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Slow Cooker

FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
I've bought it today, the Cookworks 1.5L one, from Argos. It even comes with a recipe book but all the recipes require you to do something additional before using the slow cooker, and I only like 2 of them anyway.
So I'm on a really tight budget (universal credit, with deductions), dont like cooking, but feel I need to eat a bit better then I am.
Cheap and cheerful, throw it in the pot and leave till done recipes appreciated. (I think theres a few on the forum already so will search). Dont like much in the way of meat - chicken or minced beef. 
If I could cook up enough to do me two teas a week it would be good. 
Looking forward to some mouthwatering suggestions.

Replies

  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Just found a Spiceman tip: Raw meat, vegetables, cover with sauce or stock. Switch on slow cooker. Leave.

    Really that simple!!?
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Thank you for your post.

    I would if I can like to explain a few things about slow cookers.

    Understand the booklet, that is just a guide. I pre cook every thing on my hob. 

    This is something you can do but do not have to.

    You can buy in any supermarkets pre diced vegetables, lots of short cuts, tips, tricks to make life easer for you..

    Cooking is all about what you can cope with and do .

    When I first started learnt from the Italians, the Spanish and the Greeks, being places of extreme climate.

    They have to devise food and recipes that are simple quick to do.

    Using pre cooked, sauces, stocks. From the deli cooked foods like Chicken or other cuts.

    I do this a lot go on to supermarkets website looking for easy recipes and new products.

    You have not ever mentioned what you like. Chicken and Beef not keen on them.

    Please can I say .

    Thighs, Legs, Drumsticks all cheap eats and not expensive.

    Use Turkey buy diced breast, fillet, meatballs.

    Turkey Thigh.

    All cheap and not expensive, cheap cuts budget ones are Pork cuts. Belly, Pork Shoulder , Liver Offal cheap.

    Also consider the vegetables to use in slow cookers.

    This is my list I use these are all fresh and worth using in a slow cooker. No chopping or dicing.

    Plus going to advise buy a blender. Cheap one, have cheap jars of Pasta sauce. Got Onions, Herbs, Tomatoes.

    Blitz that up with any seasonings or anything like gravy granules own brands best as there cheap.

    That is your sauce for the slow cooker.

    Soup Mixes these are vegetables ready to add Vegetable granules to then to slow cooker, pre diced, chopped with herbs.

    Make it your own additional vegetables your choice.

    The following.

    Leek, Potatoes.
    Butternut squash Chilli.
    Vegetable Soup Mix.

    Chefs base vegetable mix. Includes, Carrots, Onions, Celery all diced for slow cookers.

    Swede Carrot mix,

    Seasonings includes herbs, spices and seasonings all in one jar to enhance taste.

    Garlic Italian Pasta Sauce Mix 

    Italian Herb Seasonings.

    Tomato products.

    Passata buy ones with Herbs, Garlic . Jars around £1 .

    500g to 690g lots of uses.

    You can buy spice mixes choose one you like .

    Please I can add further you did mention have problems cooking and not liking certain foods.

    If you wish to explain more can give you more ideas.

    I know you said detest cooking. Unfortunately we do need to eat.

    Once the mastering the challenges of making a simple meal you will enjoy it creating recipes.

    I would suggest have a look a look at the B.B.C Food Website lots of ideas.

    It is that simple the slow cooker putting raw meat in to a slow cooker add stock or sauce put it on leave it all day.

    Did you know slow cookers began in Sweden, they have a big slow cooker movement.

    Please if I can advise further be happy to do so anytime.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman



    Community Champion
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  • Ozzy2013Ozzy2013 Member Posts: 14 Courageous
    Frozen foods are usually cheaper, (make sure you defrost what you're using first) Get some frozen chops or steaks with some bags of frozen veg & some stock cubes, can get a lot of meals from that & there are loads of recipes on Youtube if you search "budget slow cooker recipes uk"... hope this helps 
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Thank you. I'm quite a picky eater especially with meat and only like chicken (white meat only), minced beef and sausages. Cant think of a veg I dont like. Everything will have to go straight into the cooker as dont have a hob. So i thought for my first try something like any of those meats with carrots, potatoes, Swede, onion - something like that, with one of those packet sauces. I'll have to look round and price it all up, but hoping the cookerful might go 3 or at least 2 nights. But I feel I need to eat more healthier stuff then I am even though I'm on a tight budget and hate cooking! Thanks for all your help and suggestions, going to write some of your recipes on the forum down for future use, when im a bit more confident with the cooker. I do like chilli con carne, one to try later on.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Ozzy2013:
    The YouTube channel, budget slow cooker recipes sounds just what I need! Thanks for that. Unfortunately dont have a freezer, and beyond my budget at the mo. But it's on my wish list. I'm checking on the free cycle site regularly in case one shows up.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Thank you for reply.  I am aware of what you are saying.

