HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


I'm Incapacited, Husband Useless In Kitchen, Need Easy Recipes!

Hi Everyone - here's a challenge for all of you!

I totally messed up my left leg a few days ago. I'm in a full leg brace. Can barely walk around so standing for any length of time to cook is pretty much out of the question. I have to be off my feet for a week at least.

My husband is totally useless in the kitchen. I mean that in every sense of the word. He could manage to grill a hot dog or hamburger, maybe a chicken breast if I were overseeing him. He has no sense of timing, doneness, preparation. And, he isn't much into even learning, getting somewhat defensive if I try to gently guide him through the process.

So, we need some really easy, uncomplicated throw together dishes.

NO seafood at all - he does not eat it. Or even some interesting sandwich dishes would be ok. Anything which does not require much cooking, or could be thrown together from other already made ingredients. Salads good too - he could manage some easy chopping and I could at least whisk together a dressing. If it is a cooked dish, grilling would probably be easiest. He could probably manage that for the most part.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sivy, It's time to get out the Wok. (If you don't own one, have your hubby buy one and a book on Wok cooking with recipes.) Go to the store and buy some Miran, Oyster Sauce and Hoison sauce. With this combo you can create a plethora of dishes with chicken, pork, beef and lamb along with veggies.
    (You'll need some canned chicken stock too.) Next step, experiment with the vast numbers of Asian noodles you can add to your new creations. Good luck and get better soon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Leper

      Unfortunately, while I own a wok, and used it a lot years ao, it currently sits gathering dust since when we renovated our kitchen in our current home, I somehow got wrangled into keeping the electric stove hookup, instead of going for the gas line (older home). I always regretted that choice.

      Even if we were using one, believe me, it sounds good in theory but a wok and my husband would be a very dangerous mix. Seriously.

    2. Sorry to hear about your leg! Here's one that my husband can fix - and he can't even grill...his culinary skills are limited to scrambled eggs, ugly fried eggs, and frying bacon.

      Roast chicken: take a whole chicken, remove any "goodies" from the cavity, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towel. Salt and pepper inside and out, stuff half a lemon-peel and all-in the cavity. Put in a 13x9 pan (hubby doesn't bother with roasting rack), cover loosely with foil and bake at 425 for an hour and fifteen minutes. Take out, let set for 15 minutes. He can vary the seasonings, use garlic instead of a lemon, add some herbs, whatever. Leftevers would be good in a salad or sandwich.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kmr

        Actually, a roast chicken is a great idea and one of my fav foods - but we can buy them already made and spare him the anxiety LOL. If I take Pei's idea below, the garlic mayo, that can spread out out for some lunches too.


      2. Garlic mayo is your friend.

        Chop up a bunch of garlic (use a press if you have one) and stir it into some mayo. I would say five cloves for every cup of mayo, but I love garlic. Let it sit in the fridge overnight before you start using it.

        Alternatives include garlic/basil, chopped sun dried tomatoes, or fresh herbs. But plain old garlic is the best, IMO, and easiest.

        Spread it on sandwiches and/or use it on chicken. It will immediately make a boring sandwich taste ten times better.

        I made turkey sandwiches with garlic mayo along with smoked salmon wraps for a picnic once. Of course everyone went for the more fancy sounding salmon (plus the sandwiches had gotten a tad soggy from sitting around). Finally, one hungry person ate a wet sandwich and shouted "Oh my gosh! We all ate the wrong thing first! This soggy sandwich is way better than that wrap."

        Get better soon!

        1. Dad always made stew. I hate stew, but that's beside the point. He tried. Not sophisticated, but easy and keeps you fed for a long time.

          Not good in hot weather either.

          Sorry to hear about your leg! Get well soon!

