Slow Cooker — Scope | Disability forum
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Slow Cooker

Franstrahan
Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
I've bought it today, the Cookworks 1.5L one, from Argos. It even comes with a recipe book but all the recipes require you to do something additional before using the slow cooker, and I only like 2 of them anyway.
So I'm on a really tight budget (universal credit, with deductions), dont like cooking, but feel I need to eat a bit better then I am.
Cheap and cheerful, throw it in the pot and leave till done recipes appreciated. (I think theres a few on the forum already so will search). Dont like much in the way of meat - chicken or minced beef. 
If I could cook up enough to do me two teas a week it would be good. 
Looking forward to some mouthwatering suggestions.
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Comments

  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Just found a Spiceman tip: Raw meat, vegetables, cover with sauce or stock. Switch on slow cooker. Leave.

    Really that simple!!?
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Thank you for your post.

    I would if I can like to explain a few things about slow cookers.

    Understand the booklet, that is just a guide. I pre cook every thing on my hob. 

    This is something you can do but do not have to.

    You can buy in any supermarkets pre diced vegetables, lots of short cuts, tips, tricks to make life easer for you..

    Cooking is all about what you can cope with and do .

    When I first started learnt from the Italians, the Spanish and the Greeks, being places of extreme climate.

    They have to devise food and recipes that are simple quick to do.

    Using pre cooked, sauces, stocks. From the deli cooked foods like Chicken or other cuts.

    I do this a lot go on to supermarkets website looking for easy recipes and new products.

    You have not ever mentioned what you like. Chicken and Beef not keen on them.

    Please can I say .

    Thighs, Legs, Drumsticks all cheap eats and not expensive.

    Use Turkey buy diced breast, fillet, meatballs.

    Turkey Thigh.

    All cheap and not expensive, cheap cuts budget ones are Pork cuts. Belly, Pork Shoulder , Liver Offal cheap.

    Also consider the vegetables to use in slow cookers.

    This is my list I use these are all fresh and worth using in a slow cooker. No chopping or dicing.

    Plus going to advise buy a blender. Cheap one, have cheap jars of Pasta sauce. Got Onions, Herbs, Tomatoes.

    Blitz that up with any seasonings or anything like gravy granules own brands best as there cheap.

    That is your sauce for the slow cooker.

    Soup Mixes these are vegetables ready to add Vegetable granules to then to slow cooker, pre diced, chopped with herbs.

    Make it your own additional vegetables your choice.

    The following.

    Leek, Potatoes.
    Butternut squash Chilli.
    Vegetable Soup Mix.

    Chefs base vegetable mix. Includes, Carrots, Onions, Celery all diced for slow cookers.

    Swede Carrot mix,

    Seasonings includes herbs, spices and seasonings all in one jar to enhance taste.

    Garlic Italian Pasta Sauce Mix 

    Italian Herb Seasonings.

    Tomato products.

    Passata buy ones with Herbs, Garlic . Jars around £1 .

    500g to 690g lots of uses.

    You can buy spice mixes choose one you like .

    Please I can add further you did mention have problems cooking and not liking certain foods.

    If you wish to explain more can give you more ideas.

    I know you said detest cooking. Unfortunately we do need to eat.

    Once the mastering the challenges of making a simple meal you will enjoy it creating recipes.

    I would suggest have a look a look at the B.B.C Food Website lots of ideas.

    It is that simple the slow cooker putting raw meat in to a slow cooker add stock or sauce put it on leave it all day.

    Did you know slow cookers began in Sweden, they have a big slow cooker movement.

    Please if I can advise further be happy to do so anytime.

    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.
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  • Ozzy2013
    Ozzy2013 Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    Frozen foods are usually cheaper, (make sure you defrost what you're using first) Get some frozen chops or steaks with some bags of frozen veg & some stock cubes, can get a lot of meals from that & there are loads of recipes on Youtube if you search "budget slow cooker recipes uk"... hope this helps 
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Thank you. I'm quite a picky eater especially with meat and only like chicken (white meat only), minced beef and sausages. Cant think of a veg I dont like. Everything will have to go straight into the cooker as dont have a hob. So i thought for my first try something like any of those meats with carrots, potatoes, Swede, onion - something like that, with one of those packet sauces. I'll have to look round and price it all up, but hoping the cookerful might go 3 or at least 2 nights. But I feel I need to eat more healthier stuff then I am even though I'm on a tight budget and hate cooking! Thanks for all your help and suggestions, going to write some of your recipes on the forum down for future use, when im a bit more confident with the cooker. I do like chilli con carne, one to try later on.
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Ozzy2013:
    The YouTube channel, budget slow cooker recipes sounds just what I need! Thanks for that. Unfortunately dont have a freezer, and beyond my budget at the mo. But it's on my wish list. I'm checking on the free cycle site regularly in case one shows up.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Thank you for reply.  I am aware of what you are saying.

