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What to eat when you hate cooking!?!??

hiltz83hiltz83 Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
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I resort to processed foods because they are convenient and I hate cooking. It's so easy to pop a lean cuisine in the microwave. Even worse, I go to fast food because it'! But I know it's all terrible for me...suggestions for healthier low calorie froze meals or dinners that can be microwaved?


  • SherryTeachSherryTeach Posts: 2,838Member Member Posts: 2,838Member Member
    What worked for me was to analyze my aversion to cooking and change my attitude. Now I set aside a couple of Sunday afternoons a month, put an audiobook on my bluetooth speaker and make about 4 main dishes. I put a chuck roast in the crock pot, roast a pork tenderloin, barbecue some chicken breasts, make rice or pasta to put with these things and package it all up in single serve containers. I've gotten my BF to join in and together we get all our food prepared and actually have fun.
  • QueenmunchyQueenmunchy Posts: 3,372Member Member Posts: 3,372Member Member
    I also cook on weekends, portion and freeze, but if that's too much, I'd buy frozen vegetable mixes, rotisserie chicken, parboiled/frozen rice, canned beans, veggie burgers, premade salad in a bag, canned fish.
  • arditarosearditarose Posts: 15,610Member Member Posts: 15,610Member Member
    What worked for me was to analyze my aversion to cooking and change my attitude. Now I set aside a couple of Sunday afternoons a month, put an audiobook on my bluetooth speaker and make about 4 main dishes. I put a chuck roast in the crock pot, roast a pork tenderloin, barbecue some chicken breasts, make rice or pasta to put with these things and package it all up in single serve containers. I've gotten my BF to join in and together we get all our food prepared and actually have fun.

    I'm a person who hated cooking as well. I would hate to do it this way. I prefer to make something that takes 10 minutes every night. So, there are a couple different ways to get home cooked meals easily.

    It took me a few months in to this weight loss thing to realize I could eat WAY more if I made my food.

    If you're only going to eat frozen foods...Have you tried Amy's? I just have a hard time recommending anything other than cooking at this point. And this is coming from someone who has used her oven 3 times in 7 years.
    edited June 2015
  • Equus5374Equus5374 Posts: 459Member Member Posts: 459Member Member
    Buy frozen veggies, cooked frozen meats, tuna in pouches, ready-to-eat lettuce or salad mixes; these types of things takes very little prep are are quite versatile.
  • Elise4270Elise4270 Posts: 4,183Member Member Posts: 4,183Member Member
    I bought a nice rice cooker. It's super easy to throw in rice, broth, organic canned chicken, veggies and spices. Its like cheating. Tastes good, healthy, and one pan that washes easily.
    edited June 2015
  • arwaahmedaliahmedomranarwaahmedaliahmedomran Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    U always have to keep watermelon and lettuce these fruits and vegies that 's juicy and rich in fibers eat alot of it as u want ;-) then keep tuna and vegetable soup in fridge and when u feel hungry just eat a bowl or a can of tuna with salade :-D

  • lelaomaralelaomara Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    Hi! Great question! I'm like you, not always wanting to cook! I've had small children to cook for, one grown, two in elementary school. Often I didn't have the energy to cook. We didn't eat many processed foods. I am already used to preparing easy, quick meals and snacks that are "balanced" even if they aren't "hot" traditional meals.

    We did eat a lot of stuff with melted cheese. (I even have a quick pizza dough recipe that makes the perfect amount of thin mini pizza pizza shapes that can be mixed, rolled, cut out, arranged on a pan, sauced, baked and ready to eat in under thirty minutes).

    We're trying to eat healthier. I hate the time it takes to defrost frozen meat so I often cook a few meat items a time just to avoid having to freeze meat in packages. I don't like to buy frozen veggies because they always seem to get freezer burned and taste rubbery. I also hate a lot of food prep (chopping up things).

    For me, it starts at the store. I avoid most pre packaged meals. They have lots of weird unhealthy additives, too much sodium, etc. They often don't cook evenly in my microwave. You can buy parboiled rice. I'm usually too impatient to wait almost an hour for brown rice to's much healthier and you could get it going and go paint your nails or something, if you don't have a rice cooker.

