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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:41 pm 
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Dont feel vulnerable flick, i think its a good idea :)...but first of all are there any food you really genuinely hate? and that goes for anyone else too? and are you a veggie or not? I HATE eggs with a passion! but if you like salmon i have an easy salmon meal idea :) xxxx

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Love the topic Flick – great idea, thanks!

I can completely relate to the ‘all or nothing’ thing – I’m in a very similar situation at the moment. Somewhat ironically, in my ‘anorexic phase’ I used to cook for myself religiously every evening and made myself quite a collection of recipes. Now I have the opposite problem. I’ve pretty much abandoned the idea of cooking myself anything - the idea of sitting down with a ‘full’ meal that I’ve prepared terrifies me. (Lingering but persistent anorexic voice tells me ‘I’ve eaten too much already...so what on earth happens if I binge on top?) Of course, this is entirely self-defeating; it means I’m far more likely to pick at food in the evening and risk it escalating into a b/p session in the first place. !wall!

Sorry, waffling on...in summary YES, I’d love to get into the habit of cooking again and having some accountability here to help do so.

Flick - might following a printed recipe perhaps help break your ‘cooking rules’? Then, you’re not ‘adding things’, you’re just doing what the recipe says – and for me that somehow makes it ‘official’ and ‘safe’...

This might not work for everyone (and may just create much more stress) but one thing I’ve found helpful in ‘getting back in the habit’ is cooking with/for friends. Recently, i’ve forced myself to be sociable and cook for a couple of non-fussy friends (with low food expectations and whom I know well so won’t mind if it’s a disaster!) It helps ‘normalise’ the routine of cooking for me and realise I can do it. I have a limited range of recipes (er...2 – does that even count as a ‘range’?) that I know I are very easy to cook when needed, which I can share if you (and anyone else) like? (Both vegetarian though)

Rose – Salmon is one food I know I actually really like! Plus, doesn't generally seem to involve bones, unlike other fish... Recipe idea sounds great (as long as it doesn’t actually require any skill in the kitchen?!) !indeed!

On a lighter note - a funny story regarding ‘destroying food’. My boyfriend is also very much of the ‘can’t cook - won’t cook’ model. (Not for ED reasons at all – just man-lives-off-takeaway-pizza-and-pasta reasons. Between us, we are a walking disaster area !) A couple of weeks ago, he insisted on cooking me a special meal in the evening... I was extremely touched by the effort he put in, so agreed. The Chinese veggie stir-fry half was wonderful. But the noodles were...quite frankly, entirely inedible because they were so overcooked. So instead of eating them, we had great fun moulding bricks out of them, hardening them in the oven and concocting a plan for constructing cheap, environmentally-friendly, custom-built homes in the third world. (Um, yes we are both slightly eccentric I think).

The moral of this story: if you have a culinary disaster, do not fear...it may just prove to be a solution to world poverty instead!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:36 pm 
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Hi,
GREAT POST!!!!! I am a keen cook, love it, it is so therapeutic. BUT I never cook for myself as I can not handle eating hot food on my own. I can try when we have a house dinner in our house, as I can then eat with others which is more sociable. I too am in my anorexic phase right now and am really struggling with food shopping, cooking or anything.
I write a lot and here is something I wrote after a housedinner, full of fun, friendship and FOOD. I wanted to purge but instead spend some time writing down my feelings and didn't purge:


Traditional sunday roast chicken with potatoes and vegetables, mixed, sweet summer berries for desert with lemon and yoghurt.
The sweetest thing was the group of people making and sharing the food. The sweet taste of friendship at the table, the laughter and jokes, the understanding, trust and poking fun at eachother. Because we can trust eachother and know we are all ok as we are. Purguing now feels like a purging of all the goodness of trust, all the sweetness of friendship I absorbed tonight. It feels like turning my back on all that is good in life. So I sit here with a full stomach and a restless mind, surfing the urge to purge, knowing I want to hold on to all the sweet, warm and rich feelings that come with the sharing of the food. And I can not allow myself to purge, as the food is what makes my body tick, but the sharing with friends is what strokes the soul and the violence of purging has no place there.