    I would sit down with a note pad and look on line the supermarkets make a list of things you like.

    Have a stock list. Packet sauces are fine no problems there.

    I have to share with you I had have the time when I moved into rental properties that were private.

    Demanding landlords. So used to have limited amount of money.

    You mentioned also not like cooking but we all have to eat.

    Food is important and necessary . I lived with a Mother whose obsessional nature she collected food .

    Amasses huge tins, collections of produce and every thing like that.

    Needed to sign something before we ate anything.  Just a joke but it felt like it. Developed weight issues and health problems.

    To inspire you think of this. I do use colour to stimulate your plate.

    Also think of who you are cooking for.  

    There is a saying we eat to live or live to eat.

    If you think of food boring, uninteresting, not necessary to be stimulated, interested . This can actually be harmful mentally.

    I had a chef friend worked in the industry all week and when he came home ate nothing, cooked for others friends and any one.

    I only found out because he ended up in hospital with malnutrition and serious problems health wise.

    That is a chef.  

    I had the misfortune making my meals took so long by the end was knackered into the bin, this was when I was first cooking in my first home.

    Got volunteer jobs, positions in kitchens showed me the way to do short cuts, cheat and much more.

    Small steps and just do and make it simple. Do steps, bullets write it down what your doing, make it easy for yourself.

    I used to carry a notebook into supermarkets make notes, look on line webpages.

    One final thought make it a pleasurable experience your favourite music your eating, relaxed. Rushed meals can be harmful.

    If you have a friend cook her or him a meal why not. I think that helps as well.

    I used to do this a lot. Valentine Day , Christmas Day, social meetings having some one to cook for does help.

    I would add join cooking classes enjoyable, new friends and you learn a lot.

    Another one other do you wish to save money, budget and have the things you want. All can be done by being creative . In the kitchen.

    You do need the following non defrost freezer, blender, food processor.

    This evening made a spicy sauce into the freezer zip, clip bags labelled no waste and next time have sauces ready to go.

    You will succeed save money.

    Speak to your local Credit Union good way to get a loan and advice on finance.

    Please if I can help further please ask.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    So long since I really bothered that much about food really, I think a lot of people living alone would say the same. Last winter I lived on jacket potatoes done in the microwave. Can get through the warmer months on salad stuff and the odd quick microwave meal but what I want to cut out is snacking on sweets, chocolate and biscuits! Be a bit healthier. So will check out some cheap meat and veg online and give it a try. Dont know that I will ever actually enjoy cooking, plus I'm no good at it. But as you say we all have to eat, so I'm going to go a little healthier with my diet. Will keep in touch and thank you for all your help.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,698 Scope community team
    This sounds great @Franstrahan, how's it going?
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    Scope
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I haven't actually used the slow cooker yet. The plan is to get some chicken thighs maybe, plus potatoes, carrots, Swede and onions on Friday, throw them all in the pot Saturday morning on low, and eat Saturday night and Sunday too.
    I'm stopping the chocolate habit, sweets in general and biscuits too. Have to find some healthier nibbles.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Have a look around the forum have done lots of recipes on a slow cooker. Many of them are last month and some go back further.

    Have a note pad scroll up to recent  discussions and you find them.

    I forgot to add use your microwave in the morning to make Porridge add in fruit, tinned or fresh helps you stay full longer. 

    Oats, Rice, Pulses are filling.

    Healthier snacks use the following, Malt loaf sliced. Use as a pudding in the microwave top with fruit and custard.  Microwave a few seconds.  

    I also spread it with butter as a snack.

    I use crackers or crispbreads.

    Spread with low fat  cream cheese or use Pea nut Butter or use Hummus made from Chickpeas great to use buy tubs already made.

    Apples, Pears diced up with Greek Yoghurt, or use Rice Pudding.  Custard mini ones or a tin.

    Must share those Muller low fat rice tubs in the supermarket lots of ones. Have diced up Pears or Apples add to a Pyrex dish.

    Small one add Muller rice tub microwave a few seconds does soften the Apples or Pears .

    Instant pudding and healthy.

    Use Sandwich bread rolls fill with Coleslaw and any thing you have cooked meats.

    Ham, Turkey or Chicken.

    You can buy Whole Cooked Chicken or flavoured ones.  Seen BBQ, Tikka, slices or Thighs, Drumsticks cooked.

    Buy Couscous make it up boiling water in a jug add one teaspoon of veggie granules. . Add a portion to a bowl two scoops of a tablespoon be enough cover with boiling stock. Cover that and use it as a salad ingredient.