    Only buy healthy foods you like. Don't buy something because you should like it. This way you'll enjoy eating and preparing whatever you bring home.

    I buy fresh and frozen fruit, veggies we like, Greek yogurt to eat, bake with and use as a base for sauces, substitute for cream cheese and sour cream and for smoothies. Hummus and carrots are a quick snack. Whole wheat sandwich rounds, whole wheat or whole grain versions of crackers, bread etc. I still need to watch how much whole grain carbs I eat. I buy avocados too. Meat that is thinly cut cooks quickly in a pan. Salmon is super easy and quick to bake in the oven. You can buy veggies in stir fry packages or rough chop peppers, onions, etc, yourself. I buy raw spinach already prepared. You can use that fresh in quick omelets, on pizza, in wraps, tacos and on sandwiches. You can cook oatmeal fairly quick on the stove or in the microwave. The easier it is to cook the less fiber it seems to have. Zucchini, sliced thin a and sauteed is quick. You can buy garlic in a jar or quick mince fresh cloves for your dishes. Pasta (choose the heathiest version you like the taste of or limit portions) cooks up as quickly. I like olive oil, garlic, tomatoes tossed in with the pasta and that comes together quickly.

    At this point I don't care if the components of a meal come together perfectly. I have a tendency to want to eat as soon as I notice I'm hungry. At this stage of the game I need to pay attn to portion sizes, eat more veggies and not cave into eating fast food.

    May I suggest you make a list of your favorite foods to eat, choose healthiest versions of those foods and practice preparing simple things at home. Have on hand fresh, quick things to eat when hungry. Peanut butter and apple, or celery, wraps. I like the flexibility of not having preplanned meals so I can adjust to what I'm in the mood for. Others enjoy planning meals, and seem to think it's easier that way.

    I have a muffin recipe I've altered that works fine with whole grain flours, using applesauce to reduce sugar content. I make w/w or whole grain pancakes for my children too. I'm relearning how to cook just for myself. You can use smaller baking dishes for oven baked foods, which may reduce cooking times.

    Good luck! Let us know what is working for you!
  • lelaomaralelaomara Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    Ex: Rotisserie chicken: can be eaten as is, hot fresh. Meat separated from the bones ave used to make tacos, burritos, chicken salad, in salad, recooked/boiled for chicken broth soup, used on sandwiches, etc. I have frozen the meat (cooked chicken in small pieces defrosts ok. Can be used in omelettes, etc.

    Good quality canned chicken breast (same as above)

    Steak? Same thing. Once cooked, can be used in many things. Teriyaki steak, quick stir fry, salads, steak hoagie (not healthy, but delish)

    Canned beans and canned tomatoes are ready handy, too.

    SALMON: super easy. Lay skin down on foil prepared baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil or (gasp!) butter, salt, dill and pepper. Bake (I google appropriate time and temperature based on how many ounces I have and how thick the salmon is).

    The oven is my friend (except on the hottest, most humid days) because most of the time I can toss some meat in a baking dish, add a drizzle of olive oil, spices, preheat the oven, set a timer (google, if need be, check the type of cut, ounces you have or lbs before you unwrap the meat) and out comes your meal. Get a meat thermometer if you want to be fancy and sure. Baking meat isn't too hard. It's the grill that mytifies me. :D
  • MakePeasNotWarMakePeasNotWar Posts: 1,328Member Member Posts: 1,328Member Member
    Not inexpensive, but made fresh and delivered weekly:

    Most of the entrees are under 300 calories, and I think only 1 is over 400. They are vegan but I have served them to non-vegan guests who really liked them. My favourites are the red curry, three layer scramble, croquettes, and pizza.

