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I really need HELP! I've never cooked before Crock pot?

curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
I am in a dilemma because I don't like to cook and now I have special needs. I had brain tumor surgery and have trouble swallowing so I have dietary restrictions. I'm considering getting a crock pot. What do you think?

These are the restrictions:

Nothing hard, crunchy or dry. No nuts, beans, dried fruit, tough meat. Everything has to be fork tender and preferably mushy. Everything has to be moist.
No rice
Veggies must be peeled and cooked. No broccoli, cauliflower or corn.
Fruit must be peeled and cooked.
No thin liquids. No thin soup. Anything to drink has to be thickened with special thickener (ugh). I can manage grapefruit juice, lemonade or cranberry juice with the thickener.

All spices and condiments are fine.

My diet before the surgery was the reverse. I ate lots of nuts, beans, fresh veggies, salad, all meats and fish.

I have a tube in my stomach so until that comes out (I hope!) I can supplement what I eat with liquid stuff put in the tube. Otherwise, I've been eating baby food, eggs, pasta (not al dente - not allowed - must be mushy) and some pureed food which I'm pretty sick of.

Please help if you can. I'm really in need of some suggestions. Thank you everyone.
2/c Coarse hair med. density.
Highly porous. Color over grey.
I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
Every day is a gift :flower:
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Comments

  • 2poodles2poodles Posts: 2,480Registered Users
    I made this recipe for Christmas and it was a big hit. It's really delicious and you can bake it as long as you need to until it's as mushy as you'd like. Hope you enjoy!

    ESCALLOPED APPLES
    1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    2 tbsp. flour
    3-4 c. apples, peeled & cut in lg. wedges
    1/3 c. butter, sliced
    Combine sugar, cinnamon and flour. Mix with apples until well coated. Put in baking dish and dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Basically tastes like apple pie without the crust....Yummy!!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]2Poodles :flower: Southeast PA
    fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    Perfect 2poodles, - thank you very much!
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    *Mac-n-cheese
    *Sliced onion, green/red peppers and carrots in jarred tomato sauce with tofu over pasta
    *Polenta (sweet or savory)
    montage-3.gif No MAS.

    I am the new Black.

    "Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    You do not need a crock pot. Heh, when I saw your chicken thread, I thought how something like braised short ribs would be great as the next meal.
    Gnocchi or gnudi for pasta.
    Baked fish. Whole keeps very moist and tender.
    Chicken pot pie.
    Soups: Squash, turnip, carrot, potato leek, rutabaga, cauliflower, broccoli.
    Braised cabbage.
    Savory custards.
    Souffles.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    Num nums... But no cauliflower or broccoli, S.

    BTW, S., have you ever fried cauliflower? Yum!
    montage-3.gif No MAS.

    I am the new Black.

    "Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Oh, that's right. Why is that curlypeal? I have heard of some people who are told not to eat it, but is it a digestive issue or is it because they're often cooked tender-crisp? In the case of soup it wouldn't be an issue.

    Phoenix, yes. I worked at a place where we served it with capers, raisins, and I think there was some saffron as well.
    I usually pan-fry mine in a fair amount of olive oil until very golden. Ooh, I just remembered the cauliflower confit we made at one place. Amazing stuff.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    Maybe all the little florets and bits would get stuck in her throat, as with broccoli.
    montage-3.gif No MAS.

    I am the new Black.

    "Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.
  • shorticurlzshorticurlz Posts: 1,056Registered Users
    I've got loads of Italian and Indian recipes that could work, but what sort of food do you like?
    Fish is a great idea.
    Baked sweet potato makes a fantastic tasting mash.
    Pumpkin + potato + garlic + veg stock + cream cheese mixed in at the end makes a killer pumpkin soup.
    Minestrone soup is really easy to make (my secret ingredient is fennel).

    You probably don't need to, but if you're looking to buy new kitchen stuff, a pressure cooker might be more useful as it will soften any meat in half the time it would usually take (or so I hear).
    Fine, very porous 3a
    Boycotting all brands owned by L'oreal
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    Everyone, thank you SO much. I wish I could hug you all individually.

