Disclaimer: I am not an expert by any means. Not a therapist, medical or mental health professional. I do not diagnose, treat, or tell people what to do. The main purpose of this website and blog is education and support. If you are unsure how the suggestions and resources here may affect you, please discuss any changes to your existing treatment plan with your medical and mental health providers first.
As much as I love cooking, it doesn’t always love me back. There were times when I was not able to cook much or at all either because of flashbacks and dissociation or inability to get to the grocery store. Yes, this was before grocery delivery services.
So I created a few easy recipes to help me make one-pot meals using what I already had at home. My favorite one-pot meal is soup. A medium sized saucepan (lid optional), water, some herbs and veggies, oil, soy sauce or salt, noodles/rice/grains, and protein. 1-2 hours cooking time (or less depending on what you put in) and it’s done.
But this weekend, I found myself with canned tuna fish, no mayo, and still sick/sleepy from the cold-like symptoms. What to do when I wanted tuna sandwiches? Google some recipes for inspiration.
Below are two recipes I hope will help you use what you have at home to cook something delicious, fun, and nourishing.
Sesame Mustard Tuna Salad
- 1 can of tuna fish
- 1-2 tsp of sesame oil*
- 1 Tbsp of mustard (any kind)
- 2 shakes of black pepper
- 2 shakes of garlic salt (garlic powder if you want to go low salt)
- 2 shakes of seaweed seasoning mix
- (optional) any other spices, herbs, or dried fruit**
- 1 fork for mixing
- 1 bowl that fits all the ingredients
Open the tuna and pour into the bowl. Next add sesame oil and mustard. Add in the dried spices and herbs. Mix thoroughly.
If you don’t like any of the ingredients here, you can substitute them with others. For example, pressed tofu or another alternative works well instead of tuna. Extra firm tofu tastes great like this.
*You can change the oil to whatever flavor and type in your pantry. I used sesame instead of olive oil
**I kept mine simple this time, but have been known to add cranberries, raisins, sesame seeds, etc. into my mixes too.
Result: a little salty, but tasty. Next time I will use the garlic powder without the extra salt
1 hour (or less) Soup
Caveat: this recipe is approximate. I tend to change it up depending on what I have at home and type of flavors I want to include. And I add everything into the broth without marinating or sautéing ahead of time.
My cooking style goes like this: shake dried spices into the water. Add soy sauce and oil. Swirl the water to mix. Smell the blend. Adjust as needed. BUT since many prefer measurements, I am attempting them here.
Still, if it doesn’t smell or taste right, adjust to your preference.
- 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce + plus more for later
- 3 tsp of oil or butter or non-dairy equivalent + more for later
- Enough water to fill a 3-4 quart saucepan 1/2 full
- 1 medium garlic clove (chopped) or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup of chopped onion or 1 Tbsp of onion powder
- 3 Tbsp of your favorite dried herbs
- 1/2 bag of frozen green beans
- 1/2 bag of frozen mixed veggies
- 4 medium sized mushrooms (optional) sliced or chopped
- Whatever fresh or frozen veggies and protein you have (chopped to fit into the saucepan)
- 1/8 cup of dried rice or a handful of pasta.
For all dried spices: add soy sauce, oil, and spices to the water. Stir ingredients while bringing to full boil. Smell and/or taste the flavor; add spices and vegetables. And Bring to boil one more time. Then let simmer on medium/low heat for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes, you can add pasta and protein.*if you are cooking with rice or pasta that takes longer to cook, add it after the first boil. If you like your pasta al dente, add it in during the last 15-20 minutes of cook time*
For a mix of fresh and dried spices: Chop the fresh vegetables, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Heat the sauce pan until it’s warm; then add the oil and soy sauce. Swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to medium or medium/high depending on your stovetop. Add the fresh spices and mushrooms to the pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes or until the onions become translucent. During the sauté, add the dried spices and mix them together. Add more oil as needed. Add in the veggies and protein going from hardest (carrots) to softest. Mix with the spices until the veggies are coated and start to soften. Finally, cover all ingredients with water and bring to a full boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or longer on medium/low heat. For pasta and quick-cook grains, add them in the last 15-20 minutes of simmer time. For rice or something similar, add in before the water and cook until the rice is finished. *if using frozen veggies & protein, you can defrost & drain, or add straight from the bag when the water is boiling*
As you can see, I am a bit lazy when it comes to all the preparation/traditional steps in making soup. For example, I don’t cook my grains ahead of time and then drain them unless I am making the soup for someone else. And those people don’t like soft or mushy pasta. Same with defrosting veggies and pre-made protein. For anything that requires marination or extra prep like chopping or dicing, I will defrost and prepare ahead of time. But I often use canned, leftovers, or pre-made protein in my one pot meals.
I hope these recipes inspire you to enjoy cooking with whatever is in your pantry and feel less stressed out about grocery shopping and spending precious dollars on “what you should have” at home.
And FYI, dried chili and curry spice blends taste great with tuna salad and 1 pot soups too.
Love and Rainbows ~ TJ