    I put 2-3 days' worth in the fridge, and the rest in the freezer. They last about 8 weeks frozen. If you do try it, wait for a 20% off sale (they have them almost every week).
  • anniesong2747anniesong2747 Posts: 6Member, Premium Member Posts: 6Member, Premium Member
    Hey everyone! I just wanted to share that I do post alot of simple healthy food ideas on my IG. If anyone is interested it is anniejsong. I'm not posting this here for followers. It's just to share ideas that I've discovered because I really do not enjoy cooking but I do like to be healthy and I'm always looking for simple, easy and healthy. So I just thought I would share!
  • folgers86folgers86 Posts: 84Member Member Posts: 84Member Member
    lelaomara wrote: »
    Ex: Rotisserie chicken: can be eaten as is, hot fresh. Meat separated from the bones ave used to make tacos, burritos, chicken salad, in salad, recooked/boiled for chicken broth soup, used on sandwiches, etc. I have frozen the meat (cooked chicken in small pieces defrosts ok. Can be used in omelettes, etc.

    ^^This. You can just cut the meat off as needed and microwave it (it has a tendency to become dry, though, so you may need a sauce of some kind to help). It's a relatively cheap protein option if you're just feeding yourself. One smallish chicken goes a long way.

    I also use a rice cooker/steamer and steam vegetables. Absolutely minimal prep required, add a little salt, pepper, and a touch of olive oil and voila.

    I also occasionally use products from Nutrisystem if I'm wanting something a little different :neutral: I've used them before so I can usually find stuff on Ebay that I know I like and sometimes Big Lots will have stuff.
  • crazyravrcrazyravr Posts: 2,797Member Member Posts: 2,797Member Member
    When cooking always make more than you need, and I mean way more. What the point of making 2 chicken thighs when making 20 of them takes just as much time? After that just portion, freeze and take out when ready to eat. Buy a bag of frozen veggies and again portion that up and back into the freezer. Pop the chicken and the veg in the microwave when ready to eat and there you have it... no way any take out takes less time :)

    Now if you hate cooking, or just dont want to do any cooking, then you have to "pay to play". There are people and companies that would be more than happy to cook for you and deliver all your meals and make them healthy, BUT are you willing to pay? hahaha
  • scalebeaterscalebeater Posts: 20Member Member Posts: 20Member Member
    I also hate cooking! Try quinoa instead of rice .. it cooks in 17 minutes, is easier than rice, delicious, and has protein.
  • musicandartsmusicandarts Posts: 184Member Member Posts: 184Member Member
    Salads for lunch and dinner, low fat yogurt, granola, fruits, Slim Fast etc. My diary is public if you want to check.
  • leggupleggup Posts: 2,594Member Member Posts: 2,594Member Member
    Steamers veggies (store brand or Birds Eye) are the best if you hate cooking. 5 minutes in the microwave and they're done. I buy the plain ones like broccoli or mixed veggies and season/add sauces. They also sell presauced ones that are pretty good. I don't know why you're avoiding processed foods, though. Nothing wrong with a lean cuisine, other than they aren't always very satisfying.

    In addition to the steamed veggie bags, I keep easy-to-cook protein at home: black bean veggie burgers (2 minutes microwaved), Deli style tofurkey (eaten cold), morningstar fake chicken burgers (1 minute microwaved). I also really like canned and cartoned soups.

    You might not be a vegetarian, but vegetarian burgers/protein are perfect for people who hate cooking because there's no danger in eating them raw. You can also easily mash them into the veggies, slice and put in a wrap, or tear up and eat on soup.
  • GBrady43068GBrady43068 Posts: 1,295Member Member Posts: 1,295Member Member
    hiltz83 wrote: »
    I resort to processed foods because they are convenient and I hate cooking. It's so easy to pop a lean cuisine in the microwave. Even worse, I go to fast food because it'! But I know it's all terrible for me...suggestions for healthier low calorie froze meals or dinners that can be microwaved?

    Whatever you can con someone else into making? ;)

    Seriously though...the crockpot can be your friend if you dislike food prep. Lots of soups are low calorie, can be frozen in single-serve portions for later nuke-and-eat and you can buy a lot of the ingredients pre-cut to go. Main thing to watch out for if you're using canned items is high levels of sodium/added sugar...get around that by using frozen if possible or scanning labels for low-sodium/reduced-sodium and sugar-free, lower sugar optio
  • Steff46Steff46 Posts: 382Member Member Posts: 382Member Member
    I'm not in love with cooking much either. On Sunday's, I make a huge salad so I can dip it out all week and use it as a base for any thing like canned chicken, tuna pouches, spaghetti noodles w/jar sauce, salsa or Rotel. The one item I can't live without is my Crock Pot! Put in chicken, canned soup or broth, any veggie you like and cook for 3 hours. Put in a roast, broth, any veggie cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours for low.
    I do love Lean Cuisine pizzas for quick lunches :)
  • GBrady43068GBrady43068 Posts: 1,295Member Member Posts: 1,295Member Member
    And here's a lazy favorite of mine...