    Phoenix and Saria, I don't know why I am not allowed to have broccoli or cauliflower. I plan to ask my speech/swallowing therapist when I see her next.

    Just a few footnotes: I can't eat soup unless it is very thick because I am not allowed to swallow "thin" liquids. Apparently it can run into my lungs. CurliMD, I am considering a pressure cooker, but I am such a novice at cooking.

    Anyway, all of your good ideas are helping me not get depressed about all this. I have to work hard to keep my spirits up. Thanks again mucho.

    ETA CurliMD I love both Indian and Italian food so any simple recipes would hit the spot.
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • shorticurlzshorticurlz Posts: 1,056Registered Users
    CP - if you drain a little of the stock out of that Pumpkin soup before you blend or mash it (enough that it still just covers the veg), it will come out nice and thick for you.

    Vegetarian lasagne? (obviously it doesn't have to be GF)
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.glutenfreeaustralia.com%2F2008%2F03%2F19%2Fgluten-free-vegetarian-lasanga%2F" class="Popup
    Fine, very porous 3a
    Boycotting all brands owned by L'oreal
  • SariaSaria Posts: 15,963Registered Users
    Root vegetable soups like the ones I mentioned are fairly thick. They have a lot of body. Another good one is a split pea soup. They all require pureeing.
    por-que-no-te-callas.jpg
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users
    Here's a soup my family loves--it's an asparagus-leek soup made with cream. It's pretty thick when it's done and you puree it: /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.obesitydiscussion.com%2Fforums%2Fatkins-diet-first-course%2Fatkins-asparagus-and-leek-soup-4702.html" class="Popup
    "Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest."--Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas


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  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    When I took care of a woman with swallowing issues, we made a lot of recipes from the Easy-to-Swallow, Easy-to-Chew cookbook by Donna Weihofen.

    Something else that might be helpful is a stick/immersible blender. It's especially helpful for things like blending up soups and purees.

    One thing we often did was making fruit puree by cooking apples, berries, pears, etc (whatever fruits sound good to you) in a small amount of butter until they were very soft, adding spices for flavor. Then, we'd blend them until they were smooth with the stick blender, adding a little fruit juice if needed. It's kind of like baby food, but not as boring and more tailored to an adult's palate. We would also add about a tablespoon of the fruit puree to a cup of juice and blend for a few seconds to make thickened juice without using the commercial thickener.
  • shorticurlzshorticurlz Posts: 1,056Registered Users
    Are lentils ok? This is my favourite dhal, its probably the simplest Indian recipe I have, you can also use it as a base for a curry or soup - just add veg, or you can eat it plain.

    DHAL
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 2 cups chopped onions
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 cups water
    • 1 cup dried red lentils*
    • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    Preparation

    Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion and 1 minced garlic clove and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Combine 3 cups water, lentils, remaining 1 cup onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, turmeric, cumin and ginger in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer half of lentil mixture to processor; purée until smooth. Return purée to same saucepan. Mix in sautéed onion mixture. Simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Fine, very porous 3a
    Boycotting all brands owned by L'oreal
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    NYnaeve77, that soup sounds nutritious and fattening which in my case is a very good thing (LOL). I lost a tremendous amount of weight, and became scarily underweight. I never would have believed this. The soup sounds delicious too.

    Badgercurls, the book looks like a terrific resource. I'm going to see if I can buy it. It's a big relief to know someone who has had experience with this kind of problem. For some reason, that makes me feel a lot better.

    CurliMD I love dhal. Indian food is actually my very favorite, but unfortunately, lentils are not allowed. Hopefully, I will make this recipe in the future. I also really love mango lassis, but I can't have that yet.

    Thank you curly friends! I am feeling encouraged. :salut:
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • cyndicyndi Posts: 3,341Registered Users
    Tomato Basil Soup

    4 cans diced tomatoes
    10 basil leaves, chopped

    Bring to a boil and boil 30 minutes.
    Puree the tomatoes and basil in a blender.
    Return to pan.

