Trying to Make Chop--Serious Technical Difficulties

Puck

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Mar 8, 2015
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Let me start out by saying that I do not cook. Ever. I heat up Hot Pockets, order pizza, and go to McDonald's. That is my life. I didn't need to get rid of my non-stick cookwear 'cause all I have is one iron skillet and a pot--neither of which I ever use. But, being the good parront I am, of course I want my fids to eat better than me. So I decide to make chop.

I ordered a food processor and salad spinner on Amazon (after looking up what the heck a salad spinner even is) and headed out to Whole Foods where I spent a hundred bucks on veggies and rice and grains, 50% of which I have never even tasted. Lentils? Seriously? I still don't know what that junk is, but I bought them 'cause it was on the chop recipe list I had.

So I get home with my unfamiliar foods, take out the food processor and WHAM. Technical Difficulty. I start out trying to slice the carrots with the regular blade and it turns them to mush. I then try the "shredded" blade and they come out the way carrots look like when you get them in bagged salad (the only kind I eat): Long and thin like orange nose hairs. Then I try the "sliced" blade and the slices are bigger than my thumb. So I do my best to dig them out and put them through "slice" again. They are slightly smaller this time, but it is obvious they will need to go through again. By now most of the carrot is on me or my counter. My sink is dyed orange, and I rubbing my forehead in distress.

So tell me, is there a more efficient way to do this than to run the veggies through on "slice," use your hands to peel out as much as you can, run them through again, then run them through AGAIN? Because I bought a LOT of veggies. Am I doing this right? Any suggestions about how to make it a smoother process? Because right now I am seriously considering finding someone who cooks and bribing them to do this for me. Anyone in Dallas want to slave in the kitchen for fifty bucks? That food processor is TERRIFYING, the salad spinner is WEIRD, and I haven't spent this much time in the kitchen since we remodeled it. Cooking things terrifies me, and I could burn water.

Help!
 

Pinkbirdy

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You should be able to adjust the "slice" size on the processor . I love mine will not go without one. Keep trying ,you will find your way :)
 

Minimaker

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I did the same thing Puck, bought the basic model of food processor (mistake). Then I went and bought a cheap plastic dishwasher safe cutting board and used a good knife and my two hands and hacked the stuff up. Except this week, my daughter just had surgery to get her tonsils out. I bought cut up bagged stuff to add to the fruit I cut up by hand. I did wash it in a strainer though. It was quicker and easier for this one week-because my teenage daughter is darling but the worst patient in history. Holy cow the drama ;) She does not handle pain well at all. A simple shot at the doc's office ends in tears and hyperventilating/passing out. So surgery? Ooooh boy. You can imagine.
 

SilverSage

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Lol this is why I sell chop to people in my area, but sadly I'm a bit far from you to help out! I usually chop by hand and use a mixture of tiny particles from a juicer or a bit larger from the food processor, but yeah the settings should be semi adjustable. Also, don't be afraid to make the pieces "too small" I find that about the size of a pea is perfect for most species, and smaller works well as well. Not required of course. Good job, keep trying!
 
OP
Puck

Puck

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I got [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-FP1600B-8-Cup-Processor/dp/B0038KPRG6/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1427680035&sr=1-1&keywords=food+processor"]this food processor [/ame]and it doesn't have settings besides on and off. You change the blade to get different cuts. Can someone recommend a food processor that would get the job done better? I'm going to attempt to clean this sucker well enough to send it back, LOL, as there doesn't seem to be a setting between "big as my bird's head" and "mush".
 