    Pack of pita bread
    Jar of pizza sauce
    bag of mozzarella cheese
    bag of pepperoni (I use turkey pepperoni)
    Any other toppings you like

    Basically, cut each pita into quarters, drop however many you're making into the toaster two at a time, toast them crispy, add the pizza sauce, cheese and pepperoni and whatever toppings and then nuke for around 20-25 seconds to melt the cheese. Super easy, easy to customize...(leave off the pepperoni to make it veggie and add whatever veggies cheese if you're vegan or vegan cheese if you can stomach suggestions there as I've never found a truly GOOD vegan cheese...etc etc.)

    It's also easy to make it "BBQ chicken"...BBQ sauce instead of the pizza sauce..."white pizza" with a lower calorie Alfredo sauce..etc etc etc.
  • klmnumbersklmnumbers Posts: 213Member Member Posts: 213Member Member
    I am 100% about crock pot cooking. I'm not a big fan of cooking and only really find time to do it on the weekends. But buying a nice, big crock pot was the answer for me. It takes a little prep time the night before, but I just throw everything in the night before, put it in the fridge, then turn it on before I run to work.

    There are thousands of great, filling recipes ranging from heart stews/soups to short ribs or roasts.
  • TheRoadDogTheRoadDog Posts: 10,177Member Member Posts: 10,177Member Member
    I love to cook. I get home 3 hours before my wife, so I do all the cooking. I find it is relaxing. I also love researching new recipes and preparing new things for her.

    That doesn't mean I don't have meals that aren't as healthy as they could be, but if we are eating something unhealthy, it means I went out of my way to research it, prepare it and serve it. We eat out less than once a month and I almost never go to a fast food restaurant.
  • alfiednalfiedn Posts: 425Member Member Posts: 425Member Member
    I love cooking, but there are a few really easy and fast ways to get food if you don't mind a tiny bit of prep time and very very little to no cooking:
    cut veggies (bell pepper, cucumber, etc)
    guacamole (I just mash avocado and salsa together, so it's super simple)
    salad (get the pre-washed greens and then add what you like...right now I'm loving spinach, strawberry, blue cheese, and a sprinkle of walnuts with a lemon/balsamic vinaigrette)
    egg drop soup (there are some great youtube takes minutes, literally)

    I also love my slow cooker. It's awesome to be able to prep some food and let it go all night or the whole time you're out at work.

    It's hard to want to cook when it's been as hot as it is here right now!
  • lporter229lporter229 Posts: 3,504Member Member Posts: 3,504Member Member
    I like to cook, but I do have a few quick go-to meals. The easiest throw together dinner for me is veggie and cheese omelets or egg scrambles. Just saute whatever vegetables you want ( I like spinach, grape tomatoes and mushrooms), add eggs, cook and top with cheese. Also, par boiled rice, canned beans, pre cooked chicken, jar of salsa and frozen corn thawed under running water. Boom! Burrito bowl.

    The thing is, once you get in the habit of cooking most of your meals, you will probably become more adventurous and maybe even find out that you enjoy it. :)
  • CursedDiamondCursedDiamond Posts: 2,085Member Member Posts: 2,085Member Member
    I love to cook because I love to eat. However, cooking can seem like a chore. If you feel that way start small and nothing fancy. Look for meals that do not take a lot of time or fineness. Watch some cooking videos or tv shows (geared toward easy, fast meals - Semi-homemade, 30 Minute Meals, etc), they will teach you some things, make cooking easier, and maybe you'll hate it less once you got a hang of it. Binge watching Food Network is an education, I swear.

    You can buy some pre-marinated meats/poultry if you don't feel like messing with it yourself at first. Steamer veggies from the freezer are fast and no-hassle. You can find fresh veggies prepped for cooking/steaming as well.