          1. Sorry to hear about your leg. If you shop at Costco, they have tons of prepared food very inexpensively - steaks, pot roasts etc. in those vacuum packages that you heat in boiling water. Just add some kind of grains or salad and you have nice dinner with no effort. I also buy pilafs from Tasty Bite: http://www.tastybite.com/category_s/3.... I like the multigrain one - I usually dump some kind of canned fish (your husband can substitute with diced chicken or some other meat), add fresh herbs and olive oil - makes great cold dish.

            1 Reply
            1. re: welle

              We don't have a Costco nearby but do have BJ's. I wonder if they have similar items, I'm sure they must. But I do know my local supermarket has some of those too, and I do need to send him on a trip to stock up on some items. Thanks for reminding me about those.

            2. I can relate...

              Here's any easy one, and a Funwithfood family favorite!

              Egg Ribbon & Parmesan Soup:

              1. There are a lot of really easy suggestions on a post called "Help my family eat well during a kitchen remodel" on this same Home Cooking board. A kitchen remodel is about as dibilitating as a non-cooking husband in charge of the family food supply! When I was laid up for a while, my DH was chef-in-charge --- he made toast!

                Some of the ready-made products, a crockpot and low expectations will get you through the week. Good luck & heal quickly!

                1. Buy already grated cheese--or can he use a grater? Make cheese quesadillas, or bean & cheese burritos (fall back on canned refried beans & salsa from a jar). The microwave is his friend on both of these items...

                  How about a grilled cheese sandwich or cheese toast? My five-year-old niece can handle both of these with no problem; she knows how to butter the bread, plop into hot skillet, sprinkle cheese, top with other slice of bread & turn over when toasty (her favorite part is mashing with the spatula to make the cheese ooze out). Upgrade your cheeses & bread and then it's hardly kid food. Sneak in cooked bacon and sliced tomatoes and the grilled cheese becomes a complete meal. Or add your favorite canned soup for a two-course meal.

                  Pre-fab ravioli from the freezer case cooks in just 10-12 minutes and can be dressed up with jarred pesto sauce.

                  Salads aren't so intimidating for non-cooks...pile on the veggies per your/his taste, buy pre-washed greens, and add nuts for protein and croutons for carbs--you won't need any side dishes. Don't forget shredded cabbage; coleslaw is a snap with this stuff, and it is a good side dish for hot dogs & canned chili!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    Yes, he can handle a grater! Yippee! Burritos/quesadillas - a great idea!

                    I have plenty of pasta/ravioli/gnocchi in the house already, with all the sauces and cheese I need, so that works out fine too. He can boil water too! Maybe he isn't as bad off as I thought LOL.

                    And he does ok w/salads, it's just the actual picking out of a good head of lettuce where he falls apart for some reason. I guess if I tell him to stick with bagged salads and remind him to check the expiration date, that we'll be ok and doctor them up with all those other items (including the roast chicken from above).

                    Thanks again!

                    1. re: sivyaleah

                      Oh, well, if he can boil water, now we're talking.
                      --egg salad or devilled eggs
                      --mashed potatoes (buy yukon gold potatoes, wash & leave the skins on. cut into quarters & boil for 12 minutes. mash right in the pot with a little butter, milk, salt & black pepper.)
                      --potato salad; same as above, just don't mash...mix it right in the pot to save on cleanup.
                      --chinese dumplings (buy pre-made ones in a bag in the freezer section, make a simple dipping sauce of soy, vinegar, & hot sauce)

                  2. These recipes might not be up your alley, but are easy enough!

                    Macaroni and Cheese... this recipe is super easy, and I was amazed that it really came together! Essentially, all he has to do is grate the cheese and turn the oven on! (I used 2% milk and still turned out great.) He could add a salad from the a salad bar and you have a fairly decent meal! http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                    I recommended this recipe on "Help me impress my bf!" Filet with Balsamic and Goat cheese... you're supposed to make a balsamic syrup, but I bet it would still be good just drizzled with balsamic that hasn't been reduced. Really easy and tasty!