    Any shredded vegetables you can buy. Such as Carrots, Peppers. Some supermarkets sell salad grated packs use them for that a simple small snack meal.

    Buy Cereal Cornflakes nothing added plain ones, Rice Krispies a energy boost top with fruit and whole milk.

    Weetabix, any thing wholegrain top with Fruit and Nuts. 

    I know there are products out there. Just need to find them, I will continue to give you some advice and guidance if that helps you.

    One other tip always eat bread with a meal. Can be like my self bread buns or rolls.

    This helps digestion fills you up then you do not need to eat snacks.

    Space out your meals.  If you eat a meal and a pudding the brain takes twenty minutes to register your full. The science bit.

    Pituary gland in our brain registers when we are full, sends a message to the stomach .  Reason why many times people continue to eat when in reality there are full.

    I have just eaten around 7pm, will eat a pudding later another twenty minutes or so. 

    Also drink water with every meal.  Water is useful becomes an aid to digestion and helps the meal you have pass easily through your system .

    If you understand what I mean, lol.

    I drink hot water from the kettle cool it down a bit does help as well.

    Not tea or coffee those are diuretics and have the ability  to stop absorption of iron and nutritional content of your meals.

    Can be acidic causing stomach issues and other related issues.

    When I used to go to friends homes who were Italian every meal has bread with it. Because deserts are reserved special occasions. Might have some Yoghurt or some fruit. to finish off the meal.

    Use that the bread to dip in soak up any sauce plain no butter .

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman







    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Did not know that about drinking warm water with a meal. I usually have a mug of tea after a meal.
    Like cereal, and will look at crisp breads etc. Dont like fruit, except bananas and apples, but suppose they would do. I am going to look up your recipes on here as have seen some slow cooker ones. Going to start simple and see how I get along. First try out this weekend hopefully, if I can get everything I planned on Friday. I skip lunch which is why I snack on all that naughty stuff, chocolate, crisps, biscuits etc. So going for a healthier peanut butter sandwich I think, from now. Maybe with banana, which goes well with it.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Good luck with every thing your be amazing.

    Write down what you going to do any procedures, actions becomes easier.

    Bullet itemise everything your going to do.

    Preparation note down steps. I do this all the time helps.  

    Such as take meat out of the fridge to use.  Have a chopping board with a wet cloth underneath, if using pre diced empty them in to a bowl or a plastic container.

    Portion measure how much you want.  Knives, serving spoons, any spices, condiments anything you need put out.

    Kettle on for boiling water gravy or stock cubes.  Use a bowl or a jug measure out might not need all the stock for a slow cooker.

    I actually use a blender add certain vegetables, Onions,  Carrots dice up small  seasonings herbs and blitz this up. Portion it to a bowl any left then use another day.

    I have always find this does help and even my self have memory problems forget recipes do a lot of them.

    I hope every thing works out. Please ask me anything you wish to having problems.

    Contact me. 

    Yes use water with meals does help learnt that from addiction days. Had a lot of tea coffee with meals. Yet had some diet issues and nutritional problems.

    Contains caffeine so does cause problems.

    Please may I add went on a wellbeing course with local council . After rehab got food and related qualifications.

    Reason I know this advice, information.

    I can pass on to you and the community.

    Have an interest in food science the way we eat and how we eat and how the food industry is responsible for a lot of  health messages. Conflicts of marketing and may I add the concern over obesity.

    How one person can eat  diet never put on weight stay thin but others pile on the pounds.

    There are reasons many are psychotically and mental.  Lot of it is food science and lot of it is complicated.

    Very interesting debates and discussions on many websites and media outlets.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman

     




    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Interesting to hear how you came by all this knowledge of food and nutrition, meal preparations etc. I have had a lot of help from you and others on this forum the short time I've been here. For instance: I have the slow cooker. I know it wont use too much electricity because Adrian checked that out. I have access to recipes for it. I changed my electricity supplier finally after wanting to do it since last winter. I am on a free recycling site (looking for a freezer), but got some floor tiles for the hall and lounge recently. I got lots of help and advice from Ren, the employment adviser.
    Probably forgot something. But this forum is helping me immensely. And it's a great place to hang out! Thanks Spiceman.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Pleasure to help you. My role is helping those who need a kind words some guidance and advice.

    Be supportive, I forget to add.

    Have a look on the AMAZON website.

    I have a Prime Account £7.99 a month.

    This gives you access to lots of bargains, things for the home.

    Often bulk purchases we all use. Prime Customers delivery free usually.

    I use AMAZON for Household goods that work out cheaper in the long run.

    Use these all the time buy from supermarkets and can be expensive per week.

    Tin foil, Freezer Bags, Toilet tissues, Lens Wipes, Furniture Wipes, Kitchen towels and wipes, floor cloths.

