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Cooking And Ptsd - How To Make It Easy

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You guys are the best, seriously. I only recently started cooking advanced things but when I got my current bout of CPTSD I could barely stomach food much less do anything in the kitchen and I'm just now starting to return to making food again now that my appetite is back.

Now if anyone can cure my problem of hating to do dishes...
I love to cook!!!! Most days - other days it ain't happenin', and luckily, my husband likes to cook AND do dishes....*whew*....and I tend to cook a lot at once, especially now that I'm cooking for my mom, too, so there's always something to grab from the freezer or quickly toss together. I eat strictly plant-based now, too, so that helps lessen all that damn decision making with fewer food groups involved. :) That decision ended up being the best win/win I've experienced in forever.

Portobella Mushroom Caps (I find them on sale rather often at Kroger) - wash and pop the stem out (can save it to add to salad or stiry fry or whatever) then pat as dry as you can get it, gently - preheat oven to 350 degrees - then rub them all over with toasted sesame oil and place in glass baking dish - drizzle some liquid amino (soy sauce replacement), chopped garlic (or garlic powder), and add sliced onion and bell pepper rings, if you like - bake for 20-25 minutes - eat as a "burger", or sliced on top of pasta, or as it is, or with a steamed veggie, or however else.........we're having them tonight, as they are, with an added fresh rosemary sprig baked with them, served alongside steamed broccoli crowns and leftover g/f macaroni warmed up with some sauteed earth balance soy free buttery spread, garlic, chopped arugula, and frozen green peas, with a little drizzle of toasted sesame oil added. It doesn't take much.
Beef Barley Stew (great all day cooking winter soup)

A really big pot
- Olive Oil (or veggie oil)
- Stew Meat (couple pounds)
- Beef Shank Slices (meaty & marrowy, but soup bones work, if not available)
- 5 Onions (chopped)
- 5 stalks of Celery (chopped)
- 5 big carrots (chopped... Or a double handful of baby carrots, whole)
- 5 Cloves of garlic (minced)
- 5 cans of Stewed Tomatoes
(or plain tinned whole tomatoes, plus 1 green bell pepper minced)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Handful (1/2cup - 1 cup) of Barley
- Salt & Pepper
- Water to cover 1in/ 2cm over ingredients.

Pre = Chop everything and open all the can.
1. Few swirls of olive oil around the bottom of the pot, heat on high to smoking.
2. Brown Stew Meat w/ adding salt to season & juice. ***super important***
3. Once browned, add everything else (except barley), including water.
4. Give it a good stir, put the lid on, and once it boils, turn down to simmer.
5. After 2 hours, add barley.
6. After 3-4 hours, ready.
5+6 = Stir occasionally. Couple times an hour, maybe. Not totally necessary. I've just walked off and come back after several hours & it's fine.
7. Salt & Pepper to taste.

Note: I usually chop (1cm) half my veggies & dice (1/2cm) the other half, so that the diced half totally disintegrates into the soup base, and the chopped half stays whole & chunky. But I also prep-cooked / aka can chop things really fast. If knife work is a pain? Throw your whole veggies into a food processor and pulse once or thrice, or just cut the bastards any size you like, and call it good :) Soup is forgiving as hell, and variations are always lovely.
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BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

- Tortillas
- BBQ Sauce
- Shredded Cheese*
(Mexi-Blend, or Chedder, Pepperjack, Monterey Jack, Montego, Etc.)
- Leftover / already cooked chicken, chopped
- Green Onions, chopped
- Tomatoes, chopped
- Cillantro / Fresh Coriander, chopped

- Spiral some BBQ sauce onto a tortilla
- Layer over a very healthy / generous amount of shredded cheese
(about 1/2 cm high)
- Sprinkle green onions, tomatoes, cilantro, & chicken about on HALF of the quesadilla

- Here comes the "hard" part. You can sauté, toaster oven, bake, BBQ, or nuke in microwave to heat up enough to melt the cheese to ooey gooey awesomeness. Pick a method. They all work. If using a toaster, oven, or BBQ, use a layer of tinfoil -or baking pan- under, to keep it from making a mess. If sautéing, use a lid to help speed it up, but keep the flame/burner on medium low to avoid burning the tortilla. If I'm making a lot, I'll put them on a cookie sheet in the oven. Just enough for me I tend to sauté or nuke.

When all ooey gooey melted? (Generally about 5 minutes).
- Fold in half.
- Use a pizza wheel to slice into triangles.

Voila! Done.