    I would sit down with a note pad and look on line the supermarkets make a list of things you like.

    Have a stock list. Packet sauces are fine no problems there.

    I have to share with you I had have the time when I moved into rental properties that were private.

    Demanding landlords. So used to have limited amount of money.

    You mentioned also not like cooking but we all have to eat.

    Food is important and necessary . I lived with a Mother whose obsessional nature she collected food .

    Amasses huge tins, collections of produce and every thing like that.

    Needed to sign something before we ate anything.  Just a joke but it felt like it. Developed weight issues and health problems.

    To inspire you think of this. I do use colour to stimulate your plate.

    Also think of who you are cooking for.  

    There is a saying we eat to live or live to eat.

    If you think of food boring, uninteresting, not necessary to be stimulated, interested . This can actually be harmful mentally.

    I had a chef friend worked in the industry all week and when he came home ate nothing, cooked for others friends and any one.

    I only found out because he ended up in hospital with malnutrition and serious problems health wise.

    That is a chef.  

    I had the misfortune making my meals took so long by the end was knackered into the bin, this was when I was first cooking in my first home.

    Got volunteer jobs, positions in kitchens showed me the way to do short cuts, cheat and much more.

    Small steps and just do and make it simple. Do steps, bullets write it down what your doing, make it easy for yourself.

    I used to carry a notebook into supermarkets make notes, look on line webpages.

    One final thought make it a pleasurable experience your favourite music your eating, relaxed. Rushed meals can be harmful.

    If you have a friend cook her or him a meal why not. I think that helps as well.

    I used to do this a lot. Valentine Day , Christmas Day, social meetings having some one to cook for does help.

    I would add join cooking classes enjoyable, new friends and you learn a lot.

    Another one other do you wish to save money, budget and have the things you want. All can be done by being creative . In the kitchen.

    You do need the following non defrost freezer, blender, food processor.

    This evening made a spicy sauce into the freezer zip, clip bags labelled no waste and next time have sauces ready to go.

    You will succeed save money.

    Speak to your local Credit Union good way to get a loan and advice on finance.

    Please if I can help further please ask.

    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
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    So long since I really bothered that much about food really, I think a lot of people living alone would say the same. Last winter I lived on jacket potatoes done in the microwave. Can get through the warmer months on salad stuff and the odd quick microwave meal but what I want to cut out is snacking on sweets, chocolate and biscuits! Be a bit healthier. So will check out some cheap meat and veg online and give it a try. Dont know that I will ever actually enjoy cooking, plus I'm no good at it. But as you say we all have to eat, so I'm going to go a little healthier with my diet. Will keep in touch and thank you for all your help.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    This sounds great @Franstrahan, how's it going?
    Scope

  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I haven't actually used the slow cooker yet. The plan is to get some chicken thighs maybe, plus potatoes, carrots, Swede and onions on Friday, throw them all in the pot Saturday morning on low, and eat Saturday night and Sunday too.
    I'm stopping the chocolate habit, sweets in general and biscuits too. Have to find some healthier nibbles.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Have a look around the forum have done lots of recipes on a slow cooker. Many of them are last month and some go back further.

    Have a note pad scroll up to recent  discussions and you find them.

    I forgot to add use your microwave in the morning to make Porridge add in fruit, tinned or fresh helps you stay full longer. 

    Oats, Rice, Pulses are filling.

    Healthier snacks use the following, Malt loaf sliced. Use as a pudding in the microwave top with fruit and custard.  Microwave a few seconds.  

    I also spread it with butter as a snack.

    I use crackers or crispbreads.

    Spread with low fat  cream cheese or use Pea nut Butter or use Hummus made from Chickpeas great to use buy tubs already made.

    Apples, Pears diced up with Greek Yoghurt, or use Rice Pudding.  Custard mini ones or a tin.

    Must share those Muller low fat rice tubs in the supermarket lots of ones. Have diced up Pears or Apples add to a Pyrex dish.

    Small one add Muller rice tub microwave a few seconds does soften the Apples or Pears .

    Instant pudding and healthy.

    Use Sandwich bread rolls fill with Coleslaw and any thing you have cooked meats.

    Ham, Turkey or Chicken.

    You can buy Whole Cooked Chicken or flavoured ones.  Seen BBQ, Tikka, slices or Thighs, Drumsticks cooked.