    Add one stick butter and 1 cup cream.

    Bring to boil.


    Also: Are you using Hydraid to thicken liquids. I hear that it's better than some of the other thickeners. But I had to try it in my dysphagia class and still didn't like it.
    I think that I deceive genius.:happy10:
  • cyndicyndi Posts: 3,341Registered Users
    My mom makes baked potato soup. I don't have her recipe, but found this online...
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fallrecipes.com%2FRecipe%2FBaked-Potato-Soup%2FDetail.aspx" class="Popup

    Just some suggestions:
    grits (you could add cheese)
    oatmeal
    I think that I deceive genius.:happy10:
  • shorticurlzshorticurlz Posts: 1,056Registered Users
    I saw this link on another thread, it looks like it takes a while but you would get some nice soft meat and the recipe itself is not that complicated. /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fmaricucu.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F10%2Fso-about-that-pot-roast.html" class="Popup
    Fine, very porous 3a
    Boycotting all brands owned by L'oreal
  • shorticurlzshorticurlz Posts: 1,056Registered Users
    Ok CP, this is my hubby's grandma's recipe, fresh from Calcutta ;) it takes forever to cook, but it is really yummy and the meat comes out nice and soft. You can also add cooked potato chunks and yoghurt towards the end to add a different flavor.

    Beef Curry:

    600g beef diced finely
    6 tsp curry powder
    3 tsp coriander
    ½ tsp turmeric
    ½ tsp mixed spice
    2 tsp crushed garlic
    2 tsp crushed ginger
    1 onion
    4 diced tomatoes


    Dice and fry 1 onion
    Mix all spices with some water to make a paste
    Add paste to onions and simmer for 20 mins adding water to keep consistency
    Add tomatoes and cook for another 10 mins

    Add beef and simmer until mince is soft and cooked (continue to add water to keep from drying out, it will take at least 1 hour for the meat to soften - once meat is soft you can let the mix dry out to make a paste consistency)
    Fine, very porous 3a
    Boycotting all brands owned by L'oreal
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    Hi Cyndi. I'm using Thick-it. I think the thickeners are probably all similar. I'm supposed to wait 3 months and then possibly have medialization which might help with the swallowing, if it hasn't corrected itself by then.

    You're studying to be a speech therapist! Hugs from someone who REALLY values what you do.

    Hi CurliMD. I'm going to try your hubby's grandma's recipe. That sounds yummy!! Please thank her for me. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    To everyone who answered :love6:
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • badgercurlsbadgercurls Posts: 3,077Registered Users
    curlypearl wrote: »
    \
    Badgercurls, the book looks like a terrific resource. I'm going to see if I can buy it. It's a big relief to know someone who has had experience with this kind of problem. For some reason, that makes me feel a lot better.


    No problem! :) We had a team of caregivers brainstorming ideas for keeping our caregiving client well-fed despite her swallowing issues, so we ended up with a lot of good ideas! I'll try to think of other "tricks" we used!

    One thing I remember is that we added healthy fats (in oil form) to a lot of foods for added calories. Canola oil doesn't have much flavor, so it worked well even in sweet things, and flax oil (nutty flavor) and olive oil worked well in more savory things.
  • shorticurlzshorticurlz Posts: 1,056Registered Users
    curlypearl wrote: »
    Hi CurliMD. I'm going to try your hubby's grandma's recipe. That sounds yummy!! Please thank her for me.

    :shock: Thank her for you - Are you crazy? She would KILL me if she knew I was sharing it around ;-)
    Fine, very porous 3a
    Boycotting all brands owned by L'oreal
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    Can you have apple sauce?


    Canned halved pears microwaved with brown sugar and honey over them are an amazing sweet snack. Super easy, and they end up really, really soft.

    How about squashes? Acorn squash cut in half then baked on a cookie sheet with brown sugar and agave nectar ends up mushy soft and tastes soooo good. It would also work well blended into a soup, and you could add some heavy cream to help make it more calories!