Ok, now back to the subject of cooking. Here is one I like as it is soooo easy and doesn't take a lot of actual cooking time, no oil needed, spices are good though.

Take a chickenbreast or a piece of fish. Then take a large piece of alu-foil, you can put some olive oil there, but don't have to. Put the chicken or fish on the alu-foil and cover in whatever veg you fancy. I like courgette, peppers, carrot stick, aubergine, maybe sweet potato sliced small. Add spices to taste (salt, pepper, fresh herbs, anything really) then you will have to add some fluid to the package (can be wine, oil, stock, water, or slices of tomato's or mushrooms as they give off liquid as well when cooked) Fold the alu-foil into a closed package and put in the oven around 18o degrees for 2 minutes, depending on what you use.

Easy peasy, healthy and tasty. And no cooking really, no dishes either.
S x


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Thank you Suzanne – this is fantastic.

I’m veering slightly off the topic of cooking here, but I wanted to express my admiration for the piece of writing you shared... you write beautifully, and it’s great that you managed to use it to successfully avoid purging.

Quote:
Purguing now feels like a purging of all the goodness of trust, all the sweetness of friendship I absorbed tonight. It feels like turning my back on all that is good in life [...]the sharing with friends is what strokes the soul and the violence of purging has no place there.


This really resonated with me, as it’s exactly what went through my mind when faced with an overwhelming ‘need’ to purge after a Christmas meal a few days ago (well, not quite exactly – it wasn’t nearly so articulate!) I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the atmosphere (for myself) particularly as my little (7year old) brother was there...He has such an uncomplicated, joyful view of the world; I somehow felt purging would be a betrayal of all that trust he has in me.
It’s a wonderful way of looking at food - will try to remember this.

Thank you for sharing xx


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:31 pm 
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Someone that is such a funny story, it really made me smile. And suzanne your recipe is fantastic, and very similar to mine :) Im in an anorexic stage at the moment, so really need to get back in the habit of this....
But the salmon, just buy a boneless fillet from the fishmonger bit of the supermarket....wrap it in foil so u dont need any dishes...squeeze half a lemon over it, and chop up some baby tomatoes and just rip basil over the whole thing. Then finally whack in a shake of soy sauce and seal up the parcel, and bake for 20mins in a heated oven at 200degrees....and if you dont want to bake or want it quicker do the same thing but without the foil and just stirfry the whole mixture, turning the salmon after 5mins so it doesnt burn.

Does anyone have a sort of vegetable crumble recipe? ive always wantd to try it but i dont know how to cook it! And gingerbread ladies actually :)
One thing that really helps me while im cooking, because i used to binge while i was cooking and then wouldnt eat it because id be throwing up-disaster, is just to munch on a red pepper. That keeps me going until the dinner is ready :)

xxx

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:55 pm 
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Great, thank you very much for these recipes!

Rose - The salmon sounds lovely and hassle free... I seem to remember that mum prepares it in the same way and it's brilliant. She also adds some finely chopped onion to the parcel before cooking, which might be something else to try - it kinda caramelises and is good!
As it happens, Dad cooked a veggie crumble for Christmas dinner this year (all his family are veggie) with butternut squash and butterbeans... I'll try and get the recipe off him for you!

Here is one of my veggie recipes (I can't find the other one for now...I think I may have leant it to D - we keep passng it back and forth as it's about the only meal either of us can cook!)

I think the seasoning is particularly important in veggie food to stop it from tasting bland, so this might be a good one to stretch yourself with Flick? (Actually, if you wanted to make a non-veggie version, I think you could probably just substitute 'real' mince for the quorn easily - but I don't know how to cook meat, so perhaps don't quote me on that!)

I generally don't bother fussing around with the cornflour bit as I never remember to buy any, and it seems to thicken OK on its own. The portion sizes seem pretty generous (an unbiased judgment - I've made it several times for different people with very healthy appetites and ended up with loads left over each time) but it does freeze well...

