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I don't cook.

highschool1966highschool1966 Posts: 4Member Member Posts: 4Member Member
in Recipes
Hi,
I am struggling with emotional eating. I turn to food when stress is building. I do not cook so after a Lean Cuisine for dinner, I am starving 2 hours later. Time is also a factor. Does anyone have recipes that would fit into this program that does not require much prep?
Help very much appreciated.

Replies

  • makkimakki2018makkimakki2018 Posts: 406Member Member Posts: 406Member Member
    Protein and steamed veggies are my go to quick meal.
  • acpgeeacpgee Posts: 3,282Member Member Posts: 3,282Member Member
    Raw vegetable sticks dipped in commercially made hummus or ranch made from the powdered dressing mix with no fat yogurt replacing the mayonnaise specified on the package directions.

    No fat yogurt and fresh fruit.

    Hard boiled eggs.

    Crab sticks.

    Air popped popcorn sprinkled with a little soy to get flavorings to stick. I air pop in a nonstick stoneware saucepan. My go to flavorings are furikake, ranch dressing powder, nutritional yeast.
  • MileHigh4WheelerMileHigh4Wheeler Posts: 67Member, Premium Member Posts: 67Member, Premium Member
    Here's my go-to that I make each week just so I have it on hand: throw 2lbs of chicken breasts into a slow cooker, put in a cup of chicken stock (you can get those 8oz 4 packs so one of those is exactly a cup, easy), put in some salt, pepper and I throw in a few sprinkles of various Italian spices like oregano, basil, thyme and parsley and then let the cook for 4 hours. Pull it out and it falls apart and shreds easily. Now I have easy, fast and healthy clean proteins to throw onto any meal when I want to boost my proteins.

    I love to cook personally, and I do every day but this one thing has really been a life saver for me because if I feel lazy I can cook up a cup of rice and throw some of this chicken on it and I'm good for dinner. A bit extra in my lunch soup or salad, throw it into an omelette, whatever.

    The other thing I generally do is take week old eggs and hard boil them so I have a quick healthy snack when I want it.

    I don't know what your goals are or your food intake but if you are starving after eating then you might just be eating too little and that isn't healthy for you either. Drop your calories gradually and always keep your body guessing!
  • babydaisy81babydaisy81 Posts: 225Member Member Posts: 225Member Member
    Could you take some time on a Sunday or any day of the week to meal plan and prep for the week? I know about having no time, I'm a busy working single parent with a crazy toddler and high needs older son. But staying up late on a Sunday night makes the world of difference in eating. I prep anything I may need for meals and snacks, weigh it up, and put it into containers, and then have containers in the fridge - so I can pull out a snack or meal in a flash. Cooking isn't too bad - trust me - it's so easy to boil some eggs, or cook up some lean ground turkey with some veggies, or cut up some fruit or peppers. It becomes a habit - and I wish you luck!
  • CutemesoonCutemesoon Posts: 2,186Member Member Posts: 2,186Member Member
    Throw a few things in an instant pot. I LOVE that thing! You don't even have to defrost meat. Meals done in 45 mins or less. Put protein, veggies, some seasoning & then you can walk away and do something else. Perfect for someone who does not have a lot of time or does not like cooking.
  • MostlyWaterMostlyWater Posts: 4,026Member Member Posts: 4,026Member Member
    I had a friend who said "I don't cook" To which I replied - "but you eat, right"?

    Granted she was a doctor with a staff, but still. Mrs Clinton used to cook in the White House, remember?



  • VerdenalVerdenal Posts: 598Member Member Posts: 598Member Member
    High quality canned sardines have lots of protein and are relatively low calorie. I like King Oscar Brisling Sardines in Olive Oil (there's a version in water, which you can try, but I didn't think it had much flavor). Sprinkle fresh pepper on it and a spritz it with fresh lemon juice.

    Steamed vegetables are easy.

    Simple soups.

    Hard-boiled eggs.
    edited January 8
  • JrpwgrJrpwgr Posts: 44Member Member Posts: 44Member Member
    If you dont cook, then you must rely on others to cook for you.