    Cooking utensils, Blenders, Bowls, Food processors, any thing like small electrical items. Kettle, toaster often bundled together for a price.

    So on.

    Please have a look might be useful.

    The Slow Cooker will not use much electricity at all.  In fact it is something I use all the time for Chicken those cheap cuts of meat.

    I know you changed utility company is there anything else you think you could need to look at.

    Mentioned money is tight. I know extra expenses and other household bills.

    Could be worth speaking the CAB have money advice people and staff. Have a review of your benefit situation, something to think about.

    I used to sell lots of things household goods white goods and disabled aids. There are periods of the year when retailers reduce prices.

    One is now due to Christmas another is next Spring as most young people are looking to leave home, university and all that.

    So prices can be reduced dramatically . I would also look at Curry's website to see what offers are.

    One other point mentioned Chilli does not have to be done with Mince.

    Use Beef cubed or Meatballs. You can buy a Chilli sauce all ready to use.

    Just an idea for you.

    Use serve with Couscous or Bulgar Wheat does not have to be Rice. Used microwave Potato and Carrot mash before with Chill or Curry.

    Please take care .

    @thespiceman






    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I think it might be a good idea to talk to CAB about money and benefit advice. I have a WCA coming up on Dec 6 which I'm not looking forward to. Also with the depression, I guess maybe like a lot of people, I have good days and bad. Bad as when I cant see a way out and no future. My counsellor has cancelled counselling and referred me to Social Prescribing but 6 week waiting list. No help around at the mo. I have emailed one of the organizations Ren gave me and left a message with another so suspect all these places have a backlog. 
    Thanks for the Amazon tip. I'm going to check online for supermarkets today, cheapest for necessary stuff. Instead of the junk food I have been having!
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Good morning to you. Hope your keeping warm and safe.

    Chilly day .

    Please ask the following people to help you with your mental health issues and assessments.

    I know it is a difficult day for you we are here to be supportive.  Have compassion, empathy, time.

    I am aware these might help with lots of other aspects of your life.

    Signposting.

    I apologise if I mentioned them before to you. I forget sometimes what I say to people. Have senior moments lol.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    https://www.mind.org.uk.

    https://www.rethink.org.

    Sorry if your having to wait. Understand this a lot. Your not alone with any of this.

    Please if you not happy waiting need support speak those links provided.

    Your entitled to good mental health even though may have carer or other support still seek the knowledge, education to deal with your issues.

    It is building up awareness and using that to guide you through any thing.

    I use a lot of techniques coping methods learnt.

    Through many lifestyle courses or Recovery College. Recovery College is an organisation funded by NHS and Mental health charities.

    Often good to know has courses on sleep, meds, coping with people, communication many aspects of mental health.

    Look on line or speak to the links provided will be helpful.

    I am still educating my self knowledge after thirty years or more.

    Hope that helps you to give you some reassurance, confidence to think about .

    Please keep in touch happy to be a friend, supportive anytime you wish to.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman






    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    I've emailed Rethink. Mind dont seem to have anywhere locally. They did suggest Wellbeing but I've been with them and they were hopeless. But I've found out depends what part of the country you are in. I live close to the county line and they do a whole lot more just down the road then they do in this county! Face to face counselling for instance, which isn't available here. I will keep searching. Thank you Spiceman.
  • mrbuttonsmrbuttons Member Posts: 220 Pioneering
    can i addanother tip/suggestion? switch on the slow cooker for 30 mins before adding any food. this warms it up and brings it to temperature and cuts cooking time. just like preheating an oven.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Might be useful following for white goods.

    On line retailers.

    Freezers and cookers.

    AO.com have a look. Usually delivery next day and they will install it for you.

    Take any old one away.

    AppliancesDirect.co.uk.

    eBuyer.com

    Hope that helps.

    @thespiceman




    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    mrbuttons said:
    can i addanother tip/suggestion? switch on the slow cooker for 30 mins before adding any food. this warms it up and brings it to temperature and cuts cooking time. just like preheating an oven.
    Thank you for that MrButtons.
    It's going to get its first use over the weekend, and I would never have thought to do that. Great tip. Thanks
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    I'll have a look but think they will be beyond my budget. Getting approx 60 something quid a week (UC). I'm currently searching the free recycle sites for a freezer. No luck so far, but I did get some vinyl floor tiles recently for the hall! It all helps.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Appliancedirect looks good as you can pay for it monthly. Wont commit at the mo, as have too many Bill's and dd's,  but when my finances improve......
    Will save the link
    Thanks
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019
    Hello @Franstrahan   Good morning to you hope you keeping safe and warm.