                    Other easy ideas: He can buy store-bought pizza doughs and make pizzas at home with whatever you have in the fridge. Baked potato bars would be really easy... all he has to do is bake the potatoes and set out the toppings!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Katie Nell

                      Katie, actually all three are completely up our alley. In fact, I have a couple of filets in the freezer, some goat cheese in the fridge and of course we have balsamic in the house. That might turn out to be dinner for this evening!

                      Absolutely great call!

                      1. re: sivyaleah

                        Great! Yay! I love it when I can help! :-)

                    2. Thanks everyone so far for the great ideas and, the warm wishes for my recovery. I'm bored out of my mind already - so I have an incentive to heal LOL. If it turns out that I need surgery - I think I'm going to have to hire a private chef for a while :-)

                      Please keep them coming!

                      1. A crock pot beef roast is very easy and lots of leftovers to make sandwiches. Go on allrecipes.com and there are recipes with ratings (i love that because they tell you whether it's good or not) I made it and was suprised at how great it turned out.

                        It just used a Roast, water (I used red wine) can of mushroom soup (I used low sodium) and a packet of onion soup mix. Just dump it all in a crock pot and cook. It turns out great! He will impress himself.

                        1. I must say, your "Subject Line" is about the best I've ever seen on this site.

                          You could be a headline writer for the New York Post. :)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Bostonbob3

                            Ha! The Post LOL! My favorite rag I love to hate :-)

                          2. Rotisserie chicken can be used in all manner of salads. I do a few.

                            Chicken, greens, halved grapes or mandarin oranges, cashews, green onion and sesame dressing; OR

                            Chicken, greens, black beans, corn, roasted red pepper, and cumin dressing (can also add cheese or crushed chips); OR

                            Chicken, arugula, cherry tomato, shaved parm, dabs of goat cheese, and balsamic; OR

                            Chicken, romaine, pepperoncini, red onion, tomato, cukes, feta with lemon/olive oil/oregano dressing.

                            1. I know how you feel boredom wise and I hope it turns out well in a week. I had back surgery 6 weeks ago anbd was pretty flat for the first two, and luckily my DH can cook. But a fast and simple thing to make it chicken tonnato. Simply poach boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a bit of chicken broth and water. Remove and place in the fridge to chill.
                              Open a can of good tuna in oilve oil. Dump the entire thing, olive oil and all into the food processor. Add a healthy squeeze of lemon juice and a half cup +/- real mayo, not MW a grinding of pepper and let it whip. Chill it well. Slice the chicken breasts and nap with the sauce. Something green and light alongside like salad in a bag and you have dinner. I walked into the house an hour ago after a full day of shopping and put all of that together and into the fridge whihle listening to my S-I-L vent about a real estate problem. (I'm a Realtor so I have all of the answers natch, for the family). Within 20 minutes it was all in the fridge and cooling. It is a no brainer and delicious too!

                              1. ok I am reading this and 99% of this will be too difficult for this man if he is as bad as sicyaleah says he is which I believe he is. My husband, who I love dearly, has a PhD but is just this bad in the kitchen. Just b/c someone can boil water does not mean they can cook, let me assure you. It sounds like you do not want prepared foods, so the only hope I see is the crock pot. the pot roast was a good idea. I would say pasta...but that can still be screwed up even if he can actually boil water... pot roast and pot roast sandwiches it is I guess.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: lyn

                                  I agree that the crockpot would be a great thing to utilize in this situation... can't get much easier than that!

                                2. I'd say make a brisket. I make all different gourmet kinds, but here is one that is the easiest & is very tasty for non cooks- using flat cut portion- all you do is pour a can of whole berry cranberry sauce & spread a packet of lipton onion soup on brisket. put in pan & COVER TIGHTLY (I use foil and then the lid), slow cook in oven for at least 4 hours. leftovers are great too as sandwiches on soft challah type rolls!

                                  Also this is such an easy chicken dish
                                  Lemon Feta Chicken

                                  You can use more or less of any of these ingredients to your liking.

