This week I challenged myself to grocery shop and cook a meal solo. It’s something I loved to do before my injury, so why not get serious about it now. In 2014, I shared a post about cooking taco salad. I was an amateur but I did learn a lot from that experience. I scrolled through some ingredients on Pinterest and found a recipe for One-Pan Ground Beef Tacos from Hello Fresh! Whenever I go to a restaurant and order food, I have to filter through meals based on the abilities of my hands. I can’t make a mess in public because that’s just not attractive, but I also want to be as independent as possible! The same goes for grocery shopping and cooking.
This taco recipe sparked my interest because:
- I know I can physically pull the ingredients from the shelf (or so I imagined) at the grocery.
- I can cook ground beef without burning myself (fingers crossed).
- The smaller ingredients were simple and tasty enough to prep.
- I am able to eat tacos without holding them in my hand (i’ll show you the simple trick in my next post).
- I like tacos.
- I really really like tacos.
While shopping, I ran into 4 ingredients that provided a challenge. I am actually very happy there was a little struggle because that kept it interesting. I know at Kroger “click list” is an option, but I wanted to push myself. I love looking at an obstacle and being forced think outside of the box. In this case, I had to figure out how I was going to land ingredients in the basket and not the floor (stupid gravity). It took major core balance, hand manipulation/tenodesis grasp, and determination.
Here are the ingredients I needed to buy:
1 Yellow Onion
6 Tbsp of Sour Cream
2 Tbsp Taco Spice Blend
20 Ounce Ground Beef
4 Ounce Heirloom Grape Tomatoes (I bought Campari Tomatoes, they were easier to grab)
2 Unit Scallions
1 Tsp Southwest Spice Blend
1/4 Cup Tomato Paste
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
4 Ounce Shredded Red Cabbage
1 Tsp Vegetable Oil
First item found were the Tomatoes! These were easy peasy lemon squeezy to pick up.
Red Cabbage- DIFFICULT
This thing was heavy! It was nearly impossible to pick up, so I wrapped my thumb around the leaf and used my Tenodesis grasp to pick it up. Eventually the leaf broke but I still placed it in my basket (insert emoji with sunglasses)!!!!! Wooo!
If you can’t tell, I am very expressive! Haha.
Scallions- VERY easy
Lime- VERY easy. It also fit so cute in my hand! Enjoy the captured moment of the tenodesis effect.
Wrapping my fingers around the lime, holding my wrist in flexion.
Holding my wrist in extension and lifting the lime, flipping my wrist to secure the lime in my hand.
Ground beef – slightly challenging.
For ground beef, there were many options I had to filter. It obviously needs to be easy to grab so I picked a roll of ground beef. The second filter was the percentage of lean beef. This one was 85% lean, therefore minimal grease after cooking- less effort and mess!
Since I used both hands, I had to trigger more core control and balance.
Taco seasoning- slightly challenge.
My wheelchair has an “elevate” function that raises my seat. It raises my seat as high as 8 inches, which is a huge necessity when it comes to shopping, at least for me.
I was pretty impressed I could reach it!
Tomato paste- VERY difficult
Even with the elevation raised to the max, I still wasn’t able to reach the tomato paste I preferred. This was frustrating, as you can tell by my face.
So I chose another brand that I could reach. This was difficult to grab but I managed it!
The bag had a hole so I wiggled my finger into it and lifted it up!
Sour Cream- VERY difficult
This took extreme core control. I had to swing open the door, drive my chair as close as possible, lean in, identify the sour cream container that I could slide closer to my opposite hand, place both hands on the container, lean my elbow against the shelf, push off with my elbow, restore balance, and placed it in my basket.
And there you have it! A basket full of every ingredient needed. Stay tuned later this week to watch how I cook this delicious meal!
This week I challenge you to cook a delicious meal for someone you love!
My next cooking challenge- Pasta