    My tips are first plan and organise. Make sure put meat out of fridge to room temperature. Does help. If take meat out straight away still chilled and can be tough to eat when cooked. Want juicy eat there are a number of ways.

    When you put veggies, meat in the slow cooker, please add veggies first. Small dice.

    I got my shopping the other day. TESCO sells a chefs pack of ready diced, Onion, Celery and Carrots ideal for slow cookers but used as the Italians call a solfrito.

    Used in soups, sauces and every day use . Only thing packs are around 500g but so use half.  Store in the fridge next day.

    Then add your meat cubed or Chicken Legs or Thighs etc, Portion to a freezer bag add any seasonings or herbs, spices seal it up and shake it gives the meat a coating.

    Then add to slow cooker. From the bag. Easier to do. Means meat gets seasoned.

    Cover with enough stock, sauce and any seasonings or herbs .

    Before you add stock or sauce add to a bowl add in seasonings add herbs. Use herbs dried ones many mixes.

    Ladle that in careful and make sure it is not over filled.  

    Or buy a bender or food processor add Passata, stock cube touch of water herbs, spices seasonings blitz in to a bowl portion, rest keep for the next day.

    What happens is that if you put not enough liquid in, sauces evaporate so just enough to the cover of meat and veggies.

     I use stock, mix of and jars of Passata with either herbs in them or cartons.

    Amount just cover and switch on low.

    Timings the size you have , mentioned this if you put it on around before lunch time ready by five or six in the evening.

    Might be adjust timings a little longer.

    I have put mine on around eleven in the morning all cooked five hours plus.

    You be amazing have confidence and self esteem.

    Write down what you did this what I do every meal time then keep. Use and think how did I do that then you have a reference.

    I have a new menu created for myself so learning new recipes, adapted writing them down last night.

    Any mistakes errors then you can say would have done that different.

    Please ask me anything should be around weekend .

    Wish you well success and enjoy your meal you will be good.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman






    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Spiceman:
    Ok I'm going out to the supermarket probably tomorrow so will cook with it first time on Sunday. Thanks for the tip about the sauce, just enough to cover everything, and veg in first. I'd have put the meat in first. Think I'm going for chicken thighs, potato, carrot, onion and Swede with a bought sauce, packet one. Should be enough to go 2 days hopefully.
    New Lidl supermarket close by. Going to look there I think.
    Currently getting extra food from the local food bank, but hopefully the above wont be too expensive.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,698 Scope community team
    Sounds really interesting @Franstrahan! I hope it all goes well and please do let us know how it's going. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Sounds really interesting @Franstrahan! I hope it all goes well and please do let us know how it's going. :)
    I will be having the first meal out of it Sunday evening all being well. Watch this space!
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,698 Scope community team
    Exciting @Franstrahan!!! 
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Onions, carrots, swede, potatoes and 3 chicken thighs plus the bought sauce all went in the pot at 11.15, after warming the pot first. Not without incident as I hadn't really thought about it but I dont have a chopping board or vegetable peeler. But managed. I've just had to bail some of the sauce out as it was coming over the side of the pot. When I put everything in earlier the lid didnt quite fit. It all smells delicious. Proof of the pudding will be in the eating later.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Delicious!! Some of the chunks of veg were not quite cooked, presuming coz I cut them too big, but didnt spoil the meal. I've got around half the pot left for tomorrows tea, presume I just have to heat it up? For an hour maybe? Also the chicken thighs. Lidl only had big packs. I have 4 left in the fridge. How long will they be alright for?
    Thanks to all on this forum who encouraged me to get the slow cooker. It is pretty easy to use. Not bad for a first attempt, if I say so myself.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019
    Hello @Franstrahan   Proud of you well done.

    We all make mistakes, errors with these things.

    I once had to travel to see a friend because the slow cooker she had bought. The meal was cold not cooked.

    Had not switched it on the front.

    Wrote it down for her.

    What you could do next time is this first write it down, instructions simple ones for you.

    Look on line to see what supermarkets have diced vegetables.  

    TESCO website good.  You can get packs of chef mixes. Carrots, Onions, Celery diced up.

    Soup mixes vegetable ones cubed for soup use them, Swede, Carrot, Potato and Parsley Onions.

    Seen Butternut squash and chilli. Leek and Potatoes.

    Casserole mix.  Onions, Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Leeks.. So on.

    Not expensive.

    Chicken you mentioned has a sell by date on it. Must use by that sell by date.

    Chicken Thighs you can buy in Supermarkets different sizes.

    I used to shop at Lidl too big for me as a pack.

    I would recommend on line shopping.

    TESCO current midweek saver is £.3.49 a month.

    That is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Minimum shop.£40.

    Shop many times as you like.

