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    • M00minMama
    • By M00minMama 19th Sep 17, 1:06 PM
    • 55Posts
    • 93Thanks
    Meal ideas carers can manage
    • #1
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:06 PM
    Meal ideas carers can manage 19th Sep 17 at 1:06 PM

    I now have carers in for my lunch and teatime. Effectively they have 15 minutes to make a meal.
    I am getting fed up of cheap ready meals, microwaved jacket potatoes and scrambled eggs.

    Really I need a meal plan to be able to budget as money is so tight. I have to avoid pulses and legumes for health reasons so the usual cheap options of beans on toast are no longer available
    Some carers have very little understanding of how to cook.
    What cheap and quick meals are there. I'm desperate for something tasty now. I'm hoping you guys can inspire me with ideas
Page 1
    • Farway
    • By Farway 19th Sep 17, 1:12 PM
    • 6,241 Posts
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    • #2
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:12 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:12 PM
    Would you be able to prep somethings prior to carers arriving? I am thinking of perhaps peeling spuds, cutting carrots etc?

    As you are aware with only 15 minutes start to finish, including prep, cook & clear away you are really going to be limited to ping it meals unless yo are able to do some of it yourself

    There are better quality ping meals from the likes of Marks / Waitrose but these may be beyond your budget
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 19th Sep 17, 1:16 PM
    • 4,258 Posts
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    tessie bear
    • #3
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:16 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:16 PM
    why cant you do on toast if you dont mind me asking ? you can buy bread that is gluten free if that is the problem and freeze it so you only use a couple of slices

    a salad with some sliced meat or tinned fish and some nice bread

    soup of your choice and bread/toast or sandwich to dip

    i like jacket pots but if your bored could you try different fillings ?

    m and s do nice tinned meat steak'/mince/curry not cheap but no waste and lovely quality

    hth good luck xxx
    on the brink...
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 19th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    • 29,388 Posts
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    • #4
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:30 PM
    Have you got any friends or family who will do an occasional bulk cook for you and make up one-meal packs for the freezer?
    • fuddle
    • By fuddle 19th Sep 17, 1:48 PM
    • 6,354 Posts
    • 97,156 Thanks
    • #5
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:48 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Sep 17, 1:48 PM
    Cold salads with ham/chicken/mackerel fillets or tinned tuna/ham corned beef
    I'm reading it that you can't have legumes or pulses but can have bread - toasties - corned beef, cheese and onion...
    Soft boiled eggs and soilders.
    Bacon lettuce tomato in a wrap with a bit of mayo
    Fried egg sandwich.
    Quiche (ready made) side salad
    Fruit salad, yoghurt, granola

    Having been a carer and never having to experience a 15 minute 'care' package I know how difficult it is to do a good job in 30 minutes let alone anything less(sorry, a bit jaded by 'care') but hopefully there's some ideas above to give you and your girls and guys a start. Maybe communicate with the carers as they may have ideas of their own that they do elsewhere?
    Please don't judge my story by the chapter that you walked in on.
    • M00minMama
    • By M00minMama 19th Sep 17, 2:02 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    • #6
    • 19th Sep 17, 2:02 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Sep 17, 2:02 PM
    Thanks for these ideas. The carers have 30 minutes but by the time they do the other things there's only really 15 mins to cook.

    I can't prep anything myself anymore although I could buy pre cut veg.
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 19th Sep 17, 2:33 PM
    • 10,588 Posts
    • 115,955 Thanks
    • #7
    • 19th Sep 17, 2:33 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Sep 17, 2:33 PM
    What a pain to have to avoid pulses/legumes, as baked beans are such a good standby.

    Would scrambled egg be an option? That can be done in next to no time either in the micro or in a pan on the hob. If you have some dried herbs available, they can liven it up, too.
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 19th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    • 5,204 Posts
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    • #8
    • 19th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Sep 17, 2:41 PM
    Just the one visit?

    Depend on time but you can just get them to chuck stuff in a slow cooker and collect when ready. Are you ok serving the food?

    Millions of slow cooker recipes and normally doesnt require too much prep work, just peeling and chuck in. Easily done in 15 minutes.

