The No Knife Meal & Parade Etiquette

Why is this so hard?

I’m exhausted from walking 6 blocks from the car to a parade today. Then the up and the down with my punk-ass hip for the length of parade. Then, 6 blocks back to the car. I’m tired.

And people? There are rules about parades.

1.) Don’t bring a stroller. Baby carriers are allowed. If this is your first year at this progressive parade, fine. But don’t make this mistake again, and YES, it did hurt when you rolled over my feet. Each time.

2.) Don’t bring your dog. Sure, your dog is cute, but just don’t. First time? Fine. Don’t do it again.

3.) I don’t want to smoke your cigarette. I know that you do, but go somewhere private. Don’t walk up and down the sidewalk. R U D E. RUDE.

4.) And speaking of smells, this is an outdoor parade. Why are you wearing perfume? Don’t.

5.) Don’t stand in front of a person with a disability. I know I don’t look sick, but I’m RIGHT THERE, and standing up to look over you if hard. You do, actually, make a better door than a window.

But, I digress. I’m tired. I went because it is a family tradition. The big kid knew better. He knows how exhausting this parade can be, so he stayed home with his friend and helped her sister with a lemonade stand. Smart move.

Now, tonight, I need a knife free meal.

Sure you smart gluten free, potato free, stir fry kind of people are brilliant. You could walk into my kitchen and whip something up in no time. But this is my life. My husband is working, my kids don’t help and we are all hungry.

And, I shake. A lot sometimes. Fine motor skills are not so good. So, chopping a vegetable is really hard. Yeah. . I know. . I’m not asking for much. Maybe this is just a chance for you to see why I can get so paralyzed by food.

I need “No Knife” Meals. Recipes. Suggestions. Or, you could organize a veggie cutting night at my house. Invite my friends. Your friends. I don’t even care.

Here is the short list of what we can’t have. Gluten, rice (kids can, parents can’t), stay away from meat because we all have one meat on the forbidden list. I can’t have carrots. Macaroni and cheese from a box and veggie burgers with green beans are our standard fare, and soon, the children are going to rebel. No cane sugar. No white beans.

Here is the LONG list, but we are doing the best we can with this:

Cane Sugar
Carrot (mom only)
Cheese (parents only)
Oat (Dad can eat these)
White potato

What suggestions do you have for me? No knives, please. We look forward to a blood free evening. Big raw veggie salad? I wish. I tend to tear lettuce a few times a day and put sauerkraut on it. But, frankly, that’s getting old.

So, weigh in. I can’t wait for your brilliance!


9 responses to “The No Knife Meal & Parade Etiquette

  1. At one time I used a food processor to chop veggies. No knife required. The output looked less elegant than hand-crafted, but the pieces that come out the bottom were definitely smaller than when you put them in the top. And it all happened really fast.

    You’d probably have to pay about $40 for a decent simple used one on eBay. And/or maybe borrow one from a friend first to test out the concept?

  2. A problem with food processors might be getting the food into chunks or spears that will fit into the opening. Can you do rough chopping? Mine needed the input chunks or spears to have a 1 to 2 inch footprint.

    Otherwise, have you tried frozen, pre-chopped veggies? E.g. just broccoli, or possibly mixtures without carrots?

  3. I definitely hear you on this. Before this past month, I ate 1 pound of sweet potatoes every single night of my life for dinner for 5 years. It was incredibly easy, and I always had it with 2 steamed vegetables. Now that I’ve been able to expand my diet, I’m grateful, but I’m exhausted. I’m still in “eat to live” mode, just like you are, and don’t have the energy to “live to eat” and create these extravagant dishes. I tried to roast root vegetables the other night. I don’t know why I thought I could keep bending over a hot oven every 15 minutes to stir when I can barely tilt my head when I’m brushing my teeth (if I remember to brush my teeth). So, I’m not sure if these ideas will help, but here’s some easy things I’ve done just to :


    -And if you get tired of those, yams.

    -“Burrito Bowls”- I know some people believe it’s a “no-no” to eat things out of a can because of the metals and whatnot, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. You can set out all of the ingredients so each family member can create their burrito bowl based on their allergies. Pre-cook a pot of brown rice to keep in the fridge about once a week (for your kids’ bowls) so you can scoop out some when needed. Put out canned black beans and pinto beans. Mash up an avocado. Set out some canned black olives. If anyone can have tomatoes (you probably all can’t, right?), tomatoes go nicely. It’s like a taco salad, minus the shell. If you even have a meat or protein that 3/4 of you can eat, that goes well too.

    -I blend smoothies for lunch now. Keep a bunch of frozen fruit in the freezer, get some protein powder and some unrefined coconut oil, and blend it all together. You have your carbs, protein and fat. If you feel like you want to do this for dinner, make it like a “milkshake and hamburger” night by making the shake and having a bunless veggie burger. You can make the shakes more “fun” by adding a nut butter…like bananas and sunflower seed butter (or almond butter or whatever you guys can have).