    And they do not care what they put in your body.
    You're still hungry after a Lean Cuisine because there's no nutrition in it. Let's take a look.
    https://www.leancuisine.com/products/details/11901
    At only 150 calories, that's not enough for a meal. Of course you're hungry after, and you reach for more high processed food to make it up.
    High in sodium
    6 grams of protein--you'd have to eat 8 of these to get your protein requirement for the day. Do you wonder why you are always tired?
    Where's the vitamin A that's supposed to come from the carrots? Overcooked right out the window.
    If you refuse to cook, then eat raw vegetables with prepared high protein foods like hard boiled eggs and tuna in cans.
    But until YOU take charge of what you eat, you'll just have to rely on high processed foods made by people who do not care what you eat.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Posts: 20,811Member Member Posts: 20,811Member Member
    Jrpwgr wrote: »
    If you dont cook, then you must rely on others to cook for you.

    And they do not care what they put in your body.
    You're still hungry after a Lean Cuisine because there's no nutrition in it. Let's take a look.
    https://www.leancuisine.com/products/details/11901
    At only 150 calories, that's not enough for a meal. Of course you're hungry after, and you reach for more high processed food to make it up.
    High in sodium
    6 grams of protein--you'd have to eat 8 of these to get your protein requirement for the day. Do you wonder why you are always tired?
    Where's the vitamin A that's supposed to come from the carrots? Overcooked right out the window.
    If you refuse to cook, then eat raw vegetables with prepared high protein foods like hard boiled eggs and tuna in cans.
    But until YOU take charge of what you eat, you'll just have to rely on high processed foods made by people who do not care what you eat.

    The meal you linked to does have nutrients -- fat, protein, carbohydrates, potassium, and fiber are all listed on the package. The vegetables in the meal haven't been stripped of vitamins, it's just that other vitamins (like A and C) aren't listed on the package. Now it might be that OP needs more calories overall, but that doesn't mean that these 150 calories are somehow nutrient-free.
  • bigbandjohnbigbandjohn Posts: 764Member Member Posts: 764Member Member
    Slow cookers/pressure cookers are great. One pot dishes are usually easy to make. you portion and freeze and you have ready meals for when you don't want to cook. If you are willing to try, stir-fry is a good technique to quickly cook food.

    I made an easy 1 pot beef stroganoff in 45 minutes the other day. A little prep, some initial cooking work, then walk away, stirring occasionally. Barley soup is easy too.

    What type of kitchen do you have? tools? What type of food do you like? Maybe we can thing of things for you that fit your environment/likes.
  • Millicent3015Millicent3015 Posts: 372Member, Premium Member Posts: 372Member, Premium Member
    Buy a cheap rice cooker. Most have two settings, hot and keep warm. Use the hot function to sear or brown meat, throw in some veggies, herbs and stock, boil for 5-10 minutes, then use the keep warm setting to gently stew the ingredients for a few hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is soft or falls off the bone.

    Most supermarkets now stock healthier, low fat/carb, high protein chilled ready meals, most of which can go in the freezer. There's nothing wrong with convenience food, especially if it's the healthier type. If you want to start cooking, find a cheap or free course so you can learn some basics, or look for YouTubers who do basic healthy and cheap recipes you can try at home. Cooking is basically knowing about timings and temperatures so you don't over or undercook stuff. As long as you're not burning down your kitchen, it can be quite easy to get the hang of.
  • FL_HikerFL_Hiker Posts: 907Member Member Posts: 907Member Member
    If you’re truly insistent on not cooking things won’t be easy. But if you don’t mind trying easy recipes you might actually enjoy it.
    One of my favorite easy recipes is to put 5 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in ) then on top of the chicken thighs 2 tbps of chopped garlic, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and a little salt and pepper into the crock pot. Set it on high for 4 hours and you’re done. It takes all of about 5 minutes to prepare and you end up with delicious tender juicy meat, pair it with some microwave veggies and you’ve got a meal. I usually bake a sweet potato and sauté some spinach.
    edited January 8
  • LounmounLounmoun Posts: 8,426Member Member Posts: 8,426Member Member
    Hi,
    I am struggling with emotional eating. I turn to food when stress is building. I do not cook so after a Lean Cuisine for dinner, I am starving 2 hours later. Time is also a factor. Does anyone have recipes that would fit into this program that does not require much prep?
    Help very much appreciated.

    You could add more food to your lean cuisine meal or eat 2. Frozen vegetables are quick to prepare or a salad. Cottage cheese or yogurt. Hummus and raw vegetables. Fruit. You could plan a snack for 2-3 hours later.