* For non-dairy cheese, I recommend smearing a med thin but lumpy layer with vegan cream cheese, and then a nice generous layer of vegan shredded cheese, & a few extra globs of cream cheese for good measure (and then drizzle BBQ sauce over, instead of BBQ sauce first). Vegan shredded cheese does "melt" but not as awesomely as real cheese, and needs the creamy factor.
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Baked Potatoes

- Russet Potato(es)
- Butter or vegan margarine or chicken/veggie stock
- Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- "Toppings" / "Stuffings"

Scrub russet potatoes clean

Stab all over with a sharp knife (screw pricking with a fork, just stab the sucker; it's not only faster but = a fluffier potato as a result as the steam lyses through it.

Rinse again with water to help the salt adhere

Roll in, or generously sprinkle with salt, all over.

Bake at 425F / 220C until easily indents when pinched. About 45min for small potato, 90min for large potato

Slice in half lengthwise & mash with fork

Stir in butter/margarine/stock

Stir in toppings


Toppings are virtually anything. I've been on a spinach + bacon + onion + cracked pepper kick, for a while. But if I've got leftover chili? Steak & grilled peppers? Sausage crumbles & egg? Buffalo chicken, or Sriacha chicken? Shredded cheese? Sour cream? Gumbo? Gyro? Tacos? Mushrooms & Swiss? Chicken, ham, Swiss? Charred broccolini? Jalapeño & cheese? Leftover curry. Really. Anything goes.
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Citrus Rez // Lemon Chicken <<< Zapped in the micro wav : Optional >>> In a pan on the stove

Citrus Rez

A mug or pint glass

- Beef Stock / Beef Broth / Bouillon + Water / Glaze + Water
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of ground coriander
- Generous splash of lime juice
Combine & zap in microwave, or heat over stove.

Optional > Citrus Rez > Easy Pho
- Pinch of ground ginger or 1" fresh ginger, pinch of cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick, 2-3 cloves, 1 star anise, 1-2 green cardamon. Allow to boil for 5 (ground spices) to 60 minutes (fresh/whole spices). Garnish with thin sliced white onion, fresh basil, fresh cilantro, sriacha &/or plum sauce to taste. Doubly optional, pour boiling soup base over rice noodles & thinly sliced raw meats.

Optional > Citrus Rez > Caldo de Rez
Boil soup base along with leftover or frozen veg; such as corn, squash, carrots, potatoes, cabbage.

Lemon Chicken

Mug of pint glass

- Chicken Stock / Chicken Broth / Chicken Bouillon + H20 / Chicken Glaze + H20
- Pinch of salt & white pepper
- Pinch of allspice or sumac
- Generous splash of lemon juice
Combine & zap in microwave, or heat over stove.

Optional > Lemon Chicken > Lemon Chicken Quinoa Soup
- Boil Chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrot, cooked chicken (canned or dried works!), & scoop of dried quinoa until quinoa & carrots are soft.
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Curried Chickpea Salad - YUM!!!!!! - can also leave out the curry for a more plain version, but once you taste the curried version, the plain just don't cut it. lol

If you don't want to have to plan ahead to soak dry beans overnight to cook, use canned. I don't really measure things, but will often look up a similar recipe to get a basic idea of how much of something to use and put my own twist on it from there.

Most recently, I used:

3 cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas, mashed fairly well with an old school potato masher and fork
1/4 of a medium red onion chopped finely
3 small to medium stalks of celery chopped finely
3 stalks green onion chopped finely
1/2 of a nice-sized red bell pepper chopped finely
Between a 1/4 and 1/2 cup veganaise, adding gradually, not all at once - can use your favorite mayo instead if you consume animal products
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
At least a heaping tablespoon of curry - I tend to be quite generous with it
A few dashes of cumin
A dash or two of cayenne

Stir well to blend thoroughly, mashing more of the chickpeas along the way.

Can also add chopped english walnuts and red grapes, but I didn't have any at the time.

Serve on romaine lettuce leaf "boats", purple cabbage leaves, giant spinach leaves, or other favorite leaf, on your choice of bread product, or top off a garden salad with a scoop....or as a dip of sorts for crackers or veggies......or any other creative way you can think of.

Using black beans in a similar way, but making it more of a southwestern stye taste works well, too. Add red pepper, onion, corn, jalapeno, smoked paprika, garlic, avocado, etc. Serve on romaine leaf "boats" as a taco of sorts topped with salsa and whatever else you wish to add.
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