    Say you have a 7pm visit make it midday and get them to make your tea then.
    Don't be angry!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th Sep 17, 2:42 PM
    • 62,815 Posts
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    • #9
    • 19th Sep 17, 2:42 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Sep 17, 2:42 PM
    Most of my cooking (for one person) is of the type you speak of.

    One quickie involves using frozen mince.... and a microwave.
    If I pare it back to "absolutely cutting every corner", here's shepherd's pie:

    200g frozen mince into a lidded microwave container, with a drained tin of mixed peas/carrots, splash of Worcestershire, big squirt of ketchup, small handful of ready chopped frozen onions.

    Make up some instant gravy with a teaspoon of Bisto granules and a splash of boiling water and toss that in.

    Nuke 5 minutes, stir, microwave 5 minutes.

    Serve.... with half a tin of tinned potatoes.

    There are loads of variations to this. e.g. using frozen peas/carrots, or adding in a tomato or two. For potatoes, serve with frozen mash or micro chips, or oven chips, or instant mash.

    You can also buy, say, Aunt Bessie's dumplings to go with that... frozen - just nuke one.

    I made/ate something just like that this week.

    Making a curry can be as easy as opening/emptying an entire 500g pack of cubed meat into a slow cooker, with a whole jar of sauce ... turn on and leave it for 5-6 hours. Serve with pouches of micro rice.

    Ditto with chilli con carne: whole pack of mince, drained tin of kidney beans or complete tin of baked beans, handful of frozen chopped onions, tin of tomatoes with juice and a sachet of chilli con carne mix (~30p at Lidl I think).

    Kebabs can be bought, frozen, too - nuke those for 2+2 minutes and serve on a pouch of rice.... ditto meatballs, loads of frozen ones from supermarkets.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 19-09-2017 at 2:46 PM.
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 19th Sep 17, 2:45 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    A couple of meal suggestions:
    Walls or similar ready baked sausages (can microwave) ready made yorkshires in oven only take a few minutes, microwave some new potatoes peas or similar frozen veg or preprepared with some instant bisto with water from kettle.
    Steamed rice you can buy in packets which can me microwaved or stir fried along with some ready cooked chicken stirfried with sliced mushrooms, tinned sweetcorn and ready sauce in a jar or packet or just abit of soy sauce or sweet chilli or sweet & sour. You can buy egg noodles instead of rice the ones that are ready for pan (i mean not dried).
    If budget allowed then a tower steamer (electric) would allow preprepared fresh vegetables, thin pieces of meat or fish, ditto sticed vegetables to be cooked whilst your being cared for then served near the end of time to get away from microwaved taste.
    Soup (tinned or chilled) with a few extra veg/ meat added along with a roll or two warming in the oven might be nice.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th Sep 17, 2:52 PM
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    Walls or similar ready baked sausages (can microwave)
    Originally posted by strawberryfield2233
    These are scrummy - I had some a few years back, but they are very pricey for what you get.... gorgeous as they are.

    They are also hard to find in a lot of shops. What I do instead now is buy ready cooked cocktail sausages as they're in every shop and cheaper/100g.

    A typical pack is, say, 40 for 1.60; I figure that 5 of those = 1 proper sausage.

    I nuke them and I freeze them. I use them a lot in baguettes and hot breakfasts.... and random nibbles cold from the fridge.

    I could buy pre cut veg.
    Originally posted by M00minMama
    There's lots of it - if you've got the freezer space it's just as good. Also, these days, you can look online to see what shops actually sell.

    There's all sorts for sale in some supermarkets! Others are not so great, but they tend to be the shops that don't deliver.

    How do you get your food into the house?
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 19-09-2017 at 3:21 PM.
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 19th Sep 17, 4:23 PM
    • 93 Posts
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    Glad PasturesNew came along you are quite right the walls pre baked are a bit pricey.
    Sometimes a good simple fish finger sandwich hits the spot, again perhaps they could pop those in the oven whilst they care for you then serve at the end of their time
    • M00minMama
    • By M00minMama 19th Sep 17, 5:07 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    You guys are awesome.

    I have some new ideas that will mean I can have some real food within my budget.

    Thank you all so much
    • maman
    • By maman 19th Sep 17, 5:22 PM
    • 18,004 Posts
    • 107,724 Thanks
    Not sure where you shop but Aldi have introduced some very reasonably priced ready meals. The only one I have myself is the Lamb Rogan Josh curry which with a pouch of microwave rice would make two meals. My DH likes the chicken tikka or jalfrezi.

