Can’t chop? Buy it frozen!

casseroleI begin to read the recipe, 1 onion (roughly chopped),  4 garlic cloves (sliced) a can of chopped tomato, 4 chicken breasts (diced) half a Swede (diced), 2 parsnips, (halved lengthways and cut into chunks), 6 carrots, (also halved lengthways and cut into chunks).

Seeing all that, dicing, slicing and chopping can be quite phasing to someone like me who has just one working hand without much fine dexterity and can drive you to popping down the supermarket to pick up a microwave meal. Which of course is absolutely fine for every now and again but most health experts don’t advise ready meals on a regular basis.

So we with dexterity challenges need to find a way round it. Well there are quite a few gadgets on the market these days, like food processors and special work stations that will hold things still for you while you chop. You can get knives that are designed to be used with one hand etc. The complete care shop online is one website which has a large variety of aids which you can buy VAT free. There is a whole page on “One Handed Peelers, Graters & Slicers”. 

You may have picked up I’m quite a gadget addict. I do have many around my kitchen, but my much loved gadgets still make mess and require cleaning. My latest find as an alternative to gadgetry is frozen pre-chopped food and I’ve noticed the variety is getting larger and larger.

veg steamer bagI find frozen pre-chopped onion a life saver. Bell peppers can be a nightmare to prepare, all that coring, seeding and slicing them but these can be bought frozen too. Aunt Bessie do a great range of pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables including parsnips (which are far too hard for me to get a knife through raw), pure carrot & swede mash (one of my favourites!) and roasting carrots.

Most supermarkets stock frozen Spinach parcels and they are really handy. I also use Birds Eye individual steamer packs that just go in the microwave. There are different varieties. I had the fresh field variety recently. Each bag contains Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrot and Peas.

I’ve also discovered frozen fruit. Tesco do a nice big box of chopped up mango which is a fruit I’d never be able to tackle myself.

Buying frozen fruit and vegetables can sometimes be a little more expensive than buying fresh, but it’s worth the considering the amount of nutrients preserved in them. Manufacturers usually claim their produce is frozen very quickly after being picked so is likely to be healthier than stuff that has been in the supermarket a few days then in your fridge in few more days though. There is no wastage either because you take out what you need and put the rest back in the freezer.

frozen garlic

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