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Steamer

FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
My friend has given me a steamer.
I am not a cook, dont like cooking, and tend to live on cold food or stuff that will microwave. I'm on a low budget, so need some ideas for cheap stuff I can steam.
Any ideas will be really welcome as I know I can cook veg in it, so maybe a recipe or two.

Replies

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,955

    Scope community team

    I'm sure our resident super-chef, @thespiceman might have an idea or two! (No pressure! :wink:)
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I'm a bit of a picky eater too, but waiting in anticipation.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Please if I can advise.  Sorry for late reply.

    Just looking at my library right now of recipes anything I can suggest.

    One of the favourite ones to steam is use the variety of Fish.

    Frozen be fine.  Just remember to put the Fish at the bottom and add to each layer a vegetable . Frozen Broccoli is great as is Cauliflower.

    Then you can put this to good use.

    HOTPOT

    You can buy Turkey fillet or Turkey Breasts. Cheaper than Chicken.

    This is done with Carrots, any Greens you like.  You can buy shredded Greens like Kale, Cabbage all done for you.

    Use gravy Granules make it up. Remember any stock left over. With that your Soup for lunch.

    Add in frozen veggies.  Noodles.

    METHOD

    In the bottom  layer add stock .

    Add your meat.  

    First tier add Greens, Carrots.

    Cook for fifteen minutes or adjust timings.  Remove meat and dice slice up.  This helps the meal go further.

    When cooked add to a bowl serve with Bread.

    You could change the Veggies to anything you can afford.

    That idea take it a step forward.

    TOMATO CHICKEN WITH CHICKPEAS 

    If not Chickpeas use another Pulse. Not like Pulses use Rice. Microwave sort.

    METHOD

    Use Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks.  Slash skin to let steam in.

    Your favourite jar of Tomato Pasta Sauce.

    Next any frozen veggies your choice.

    Add bottom the jar of Tomato sauce, Chickpeas or potion of Microwave rice. Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks,

    Next layer your veggies any thing you want.

    On a time twenty minutes adjust timings. Always double check every thing is cooked.

    With anything like this. It does take a while to get used to.

    One of my recommendations is to look at slow cookers. Under £20 some super markets sell these single ones.

    Worth using.  I have also may I add precook every thing then add to slow cooker.

    You mentioned problems with certain foods difficulty . That is fine.

    Please ask me anything you wish to eat or do eat and I will make some recipes for you .

    Just ask me no problems.

    Please can I ask if your on a budget please look at the items you can use to freeze.

    Then microwave. I know you mentioned microwave. There are certain recipes you can use to microwave food.  Not meat but veggie ones and Pasta and other grains, pulses or Rice.

    Mainly veggie ones, please if you short of ideas.

    Contact me.

    Lots of budget, cheap eats happy to share.

    One other tip is this make a list of your shopping each week. Stock items like the supermarket do.

    Then this stops buying the same things. Include household as well.

    If you like a meal you create .  Make a recipe for yourself then you know how to do this.

    Do this all the time.

    Look at on line shopping. You pay a sub. TESCO Mid week saver under £4 a month shop many times as you like .

    Minimum shop £40.

    Look at other ICELAND. £25 Minimum shop.

    Consider if you use a freezer cook one freeze one.  Does help.

    Think of using freezer buy an undercounter one if not got one.

    I used to do this and have done.. Been there so many times.

    Benefit changes.

    Please I hope this helps.