                                  boneless skinless chicken (better if thin sliced or flatten)
                                  1/4 tsp. pepper
                                  1/4 cup lemon juice (divided)
                                  1 TBSP. oregano (divided)
                                  2 green onions cut up
                                  feta cheese (whatever amount you like)

                                  Preheat oven to 350
                                  Place chicken in a dish. Pour half of the lemon juice over the chicken. Sprinkle pepper and half oregano amount on top of chicken. Put green onions and crumbled feta cheese on top of chicken. Put remaining oregano on top of chicken and pour the rest of the lemon juice on top too. COVER and place in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until juices run clear.

                                  feel better!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: pamd

                                    Pamd, somehow this post bypassed me but I just noticed it and love the idea of the Lemon feta chicken, since I have everything here to do that one. Even have the chicken already pounded thin since I buy them that way and freeze them in bulk.

                                    I think he'll be attempting that one tonight along with some plain rice which shouldn't be too mind-boogling for him.
                                    Thanks for the idea!

                                    1. re: sivyaleah

                                      I make it often for the simple reason that I usually have the ingredients & it's so fast & easy! I use a good amt of feta b/c I really like it. hope you enjoy!

                                      1. re: pamd

                                        So, we did have the chicken dish for dinner - we enjoyed it quite a bit. Used a lot of feta as we both like it. Took the foil off during the last 10 minutes so the cheese browned a bit too. Used the pan drippings as a sauce and served it with one of those Near East Rice Pilaf mixes and a mixed salad.

                                        Very nice and easy as you said it would be. Thanks again!

                                  2. I second the grilled cheese recommendation above-- Pacific makes an aseptically packaged roasted tomato soup that has campbell's all beat, and it just needs to be reheated, no additions.

                                    Ruebens-- corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut toasted in the frying pan like grilled cheese, and dressed with Russian dressing. Rachels-- sub turkey for the corned beef.

                                    Tuna melts are good and easy as well. My hubby makes tuna and egg melts for a protein blast-- he scrambles some eggs, then puts them on the sandwich with the cheese and tuna salad before grilling the sandwich.

                                    Any melted sandwich would probably work...

                                    Our lazy salad is bacon, hard boiled eggs, chopped romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a mayo/olive oil/lemon juice/rosemary dressing. Any creamy dressing will do-- ranch and parmesan peppercorn also work well.

                                    1. CHILE COLORADO (of sorts)

                                      Into a crockpot put 2-3 lbs beef stew meat. Add one can of red chile sauce or enchilada sauce (they are the same thing as far as I can tell) - either 16 oz or 28 oz can.

                                      Add some chopped onion if that is within his capabilities. Add an 8 oz can of tomato sauce if you have some sitting around.

                                      Cook however long it takes your crockpot to do a stew or potroast.

                                      This is good with heated up or toasted flour tortillas and a salad. Think you could teach him how to make guacamole?

                                      1. ok, I know this is home cooking....but I vote for asking your doc/medical group/hmo whatever for a wheelchair if you don't have one and make hubby take you out more (especially if it ends up being longer than a week)!...

                                        When I broke my foot and was wheelchair confined (I can't STAND crutches) I got 'house fever', which you will soon if you haven't already...eating out as often as you can afford it will help with that, and may motivate hubby to get a little more clues about cooking (if he doesn't like to eat out; if he does you are golden)..

                                        another advantage to the wheelchair approach (to bring it back to home cooking) is that you can go back to cooking MUCH sooner! doing dishes is a bit hard in most kitchens, but hey...hubby can still do that...I found that food prep and actual cooking from a chair wasn't that difficult (just use a tale instead of the counters), and the only caution would be to either ask hubby to take hot stuff out of the oven and carry it to the table, or be *VERY* careful....

                                        good luck!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: susancinsf

                                          a computer chair on wheels works too (and not as bulky) if you already have one or can borrow:) Also the heights can be adjusted on most of them for a good counter fit.