    -I’ve just discovered frozen peas and lima beans. I thought lima beans sounded gross, but they’re really fantastic. I make a “starchy veggie salad”, and put 1 cup lima beans and 1 cup sweet peas over 1 mashed avocado. Red beans or Pinto beans also go great with this.

    -I just discovered that if you get really thin pork chops and kind of thick lamb, you can broil them together in the oven for 4 minutes on each side. I’m not sure who’s allergic to what, but if you had both pork and lamb in one night, would everyone be able to eat?

    -You guys could have nut/seed butter “fondu” night. Put giant bowls of sunflower seed butter, almond butter, etc. out and put out things to dip in it, like pre-cut store bought veggies, bananas, rice cakes (for the kids), apples, etc. You could also put out avocado and hummus to dip in.

    -I alternate between melting Ghee (dairy/lactose free clarified butter) on everything and melting unrefined coconut on everything (like veggies, sweet potatoes, etc.) so things tend to taste different.

    I’m going to think of more for you. I just fried my brain so I need to refresh and come back to it . Don’t you wish brains had “reset” buttons?

  4. very soon I am going a week knife-free, in honor of you and all the other shaky people there. also no complicated utensils that involve fine motor control. and i’m going to write about it all the while and share what I come up with to eat. look what you are inspiring me to do Jeanne.

  5. I have fallen in love with quinoa. It’s a high protein seed that can replace rice, gluten free and I’ve never heard of anyone having an allergy to it. You can even get noodles made out of it. I usually just cook it like rice, add a little olive oil, pepper and eat it. It’s simple and tasty. Use it as you would rice.
    Also, in the pre-made salad section of the grocery store, there’s vegge’s already washed and cut up (at least there is in mine). They’ve been a life saver. A little expensive, but great when you just can’t cut stuff up. Hope this helps.


  6. P.S.
    Costco (or Sam’s Club) and Trader Joe’s are golden for pre-cut vegetables. The bagged chop broccoli used to save my life. Trader Joes has cut, washed, fully prepared fruits too that would be good for smoothies.

    Right now, I’ve been relying a lot on Costco’s bagged spinach. I can’t be on my feet long enough to make a salad out of it (neither can you!) so I just steam it/boil it for a few minutes and then stick Ghee in it (or coconut oil, if I’m sick of Ghee).

    The kids might really like beets. They’re really sweet. If you get sick of sweet potatoes, you can eat them in place of them. I was all upset one day because I thought I could try roasting them and I just couldn’t do it, but it turns out I like steamed/boiled better anyway, tossed with coconut oil in the end. If you wash them beforehand, you can throw them whole into boiling water and we’re they’re done, the skins peel right off. I’ve heard that you can bake them in the skin and cut them open like a baked potato too (but don’t eat the skin), but I have yet to try this.

    I hope I’m helping. I know what it’s like to stand in your kitchen and wonder how the heck your food is going to get from the fridge and onto your plate (or better yet, how it’s going to even get from the grocery store to your fridge).

  7. We use lots of rice and beans.. gluten free brown rice is nice πŸ™‚ they have it at costco.. some times i use that Basamiti (did i spell that wrong??) well I cook it in my rice cooker.. and cook up Aduki beans (can you eat ANY beans?? these are great for supporting the adreanals and high in B vitamins.. but i know some people are NOT bean people…) I drain them & rinse (EDEN) and add water to the pot some garlic and cumin and sea salt.. then some meat.. ground beef or what ever. or none.. and some frozen veggies added to the meat.. with some tamaric, garlic, cumin, cardamon sooo great..
    Then we make rice bowls like at Chipolte. πŸ™‚
    Sides are lettuce (if I have it)
    sour cream (for anyone who can have it, or yogurt)
    cheese or daiya (for those in family who can) and only IF we have it
    guacamole IF we have it
    tomato chopped (for those who can)
    chopped chive or green onion (for those who can)
    salsa (me only I like that!)
    and then I hand them their bowls..
    and each person gets at LEAST
    lettuce πŸ™‚
    then they tell me what they want on top πŸ™‚
    they LOVE this meal .. silly and simple..
    and if you don’t want to use a knife..
    don’t offer the extras like chives/tomato πŸ™‚ those are the ONLY things I chop πŸ™‚ I tear the lettuce … and I like cooking my meat ahead and freezing it cooked for my really sick days, so I only have to warm it up and season πŸ™‚

    sorry the parade was rough… with four kids, 3 who have lyme, and both hubby and I have it too.. frankly we HAVE to bring our stoller.. our baby IS the only healthy one.. but we couldn’t make it through a parade holding him the whole time.. I would collapse! πŸ™‚ ha! and I probably don’t look sick to you either πŸ™‚ ((hugs)) lots of grace for some of us mommies…
    I do my best not to get toes πŸ™‚
    never wear perfume
    and don’t smoke ! πŸ™‚
    have a happy day!

    • I hear you, anika, about the stroller. . but this has NO sidewalk space at all. Perhaps I should have said, “take an easier route”. Man, was a exhausted and crabby.

      Forgive me for my judgment.

  8. ((( hugs))) none noticed!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

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