    Please keep safe and warm look forward to helping you.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman












    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Thank you Spiceman, theres a lot to study there, so will reread all prob several times. Couple of things. No freezer. No funds to buy one. And dont like fish. I do like pasta and haven't had it in ages. Do you have any pasta recipes? I'm sure pasta must steam ok. 
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    And veggie. I'm not vegetarian but dont like a lot of meats, so veggie would be good.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Both those recipes, the hotpot and the tomato chicken are fine, if a little 'advanced' for me. But I will keep those two. I like chicken, most veg (though hardly ever have them) savoury rice and pasta.
  • SeanchaiSeanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    I love my microwave ( and my steamer) ...in Scotland we have a dumpling called " clootie dumplin' " ( a cloot being a cloth ) it used to take between four and five hours to cook a clootie dumpling ...it used to be wrapped and par boiled par steamed in a cloth in a good sized pot . ( a teatowel or pillowcase) I made a clootie dumplin'  yesterday and it takes 9 minutes in the microwave( plus ten minutes to prepare ) its like a fruit dumpling , it can be eaten on its own, with custard ....or even fried with your morning fry up . 
    When my neighbour told me about making a clootie dumpling in a microwave in minutes instead of four or five hours in a pot , i must admit that i was not sure if it would work . ...but its lovely , especially if you like mixed fruit. Most houses in Scotland made a clootie dumplin' for christmas or new year and it used to have silver threepenny bits in a dumplin in those days ( lucky for you ...if it did not break your teeth that is )🤔🙂😬
    If you want to have a go just google " clootie dumpling made in microwave " 🙂👍
    PS. I steam all my veg... apart from potatoes , i do them in a pressure cooker 👍
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Seanchai:
    I googled it. Looks good to me, and all the ingredients. Nothing there not to like. One little problem, I dont have an oven, only the microwave, and my brand new steamer. But the friend that bought me the steamer used to run a pub with her husband, and she was the cook. I'm going to text her, see if shes heard of a clootie dumpling. Her husband was Scottish so chances are she may have. Hope's are she will make me one for Christmas.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Good morning to you. Thanks for the information.

    I do have concerns and care that you are not getting the adequate nutrition from your diet and food is so important.

    You mentioned a few things concern me. One do not eat a lot of vegetables or do not have an oven or freezer.

    I do think it might be worth first thinking the best way forward to looking at certain organisations that may be helpful to you.

    I would like to suggest contacting these this is something to consider.

    https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

    0800 138 7777

    https://www.stepchange.org.

    0800 138 1111

    Please may I advise speak to your wellbeing community health unit. Run by your County Council.

    Very useful and helpful.

    One period in my life had little money coming in due to benefits changes and demanding private landlords.

    So lived on vegetables, Pasta, Rice, Couscous, Bulgar Wheat. Tinned Fish . Bread and Eggs. Porridge for Breakfast with fruit including dried. Sultanas or Prunes.

    Vegetables included roots, Carrots, Potatoes, Swede. Leeks, Onions because they last a long time, if stored well. Others Peppers, Courgettes.

    Meat Chicken thighs and Drumsticks, bulked this out with lots of Rice, Pasta, tinned Pulses.

    You can Microwave veggies do root mashes simple to do. Just diced veggies in water, on high for a few minutes. Leave to stand and check might have to do again a few minutes.

    Add Milk, Butter in.  Mash with that have on its own or with anything you like. Swede, Carrot combo fantastic or with Potato.

    You can Microwave Eggs Scrambled two or three Eggs with Milk and Butter few minutes great with Toasted Muffins or Potato Cakes or Pancakes. Bread buy Whole meal lot better a keeps you full for longer.

    Use a Pyrex dish or a bowl .

    Porridge morning, Milk fruit and water microwave a few minutes does help the start of the day.

    Bought the following a cheap Microwave, Blender, Slow Cooker from super markets own brands.  Plus food processor.

    All from ASDA. Had Kettle and toaster.

    Went to Curry's bought a under counter fridge and freezer cheap one no defrost. This may I add not in all one go.  Over a period of a year.

    Looking at Credit Unions. Run by local Councils affordable loans to help me.  All clear and crystal often help members of our Community.

    I also may say this you can cook well in  Microwave all depends what you like. Never cooked Meat. Always vegetables.

    Pasta you can cook use a series of Pyrex casserole dishes. Add touch of boiling water and some salt drain this.