                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                            Can't use a wheelchair - house has no ramp to get in and is above grade :-( but getting out of the house for dinners sure is an appealing way to go, thanks for that suggestion :-)

                                            1. re: sivyaleah

                                              I was so desperate for a chair as opposed to crutches, that I used one even though I live in SF and my living room is on the second floor up a flight of stairs from the garage (went up and down the stairs on my rear-end while hubby carried the chair: not exactly dignified, but hey, for dinner or an excursion out.....:-)

                                              The computer chair suggestion is a good one too, that is what I did for the first weekend until I got the weekchair...get better soon!

                                          2. Sivy: I hope you get better soon. In the meantime, send your husband out to the store for some canned cream of mushroom soup. He can do a multitude of things with it as a starter. If he can fry ground beef, then add the cream of mushroom soup, take it off the heat and add sour cream, you have a cheap easy version of beef stroganoff that can be served over noodles or rice.

                                            You can have him take a can of green beans or a package of frozen green beans, add a can of cream of mushroom soup and zap in the microwave. Add a can of fried onions and you have that green bean casserole.

                                            Take roasted chicken (or even easier, rotisserie chicken from the store), shred it and mix with the cream of mushroom soup. You can thin it to the consistency that you like. Add grated cheese or parmesan cheese for variety. Serve with potatoes, rice or noodles.

                                            Take shreded chicken, steamed or par-boiled broccoli and layer them in a roasting pan. Mix the cream of mushroom soup and some curry powder. Pour over the chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and bake. Voila! You have a simplified version of chicken divan.

                                            Good luck to you. Thanks for your many replies to my previous calls for help and get well soon!

                                            1. I think you might be married to my husband. Either that, or there are two of him. After three years of marriage, i have taught him how to open a can of salmon, and how to make grilled cheese. He's just not interested in food, and gets defensive about learning to cook.

                                              For the already-cooked chicken: have him get pita, yogurt, garlic, and cucumber. have him make tzatziki and assemble sandwiches. My husband thought making tzatziki was neat. Teach him a really really simple vinagrette and get bagged salad.

                                              If he can do grilled cheese, get him to add things to it- roasted jarred peppers, tuna and mayo, chopped garlic. Mozzarella and tomato sauce for pizzawiches.

                                              We eat cheap knockoff fondue- white sauce with lots of sharp cheddar melted into it, and maybe some wine or sherry. Bread, a jar of peppers, sliced deli ham, french bread. Put the pot in the middle of the table, and everyone dips. Almost no cooking.

                                              You have my sympathy, and get better soon. My husband went through an all-trail-mix phase, one package a day. If I didn't cook, we would have both starved or died of malnutrition.

                                              1. I agree, some of these recipes are too hard for someone who doesn't cook at all, and doesn't sound like he wants to. (I know this from experience, my husband can't cook, one time I was laid up and he made chicken breasts. Overdone, with literally NO seasoning, not even salt. He really tried though!)

                                                I have a suggestion that's easy, and fun so he might like it...French bread pizza! Get a large loaf of French bread, pizza sauce, try NOT get the Ragu pizza quick sauce or Boboli, it's too sweet, but Whole Foods has a jarred pizza sauce that's not bad. Or, he can get a pre-made pesto sauce. Get Mozzarella, either the good stuff, or the pre-shredded kind, and whatever toppings your hearts desire, olives, pepperoni, garlic, eggplant, artichokes, ham & pineapple, whatever! And your hubby can get it all already prepared. Cut the loaf in half, slice each half lengthwise, and you have four huge pieces of pizza. You can make four different kinds! I usually do a 375 oven, pop it in for about 20 minutes, et voila!

                                                Italian chopped salad would be easy too. Greens, salami chopped up, a jar of garbanzo beans, tomatoes, onions etc in a vinagrette that you make. Yum!

                                                Feel better...I find online shopping takes the edge off the boredom ;)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: writergirl

                                                  Be sure to tell him to drain those garbanzos!!