    Make things that you can stretch to other meals, so you don't have to worry about cooking each night. I will get a use out of whatever meal I cook for multiple days, be it leftovers for lunch or using the protein I prepared in another recipe.

    Crock pots/slow cookers are so easy. Just look at the ingredients of the recipes because many do involve a lot of "processed" foods and you seem to want to avoid that. There's plenty without and over time you'll end up tweaking recipes to your liking.
  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Posts: 10,472Member Member Posts: 10,472Member Member
    You've gotten some good suggestions about meal prepping, crock pot cooking, and easy recipes that you can rely on. I would also look on Pinterest for some ideas, but a really popular site with healthy recipes is

    You mentioned lean cuisine meals that you pop in the microwave, have you tried any of the various frozen skillet meals that are available these days? There are ones from Bertolli, PF Changs, Evol, I've found some that are quite tasty and they all run about 500 cals/serving. I keep a bag or two of those in my freezer for nights when I really don't have time to cook, they are a little light on the protein, but sometimes I will throw in some chicken strips or other meat that I have in the freezer. Also if you are single, they are usually a two serving bag, so if I'm just cooking for myself I eat half and save the rest for lunch the next day.

    Lastly, not sure if they have any of these around you, and they can be sort of expensive - but I've gone to meal prep places where you spend about 2 hours putting meals together (and it is completely foolproof, if you can read and tip a spoon you can do it) and walked out with 12 meals that I could put in my freezer for busy nights.
  • mtruitt01mtruitt01 Posts: 344Member Member Posts: 344Member Member
    I don't like cooking either, especially not the clean up! Sunday mornings I make a large pot of vegetable soup using my favorite veggies from Trader Joe's (already chopped!) like mirepoix, spinach, carrots, cabbage, yellow pepper and tomato paste from a tube, sun-dried tomatoes, and whatever meat I want to add that week. Sometimes I buy a pre-cooked chicken and shred it up, sometimes I make miniature cumin meatballs (93/7 sirloin), or maybe buy a small pre-cooked roast. Trader Joe's is great for almost-ready-to-go meals. I also do take the time to chop up kumato tomato and cucumber salads to add champagne or balsamic vinegar and salt to, and I love jicama, so I take the time to buy that and chop it up and put it in small snack containers. I always have baby carrots for the crunch. Oatmeal pre-packaged, plain, I eat anytime. I add cinnamon, stevia drops and vanilla (alcohol-free, less calories). I eat strawberries and chop up melons and ruby grapefruit.
  • mistikal13mistikal13 Posts: 1,457Member Member Posts: 1,457Member Member
    I love to cook/bake, and it gets easier with practice. I can't do the whole cooking only on the weekend thing, I like to cook my meals fresh every night. Try to research a few 20-30 minute meals and start with the one that seems easiest to you. Eventually you will work your way up and may actually enjoy cooking. Good luck!
  • salembambisalembambi Posts: 5,654Member Member Posts: 5,654Member Member
    im not a big fan of cooking so i keep my food pretty simple

    i like tossing stuff in with my rice while it cooks to make a really easy one pot thing. i add stuff like diced tomatoes,spices,beans,frozen veggies or sometimes i get crazy and add blueberries,sugar,cinnamon,some coconut milk,pineapple or whatever fruit i have it sounds weird but its good

    i find roasting veggies to be really easy to do. you just toss cut up veg in some oil and whatever spices then roast them in the oven for a while. lots of recipes out there for this

    smoothies are super easy and basic & you can add whatever you like

    making a big pot of soup takes a bit of effort i guess cutting up stuff but you will have lots ready to go for the week so try that same with chili make a big pot of chili and you can have it for a week and even freeze some for later too

  • rachael00679rachael00679 Posts: 186Member Member Posts: 186Member Member
    Homemade pizza on pitta bread
    Baked spuds and coleslaw with cream cheese and avocado
  • ccourchaccourcha Posts: 316Member Member Posts: 316Member Member
    I would suggest learning to love it for meats and things that require to be cooked and exactly what BillyB says above.
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