Tips For Cooking with a Visual Impairment
Below are some kitchen tips provided by visually impaired people.
Keep things secure.
When putting a glass down, use one hand to feel the surface and the other to hold the glass until you are sure it’s in the right place. Then when picking it up, slide your hand along the surface until you find the glass – don’t reach for the top.
Use rubber matting to stop things sliding off trays.
Reduce the amount of preparation and measuring you have to do by buying ready-chopped fruit, vegetables, cheese and meat, and sugar lumps rather than loose sugar.
Use an indicator on the rim of your cup that beeps when the water gets near the top.
Wear oven gloves that cover more of your arms to help prevent burns, and use a saucepan instead of a frying pan to stop hot liquids splashing or spitting at you.
If you need to replace your kettle, a One Cup water boiler is very good. It heats enough water for one cup at a time so is more economical and quicker too.
Think big, bright and bold
If you have some vision think bright – whether that’s cutlery, peelers, chopping boards, coasters, mugs or bowls. And remember: black plates show up food better.
Put a contrasting-colour plate under your bowl to catch any spills.
Use sticky labels in bright colours to label anything (and everything!) around the house. Write the first letter on the label in thick black pen – P for parsley, S for salt and so on.
Use your other senses
Put bumpons on the cooker, washing machine, microwave and dishwasher. They’re handy for marking the oven temperatures you use most often, and the on/off dial.
Look into talking tins, egg timers, measuring jugs, scales and even microwaves.
Feel your plates and cutlery when putting them away to make sure they are clean.
Simple Spring Rolls
Blue Dragon or Taj spring roll wrappers, Filo pastry may be used if these cannot be sourced.
Place pastry in a diamond shape on baking paper and spray with oil of choice
Place the filling about an inch from the bottom and start to roll bringing the edges in (it will look like and envelope at this point)
Keep rolling until about an inch from the end, spray some oil to seal the end
Place on a baking tray spray with oil, preheat oven to 180c fan 200c
Gas mark 6 for about 10 mins turn over and bake for a further 5 mins
Serve with a dip of your choice
Easy Stir Fry
Heat oil in a wok stir in vegetables of your choice such as beansprouts, spring onion, julienned carrots, mushrooms, baby corn, broccoli, noodles for 5 – 10 mins., add diced cooked chicken/quorn heat thru,
Stir a ready made sauce of your choice simmer for a few minutes then serve
1 large onion roughly chopped
1 stick of celery roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 tsp thyme
Half a tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
3 and half tbsp. tomato puree
227g can chopped tomatoes
1.2 litres boiling veg stock
2 large carrots peeled and chopped
Half a 400g cannellini beans drained and rinsed
120g dried conchigliette or other small pasta shapes
80gms kale, large stalks removed and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the onion, celery, garlic, hers, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, stock and half of the carrots in a large saucepan and bring to the boil cover and simmer for 20 mins. Discard the bay leaves and whizz until smooth using a stick blender.
Add the beans, pasta and remaining carrots and simmer for 5 mins stirring occasionally. Add the kale and cook for a further 10 mins or until pasta is cooked but still has a little bite.
Season to taste and serve
Leek and potato soup
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion
2 large leeks
2 large potatoes
Chicken stoke cube
Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop the onion sweat it of in the oil
Wash then roughly chop leeks add to the onions simmer for 5 mins
Cover with hot water and bring to the boil
Peel and cube the potatoes add to the pot add more water to cover and bring to the boil them simmer
Add chicken stock cube cook until potatoes are soft
Season to taste and serve
12oz plain wholemeal flour
4oz of plain flour
Level tsp bicarbonate of soda
Level tsp salt
300 mls buttermilk
Mix dry in ingredient together
Add buttermilk and mix with hands until a dough is formed
Form into a round about 3 inches in depth
Preheat oven to 180c fan oven 200c gas mark 6
Bake for 45 mins
Check bread is baked by tapping the bottom if it sound hollow the bread is ready if not return to the oven for a further 5mins
Place on a wire rack and cover with damp kitchen roll and allow to cool
Carrot and Walnut cake
225gms unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 heaped tsp coffee granules dissolved in 50ml water
225gms Self raising flour
75g walnuts chopped
Filling and topping
125gms unsalted butter
225gms icing sugar
3tsp coffee granules dissolved in 1sp of water
Walnuts to decorate top
- Preheat the oven to 180c/gas4. Place the butter into a large mixing bowl and beat until light and smooth. Add the sugar and cream together until light and fluffy
- One at a time add each egg making sure to beat to completely incorporate each egg before adding the next egg. If the mixture looks like it’s about to curdle add 1 spoonful of flour. Then add the dissolved coffee to the mixture and mix well.