                                                  1. re: writergirl

                                                    It's nice to see someone who does "get" the level of his inexperience. It's very unfortunate, and I know some might think I'm exaggerating, but alas, I'm not.

                                                    The pizza idea is another good one. I think he'd be able to handle that one pretty well. I know those Ragus/Boboli sauces are awful already. I actually use Rao's marinara sauce sometimes for homemade pizza, the one w/the basil in it, which I have in the house. Our Whole Foods in too far away, I think I'd have to beg him to make that trip.

                                                    And I know he could handle that chopped salad - but like the post above says - I would have to mention to him to drain the canned beans :-)

                                                    And I love your idea about on-line shopping. I have a feeling this next week my credit cards are about to get the workout my body is not.

                                                  2. Another great crockpot (or oven)recipe is to brown a bunch of chicken (whatever kind you like, but dark meat is best) and mix one can of Cambells Golden mushroom soup with one can of wine (marsala, red or white are all good). Cook for 4/6 hours on low in crockpot, or 45 mins covered at 350 in oven.

                                                    I would start him off with very simple things like "can of soup" recipes. There are tons of them on the internet. Once he gains some confidence, he will probably want to cook. That is what my husband did and now he makes awesome couscous, scrambled eggs and other things. He actually cooked for an entire dinner party because I was too busy! Good luck!

                                                    1. Miso soup with tofu?

                                                      How is it going so far?

                                                      1. I completely, completely empathize. I'm in a leg cast and am on week 4 right now. Plus, I live on the 4th floor of a walk-up in Manhattan, so ....let's just say that I've come up with strategies! (though our delivery options here are amazing)

                                                        Things to relieve the boredom: cook! As someone else mentioned, you can do a lot of the food prep (and searching for recipes online through foodtv.com, epicurious, recipezaar, etc). Sit at a table, make sure you've got your knives, blenders, and boards handy, and you can prepare many things. Some suggestions:

                                                        Use the oven/broiler and any sort of a baking/roasting dish with foil for easy clean-up (that's where your husband can prove helpful!). Just do all your prep while sitting, preheat oven and then having the hubby slide the meal in. Some ideas for the oven:
                                                        - Roasted veggies (have packaged mixed veggies handy?) are super easy, and you can really vary the taste depending on your seasoning and the veg itself.
                                                        - I've made great enchiladas suizas (there are many recipes online, but the basic idea is just use your pre-bought roasted chicken layer them in wrapped up tortillas with cheese/spinach etc, pour blender-friendly tomatillo sauce through and over it, with a smattering of cheese on top). I'm sure you can adjust the idea to use store-bought salsa if you want for typical enchiladas.
                                                        - Easy-to-handle cuts of meats and fish. As in: chicken breasts, pork chops and tenderloins, steak, etc that you don't have to re-cut, take off skin, etc. You can change the flavors radically: broiled sole with dijon mustard dressing, chicken cacciatore, pork chops with fennel and wine.
                                                        -One-dish wonders like...potato gratin, scalloped potatoes. You can just assemble it easily from that chair!

                                                        Really, there are millions of ideas, and many of them will make your house smell divine.

                                                        Oh, and I've also been loving my fruit salads. I typically mix equal parts sugar and lime juice, throw in my favorite fruit combos (white nectarines, pre-cut melon and pineapple, grapefruit, etc), and refrigerate it for a few hours. It satisfies the sweet craving when you want.

                                                        If you want something more than that, you can do a lot of "tart"-like desserts with those pre-made sugar cookie doughs. Just cut them as you would with the cookies, spread some "frosting on" (sugar, cream cheese, + something else I'm forgetting...heavy cream? sour cream?), and some cut fruit on top. Make sure you give it a decent amount of chilling time (at least 4 hrs) so it all sets nicely.