    You can have meats, they just can't be tough, if I'm understanding right? Not necessarily as soft as cooked fish can get (though I looooooove fish so recommend lots of it if you can have that!

    My family always makes a very easy brisket recipe. Take a flat cut brisket (the flat cut has huge amounts of fat cut off which a whole brisket still has), slice it, and put in a pan. Use whole stewed tomatoes, cream of mushroom soup and a package of onion soup mix, then add water until the slices are covered by liquid. Cover in foil and bake for many hours - 6 works well. A crock pot would work as easily, I'm guessing, though I've never done it that way. The meat ends up just falling apart on you, and you dip/cover it in the juice - as opposed to drinking the juice where you'd have that thin liquid problem again.

    A lot of fish turn out really well if you bake them in foil. I love salmon baked in foil, for example. (Or just about any other way...)

    Have you ever used instant mashed potato flakes? They pick up the flavor of whatever liquid you make them with. You may find you prefer having flavorful liquids with mashed potato flakes absorbing the liquid rather than having to use your thickener.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

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  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    Sweet/breakfasty stuff:
    cream of wheat (farina)
    yogurt ice cream
    ***e w/ honey
    smoothie with almond milk yogurt honey banana

    Lunch/Dinner
    polenta w/ tomato sauce
    crab chowder (pureed)
    bisques
    gumbo (pureed)
    whipped white potatoes w/ sour cream & cheese
    sweet potatoes mashed or sweet potato casserole
    babaganoush or hummus thinned out with liquid

    as for making meats tender - probably fatty cuts of beef woud be your best bet. Use a pressure cooker or braise it. Try oxtails or short ribs.


    if anything I mentioned above needs a recipe, let me know. I just wanted to throw a bunch of ideas out there.
    hello.world.
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    Badgercurls, I'm with you on adding oils because I am fighting to gain weight. Each day on the scale I am afraid to look. I didn't know about canola - thanks for the tip. I can add that to a lot of things.

    CurliMD thanks for risking your life for me :lol:

    Netg - Applesauce is one of my staples. I like the idea of the squashes. And yes, I can have meat and fish if it is soft. Brisket - yum! I'm such a novice cook - thanks for the recipe. It sounds delish.

    Webjockey - farina has become a favorite. I don't know how to braise something. I am so lame when it comes to cooking. Very appetizing lunch and dinner suggestions. Polenta is a great idea!

    I so appreciate all the suggestions. I'm feeling happy today because I saw my brother and was able to eat out in a coffee shop with him. Sunnyside eggs and OH MY two teaspoons of hashed browns. Progress :wav:
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users
    Mmm...hashbrowns!

    I remembered you mentioning that you'd lost quite a bit of weight, which is why I gave you the fattening asparagus soup recipe. It's so tasty and very rich. :) It really is easy to make, too.
    "Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest."--Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas


    My fotki: /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.fotki.com%2Fnynaeve77%2F" class="Popup
    Password: orphanannie
  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    Yes, nynaeve77. I'm struggling to gain weight. I have a feeding tube in my stomach and the docs won't remove it if I can't maintain my weight by normal eating which is tough to do on this restricted diet. Thanks again for your kind help.
    2/c Coarse hair med. density.
    Highly porous. Color over grey.
    I love all the Curl Junkie products. Still experimenting with gels and curl creams. Still hoping for 2nd day hair....
    Every day is a gift :flower:
  • The New BlackThe New Black Posts: 16,738Registered Users
    This thread has some great recipes/ideas. I'm bookmarking this bad boy!
    montage-3.gif No MAS.

    I am the new Black.

    "Hope the Mail are saving space tomorrow for Samantha Brick's reaction piece on the reactions to her piece about the reactions to her piece." ~ Tweet reposted by Rou.
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    curlypearl wrote: »
    Badgercurls, I'm with you on adding oils because I am fighting to gain weight. Each day on the scale I am afraid to look. I didn't know about canola - thanks for the tip. I can add that to a lot of things.