    ICELAND buy over £25 free delivery, not have to be frozen, do sell fresh Chicken meat, stores, produce and veggies.

    Household etc.

    Morrisons, ASDA  Do not know the costs.

    Also one other reason you shop on line saves you money.

    The slow cooker a good idea is to layer the Chicken up or Meat.

    Use a bowl large one add Vegetables, Chicken remove the skin always helps cook better, too much fat not good.

    Add to bowl add vegetables add Sauce then ladle this to the slow cooker if too much you know by judging it.

    Not have to be all the way to the top. Just about an inch or a more than that. As long there is enough sauce to cover meat.

    Part two of your meal. I forget to say is the remainder is Soup use that in a microwave heat up.

    If you purchase a cheap blender blitz the sauce up as use it as Soup.

    Add in Lentils. I do this a lot.  Or tinned pulses or noodles.

    Best place for kitchen equipment on line AMAZON.

    Get bargains. If you purchase knives usually say and this goes with something else they have offered.

    Some thing to think about.

    I would as I said do not be hard on yourself your doing brilliantly.

    Chef lol.

    Anything I can advise on please ask happy to help.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    Ok well the sauce didnt cover the meat, it was sitting on top squashed down with the lid.
    Will take the skins off next time too.
    I have Tesco nearby but dont like going there much, but will look at their veg next time and for smaller meat packs. Think Lidl may be cheaper on everything?... will look at them midweek as too crowded weekends.
    Is it ok just to heat up what's left in the pot tonight, for say about an hour?
    Thank you Spiceman.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Good morning to you hope you doing OK.

    Please can I thank you for contacting me.

    Left overs you could shred the meat and any vegetables just microwave a portion.

    This is something I do.

    When you get your freezer you of course be able to store any remaining in a plastic tub labelled.

    Your mentioned TESCO. I would advise if I can do on line shop. 

    As mentioned the cost is amazing. TESCO do their own brand products many are cheaper than LIDL.

    Also think of this.  It is cold, wet and your tired. Do you go out in the weather get stressed, anxious or ill.

    Or stay in the laptop, heating on. Warm and cosy. Make a list a shopping list of what you require.

    Sign up.  One of the main things about one line shopping is the convenience the easy way to shop.

    When you sign on, remember this your shopping. You see when you purchase any thing. The basket and the items comes onto the screen.

    On the right the amount you have purchased.

    I know that easy, then you know how much you have spent.

    One other thing priority over Christmas or other holidays.

    Under £4 a month I do shops two a month. Saved wait for it £50 a month in fuel, carparking costs, expenses of the car.

    I have a LIDLE near me no way now, TESCO .

    They turn up you booked a time for delivery.  They carry all the shopping into the kitchen, another source of contact.

    Have a chat, talk a few words. Sign for the shopping.

    You got produce, arriving fresh, clean no soggy items in this weather.

    You pay by credit or debit card, put all on a secure site.

    I have been a customer for a over a year.

    One aspect of the website is favourites. Every time you click on a product goes to favourites. That is your shopping list next time, use that I do make a list.

    Still does help.

    This morning would have done by shopping by early morning usually all done and waiting ready to be delivered.

    Hope this helps. 

    Slow cooker just doing OK, you doing OK. Take some suggestions I have given, hope they help.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman




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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @thespiceman
    I will look at Tesco online shopping then, as I hate going round there. 
    I'll heat up the pot tonight as it's already in there and got till Friday to finish the chicken which is fine as got plenty of veg left. Lidl was really cheap, the 7 chicken thighs were £1.79 and then the veg. Was all I got there, £6 something, and i eat probably 4 nights on it. Will have to get another packet of sauce but that's all. Really pleased with the slow cooker.
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @thespiceman
    Cleaning the pot tonight and have found where the sauce overflowed on Sunday it's all run down the inside into the cooker bit. And heating it up this eve it's really black and stuck on! 
    How do I clean it?
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,698 Scope community team
    Ahh! Is this in the actual cooker or on the outside bit of the thing you wash?