                                                        Hope my rambling helps! And best of luck..I know it's going to be rough, but I promise you'll surprise yourself with how much stronger and resourceful you get :)

                                                        1. So, far things have been - not so bad, and some take out LOL.

                                                          My husband managed to make a great grilled steak, as suggested by KatieNell. The recipe she sent me said to cook it in the oven but he did it on our gas grill outdoors. It turned out really good. He made baked potatoes and a nice mixed salad with it. A good job!

                                                          The next day, we didn't have to worry about dinner because we had his sister's 60th B-Day party to go to. I managed to get myself into the car and we headed out to PA for the day. It took a lot out of me, but at least we didn't have to worry about one of those dinners.

                                                          Yesterday, we did take-out only because he never got a chance to get to the supermarket yet. That was fine by me - one of our fav Italian restaurants and there is plenty of leftover for tonight "if" he doesn't get there today either.

                                                          Did I mention he isn't a food shopper either? <sigh> He's great about so many other home related things but seriously, anything kitchen related other than doing the dishes is just beyond him (although I highly appreciate the dish cleaning!).

                                                          Anyway, I am making him a very detailed shopping list today - complete with brand names, and I'm basing a lot of it on all of the ideas in this thread, so again, I can't thank everyone enough for the ideas. Truly life saving!

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: sivyaleah

                                                            I actually called the food store & gave my list to them- giving my sob story when I was sick once- and they got everything together for me & my husband just paid & picked it up! you can also do that online now through most grocery stores & have the option of pick up or delivery. then he doesn't have to look for much.

                                                            since living here for 2 years, he has only been in the food store twice- and he was on the cell phone the whole time with me!

                                                            it's a good thing a bagel can be turned into a meal:)

                                                            1. re: pamd

                                                              Yes, definitely, good idea pamd... most of the grocery stores around me have online shopping available!

                                                              1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                Totally forgot about online shopping! I've never used them since I enjoy the experience of handpicking everything but this might be the perfect time to put it to the test. Thanks for the reminder. It will save us both a lot of potential aggravation :-)

                                                                Now, I just need to find out if my preferred markets have this service.

                                                            2. re: sivyaleah

                                                              Yeah, good call... we always grill the steak too... guess I forgot to mention that!

                                                              1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                My husband must be your husband's culinary twin. The shopping list, alas, must be very specific..."low sodium, diced," etc. Mine still floors me w/some of his selections based on some inexplicable rationale.
                                                                Also, you must say "and then turn the oven on" after telling him to please put the ----- in the oven!

                                                              2. Hi. Our household is a bit different than yours; my wife doesn't cook. But, she does make couscous! Boil water, add couscous, stir, let set for 5 mins. If you feel like teaching him something about flavors, then get plain and let him play. Brown some burger and add the required liquid, add couscous etc.

                                                                Otherwise, most of the prepared ones Near East, etc. are okay.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: mike_d

                                                                  We both really like Near East's boxed couscous mixes and I've used many of their recipes. I'm pretty sure he could follow one of them, but me teaching him anything is out of the question. I guess you missed the part in my original post about him getting defensive when I try to do so :-)

                                                                  1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                    Maybe he won't be bothered making beer can chicken on the grill. It's a guy thing.

                                                                2. Maybe roasted chicken and veggies? As in, turn on oven to 375, unwrap chicken breasts, put in pan with washed veggies (like mushrooms, small potatoes, brussels sprouts, small onions, cut peppers, etc.), throw in some olive oil and red wine, salt and pepper to taste, with a heavy dose of poultry seasoning, take out in 40 minutes or so...Not incredibly exciting, but hearty an d healthy (and if you make enough you could probably do something like sandwiches with the leftovers...)

                                                                  1. Having had two new knees in the past two years I can sympathize with your plight.

                                                                    Mme Zoe is an excellent cook but is helpless when it comes to planning and timing so I was laid up for weeks at a time (twice) and came up with the following plan: I always decided the day before what we were going to have for dinner (and had a plan for 3 days in advance) and made a shopping list accordingly.

