View Full Version : Cooking and Nutrition for ADDers

05-24-12, 01:17 PM
I was reading a few posts on cooking and see that many of us share similar difficulties in the kitchen.

For me, one big lifesaver was getting a crockpot but then there were the recipes.

After years of frustration, I have finally figured out I can only use recipes that have 5 or less ingredients and have 4 or less steps. Plus, if the recipes call for some odd cooking technique or ingredient, it's history.

No one can believe that it takes days for me to figure out or prepare to cook a meal. Luckily, because of the Tightwad Gazette, I focused on the basic casserole recipe.

Step one -- prepare a list of ingredients.
Step two -- plan trip to grocery store or stores
Step three -- place all ingredients on counter
Step four -- reduce recipe to a few steps
i.e. combine spices
chop vegetables
add and mix in crockpot
Step five -- turn on crockpot to proper setting

Step six -- write a note -- time started, cooking time, expected time to meal ready, if necessary write two notes and put one in pocket.

Step seven -- freeze leftovers in meal sized portions. This is where the savings in time comes in, I can fill my freezer with the leftovers from 3-4 different meals and then have plenty to eat for a week as I continue to cook once or twice a week to replenish.

Steps 1-3 could take three to five days because listing ingredients and going to the store and the preparation all take time and my days used to be fragmented.

Besides the crockpot, I also make very simple meals -- sandwiches, spaghetti, ramen noodles.....

My reason for mentioning this is that good nutrition is important. While I do not think I have any food allergies, I do think I am affected by foods, some make me sleepy, some make me hyper, some make me feel good. Still trying to figure it out.

05-24-12, 02:30 PM
I love cooking!

But I run into problems pretty much every time. Either because I don't read the recipe in advance or because I miss certain details, such as "make this part hours in advance"....

Some things, I've had to just realize I cannot do, such as anything that requires deep frying or its shallower equivalents in oil. I will either set off the fire alarm or burn myself, it's a given and to be honest I haven't tried it much because I'm too chicken to give it a go. A friend of mine whose dad is a chef suggested peanut oil for cooking simply because it doesn't smoke at the same temperatures and doesn't shoot out little drops of owie every second if handled wrong, and because it tastes really good. I'm still too chicken to try.

Another "given up" thing is meringue. Anything with whipped eggwhites is too hard to handle.

But certain more difficult recipes are interesting enough to allow me to hyperfocus, so I do a fair bit of cooking. However, I can't make the same (complicated) recipe twice, the second time it will fail, unless it's been a long time since the first time. This is probably because I no longer hyperfocus.

What works for me is much like for you, I choose the recipe days in advance (I only do this kind of cooking when we have guests), I create the shopping list, do the shopping a day or two in advance (because i will forget something), make sure I schedule the cooking itself when the shops are still open, rewrite the recipe in my own words and my own steps, and only then am I ready. Before Ritalin, I could only dream of doing these things though!

One of my go-to recipes that is really simple (as in many ingredients but very few steps) but which always surprises people, and that I cannot screw up, is Bobotie, the South African dish (my recipe's very simplified and probably not very correct by SA standards >.> Hope you can forgive me :D). You basically

-prepare a frying pan with a tad of butter and a tablespoon of curry plus some coriander, cinnamon and salt
-brown 2 pounds of ground beef (or lamb) plus a chopped onion in the spices
-add two slices of crustless white bread soaked in milk,
-squeeze an orange over it,
-plop in a spoonful of sugar and some chutney,
-add raisins

-Pour it into an oven dish
-Decorate with orange wheels

-Mix 6 eggs (for a big shallow dish) with 2 dl milk and a tad of salt
-pour it over the dish
-Decorate with bay leaves

-Cook at 180 degrees celsius for 30 minutes

-Serve with yellow rice (rice, turmenic, bit of curry, raisins, some sugar, some salt, some coriander, water, and a teaspoonful of butter or ghee, cook normally, and add 1 cup raisins towards the end of cooking)

05-24-12, 03:09 PM
I love cooking (I tend to hyperfocus when cooking) but I HATE cooking for just myself. When I was living alone and actually had the motivation to buy groceries I would stock up on a lot of meat.

I'd cut them all in single serving sizes, marinate/season them a bunch of different ways, them individually wrap them in foil, and throw them in the freezer. I didn't bother labeling them so I could avoid having to decide what to eat.

I'd prepare 4-6 weeks worth of food at a time...

Daily routine:
1. Pull mystery meat from freezer
2. Put in toaster oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
3. About 45 minutes after the food was done cooking remember to get it
4. Examine my overcooked meat and see if I guessed what it was correctly (answer usually was, "wait... what did I guess again?")
5. Notice I'm out of clean dishes and clean only one plate, fork, and knife.
6. Realize I didn't cook any rice
7. Cook rice and forget about it for another hour or so
8. Eat about 3-4 hours after I started the process

Needless to say that was during one of my bouts with depression...

05-24-12, 06:56 PM
Pyogenes, Wow, thanks for your post. I think we are onto something. The steps and processes required to read, prepare and enact a recipe can frustrated an ADDer.

I will print out your recipe. No oven at present but will try as soon as I have an oven available.

05-24-12, 07:02 PM
So, how does the meat come out? Do you cut it up or shred it?

Yeah, I have given up on rice, too, because I forget it.

What I do now when I am in the kitchen is bring my laptop. So, I can follow the recipe and also surf the web or write while the meal cooks in stages. Once the crockpot is on, I can abandon the kitchen for several hours.

05-24-12, 09:44 PM
in terms of nutrition, i live on junk foods and unhealthy things, but due to my metabolism of the gods i dont gain any weight, in fact it's too high and i progressively lose weight despite having a bottomless pit for a stomach. i eat healthy things though like all meats, sushi when possible, etc.

i can eat healthy, but there's so much prepared foods and junk that i choose instead and it doesnt help

05-25-12, 08:38 AM
Funny story,

Right after I posted in this thread yesterday, I attempted to make some traditional Danish food, basically crispy fried slices of slightly bacon-esque pork meat. I followed a basic recipe, placing them in the oven with a thin layer of cooking oil, at a very high temperature.

Needless to say, what came out was more charcoal than food, the worst part is the slices were brown rather than black, so I was unprepared for the fall-apart-into-powder texture and charcoal flavour >.>

ana futura
05-25-12, 12:07 PM
I'm a big fan of smoothies and soups, because they're easy to make and quick to eat. I always do a banana/ berry/ protein powder smoothie for breakfast, it's usually the only thing I can handle making at that time of day.

soups are a new thing, but I've just been cooking veggies (usually squash and onion, or kale and onion) throwing them in store bought stock, pureeing them, and then reheating. It would taste better if I made the stock from scratch and learned how to season properly, but it's good enough, and better than anything in a can.