    Buy Couscous make it up boiling water in a jug add one teaspoon of veggie granules. . Add a portion to a bowl two scoops of a tablespoon be enough cover with boiling stock. Cover that and use it as a salad ingredient.

    Any shredded vegetables you can buy. Such as Carrots, Peppers. Some supermarkets sell salad grated packs use them for that a simple small snack meal.

    Buy Cereal Cornflakes nothing added plain ones, Rice Krispies a energy boost top with fruit and whole milk.

    Weetabix, any thing wholegrain top with Fruit and Nuts. 

    I know there are products out there. Just need to find them, I will continue to give you some advice and guidance if that helps you.

    One other tip always eat bread with a meal. Can be like my self bread buns or rolls.

    This helps digestion fills you up then you do not need to eat snacks.

    Space out your meals.  If you eat a meal and a pudding the brain takes twenty minutes to register your full. The science bit.

    Pituary gland in our brain registers when we are full, sends a message to the stomach .  Reason why many times people continue to eat when in reality there are full.

    I have just eaten around 7pm, will eat a pudding later another twenty minutes or so. 

    Also drink water with every meal.  Water is useful becomes an aid to digestion and helps the meal you have pass easily through your system .

    If you understand what I mean, lol.

    I drink hot water from the kettle cool it down a bit does help as well.

    Not tea or coffee those are diuretics and have the ability  to stop absorption of iron and nutritional content of your meals.

    Can be acidic causing stomach issues and other related issues.

    When I used to go to friends homes who were Italian every meal has bread with it. Because deserts are reserved special occasions. Might have some Yoghurt or some fruit. to finish off the meal.

    Use that the bread to dip in soak up any sauce plain no butter .

    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
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Did not know that about drinking warm water with a meal. I usually have a mug of tea after a meal.
    Like cereal, and will look at crisp breads etc. Dont like fruit, except bananas and apples, but suppose they would do. I am going to look up your recipes on here as have seen some slow cooker ones. Going to start simple and see how I get along. First try out this weekend hopefully, if I can get everything I planned on Friday. I skip lunch which is why I snack on all that naughty stuff, chocolate, crisps, biscuits etc. So going for a healthier peanut butter sandwich I think, from now. Maybe with banana, which goes well with it.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Good luck with every thing your be amazing.

    Write down what you going to do any procedures, actions becomes easier.

    Bullet itemise everything your going to do.

    Preparation note down steps. I do this all the time helps.  

    Such as take meat out of the fridge to use.  Have a chopping board with a wet cloth underneath, if using pre diced empty them in to a bowl or a plastic container.

    Portion measure how much you want.  Knives, serving spoons, any spices, condiments anything you need put out.

    Kettle on for boiling water gravy or stock cubes.  Use a bowl or a jug measure out might not need all the stock for a slow cooker.

    I actually use a blender add certain vegetables, Onions,  Carrots dice up small  seasonings herbs and blitz this up. Portion it to a bowl any left then use another day.

    I have always find this does help and even my self have memory problems forget recipes do a lot of them.

    I hope every thing works out. Please ask me anything you wish to having problems.

    Contact me. 

    Yes use water with meals does help learnt that from addiction days. Had a lot of tea coffee with meals. Yet had some diet issues and nutritional problems.

    Contains caffeine so does cause problems.

    Please may I add went on a wellbeing course with local council . After rehab got food and related qualifications.

    Reason I know this advice, information.

    I can pass on to you and the community.

    Have an interest in food science the way we eat and how we eat and how the food industry is responsible for a lot of  health messages. Conflicts of marketing and may I add the concern over obesity.

    How one person can eat  diet never put on weight stay thin but others pile on the pounds.

    There are reasons many are psychotically and mental.  Lot of it is food science and lot of it is complicated.

    Very interesting debates and discussions on many websites and media outlets.

    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
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Interesting to hear how you came by all this knowledge of food and nutrition, meal preparations etc. I have had a lot of help from you and others on this forum the short time I've been here. For instance: I have the slow cooker. I know it wont use too much electricity because Adrian checked that out. I have access to recipes for it. I changed my electricity supplier finally after wanting to do it since last winter. I am on a free recycling site (looking for a freezer), but got some floor tiles for the hall and lounge recently. I got lots of help and advice from Ren, the employment adviser.
    Probably forgot something. But this forum is helping me immensely. And it's a great place to hang out! Thanks Spiceman.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Pleasure to help you. My role is helping those who need a kind words some guidance and advice.

    Be supportive, I forget to add.

    Have a look on the AMAZON website.

