Episode 2 – The Challenges of Cooking


One of the opportunities I have daily in my new normal as a widower is cooking most meals.

Going out to eat every meal is not a realistic option for me. Dining out is cost prohibitive for doing it every day.

Special Diet-requirements

About the time my late wife was going on hospice care I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). She passed away before having to do figure out my new dietary requirements.

Part of the treatment for IBD was going on a low FODMAP diet. Included in the FODMAP diet is avoiding wheat. Avoiding wheat is common in gluten-free diets. The FODMAP diet and the gluten-free diet are not the same.

See your physician and only go on any diet under a physicians care. I am not giving any medical advice. I am only sharing my story.

My cooking skills are basic. Special diet requirements like being on a FODMAP diet add to the challenge of a widower like me. Anything more than heating or warming something that has been precooked is a real challenge for me.

Beef Tips, Brown Gravy, and Rice

Today I cooked beef tips, brown gravy, and rice. It is a gluten-free meal that also meets my low FODMAP diet requirements. Thank you irritable bowel disease for allowing me to explore different options in eating at age 65. It causes me to not become the stereotypical widower who eats mainly TV dinners or fast food.

I purchased rice from my local Walmart. It was a box that contained 4 bags of rice. 

Here’s how I prepared the rice, brown gravy, and beef tips.

  • I fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  • I drop the one bag of rice into the boiling water and let it cook for ten minutes.
  • I sat a timer to let me know when ten minutes was up.

I also bought a packet of gluten-free gravy. To prepare it seemed simple enough.

  • I needed a second pan.
  • I put one cup of water in the pan and then stirred in the gravy mix bring in to a boil.
  • I then allowed it to simmer on low for 3 minutes stirring it as it simmered.

I also bought a can of beef of beef in beef broth. I bought this instead one of those heat and serve beef tips because the canned meat does not have high fructose corn syrup like the prepacked beef tips. I also did not buy uncooked beef stew meat as the canned had a much longer expiration date.

  • I poured the can of beef into the gluten-free brown gravy and let cook until warm.
  • By the time I was finished heating the canned beef, the timer went off for the rice.
  • I removed it from the heat, poured the water out of the pan, opening the packet of now cooked rice and put in in the pan.
  • I then poured the brown gravy and beef over the rice. It was yummy.

I’m no chef or cook. I will caution you to be careful around the stove. The hot water can scald you if not careful. The steam can burn you. The packet of rice is hot when removed from the pot of water.

There is an added plus. The cooking and cleaning help pass the hours in the day. The cooking and clean-up help with the loneliness I experience from missing my wife.

Photo Source: Pixabay

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