    CurliMD thanks for risking your life for me :lol:

    Netg - Applesauce is one of my staples. I like the idea of the squashes. And yes, I can have meat and fish if it is soft. Brisket - yum! I'm such a novice cook - thanks for the recipe. It sounds delish.

    Webjockey - farina has become a favorite. I don't know how to braise something. I am so lame when it comes to cooking. Very appetizing lunch and dinner suggestions. Polenta is a great idea!

    I so appreciate all the suggestions. I'm feeling happy today because I saw my brother and was able to eat out in a coffee shop with him. Sunnyside eggs and OH MY two teaspoons of hashed browns. Progress :wav:

    There's a book called the art of braising that is great. You need a heavy pot with a lid (preferably cast iron). Basically with meat, you pat it dry, season it w/ salt pepper, cook it on high heat in a bit of fat (oil, butter), add your liquid(s) & seasonings, put a lid on it and cook it low and slow slow on the stovetop or in the oven. Meat that is usally tough comes out super tender and moist from the sauce.

    Also, check out some of the stuffing/dressing recipes out there. You can just add extra liquid as needed. And for dessert - bread pudding with cream on top to moisten it up even more.
    hello.world.
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users
    I don't like most veggies cooked soft and mushy, but I do like yellow squash stewed with onion, a little butter (or a lot since you can afford it :)), and freshly-ground black pepper. Not sure how peeling it would affect its flavor - probably not much. It gets very soft even with the peels.

    Cheaper beef (e.g., chuck or rump) or pork (e.g., butt, shoulder, or picnic, although loin works, too - it just doesn't require the slow cooking and doesn't usually get as soft and falling apart) roasts that benefit from slow cooking are good in the crockpot or braised on the stove-top (faster). Good with peeled potatoes, onions and carrots added the last hour or so - they cook up nice and soft, as does the meat. It just falls apart. If you need an actual recipe, here're some very easy ones for the crockpot:
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fallrecipes.com%2FRecipe%2FAwesome-Slow-Cooker-Pot-Roast%2FDetail.aspx" class="Popup
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fallrecipes.com%2FRecipe%2FMaries-Easy-Slow-Cooker-Pot-Roast%2FDetail.aspx" class="Popup
    /home/leaving?target=http%3A%2F%2Fallrecipes.com%2FRecipe%2FSlow-Cooker-Cranberry-Roast%2FDetail.aspx" class="Popup

    They have lots of other slow-cooker recipes at this site.

    An old-fashioned, guilty pleasure, comfort food casserole that I love from when I was a kid but rarely indulge in:
    1 lb. ground beef
    1 small or 1/2 med. to large onion
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 cup cottage cheese
    1-2 cups shredded colby or cheddar
    About 1 cup cooked noodles
    Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook beef and onions together in a skillet until beef is in fairly small pieces and lightly browned. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package instructions (unless using leftovers) and drain. Drain fat off meat if needed. Mix all ingredients together well, pour into a 2 qt casserole. Top with a little extra cheese if you'd like. Bake with lid (or foil) for 20-25 minutes; remove cover and bake about 10 more minutes until it looks hot and bubbly throughout.
    I prefer a deeper casserole rather than a shallow one for this particular recipe - spraying with Pam first makes clean-up much easier. I usually just have this and salad, but you could instead have it with well-cooked veggies of some type. Or you could even add carrots and or celery to the casserole itself.

    The original recipe my Mom used to make in the 60's called for full-fat mushroom soup and Velveeta "cheese" - I now use Campbell's Special Request low fat/sodium soup and real cheese. Don't be squeamish about the cottage cheese - you hardly realize it's in there, it just makes it creamy. You can use less than a cup if you'd like - most of the amounts are just generalities anyway, except for the can of soup. Others who want to make it lighter can use low fat cheeses, including cottage cheese.

    There's always good ole spaghetti, too, even if it can't be al dente.

    Hope something here strikes your tastebuds' fancy and fits the bill otherwise!
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

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