    A piece of baked or grilled chicken with salt, pepper or whatever seasoning you like, a potato or rice and some vegetables is fairly low prep and uncomplicated.
    Pasta is quick.
    Eggs are quick.
    Slow cooker recipes are generally low prep.
    https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/1947/everyday-cooking/quick-and-easy/
  • hesn92hesn92 Posts: 5,401Member Member Posts: 5,401Member Member
    A lot of people cook chicken breasts in the crock pot with a jar of premade salsa, red or verde. And use that for tacos or whatever. That would take you what, a minute of prep. You can get pre-made guacamole and pico too.
    edited January 11
  • yirarayirara Posts: 3,901Member Member Posts: 3,901Member Member
    You could also look into ingredient delivery services like Hello Fresh etc. Not my cup of tea but they tell you step by step how to prepare the food. While a meal is usually for two portions you can chose high calorie meals and use it for three meals. Just look at the nutritional value, what goes inside and if you like it, whether you have the cooking utensils for it, and whether you can freeze leftovers for in a few days.
  • stricklee11stricklee11 Posts: 149Member Member Posts: 149Member Member
    I find that if I am craving food in the evening, I'll boil 2-3 eggs. I've started making this my standard supper and eat what I cook for lunch to avoid overeating at home. Even if you're not a pro, you can also try simple recipes from Genius Kitchen or AllRecipes.com. Get a couple bags of frozen veggies, frozen pre-seasoned chicken breasts, etc. Crockpots are also great for simple meals that do not need your constant attention
  • kzshelbikzshelbi Posts: 72Member, Premium Member Posts: 72Member, Premium Member
    I have basically been eating mostly raw veggies, fruits, nuts, and things like tuna. You can also make wraps and things like that. Easy fast and little to no prep needed.
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Posts: 4,859Member, Premium Member Posts: 4,859Member, Premium Member
    do you not cook because you a) don't know how or b) don't have time or c) a combo of both??
  • French_PeasantFrench_Peasant Posts: 1,624Member Member Posts: 1,624Member Member
    When I read your comment, I notice two challenges for someone trying to lose weight:

    1) You do not cook.
    2) You are a stress eater.

    To address the more serious challenge first, I am not an emotional eater (I am "lucky" in that when I get overly stressed, I don't have much of an appetite) so I might not be very helpful, but I wonder if there is a way where you could transition your stress response from eating to something calm and soothing, like yoga or a brisk walk, or, more pertinent to your concerns above, to the calm, quiet solitude of chopping vegetables. No matter how much or how well you cook, it can all be undone if you don't have a plan to deal with 2). (Such as, "Oh crap, I realize I am about ready to stress eat; before I do that I am going to do 10 minutes of yoga and prep two apples for my lunch, and then see if I still want to stress eat). If you do this enough, yoga and chopping will become your habitual response instead of immediately eating.

    The stress eating is something different from the late-night hunger, so you need a different plan to deal with that. Although Lean Cuisines are handy and fine, I agree, it is certainly not going to be terribly satisfying. As a first step, and to address the immediate problem of being hungry later at night, you might want to consider keeping a nice pile of fruit and veg on hand, that you have very thoughtfully prepped for yourself while trying not to stress eat. An apple, banana, or a couple of clementines and a small piece of cheese (prep 1 ounce pieces and store them in the fridge with their weight marked) make a very nice evening snack for a couple hundred calories.

    Obviously you could also supplement your dinner with a salad, bag or fruit, but I find I get hungry later at night regardless, so you might just want to build your snack into your plan.

    To get started cooking, there are some good recommendations above; I also really like doing sheet pan recipes. You can just cook a batch on a Sunday night, portion them up, and then use them to supplement your Lean Cuisine, or eat them on their own. If chopping helps with your stress level, then you will likely have a nice pile of veg ready to go that you thoughtfully prepped and stored in the fridge for a couple of days. :)

    Here are a couple of recipes I like; the first is just root veg that you can supplement with; the other two would be complete dinners. If you use parchment paper on the sheet pan, that makes clean-up a lot easier.

    https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014406-roasted-root-vegetables

    https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/balsamic-roasted-chicken-thighs-with-root-vegetables/

    https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018910-sheet-pan-chicken-with-chickpeas-cumin-and-turmeric

    This is just a sampling; you will find many more with just a quick search of sheet pan recipes.

  • SpicyWaterSpicyWater Posts: 99Member Member Posts: 99Member Member
    When I was first learning to cook for myself, my go-to was frozen packets of veggies you can steam in the microwave. They're really good if you add some seasoning afterwards. They're pretty cheap too
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