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My Back is Out & I Need Simple Recipes

First and hopefully last Sciatica attack. I am trying to make dinner mixed in with carry out and kind friends that drop off food.

I made a canned chicken, wild rice, mushroom soup, canned green bean topped with cheese casserole and it wasn't too bad. I generally cook from scratch but it did the trick and didn't make things too hard on me. Better than fast food.

Do you have any super easy recipes you can share with me. I need to sit when I am cooking, very little standing until this heals. Thanks for any help here folks.

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  1. What about something like hamburger stroganoff? Very little chopping (onions and mushrooms), and it's just a matter of simmering everything together in one saucepan. Egg noodles on the side with peas, and it's very simple.

    OR - do you have a crockpot? Beef stew is very easy to make - it does the cooking for you!

    1. If you're able to make it to the grocery store (not sure if you're house-bound or not) perhaps you can take advantage of your store's salad bar and deli selections for a compromise between scratch cooking and fast food. A well-stocked salad bar has lots of veggies already washed and cut up, cooked chicken, tuna salad and so on in addition to the usual salad ingredients. The deli section has rotiserrie chicken and pre-cooked meats that can be pretty good if you are able to pay for quality brands like Boar's Head.

      This may well be your last sciatica attack. I had one years ago and was resigned to a lifetime of recurring pain -- never happened again.

      1. 1/2 red onion, chopped
        2 T. red wine vinegar
        1/2 can cannellini, drained and rinsed,
        extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
        imported tuna in olive oil, drained
        arugula, cherry tomatoes, olives

        Marinate onion in vinegar for 15 minutes then drain. Mix beans, marinated onion, salt, pepper and olive oil. Put bean mixture on top of arugula, garnish with cherry tomatoes and olives. Flake drained tuna on top of beans. I love this, it's one of my go-tos in hot weather and what's for dinner tonight.

        Trader Joe's pre-cooked lentils (in cryovac in the produce section) are really good -- add a little lemon jiuce or vinegar and olive oil, some chopped onion or scallion if you have the strength, and cherry tomatoes, spinach or arugula, and crumbled feta or goat cheese. Or heat them with a little tomato paste and chicken broth (or just water) and some sausage of your choice and greens of your choice for a one-dish meal. As always, lentils benefit from a squirt of acid -- lemon or vinegar.

        And depending on whether you can bear to turn your oven on, there is always the baked potato topped with something -- cheese and sour cream, creamed spinach (from frozen), etc.

        Good luck with the sciatica, my father just had surgery after enduring it for a year and a half, I know how awful it is, thankfully his surgery (which scared me) was completely successful and he's now pain-free.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GretchenS

          Gretchen: Your poor Dad. The leg spasms can be excruciating! So glad he's better now. Thanks for the ideas.

        2. Canned chicken? Yeesh. Terrible stuff.

          I would pick up some prepared foods like a rotisserie chicken and use that. Rotisserie chicken, pre-bagged salad greens, loaf of store bought French bread sounds like a very low maintenance and very good dinner to me.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Shaw Oliver

            I agree with you on the canned chicken but when you can't take 10 steps without needing to sit down it will do. The casserole actually came out ok.

            1. re: twodales

              I was half teasing just to promote my idea of rotisserie chicken. ;-) 10 steps huh? No fun.

          2. How funny - I'm laid up in bed right now as well with back problems. I literally feel your pain...and am eagre to see what people come up with.

            I made a quick pasta dish yesterday that didn't kill my back and only took 10 mins. I boiled some pasta (I love TJ's garlic and basil pasta for this), then added a leftover vegetable salad (corn, green beans, cherry tomatoes, peas, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, salt and pepper)I had made (but you could use frozen vegetables with herbs/oil/vinegar to similar effect) with some canned tuna and Parmesan cheese. I also had to add a bit more oil and vinegar to coat the pasta. It was delicious.

            Last night I threw a chicken breast in the oven, boiled some corn, and baked a potato for dinner. It took all of about 10 minutes in the kitchen.

            1. I don't know where you are, but outrageous melons are just coming into season here. Perhaps you could request friends bring you melons and a pork product? Proscuito is of course, wonderful, but these days I'm making dinner out of canteloupe and shaved ham. That kind of pain is debilitating in so many ways--here's hoping the pain subsides AND you're able to enjoy delightful food along the way.

              1. There's not much better than Marcela Hazan's simple tomato sauce discussed here:


                It's 3 ingredients dumped in a pot and stirred on occasion; boil some pasta to pour it on and dinner is served. :D

                1. Sorry to hear about your back. My super easy recipe for grilled (or broiled) chicken breasts:

                  Marinate chicken breasts for 30 min to over night in bottled Italian Dressing. Ken's Italian Romano or Kraft's Tuscan (both have grated cheese) taste good. Grill or broil. They can be eaten on plate, used for sandwiches, or sliced up & added to salad.

                  1. Thanks everyone. These are so helpful!!!

                    1. Oh dear. Very sorry to hear about your back. Do you have a crock pot?

                      Here's some super easy crock pot recipes. Sorry I'm low on specifics, but they are very forgiving recipes.

                      flank steak+can of black beans, rinsed+ jar of salsa+ 1 lb bag frozen corn. Spray inside of crock with Pam for easy clean up. Layer steak on the bottom, dump everything else in, cook all day on low.

                      Layer into crock pot in this order: Sweet potatoes, cut in chunks+pork chops+apple sauce+ sauerkraut, drained. Salt, pepper, cinnamon, whatever else sounds good to you to put in in the way of spice. Cook on low 6 hours.

                      In Mexican Everyday, Rick Bayless has a bunch of super easy crockpot recipes. I've tried the first several below with great results, and I'm linking to some I haven't tried that look good and easy. Don't be afraid to sub canned/jarred tomatillos for fresh in these to make your life easier.I've done it and it works fine.

                      I skip the chorizo on this one:
                      Smoky Pork Tinga Tacos with Avocado and Fresh Cheese

                      Here's another easy Bayless crockpot one. Slow Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos. I used canned tomatillos.

                      Chicken a la Veracruzana

                      Tomatillo Pork Braise with White Beans

                      Good luck!


                      1. I rely on my crockpot and my freezer. The crockpot is my salvation......I always make more than I need and freeze in portions for future use. Favorites are mainly pot roasts and stews. Am watching this thread with great interest......since I need recipes for more variety to make in the c.p.

                        Also, have a Ronco Showtime Rotisserie, which makes wonderful roasted chicken. Cleaning the rotisserie is a >real job<, but my wonderful hubby takes care of that, too.

                        I have arthritis, stenosis of the spine, so can't walk too well. Hubby does all of the grocery shopping.