    Add to any jar of Pasta Sauce . Add in any thing like you can buy vegetables pre diced for you.

    You can buy Noodles, Microwave Rice all ready to use.  Soup is my main thing I cook Microwave veggies ones already can buy all done for you. The supermarkets sell Soup mixes.

    I would one other point . Sit down with a cuppa go on line search supermarket websites. Make and look at lists of food to use.  That you like create a recipes or adjust them to your needs .

    You mentioned bit advanced for you some of the recipes.  I was unsure how well you could cook. I would seriously consider a Slow Cooker because all you do is the following.

    I do this . Raw Meat and vegetables to the Slow Cooker and cover in anything you like I use Tomato based sauces and stocks because a lot healthy and does boost nutritional content.

    Switch it on leave it.  No difficult to do.  I do pre cook every thing and add to Slow Cooker does help.  Not have to.

    Only by doing that you have some of idea of what is out there.  By going on line.

    I know myself it is hard for you and it is never easy to say to some one.

    How to eat and give ideas, suggestions but I am hope a caring member of the community.

    Just wanted to add happy I can be supportive, please ask if any questions.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman



    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Maybe try researching steamer friendly recipes?

    I am sure that you can find some online. Alternatively ask on Facebook. There are cookbooks which you can buy online or at a good bookshop. Also check out the cookery section of your local library, there are cookbooks to borrow there. I also know that there are specialty cookery magazines on sale in the supermarket for people to buy. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Maybe try researching steamer friendly recipes?

    I am sure that you can find some online. Alternatively ask on Facebook. There are cookbooks which you can buy online or at a good bookshop. Also check out the cookery section of your local library, there are cookbooks to borrow there. I also know that there are specialty cookery magazines on sale in the supermarket for people to buy. 
    Cookery books and magazines can be very expensive and not everyone has the funds to buy these.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Poppy and April:
    The Spiceman is giving me lots of help and recipes here, but my friend gave me the steamer coz she was concerned I'm not eating 'properly'. I do tend to live on cold stuff, salad stuff and quick meet-ups in the microwave. Also finances are approx 60something quid currently, and I am relying on food banks for top-ups. That's HEAT up above, not meet.
    Friend send steam veggies mainly as that's what I'm not having, so trying to source cheapest supply. An online supermarket search I guess. That's friend said, not send. Predictive text thing is irritating!!
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    I used to enjoy cooking but sadly find it mostly too difficult now however, I never really used a steamer. I still (once or twice a month) use a slow cooker though. The advantage being that you can chuck the meat or not-meat in even frozen, tip in a jar or two of sauce and stick it on low for 8 hours and then it's done. I sometimes make chilli and sometimes curry and for rice there are one-serving packets that heat in a microwave in 90 seconds. If you use 2 sauces and double the meat/non-meat content you can get 4 or 5 meals from one cooking and microwave reheating. Quick (ish), simple and causes little suffering for pain sufferers like me.

    Just a thought.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Topkitten:
    I like the sound of a slow cooker. Sounds very no hassle and easy, which would suit me as a no-cook. Something to research into, running costs etc. Thanks for the tip.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Thank you so much.
    I have heard of step change, and will look at both those organisations you suggested.
    Topkitten has also recommended a slow cooker, so will be checking those out too, running costs etc.
    I am going to do an online supermarket search for starters to see what veg is available and whose cheapest.  As I said I'm no cook, so need easy stuff, but a slow cooker sounds pretty easy.
    Lots to research, thanks for being around and helping.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    Np @Franstrahan. Another thing I do is to cook by time rather than other ways. So, for example, I can cook steak and chips using fresh steak and frozen chips. Steak takes 20 minutes and McCaim oven chips just over that. So its one trip to put it in trays, 20 minutes to rest / recover, and one trip to dish up. I actually spend less time on my feet than heating frozen meals and do something similar for a few other things. Some things only take 15 minutes but frozen french fries take 13-15 so I mix and match and try one decent meal each week. Saves being on my feet in paint for 10-15 minutes at a time messing with a freezer / microwave / dish up option. I have found that my cooker works best at 160 rather than 180 or 200 so I never vary temperature. Anything to keep it as simple as possible.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019
    Hello @Franstrahan   Pleasure to help you. Any time you want to.