                                                                    A chicken breast marinated for an hour in beer or any kind of juice, salt and peppered can be grilled on George Forman (ChowPup's fave) or the panini grill, mine. Bagged spinach and salad are a must. Baked potato is simple. Turkey burgers you can mix while you have your feet up - don't leave it to HH (Helpless Husband) otherwise you will starve and not get proper nutrition, a must for recovery. You can be project director from the bed, like turn the burger/steak now please.

                                                                    Above all, ortho surgery requires good nutrition and you need three squares and at least two snacks a day! Get well soon.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: ZoeZ

                                                                      Ha! "HH", that's a new one for me - I LOVE that. Thanks for a giving me one of my daily smiles!

                                                                    2. How about the classic Tuna Casserole? Boiled noodles, 1 can of tuna, and one can of cream of chicken. I guess peanut butter and jelly wouldn't cut it.

                                                                      1. How about chicken soup? (Someone may have suggested this but I'm scanning the posts). You could skip the skimming of fat and just tell him to throw a cut up chicken w/ veggies, some salt, and parsley and dill into a big pot, bring to boil, then turn low and simmer for a couple hours. Have it the next day so he can take the fat cap off.

                                                                        Here's a super easy recipe but it does call for lipton onion soup packet so it might turn you off. Anyway, it's a chicken rice casserole. You take bone in chicken pieces of your choice (I just use a whole chicken cut up), a 4.5 oz. can of sliced mushrooms, a packt of the soup mix, a cup of raw white rice (I use jasmine), and two cups of water. Place rice in casserole(a 9X13 works), top w/ chicken pieces and sprinkle w/ soup mix. Add mushrooms w/ liquid, and water. Bake covered at 325 degrees for one hour.

                                                                        1. Do you trust your husband with the broiler? And do you have Italian bread crumbs. (the ones already mixed with herbs etc.)

                                                                          If so, how about some easy scallopini options.

                                                                          Either chicken, turkey, pork or veal scallopini cuts (or thicker cuts pounded thin), dredged in a beaten egg, then in the bread crumbs.
                                                                          Fry to golden brown. Top with either sliced tomatoes and sprinkled with basil and/or oregano, salt and pepper or a couple of spoonfuls of ready made tomato pasta sauce. Top with mozzerella and pop under the broiler for a few minutes.

                                                                          This also works nicely with sliced eggplant.

                                                                          Serve with a nice salad made easy with prewashed mixed lettuce.

                                                                          Just make sure he doesn't step away during the broiler part or you'll be listening to the smoke alarm in no time.

                                                                          Speedy recovery.

                                                                          1. You need merely to embrace one simple word: Braise. All things good cooking themselves in one pot. Get your man to buy: 3-4 hen legs (like the look of the thigh and drum attached), one bulb of fennel, 2-3 carrots, one bulb garlic, one small onion, bottle of white wine, carton chicken stock, bunch of time, bit of extra virgin olive oil.
                                                                            Preheat oven to 250-275. Put heavy bottom pot (stock pot) on med.-high heat, coat bottom with a bit of olive oil, lightly salt chicken on both sides, adding chicken once pot is hot, and brown on both sides, then remove to a plate. Pour off all but a little of chicken fat, then add chopped onion, 2-3 whole garlic cloves, stir, let cook for a few minutes. Add the carrots (chopped in large-2 inch- segments), and the fennel (cut lengthwise in 1/8 pieces), stir to coat with the olive oil, then a cup of the wine, scraping with a wooden spoon any brown bits of chicken stuck to the pot's bottom.
                                                                            Return chicken, wedging it into the vegetables. Add another cup of the wine so that liquid comes up about halfway up the chicken. Not enough? Add a bit of the chicken stock. Place a few strands of the thyme beside chicken, cover pot, and place in oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, or until chicken falls off the bone. Loaf of crusty bread, rest of the white, maybe a bit of salad and you're good to go. Don't underestimate him, your husband CAN do this.
                                                                            Happy to offer more braising ideas, just e-mail us at: chez-gautier.com.