Kiwibird

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Jul 12, 2012
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I use my processor daily. Theres something of an "art" to getting the right consistency. I looked at the pic of yours, and it should work fine for chop:). Turning it "on" will just puree the veggies, as you found out (kind of the same idea as a blender). You have to "pulse" the veggies (on that processor, the "pulse" feature is on the "off button", so press the "off" button and it will pulse). Basically, pulse is just a short spin of the blade. 2 or 3 "pulses" will chop most veg into tiny pieces. You do want to pre-chop them some, don't throw too big of chunks in it or it will puree portions and leave some in, well, big chunks. Start with smaller batches (say, 2 carrots) and once they're in little bits, scrape them into a bowl and proceed with your next "batch". The more of a feel you get for how it works, you'll be able to do bigger batches. It takes some getting use to and practice to perfect the process. Salad spinners are kinda neat, but wholly unnecessary. Just chop your lettuce or leafy greens, rinse it in a strainer and set the strainer over a bowl for about 15 minutes. Does the same thing (the salad spinner is much faster. I like mine, it's kinda fun to use lol)

Also, as a note, lentils are one of my favorite grains. They are easy to sprout, cook and are EXTREMELY versatile. One of the first things I ever learned to make was lentil breakfast patties. They have a very nice flavor and texture. In addition to being bird food, they are a great base for patties and grain loafs. Add a cube of bullion (for you, not the birdies;)) and it adds even more flavor. I prefer the red ones personally. Go ahead and try them, I promise, they are in fact food and taste really good:) To cook them, RINSE FIRST to get rid of excess starch, for every cup of lentils, you'll need 1.5 cups water (and salt or bullion if it's for you, cook plain for the birdies). Bring to a rolling boil, then turn down to a simmer for about 30-35 minutes. Drain any excess water. Your bird will love them too!
 
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Puck

Puck

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Thank you for the awesome tips! I will try again tomorrow--and I may have to give making lentils a try, too. If I am brave enough, lol. (Can you tell that home ec was not my best subject?)
 

torrap

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Wow, your birds might help you to eat right. That is just great. You might as well just share with them all these wonderful things you bought.
Pulsing is a trick, kiwibird is right. Also I found that separating vegies with the same hardness is helping too. I wouldn't put carrots and lettuce together. Lettuce becomes almost watery mush while carrots are still big chunks if you chop them together. I have learned to do lettuce by hands.
 

Minimaker

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I have a similar model of processor by black and decker and pulse equates to mush just like puck said. So super fine that it is runny mush. A quick tap does it, so does a longer course. It makes no difference. It's the wrong processor-too basic to be effective.

When I bought it I thought, I will never use this for anything other than my birds so why pay more? If I add things to meals I chop it myself. Now I know better. What kind of processor did you guys buy? I'll end up getting a good one at some point so it would be nice to know what does work well.
 
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Kyoto

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I just got a little manual chopper to try out. Was $20 and stainless steel, dishwasher safe. Haven't used it yet but will probably make a chop tonight.
 

4dugnlee

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I just got a really cheap chopper at the dollar store as I, too, will only be using it for my birds chop. It does take time to figure out the best way to do different veggies/fruit. I do cut up that harder veggies in smaller pieces before I put them in the chopper and I use pulse, as Kiwibird said, for everything, which on my chopper just means tapping the on button but not holding it. However, I cook at work (nursing home) so I use a robocoupe everyday and had plenty of practice for this little mini chopper. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known what to do to get the right consistency either.

BTW, your post made me laugh...thanks for that!:D
 

Ann333

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Lol Puck you sound like me. I want Pumpkin to have a better diet than mine, because i eat like you do. I got pre chopped frozen veggies in a bag for convenience and a dehydrated cooked bird food that only requres boiled water for 30 minutes (has rice and beans and lentils and corn and peppers and stuff all mixed together. I boil the cooked food and mix it with the frozen veggies in a big bowl. Then mix in some organic vegetable/fruit baby food to hold everything together when i stick it into ice trays to freeze into small portions.
 
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Puck

Puck

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I actually succeeded in making my chop!!! But only because my wonderful parents who couldn't care less about birds gave up their Friday to drive over to my house and help me chop! (It's good being the only child!)
 

Kiwibird

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I actually succeeded in making my chop!!! But only because my wonderful parents who couldn't care less about birds gave up their Friday to drive over to my house and help me chop! (It's good being the only child!)

Did you do it all by hand or did they help you with the processor?

I couldn't imagine my parents coming over to help make Kiwi chop (and they have parrots!). Their birds would probably try to eat a rock if it showed up in their dish, they'll eat anything and everything in their dishes so they just get big chunks of fruit and veg. They think I "spoil" Kiwi with his special food:p
 

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