QUORN COTTAGE PIE
Preparation Time: 20-25 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
Difficulty: 1
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE TOPPING
700g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
225g parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk

FILLING
350g Quorn mince
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
100g frozen peas or mixed veg
400ml vegetable stock
1 dessertspoon vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce* optional.
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp salt reduced soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste in 1 tbsp cold water
salt and freshly ground pepper

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4
2.Boil the potatoes and parsnip until tender. Drain and set aside.
3.Meanwhile heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and the carrot and fry gently until softened.
4.Add the Quorn mince, frozen veg, vegetable stock, vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, soy sauce and seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the cornflour made into a paste with the tablespoon of cold water and continue to simmer gently, stirring all the time, until thickened. Place in an ovenproof dish.
5.Mash the potatoes and parsnip with the milk until smooth, season to taste with the salt and pepper. Place the topping over the Quorn mince filling and fluff up with a fork.
6.Bake for 20 minutes until the topping is crisp.
7.Serve with a selection of fresh vegetables.

Hope you're breakfast and shopping went well Flick...and HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!! xxx


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:28 pm 
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welldone hunny :)xxx

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Well done for trying the salmon Flick! I hope the recipe goes well – it sounds lovely...think I’ll have to try it myself at some point soon.

My kitchen utensils are also rather limited... My housemate moved out to get married a few months ago, and on the rare occasions I cook, I keep discovering (usually in the midst of a crucial stage of the cooking process) that all the useful implements we used to share were actually hers and so are no longer there. (Classic example: When making the recipe I wrote out above, I discovered we no longer had a ‘potato masher’...complicated experiments involving forks, spatulas and cheese graters followed!) I need to work on this too !embarrassed! A decent-sized ovenproof dish to bake things in is very useful in lots of ways though...

The store cupboard list sounds like a good idea. In addition to the salt, pepper and stock cubes, I’d recommend getting a pot of ‘Mixed Herbs’... You can add them to most recipes, and it might seem a bit less daunting to start with than getting in lots of different of individual seasonings. Putting the salt and pepper straight into the ‘grinders’ (is there a proper name for this...my mind’s gone blank!) sounds good too – harder to chuck out?

Enjoy cooking, and let us know how it goes! xx


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:46 pm 
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Hi,
I can recommend some Olive oil. Any brand is fine and it doesn't have to be virgin olive oil either. Apart from the fact that you need it for cooking certain things, it also contains so many healthy nutrients. I know it has fats, but is contains all essentiel fats that make you feel better (especially your brain and heart!!).
!applauding! Good luck
Suzanne x


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:34 pm 
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Flick this is a lovley thread, you dont have to thank you me :)...suzanne is right olive oil is good...and i know most supermarkets do basil flavoured olive oil which is lovely if you want to be a bit different.
I'd recommend getting some soy sauce,,,i marinate everything in it, like the salmon recipe i gave you, and its good to make certain meals more interesting, or to use instead of ketchup or salt!
hugs xxxx

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:04 am 
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Whoopeee – well done Flick! I’m sooo impressed by the way you’re challenging yourself in all these ways – it’s inspirational to read! :thumbs:

Big well done for keeping going and particularly for salting the rice. You’re right, I reckon it’s bound to take a bit of time for cooking to feel safe enough to actually be ‘enjoyable’ ... but I bet it’s easier to push through those uncomfortable feelings next time, now that you’ve done it once !fighting! !

( By the way, anything that involves chopping things up and heating a pan counts as ‘proper’ cooking in my books.... Hasn’t even Delia recently been promoting ‘ready-made’ ingredients to add into things?! And if the result was actually edible, rather than ‘building material’, you’re still a clear point ahead of my boyfriend on the Master Chef scale... Winner all round!!) !yess!
xxx


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:22 pm 
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Go you flick!!!!! Im proud of you girl!!xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:53 pm 
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Wow, now that is some fantastic bargain shopping!
(71p...woah, I should start shopping in Morrisons! Er, except there's not one in walking distance of here - a flaw in my master plan...) I hope the cooking and eating of it is equally as successful!