    I buy others for my DH to ping when I'm out for the evening but haven't tasted them myself. His favourites are Macaroni Cheese, Spaghetti Carbonara, Tagliatelle (I think with ham and cheese) and Canneloni both the beef one and the vegetarian. If he's feeling extra hungry he'll have beetroot (vacuum packed long life) or a ping a few frozen peas to go with it.
    • VfM4meplse
    • By VfM4meplse 19th Sep 17, 5:31 PM
    • 25,722 Posts
    • 54,584 Thanks
    I am getting fed up of cheap ready meals, microwaved jacket potatoes and scrambled eggs.
    Originally posted by M00minMama
    |I feel for you. My grandmother spent her last few months immobile in a nursing home, and they were stumped as to what too feed a vegetarian. It was an endless round of bread, jacket potatoes, cheese and scrambled eggs and custard - must have been awful for her to be confronted with a sea of yellow when she had been such a good cook herself. We'd bring her meals in when we could, and maintained the supply of fruit (which she loved). I'm going back 30 years now but it sounds like times haven't changed!

    In your position I would appeal to friends and family to batch cook for you and freeze - that way you could tell them what you'd like to eat and how much you can afford to spend. All your carers would have to do is to pull out a meal to defrost, and then stick it in a hot oven / the hob the next day (works for soups and vegetable dishes; can't comment on meat). At least then you could eat well and get good value for money.

    People are often willing to help if they know someone is in need, sometimes you have to reach out and ask.

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy ...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...If in doubt, don't pull out... I love chaz-ing!
    • Prinzessilein
    • By Prinzessilein 19th Sep 17, 5:32 PM
    • 2,292 Posts
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    Could your budget stretch to a small investment>

    A slowcooker hs been suggested before....a morning carer could put it on (cheap cut of meat...veggies on offer....stock from a cube)...and the evening carer could dish up and wash the crock!....a basic model costs around 30ish

    If you have a bit more, then a Halo is is a halogen oven, but also turns the could have a carer put some meat, noodles and veg in with a dash of oil when they arrive....15 - 20 mins later you have a stir-fry!...Sausages cook in about 15 minutes....a piece of chicken in about 20...even chips as a treat in 20 minutes....the food doesn't need checking on,so they could put your dinner on first and then do other work for you while it cooks.

    Quick and cheap ...but also nutritious is what I call an Auflauf...a sort of frittata thing...any leftovers, chopped up into a microwaveable bowl, add an egg (two if you are hungry) beaten up (I sometimes add a little milk to the beaten egg)...and microwave until the egg cooks, sets and rises....ready in minutes.

    Or, a tin of tomatoes blitzed up makes the basis of a sauce, add some grated cheese...or some tinned chopped ham and heat in the microwave and serve with courgetti (a courgette that has been spiralized - you can but a pencil-sharpener type for a few pounds....or buy prepared courgetti from supermarkets...or butternut squash noodles...but buying ready made is pricey)...this steams in the microwave in minutes (pasta takes much longer)

    corned beef hash?...microwave a potato and mashup the flesh with tinned corned beef...very quick and tasty!

    And don't forget the occasional little sweet-something...especially if you just have a sandwich or eggs for the meal...a banana baked in its skin, and then topped with a splodge of joghurt....or a small apple will microwave-bake in your 15 minute slot, top with golden syrup
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th Sep 17, 5:52 PM
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    corned beef hash?...microwave a potato and mashup the flesh with tinned corned beef...very quick and tasty!
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    I do that - you can even use tinned potatoes if you don't want to use fresh ones, but cut them first so they don't go pop. It's gorgeous and super fast ... with baked beans

    And don't forget the occasional little sweet-something...
    Originally posted by Prinzessilein
    One "quickie" is to get the bags of ready made crumble mix.

    Simply microwave any fresh fruit for a few minutes, or open/drain some tinned fruit and nuke it hot then sprinkle about 1/3rd of a packet of crumble mix over it and shove in the oven to brown for 15-20 minutes or so... time depends on whether you do it in an oven, or under a grill. Instant custard goes a treat.... or Dream Topping (a favourite of mine).