    Please get in touch.

    One other point may I add you may not like cooking but just take it easy. Do small steps.

    Do as you would a list of stages slowly. Add to a note pad how to do stuff.

    What you did . Bullet this itemise it. Understand be mistakes some errors some big name chefs never get it right.

    Remember that.

    Keep that in a folder. For reference . Then over a period I found a new way to do food, short cuts use that make it simple.

    You mentioned not liking veggies. In the cultures of cusines. The following three vegetables are used.

    Onions, Carrots, Celery with them three use a bases for Soups, Stews, Casseroles. I have use them all the time.

    Called Solfritto in Italian all over the Med and Europe.

    Just to save time spend a morning a hour or long as you can manage dicing each one.  In a plastic container on standby for use.

    Put music on or use Radio just take your time. Use a food processor slicer if you wish to obtain one does help.

    Wish you all the best.

    On other little snippet. Watch Food net Work ideas or look at B.B.C. Website. Food one.  Make notes how to do anything. A lot of the programmes or instructional. I do watch myself so there you are.

    I have to say this I knew a chef who watched Ready Steady Cook  for ideas, his menu his recipes and adapt them.

    Something to think about.

    Please keep in touch happy to listen offer anything.

    Keep safe and warm.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Topkitten:
    Yes anything to keep it simple as I'm no cook, less fiddle the better. Thanks.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Will have to take it slow, but will call on you for advice if ok, as and when. Thank You.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Poppy and April:
    The Spiceman is giving me lots of help and recipes here, but my friend gave me the steamer coz she was concerned I'm not eating 'properly'. I do tend to live on cold stuff, salad stuff and quick meet-ups in the microwave. Also finances are approx 60something quid currently, and I am relying on food banks for top-ups. That's HEAT up above, not meet.
    Friend send steam veggies mainly as that's what I'm not having, so trying to source cheapest supply. An online supermarket search I guess. That's friend said, not send. Predictive text thing is irritating!!
    It's very kind of your friend to give you the steamer! You've had some great advice from my dear friend @thespiceman if anyone knows good recipes it's definitely him :) he's the recipe king here.

    For shopping, do you have an aldi or lidl near you? They have very cheap veggies and are often much cheaper than any other supermarket.

    I know you said you don't have a freezer, have you looked online at free sites? Maybe facebook or gumtree for your area. Some people often give away items like this and you'll be very surprised at the things you can find.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Chobbly:
    I would never have thought of that! Yes chicken is one of the few meats I like. Thanks for that.
    Poppy:
    Nearest supermarket is Tesco, will have to check where nearest Aldi and Lidl are. Thank you. I'm not on Facebook, but will look on Gumtree. Thank you Poppy. I know a freezer would be handy and dont think the electric consumption will be any more then the fridge, so fingers crossed for Gumtree.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    @Franstrahan, do be a bit careful with my suggestions because my diet is about as unhealthy as it gets, lol! Apart from a few Chinese vegetables in a curry I haven't eaten ANY vegetables since I was 6 years old (I decided I didn't like them any more).

    Keep it simple with just a couple of basic things then, when a little more confident, add a little more.

    Another simple suggestion....... 2 or 3 slices of thin sliced beef or chicken, instant mashed potato (just need to boil a kettle) and instant gravy. Simple Sunday dinner in 5 minutes or less.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    My diet is probably totally unhealthy too at the mo, which is why my friend bought me the steamer!
    The Sunday roast sounds a good one to try, with chicken, mash and veg. Not had a Sunday roast for years. I'm not into much in the way of meat coz of fat on it and other 'things' like you get in liver and such. Meat used to be served up at home when I was a kid, and I used to cut most of it away and leave it. As my dad used to say 'you're suppose to eat it, not operate on it'. Yuk!
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Thank you kind words.