How did your assessment-wotsit go today...? Hope everything's OK xx


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:58 pm 
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Whoopee, well done for the measuring cups! Not completely sure, but I think salmon is normally at least three times that price for a fillet - you got a real bargain!!

Glad the assessment was OK and you felt able to be honest.

I just had a text from a friend who is getting married next month, asking me if I'd like to use my "amazing cooking skills" to help bake for their reception. That made me chuckle!! !rofl! Either that was a generic text or she missent it to the wrong person...I'm sure she's never had the misfortune to sample my cooking, and if she had, that wouldn't be the description she'd use, lol!

Anyway, I do want to help, so have agreed to make some flapjacks. Now, I vaguely associate flapjacks with the type of cooking you do with little children when they first get keen to help out in the kitchen...so they can't actually require too much skill or expertise, right?! !?2! (O boy, what have I / they let themselves in for?!) I think I should give this a trial run first... Sending half their guests away with food poisoning would probably not be an ideal wedding present... !sos!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:24 pm 
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Whoop whoop – go Master Chef Flick! !yess! So glad the salmon was a big success. Well done for the desserts too – it sounds as if you had a really lovely treat evening with your mum.

(Slightly random but related aside: It occurred to me this week how limited an indicator of ‘health benefits’ nutritional labels are... They claim to measure some things so precisely and bombard you with percentages about RDAs, but they completely overlook the more important values that food can facilitate – enjoyment, sharing with friends, a way of expressing love and care for someone, healthy comfort, fun...and I bet these intangible things have a greater impact on physical health than we often give them credit for, too. I reckon that, almost regardless of its contents, any special meal that you’ve taken time to prepare and sit down to share with someone is far more ‘healthy’ than a nutritionally-perfect but tasteless one eaten alone with guilt...) !cheers!

It seems like such an important step to re-train yourself to eat potential trigger-foods in a safe way and realise that they can be enjoyed as part of a normal healthy diet. I really want to work on this. I’ve realised that at the moment I carry around two list in my head all the time – a very restricted, repetitive ‘safe’ list of foods that I can let myself eat for nutrition, and another list of ‘bad’ foods that I can only eat in a bingey/just bizarre way, and so will ‘compensate’ for one way or another. The second list only involves guilt and pain, and keeps making the first list shorter and shorter... !wall! so much want to break out of this! Anyway, your example has really inspired me, so thank you! Xx

Thank you for the tiffin tips too! It turns out that my friend who is getting married had flapjack when she was last at our house and thought I’d made them (which explains the ‘amazing cooking’ text). They were actually made by my housemate, who is something of a flapjack maestro. So my housemate and I have agreed to team up to make wedding flapjacks (ie – she can take charge and I’ll measure and stir and what-not). It sounds like a much more manageable place to start my future glittery cooking career...

Woah, this is becoming a long post...anyway – thank you and well done Flick!
PS- Yessssssssssss to the Noodle Wedding Palace idea - inspired! Will get D to work on it right away...x


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:45 am 
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FLICK YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is so so so fantastic, and I am SOOOOO proud of you!!!!! I hope you are still proud and happy of what you did because I know it took a lot and it really is fantastic :) :) :)

You got some great bargains too, wow!! I normally choose a piece of salmon fillet from the fish counter because then I can get the exact size i want etc, and often its hard to find them pre-packed with just one fillet rather than two or more. I cant remember how much I usually pay, it varies quite a lot, but roughly £1-3 depending on the size of the fillet! So 71p is a bargain! If you want something slightly cheaper, trout tastes exactly the same and cooks in the same way but is a bit cheaper!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:41 pm 
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Go for it hun, thats great :) :)...I know what you mean about meat and fish (nearly wrote feet there!!) counters...they can be daunting...but with buying a piece of fish, i just literally look at it all, and usually choose whatever type of fish is cheapest! and then choose the size i want and then when the man comes over i just point at it and say can i have that please?!!! And the same with meat...I dont do weights or anything!

The cottage pie sounds fantastic, yay :)

Big HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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