideas for those of us who can't cook??


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I always seem to get stuck trying to come up with ideas for lunch and dinner (mainly dinner) that are healthy.  Could really use some suggestions for someone who can't cook.

Thanks

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Learn how to cook? It isn't hard.

Cooking can be fun when you allow yourself to feel confident about what you are doing.

In Calorie Count click on Foods, then Recipe Browser to find a dish you would like to try.  The directions to make the dish are there for you to follow.  Since the recipe is in Calorie Count you can easily add it to your daily food log to count the calories. 

Have fun with it and you will suprise yourself in no time!

get some fish/meat, either bake or grill it

get some veggies and heat them up, or just have them raw on the side

 

voila?

Let me rephrase that.  I don't know how to cook and have no desire to learn how to cook.  I'm sure there are healthy dinners that don't require serious cooking.   I have no desire to heat up an oven after working all day.   I work long hours and work very hard.  Need something very simple after getting home from work.

Varying degrees of healthiness...add more fruit and veg to most to improve them.

No cooking:

  • Salads - try ham, cold cooked chicken, tuna or nuts.
  • Sandwiches made with wholegrain bread.

Minimal cooking:

  • Instant noodles WITHOUT the flavour sachet, and add 1/4 can flaked tuna fish (or 1 oz cashew nuts), 1/2 chopped capsicum pepper and 1/4 can sweetcorn.
  • Packet of Microwave (ideally brown) rice, and mix in 1/2 can red kidney beans and 1/2 chopped capsicum pepper.
  • Baked beans on toast.
  • Couscous, add 1 rasher grilled chopped bacon, 2 oz microwaved green beans, and 1 chopped tomato.

Slightly more cooking:

If you can handle 30 minutes cooking on a stovetop, much of it unattended, you can cook quite a bit. Otherwise, your diet will be a dismal round of microwaved meals and "what's in the fridge" snacks.

  • Chilli con carne & rice/jacket potato (microwaved)
  • Pasta with bacon and baby corn cobs
  • Spaghetti carbonara
  • Cheesy Scrambled egg on toast
  • Chinese-style egg "fried" rice
  • Stir-fried mixed vegetables.

That's some ideas to get you started. I really DO suggest learning to cook though - you could cook at a weekend and work on reheated stuff much of the week if you plan right.

Original Post by twt11:

Let me rephrase that.  I don't know how to cook and have no desire to learn how to cook.  I'm sure there are healthy dinners that don't require serious cooking.   I have no desire to heat up an oven after working all day.   I work long hours and work very hard.  Need something very simple after getting home from work.

Hire a chef

A wok and a rice cooker are essentials.  Put a cup of grains in the rice cooker with 1.5 cups water and turn it on.

Put a frozen bag of meatballs in the wok with a bit of oil, cook until they're browned.  Add a pound or two of frozen vegetables and steam for another 10 minutes with the lid on over medium heat.

Just eat like a poor college student- just healthified.

PB& J sandwiches are easy and you can make them healthy but watch out as they can rack up calories quite quickly. Just use 1 tbsp PB, 1 tbsp jam (no sugar added), and 2 slices wholegrain bread.

Any kind of sandwich works, just beware of dressings like mayo and lots of cheese.

Soup doesn't really count as cooking. Heat up a pot of water and get it to boil and toss in a can of beans. Toss in some frozen veggies. Add a can of crushed tomatoes. Let it boil until hot. Ta-da! Soup.

Drop a bag of frozen fruit and a splash of milk in the blender, blend it up and you have a smoothie.

Too much cooking?

 

 

 

 

I'm not much of a cook myself, so here are some ideas I use when I'm in a "I'm so not cooking tonight!" mood:

Burritos: a can of pinto beans, some diced tomato, shredded cheese, peppers or salsa, and avocado if you like, on a whole wheat tortilla.

Rice and veggies: cook some rice (preferably brown) on the stove top (really simple: bring 1 cup of water to boil, add 1/2 cup of rice, reduce temperature and cook until the water is gone) or use microwaveable rice.  Microwave a bag of mixed vegetables.  Mix rice and veggies.  Add diced tofu or chicken* and a little bit of soy sauce.

Whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce.  You can buy sauce premade, but that usually has a lot of sodium and making your own is super easy and cheaper. Combine a small can of tomato paste and a can of tomato sauce, or a couple cans of tomato paste and water to desired thickness.  Add the seasonings you like (usually a some dried onion, garlic powder, basil, and oregano).  They may have packets at the store with the seasonings for the sauce, but if you like pasta it's a whole lot cheaper to just buy the jars and add it yourself.  Any way, just heat the sauce on low heat, stirring occasionally, while cooking the pasta.

Classic Tuna Noodle Casserole: cook egg noodles, add a can of tuna, small can of cooked spinach or peas, can of cream of mushroom soup, and a little milk.  Heat in oven or microwave if necessary, but can be eaten immediately after cooking.  Slightly less healthy, but still quick and easy and worth doing.

*You can usually find frozen cooked chicken in the freezer section, but cooking a chicken breast is easy as can be.  Just heat oven to 325 degrees, cook the chicken for 20 minutes.  You can keep it in the fridge for a few days, so you can cook it over the weekend (or whatever your days off are) and use it later.  Believe me, I get where you're coming from on the "don't cook, don't want to" thing, and "easy" recipes rarely sound easy to me.  But cooking a chicken breast doesn't really count as cooking, even to me, so give it a try.

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