    If it is able to wash then I would recommend soaking it in hot soapy water - obviously don't do this if it's the electric part! 
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope
    @thespiceman and I solved it in the private messaging bit. The sauce was (and some of it still is) on the inside of the cooking bit. Scraped most of it off with a spoon, then wiped it round with a damp cloth. I over filled the pot with food, enough for 2 nights, didnt realize after the first night what had happened, and heated it up on the second night, really burning the sauce onto the cooker. But it survived, and is on now, cooking a chicken casserole. I'm really pleased with it and would never have thought to get one had I not joined the Scope forum and got loads of 'thumbs up' for having a slow cooker! Recommend to anyone on their own who aren't really into cooking.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,698 Scope community team
    Glad to hear you managed to get it sorted and that it's going so well @Franstrahan!
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  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 5,648 Scope community team
    Onions, carrots, swede, potatoes and 3 chicken thighs plus the bought sauce all went in the pot at 11.15, after warming the pot first. Not without incident as I hadn't really thought about it but I dont have a chopping board or vegetable peeler. But managed. I've just had to bail some of the sauce out as it was coming over the side of the pot. When I put everything in earlier the lid didnt quite fit. It all smells delicious. Proof of the pudding will be in the eating later.
    I missed this! Sounds like it went really well @Franstrahan. I've found you don't need anywhere near as much liquid or sauce as you would with other meals or other types of cooking, as it doesn't boil down. It might be why the veg wasn't quite finished too, if there was too much liquid?
    I really like gammon in the slow cooker. Just throw in a whole joint and a can of coke and it's delicious!
    What are you planning to make next?
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope
    I dont like gammon, not a big meat fan, so chicken, minced beef or sausages for me, so the next thing will be sausage casserole. Sausages, onions, a pepper.... not sure what else but will look online. A healthy change in diet for me from crisps, biscuits, ready meals etc. Still hate cooking but really dont have to do anything with a slow cooker. Cut it up, chuck it in, switch on, leave, ready for tea. Perfect.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 5,648 Scope community team
    Ahh yes, I remember you saying that about meat @Franstrahan. I agree entirely about the simplicity of them, it's my type of cooking!  :D
    Sausage casserole sounds good. Stews, curries, casseroles and soups all cook well (I've even thrown in some dumplings too). My other half once made a lasagne and cinnamon rolls in the slow cooker so I think they're very versatile. 
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope
    Lasagne is one I'll try some time as do like pasta dishes. I wonder if it would do a spag bol? I go to the food bank from time to time and they always give a packet of pasta and a jar of sauce. So add minced beef and onion,  theres another to try.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,698 Scope community team
    I bet that would work @Franstrahan! You'll have to let us know how it all goes. :)
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope
    Sausage casserole this weekend. A bit like chicken casserole, only with sausages!
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,698 Scope community team
    Ooo that sounds lovely @Franstrahan! My mum does one with vegetarian sausages that I love. :) 
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope
    Sausages, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, potatoes, prob a little bit of carrot and swede too. The mushrooms and potatoes are small so no chopping.
    I may try a veggie dish as not keen on meat much.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,698 Scope community team
    This sounds amazing @Franstrahan!
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope
    Yeah I'm on my third sausage casserole this week to use up all the sausages before expiry date!
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   Quick idea for you. Sausages out of skins.

    Wet hands then roll in to small sized Meat balls. Means you use up Sausages, before expiry date.

    Three sausages makes four or five Meatballs. Must add have herbs, onions already in them, if you buy flavoured ones.

    Favourites Chilli, Chorizo or Chilli spices, as it cooks in to sauce.

    Other are Chipolatas good quality ones if your buying percentage says on the pack . more than 80% or 90 % sausage meats helps.

    You need not have to precook Meat balls just add.

    Understand this you could buy ready made Meatballs I do, make a Classic Meatball Soup. Using the veggies you like and adding any tinned pulses, I do this a lot.

    Turkey ones great or Beef ones look on websites supermarkets.

    ASDA did a variety  Lamb, Pork Thai style and so on.

    Hope that inspires you.

    Understand am here have just put some more recipes on forum, Mid week cheap eats.

    Please take care
    My friend
    @thespiceman
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @thespiceman
    Hi, I only had two left. I bought a pack of 8 and had 3, 3, then these last 2 tonight. I saw your midweek one. I thought I might try ratatouille as all veg and have ingredients for that in the little book that came with the cooker. I only like chicken, minced beef and sausages in the meat range. I'm not a fish eater either, only cod and chips. I dont like fat, gristle, bones, skin, anything to do with internal organs or other stuff like that. So minced beef but not beef as I have to cut bits off it. I should go veggie really.
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Franstrahan   nothing wrong going veggies just sometimes different things to do with Sausages. It is just sausage meat.
    I do a lot of veggie stuff any tips, or tricks happy to help.

    You can go down the Med route like me the food of Italy, Spain and Greece, Southern parts have a vast range of veggie recipes so many.

    Or more interesting the food of the cuisines of India and Asia lots of fantastic veggie Curry's using minus ingredients and minimum spices. Spice mixes are not hot, some cultures, castes have no Garlic, Ginger or Onions in their culture as it arouses the senses .

    Use roots Potatoes, Swede, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Zucchini Courgettes, Beetroot Cooked.

    Onions and spice mixes any one give them a try, use Coconut milk makes it less hot if it ever is.