    I'm also a HUGE fan of chocolate spread (4ldi, 80p for a 400 gram jar) - instant chocolate fix served on a bit of toast or a toasted muffin.

    Tinned creamed rice is a permanent feature in my house. Eat hot or cold. Get a big mug and microwave it - and add a spoon of jam, or some dark sugar.

    Another thought is "fish in sauce". You can buy "boil in the bag" types, or you can buy a variety of frozen fish fillets and get in a couple of packets of instant sauces that catch your fancy. Serve with the usual real mash, instant mash, oven chips or a jacket spud, with either frozen mixed veg or tinned/frozen peas.

    I don't use an oven or a hob to cook... I only use: a slow cooker, a microwave, a toaster oven and a 5 toaster. I cook my entire Xmas dinner, fresh, with this lot.
    I've no food processor either. I don't have many cooking dishes and I wash up by hand (begrudgingly)... so like to minimise all fuss from getting food onto a plate.

    As a general rule, if I can't think of it and cook it and start eating it in 15 minutes I've lost interest....

    Because you're relying on somebody else to do the cooking - and have to be mindful too of mess/clearing up too I guess ... you'll just have to use even more packet/tins than I'd usually use, but they are viable ingredients.

    I always say it's better to have 90% of a perfect dish you fancy with some work-rounds, than moan you can't have XYZ because you're only prepared to accept 100% top quality every time that's faultlessly served.

    I should also point out "the bleedin' obvious" ... supermarkets have many ready meals - some inexpensive, some to give you a heart attack. Some supermarkets deliver. You can spend some hours pawing through them all online and make a list to discover new delights .... maybe.

    If you have a combination of a good sized freezer and a good supermarket that delivers, you could just pick more interesting microwave ready meals to try .... or use them as inspiration to DIY something similar.

    Clearly budget is important, so you're probably not up for buying in some Higgidy Pies at 7 each (I kid you not!), but would favour ready meals in the sub 1.50 ranges. There are fewer of these to buy these days as they've reduced the cheap ranges to the bare minimum and introduced designer brands (the b4st4rds!).

    Emulating ready meals is easy for some meals... others require a bit more thinking about to achieve them easiest within the given timescales.

    Fancy a spag bol? Nuke spaghetti in a water bath for just 4-5 minutes and make up a couple of spoons of frozen beef mince with a couple of spoons of frozen chopped onion with some tomato sauce and a splash of Worcester would "get you sorted".

    Sausage & mash? That's ready cooked sausages and frozen mash, instant mash, or nuke a spud then mash it with a fork.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 19-09-2017 at 6:23 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th Sep 17, 5:58 PM
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    Gadgets: As has been said above, there are many new-fangled "one job" gadgets that might hit the spot.... if you have a particular leaning towards one dream meal or another.

    If you are missing something, then it's worth investigating things such as:
    - good soup makers
    - pie makers
    - omelette makers
    - air friers
    - those "new" electric all-in-one pots that do whole meals
    - an assortment of microwave cooking gadgets.

    We're all different and all crave different items when access to all foods becomes restricted.

    Over time think about what you miss and research whether a particular gadget will really solve that problem for you.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 19-09-2017 at 6:00 PM.
    • M00minMama
    • By M00minMama 19th Sep 17, 10:13 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 93 Thanks
    Thank you for this. As some of you have said, it's easy if you have a big budget but harder when it's very low.

    I'm still adjusting to the frustration of not being able to cook anymore and then being told no beans or pulses meant I was stuck for ideas. Thanks for giving me your suggestions. I've made a shopping list and will be getting some decent stuff in very soon.
    • drinkupretty
    • By drinkupretty 7th Oct 17, 11:25 PM
    • 2,642 Posts
    • 6,647 Thanks
    Stir fry is quick and cheap - noodles, frozen stir fry veg, meat and sauce
    Pasta - with pesto is quick or any other sauce in a jar
    Tinned beans are a no no but how are you with tinned spaghetti? I like it on toast with some grated cheese too.
    Coucous meals are quick
    You can get meals in a tin, like stewed steak, curries ect
    Fish portions in a microwave pouch! Takes only a few mins, eat with tinned potatoes and tinned veg.
    "I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes"
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