Cooking as a Carer
Being a carer is one of the most amazing jobs you can do. It is hard work but at the same time incredibly rewarding. As a carer, you do your best to not only care for your loved ones but it is also important to look after yourself. Being aware of how to prepare quick, easy, and nutritious meals can take away some of the worries and anxieties that might come with cooking everyday.
Healthy meals do not have to be expensive or time consuming. There are plenty of shortcuts which can help you make meals with less prep time allowing a little more down time for you.
Supermarkets have made it much easier to buy foods that are already prepared. Why not take advantage of these? Having a selection of frozen vegetables in the freezer makes life so much easier, and they contain the same nutritious value as fresh veg. All you need to do is grab a handful of different vegetables and add them to your meal, whether it’s a stew, curry, or pie, to name a few examples. There is no chopping required which greatly reduces prepping time.
You could also roast a combination of these vegetables on their own and then use them either to accompany your meat or add them to quiches, couscous, or salad. Some of the most useful veggies to keep stocked up in the freezer are peppers, leeks, onions, spinach, savoy cabbage, root veg, broccoli, cauliflower and peas.
In the fresh fruit and vegetable aisle, try pre-cut stir fry veggies. You can also buy jars or tubes of garlic and ginger, which makes it easier to experiment with new dishes without worrying about chopping and crushing lots of individual ingredients.
Putting Shortcuts into Practice
A simple cheese sauce
Learn how to make a cheese sauce. It is so easy! There is also the option to use a packet mix, or save on grating time by buying pre-grated cheese. Alternatively, grate the cheese yourself and keep it in the freezer so you can access it easily.
So what can you make with a cheese sauce?
Use fresh or frozen cauliflower. If you use the frozen option, the cauliflower often comes together with broccoli so you can use both veggies in the dish, adding to your five-a-day.
Frozen cauliflower can be a little ‘wet’ so instead of boiling it, try steaming it in a colander over a pan of boiling water or in a microwave and then add to the cheese sauce. Bake altogether in the oven.
Mac ‘n’ cheese is an all-time favourite. It is the same as cauliflower cheese but made with macaroni instead. To make it healthier, add your favourite frozen veggies. If you are using fresh vegetables, try grating them instead of chopping. They disappear into the sauce making it taste yummy!
Make homemade pizza
Who doesn’t enjoy a pizza night? It might seem like a huge task with lots of components, but it doesn’t have to take long. To save time making the base, you can buy one from the supermarket, and you can use a carton of passata for the tomato base.
Defrost the frozen vegetables in the microwave and then use them as toppings on your pizza. Other examples are grated cheese, tinned sweetcorn, tinned pineapple. Have fun experimenting with different toppings. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore!
If you are looking for a quick accompaniment to your meal, try boil-in-the-bag rice or pre-cooked noodles. You could also prepare couscous, which only takes 5 minutes to cook and goes really well with tomato-based dishes or casseroles.
Thank you to Sarah Scotland for this article.(BSc Nutrition, Exercise and Health(Hons) of Wise About Food https://sarahscotland.co.uk/