    Great with Kidney Beans or Chickpeas or Lentils used Tinned ones.
    Some ideas for you farther North India use Bean and Pulses.

    Wish you well.

    @thespiceman




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  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 5,648 Scope community team
    Sounds like it's going well with your slow cooker @Franstrahan! Have you attempted any other dishes?
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope
    Not yet. Just the chicken casserole and the sausage one. Might try a chilli con carne. Thinking Christmas dinner will be a slow cooker one this year. Chicken breast, parsnips, potatoes, sausages. Not sure about brussel sprouts in there. Chestnuts are my favourite, and you can get ready cooked microwave ones that heat up in a minute. 
    Not a Christmas pudding lover, prob micro some mince pies.
    So that's Christmas sorted!
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 5,648 Scope community team
    edited December 2019
    I was actually wondering today how much of a Christmas dinner you could make with a slow cooker @Franstrahan.  That’s sounds pretty perfect, and you can do sprouts in the microwave (although I’d be more than happy without them - I’m not a fan)! And most other veg too. I’ve never tried microwaved chestnuts so you’ll have have to let me know how you get on.
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  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @Adrian_Scope
    Will try sprouts in the micro then. The chestnuts are great, no fuss chestnuts. Vacuum packed, if I remember right you just break the seal and heat them up in the microwave. Perfect chestnuts! They're in Tesco, imagine all the supermarkets must do them. 

  • mrbuttonsmrbuttons Member Posts: 220 Pioneering
    I bought myself a luxury mulled wine kit for my lunch with friends next week and I found some recipes online to make it in a slow cooker,
    this has to be the weirdest use of a slow cooker yet. I think you have to be careful not to let it get too hot so that the alcohol doesn't evaporate. I might try it. will report back. :*
  • FranstrahanFranstrahan Member Posts: 898 Pioneering
    @mrbuttons
    Will be very interested to hear about that one.
    Almost as weird as cooking gammon in coca cola!
  • thespicemanthespiceman Community champion Posts: 6,224 Disability Gamechanger
    edited December 2019
    Hello @Franstrahan   Good morning to you. You slow cooker can be used for a variety of foods.

    Including Baked Potatoes, BBQ Ribs, Porridge, Using it the large ones for Cooking Chicken, joints of Meat .

    I would suggest please either contact me  you can PM if you wish to, or look on line.

    Lots of recipes simple ones a variety of all sorts you can cook.

    Look at just sitting down type in slow cooker and find a lot of easy stuff to do. I have a folder at home always adding new recipes, searching ideas, new foods, new ways to cook.

    Put them on here much as I can.

    Having a simple meal is the order of the day to me and has to be to be tasty, nutrition. The three s's .

    Simple, sexy and sassy.  Appearance as well important feeds the eyes, stimulates the brain. Colour use a variety of colourful vegetables. 

    You have to understand the concept that we live to eat in this country other in poor, poverty countries like Italy the Southern parts poor. Poverty rural . Eat to live from limited ingredients.

    So there cuisines, culture involved around simplicity. Two or three ingredients. Cucina Provera food of the poor.

    I do this now best I can afford and make it easy. Also remember these areas very hot and humid, extreme weather. Why spend hours on the stove or hob, too much.

    Often use a large stockpot on the hob leave it for hours to cook away. Many Italian I knew never used Oven in fact one friend used his Oven for storage just used the hob stove top.

    Much food is born out of necessity and uses cheap cuts of meat, vegetables a plenty and  Pasta, pulses..

    With the microwave you have as well can for example use a selection of vegetables to precook, slice up Potatoes and any Roots then add later save time.

    Pyrex do a variety of casserole, glass are ideal for microwave I use this idea some times given short of time, does help.

    Add boiling water a small amount microwave drain  and then add to slow cooker. Carrots, Potatoes good to use.

    Dice up small not large.

    I am aware of the Gammon Cola Recipes .  Heard of the Italian Ones in Milk Pork joints.

    What this does is makes the meat falls apart cooks it using sugar in the cola, makes it caramelises . Coconut milk with cuts of specific meat does the same. Tenderises the meat.  Or any dairy products.

    The whole science of using different ideas to cook meat is nothing new.

    Hay is used wrapped up, in cuts of meat, banana leaves, bay leaves, .

    Italian ones Pancetta, Prosciutto and those deli meats are wrapped around Salmon, Fish, Pork.

    Gives a lovely mellow taste, my personal favourite.  Trout wrapped in Parma Ham pan fried.

    Useful another one used Leeks sauté diced sliced, top with slices of Prosciutto.

    Then dice slice meat add to Leeks make a Cheese sauce or use a tub good ones about. Add Pasta drained, easy one pot Pasta.

    Hope that helps.

    Any questions please ask me  anytime.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman

     


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