    I would if you feel confident enough visit a electrical retailer. Like Curry's .

    These retailers have prices on goods. Does not mean they have to sell at that price.

    Trade is trade and you need to know they make massive profits. Many have flexible terms on anything electrical.

    I have with a friend does help . Went in had a limited amount of money got a bargain.  They not going to dismiss you if got some money.

    At the moment Curry's 30% off a lot of goods.

    You can see if you look at the website.

    Also remember they all come with three year plans.  

    I do recommend a freezer as my friend @poppy123456 says because it is necessary in these times.

    I bought a frost free one.  Under £100 ..

    One other point if you went in like I did purchased a lot of electrical goods with cash more discounts.

    Lots of smiles, charms and being polite works for me.

    Once you do get a freezer it is an extension of your stores cupboard.

    Lots to freeze that you thought you could not.

    Always here anytime to suggest, give ideas or look on the forum. Always putting recipes on the forum.

    Have a look at your local College something to think about. Often have cooking courses for a range of abilities, skills.

    You meet other people.  Like yourself.

    Hope any of this helps.

    Wish you well.


    @thespiceman






    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Chobbly:
    Thanks for those websites. Things I never knew existed, have only been online since June, so deciding to join Scope forum had been a real blessing to me. Will go and have a look around those sites. Need a new settee too....... 
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    I'm going to have a look for a freezer on the free cycle sites first, as money non-existent. But you are right, I think it would be a good idea to have one. I've still to check out slow cookers, just want to know how heavy they are on electricity usage.
    Thank you
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Chobbly:
    Freegle is excellent. Recommend to anybody. No freezer yet, but I'm on to some wood effect vinyl floor tiles. Thanks for the tip. I'll keep searching regularly as never know what I might find!
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,955

    Scope community team

    edited November 2019
    Hi @Franstrahan. I've found this useful article on their energy consumption (it's an Australian site, but quotes UK research). A few quotes from the article:

    "Slow cookers can also be an energy-efficient option – they use just a little more energy than a traditional light bulb," the website says. The Centre for Sustainable Energy (www.cse.org.uk) estimates the average electricity usage of an electric oven between 2-2.2kWh, while a microwave uses between 0.6-1.5kWh.

    Energy comparison website Uswitch says: "Slow cookers can also be an energy-efficient option – they use just a little more energy than a traditional light bulb, and you can leave your food to cook slowly while you get on with other things."  

    https://www.smh.com.au/money/saving/is-a-slow-cooker-a-money-saver-20140225-33ewl.html

    Just to add: I'm not much of a cook, but have found slow cooker recipes really easy and cheap to follow. Chop a few things, throw it in and leave it alone.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Ok thanks Adrian, I'll check that out. It was the fact that they are on for hours that bothered me regarding the elec usage, but do like the fact that seems you can throw anything in, go away and forget about it, come back and its cooked. That easy. Suits me. Thanks for the info.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,955

    Scope community team

    Hi @Franstrahan. The site I linked seems to indicate that having the slow cooker on for 8-10 hours was still less energy than running an electric oven for just 1.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    My slow cooker has 3 settings.... low (8hours), medium (4 hours) and high (2 hours).

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Adrian:
    Yes I read the info at the site. It's looking fine, as long as you cook it on low for around 8 hours. I'm convinced. Thank you. I will start checking them out, also recipes. Nice winter warmers!
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    TK:
    Yes I'm convinced I need one. On my wish list, I will start sourcing one. Elec consumption looks ok long as it's on low for 6 to 8 hours. Dont know for sure but probably healthier way to cook too, instead of zapping stuff in the microwave.
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