- Add the flour and chopped walnuts and gently fold in until fully combined.
- Divide the mixture into 2 20cm/8 inch cake tins which should be greased/lined with parchment paper. Transfer to the oven to bake for 25-30mins. Or, until skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Remove the cakes form the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Whilst the cakes are cooling make the butter icing. Firstly beat the butter in a small bowl until pale an smooth, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Next and the coffee and mix well.
- Split the butter icing mix in half and spread one half on the flat side of one sponge then place the second sponge on.
125gms soft brown sugar
125ml sunflower oil
2 large free range eggs
225gm plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ a tsp ground ginger
½ a tsp baking soda
½ a tsp baking powder
200gms cream cheese
- Preheat oven to 200c/gas 6 Line your cupcake trays with paper cases
- Beat the sugar oil and eggs together. Fold in the flour, spices, and baking soda and powder. Grate in orange zest add a pinch of sea salt.
- Add grated carrots and chopped walnuts then fold into batter
- Divide the mixture between 12 to 16 cupcakes cases then bake for 20 mins. Or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes on a wire cooling tray.
250gms plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2tbsp caster sugar
- Sift baking powder flour and salt into a bowl
- Rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Combine egg and milk (any flavouring may be added at this point). Add to crumble mixture with enough liquid to form a stiff dough
- Roll out dough to 1cm thickness
- Cut into rounds and arrange 6 scones at a time on a plate lines with double thickness absorbent paper.
- Microwave for 2-3 minutes or until no longer doughy
- Leave to stand for 1 min then remove to wire rack, repeat with remaining scones.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Low calorie cooking spray
2 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
30g root ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pinch of chilli powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tikka curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp tomato puree
700g skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
100g fat free natural yoghurt
Salt and pepper
1tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add onion and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, adding a little water if needed.
- Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add all the spices, passata, tomato puree and 500ml of boiling water. Bring to the boil over a high heat then turn the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If the sauce is too thick add boiling water to achieve the desired consistency.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the yoghurt. Season to tastes scatter over the coriander and serve with favourite rice (basmati, palu, plain white…)
1 large onion
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp salt
5tbsp tomato sauce
2 tbsp mango chutney
100g castor sugar
For the topping
100g plain flour
100g porridge oats
100g butter at room temperature
4 tblsp demerara sugar
Custard or cream to serve
Set oven to 190c/gas mark 5
Cut the rhubarb into short lengths and place in a dish. Sprinkle over the sugar.
Tip the topping ingredients into a bowl and use your fingers to work them well together until well mixed.
Scatter the mixture over the rhubarb. Put the dish on a baking sheet (in case and juice leak out) and cook in the centre of the oven for about 45 minutes or until the crumble is lightly golden and the fruit softened. Serve hot with custard or cream.
If rhubarb is out of season tinned may be used instead.
500g lean minced beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcesetershire sauce
1 tsp mixed herbs
350 ml hot beef stock, made with a stock cube
1 tbsp plain flour
900 g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
100ml semi-skimmed milk, warmed
25 g butter
- Fry the meat and vegetables: Heat a large pan add the minced beef and veg and fry, stirring occasionally to break up any lumps, for 5 mins or until lightly browned all over. Meanwhile stir the tomato puree and Worchestershire sauce and mixed herbs into the stock. Sprinkle the flour over the beef and veg.
- Add the stock: stir the flavoured stock into the mince. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins season to taste.
Place into a pie dish and allow to cool before adding the topping.
- Cook the potatoes: while the mince is simmering and cooling, cook the potatoes in boiling water for 10mins or until tender. Drain the potatoes, then mash with the warmed milk and butter.
- Spread mashed potatoes over the mince and bake the cottage pie at 200c(180c fan oven) gas 6 for 20 mins or until topping is golden.
Toffee Apple Muffins
240 ml milk
89gms castor sugar
100gms melted butter
300 gms plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eating apples peeled and finely chopped
200 gms toffee pieces
Preheat oven to 180c gas 5
Place cases in a muffin tin
Mix eggs, sugar milk & melted butter in a jug
Sift flour baking powder salt & cinnamon into a bowl
Stir well to combine
Add chopped apple and lightly mix
1/4 fill each muffin case with mixture & top with few pieces of toffee cover with more filling so cases are about 1/2 full
Bake for 25 mins
Makes 6/8 pancakes
4 tbsp pumpkin purée
2 tbsp oil
250 gms plain flour
4 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
In a jug mix milk, purée, egg & oil
In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda spices & salt
Stir dry ingredients into liquid mixture until combined
Heat a tbsp of oil in a frying pan on medium heat
Pour some mixture in to required size of pancake
When mixture starts to bubble turn