    I have a Prime Account £7.99 a month.

    This gives you access to lots of bargains, things for the home.

    Often bulk purchases we all use. Prime Customers delivery free usually.

    I use AMAZON for Household goods that work out cheaper in the long run.

    Use these all the time buy from supermarkets and can be expensive per week.

    Tin foil, Freezer Bags, Toilet tissues, Lens Wipes, Furniture Wipes, Kitchen towels and wipes, floor cloths.

    Cooking utensils, Blenders, Bowls, Food processors, any thing like small electrical items. Kettle, toaster often bundled together for a price.

    So on.

    Please have a look might be useful.

    The Slow Cooker will not use much electricity at all.  In fact it is something I use all the time for Chicken those cheap cuts of meat.

    I know you changed utility company is there anything else you think you could need to look at.

    Mentioned money is tight. I know extra expenses and other household bills.

    Could be worth speaking the CAB have money advice people and staff. Have a review of your benefit situation, something to think about.

    I used to sell lots of things household goods white goods and disabled aids. There are periods of the year when retailers reduce prices.

    One is now due to Christmas another is next Spring as most young people are looking to leave home, university and all that.

    So prices can be reduced dramatically . I would also look at Curry's website to see what offers are.

    One other point mentioned Chilli does not have to be done with Mince.

    Use Beef cubed or Meatballs. You can buy a Chilli sauce all ready to use.

    Just an idea for you.

    Use serve with Couscous or Bulgar Wheat does not have to be Rice. Used microwave Potato and Carrot mash before with Chill or Curry.

    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
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I think it might be a good idea to talk to CAB about money and benefit advice. I have a WCA coming up on Dec 6 which I'm not looking forward to. Also with the depression, I guess maybe like a lot of people, I have good days and bad. Bad as when I cant see a way out and no future. My counsellor has cancelled counselling and referred me to Social Prescribing but 6 week waiting list. No help around at the mo. I have emailed one of the organizations Ren gave me and left a message with another so suspect all these places have a backlog. 
    Thanks for the Amazon tip. I'm going to check online for supermarkets today, cheapest for necessary stuff. Instead of the junk food I have been having!
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Good morning to you. Hope your keeping warm and safe.

    Chilly day .

    Please ask the following people to help you with your mental health issues and assessments.

    I know it is a difficult day for you we are here to be supportive.  Have compassion, empathy, time.

    I am aware these might help with lots of other aspects of your life.

    Signposting.

    I apologise if I mentioned them before to you. I forget sometimes what I say to people. Have senior moments lol.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    https://www.mind.org.uk.

    https://www.rethink.org.

    Sorry if your having to wait. Understand this a lot. Your not alone with any of this.

    Please if you not happy waiting need support speak those links provided.

    Your entitled to good mental health even though may have carer or other support still seek the knowledge, education to deal with your issues.

    It is building up awareness and using that to guide you through any thing.

    I use a lot of techniques coping methods learnt.

    Through many lifestyle courses or Recovery College. Recovery College is an organisation funded by NHS and Mental health charities.

    Often good to know has courses on sleep, meds, coping with people, communication many aspects of mental health.

    Look on line or speak to the links provided will be helpful.

    I am still educating my self knowledge after thirty years or more.

    Hope that helps you to give you some reassurance, confidence to think about .

    Please keep in touch happy to be a friend, supportive anytime you wish to.

    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
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I've emailed Rethink. Mind dont seem to have anywhere locally. They did suggest Wellbeing but I've been with them and they were hopeless. But I've found out depends what part of the country you are in. I live close to the county line and they do a whole lot more just down the road then they do in this county! Face to face counselling for instance, which isn't available here. I will keep searching. Thank you Spiceman.
  • mrbuttons
    mrbuttons Member Posts: 221 Pioneering
    can i addanother tip/suggestion? switch on the slow cooker for 30 mins before adding any food. this warms it up and brings it to temperature and cuts cooking time. just like preheating an oven.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Might be useful following for white goods.

    On line retailers.

    Freezers and cookers.

    AO.com have a look. Usually delivery next day and they will install it for you.

    Take any old one away.

    AppliancesDirect.co.uk.

    eBuyer.com

    Hope that helps.

    @thespiceman




    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Franstrahan
    Franstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    mrbuttons said:
    can i addanother tip/suggestion? switch on the slow cooker for 30 mins before adding any food. this warms it up and brings it to temperature and cuts cooking time. just like preheating an oven.
    Thank you for that MrButtons.
    It's going to get its first use over the weekend, and I would never have thought to do that. Great tip. Thanks

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