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Dec 20, 2013 02:54 PM

Need a cookbook recommendation

I am hoping someone here has some recommendations for a cookbook or two for my daughter. I have been searching Amazon and other websites, but can't seem to find anything that works.

My daughter is mildly MR and on 100% disability, but she does live on her own in a small apartment, in a medium-sized city. She has a case manager that checks on her at least once a week, and we try to get by occasionally, but she does live over an hour away. She does OK, but she is limited what she can do for cooking utensils. She also has some palsy that has left her left arm with very limited ability, he hand can't grasp anything. Sharp knives and using the stove burners are out, but she does have a microwave and a toaster oven.

I'm trying to find a book of recipes that she can make on her own, as I'm sure she is getting sick of microwaved potatoes, rice, mac-n-cheese, and instant oatmeal. Her food stamps don't allow her to buy prepared foods, and we both agree that they are too expensive and often not very nutritious. She has a very nice grocery store within walking distance.

While greatly appreciated, please don't post recipes, she really needs the structure of a printed book, and doesn't have access to the Internet.

Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

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  1. I wonder if these recipes might work? They're probably not super healthy (despite the book having been published by Men's Health) but it seems like they'd require minimal fussy work. A Man, A Can, A Microwave:

    I'd also check out The Starving Students Cookbook: I flipped through it at a friend's house once and I recall it having recipes suitable for limited equipment. Not sure about the lack of knife-work, though.

    1. There is a cookbook series which might be what you are looking for:

      I haven't seen them, so don't know if they would be suitable.

      1. I wonder if a slow cooker would be useful for her? She could make bean dishes and such, which are quite economical. I'm thinking of Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker, maybe

        1. I was also thinking of a slow cooker. America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Rev. 2 would be a great resource. She could also make enough to have leftovers to freeze.

          I always keep frozen diced onion and green bell pepper in my freezer. If she stocked some things like this it would save her time and cut back on the chopping. They don't even have to be defrosted.

          Sandra Lee's Cookbooks might also be another good resource. Most of the recipes are very simple.

          This cookbook is healthy and includes only 5 ingredients for each recipe:

          8 Replies
          1. re: foodie06

            Thank you for your replies and ideas.

            I saw the Man-Can-Microwave and Starving Student books, and browsed a few of the recipes on the Amazon site. Every recipe I looked at on the "Surprise Me" feature was beyond her capability, I'm afraid. They all required knife skills, some involved working with a sauce pan on a stove or an oven, none of which she can do safely.

            The "Easy Cookbook" site looked like a winner, but it's in Australia. Shipping makes it kinda a deal killer.

            I hadn't thought of the freezing of onions and carrots (as well as other veggies), that's an interesting idea. I have a lot of knife skills, perhaps I could prep these in small portions and freeze them in Zip-Lok bags. Then they could go into a Crock-Pot, which she has, with other ingredients. Stews and soups, etc.


            1. re: KitchenGeek

              Would adaptive cooking utensils be of benefit for her? There are lots of occupational therapy type sites with items you can purchase (rocker knives, for instance, rather than sharp knives, utensils with built-up handles that are easier for those with strength/grip problems).

              Plus, the idea of you prepping some cut items for her works, and you can also buy many of those items frozen, pre-cut, or cut items from the grocery store salad bar.

              1. re: KitchenGeek

                There are more and more things available pre-chopped these days. Both in the freezer section and right there in the produce section. So I wouldn't automatically put it in the "no" category just because recipes call for diced onion, for example.

                I would say look to cookbooks like the microwave and crock pot ones, but know that not all of the recipes will work (pre-browning meat, for example) or they may require some adaptations - asking the meat counter to pre-cut items if it isn't already available, and looking for other things that are partially prepared. It just takes thinking outside the box.

                Have you asked her case manage what has worked best for others in her situation? That is part of what they are there for.

                1. re: KitchenGeek

                  You can purchase frozen chopped onions, bell pepper, diced carrots etc at the store. They are inexpensive as well.

                  You could also prep and freeze the meals ready to go in the slow cooker and then all she would have to do is defrost and follow the slow cooker instructions.

                  1. re: foodie06

                    Really good point about the chopped frozen vegetables! And often grocery stores have some things freshly pre-chopped too.

                2. re: foodie06

                  I'm going to disagree with the ATC Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook. I don't have the second one but regarding the first one I can't think of one recipe off the top of my head and after flipping through my copy that doesn't require some stovetop preparation before moving the food to the slow cooker.

                  I think Not Your Mothers slow cooker cookbook would be a better choice. By the way they do have a Not Your Mothers for cooking for two if that would be better portion sizing for her.

                  1. re: rasputina

                    All of the recipes I have tried from the second ATC book have no stove top prep, only microwave prep. The second book is much, much different from the first which I found to be ridiculously complicated for a crock pot book.

                3. How about children's cookbooks. Betty Crocker, Better Homes and Gardens, Paula Dean, etc all have childrens cookbooks.