Crip Up the Kitchen: Tools, Tips, and Recipes for the Disabled Cook

Crip Up the Kitchen: Tools, Tips, and Recipes for the Disabled Cook

by Jules Sherred
Crip Up the Kitchen: Tools, Tips, and Recipes for the Disabled Cook

Crip Up the Kitchen: Tools, Tips, and Recipes for the Disabled Cook

by Jules Sherred


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"I've never felt so understood and supported as I did reading Crip Up the Kitchen. Sherred is the kitchen whisperer for chronic pain folks like me who have avoided that room in the house for most of my life." —J. Albert Mann, author of The Degenerates and Fix

A comprehensive guide and recipe collection that brings the economy and satisfaction of home cooking to disabled and neurodivergent cooks.

cripping / crip up: A term used by disabled disability rights advocates and academia to signal taking back power, to lessen stigma, and to disrupt ableism as to ensure disabled voices are included in all aspects of life.

When Jules Sherred discovered the Instant Pot multicooker, he was thrilled. And incensed. How had no one told him what a gamechanger this could be, for any home cook but in particular for those with disabilities and chronic illness? And so the experimenting—and the evangelizing—began.

The kitchen is the most ableist room in the house. With 50 recipes that make use of three key tools—the electric pressure cooker, air fryer, and bread machine—Jules has set out to make the kitchen accessible and enjoyable. The book includes pantry prep, meal planning, shopping guides, kitchen organization plans, and tips for cooking safely when disabled, all taking into account varying physical abilities and energy levels.

Organized from least to greatest effort (or from 1 to “all your spoons,” for spoonies), beginning with spice blends and bases, Jules presents thorough, tested, inclusive recipes for making favourites like butter chicken, Jules’s Effin’ Good Chili, Thai winter squash soup, roast dinners, matzo balls, pho, samosas, borshch, shortbread, lemon pound cake, and many more.

Jules also provides a step-by-step guide to safe canning and a template for prepping your freezer and pantry for post-surgery. With rich accompanying photography and food histories, complete nutritional information and methods developed specifically for the disabled and neurodivergent cook, Crip Up the Kitchen is at once inviting, comprehensive, and accessible. If you’ve craved the economy and satisfaction of cooking at home but been turned off by the ableist approach of most cookbooks—this one’s for you!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771513968
Publisher: Heritage Group Distribution
Publication date: 05/16/2023
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Based in Duncan, BC, Jules Sherred works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, writer, journalist, and outspoken advocate for disability and trans rights. His website Disabled Kitchen and Garden and his cookbook Crip Up the Kitchen were born out of the need to include disabled people in the conversation around food. Visit Jules at

Read an Excerpt


Many disabilities share symptoms. If you have mobility issues and/or a pain disorder, if you have an autoimmune disorder, or if you have ADHD or are autistic, these shared symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired executive function, a.k.a. brain fog
  • Insomnia
  • Wildly fluctuating “spoon levels” that make planning ahead difficult
  • Chronic illness

And of course, all these things can affect our mood, especially motivation.

You might be unfamiliar with the spoon theory and talking about energy in terms of “spoons.” Spoons are used as a metaphor to help visualize how much stored energy you have. It’s important to know this because if you use all your “spoons” in one day, the consequence could be days in bed. Most people have entire cups of energy that they can spend during a day. They need to do very little to replenish those cups. Those of us with disabilities that result in chronic fatigue have a few spoonfuls of energy on any given day, if we are lucky. And it requires much more self-care to replenish that energy.

This cookbook is designed to first help you get your kitchen in order. It’s also designed to make sure you don’t lose focus or get overwhelmed when organizing, planning, prepping, cooking, and storing meals. But most importantly, it isn’t prescriptive and allows for a lot of room to change things for your specific needs.

Taking steps to prevent fatigue and store up “spoons” instead of always overspending is important, even before you start organizing, planning, prepping, cooking, and storing. We don’t talk enough about respecting our body cues and how we can be productive without ableism getting in the way. This is thanks to the internalized ableism that can sound like “Stop being lazy. Just push through it. You aren’t trying hard enough!”

I have developed a way to plan my day that is based in mindfulness, as well as respecting and appreciating my disabilities instead of looking at them as something to overcome. I don’t do anything in this cookbook until I have assessed what my body is telling me. I do this at least twice a day.

When it’s the beginning of my working hours, I check in with my body and assess how many “spoons” I have on a scale of 1 to 10. Then I look at the spreadsheet I created that lists tasks I can do based on that number. During lunch, I reassess to see if my “spoons” are higher or lower than the initial number and adjust my daily tasks accordingly. Some days, tasks need to be removed. Other days, tasks get added. By the end of the day, I feel good about the things I’ve accomplished, I feel great mentally, and my pain levels are still manageable instead of screaming at me.

Here is the table with my tasks. I started it at 10 “spoons” for some good cognitive behavioural positive reinforcement. Of course, your tasks will look different because our lives are different. Use my table as a jumping-off point to give you an outline of what your spreadsheet will look like. It’s important to note that it will take some time to get it just right for your situation. I had to adjust mine a few times as I overestimated or underestimated how many “spoons” would be spent on some tasks. This is okay! The whole point is to create something that ends up working for your needs, that respects and appreciates your unique brand of disability.

Table of Contents

Foreword by John Kovalic

Introduction: Why the Instant Pot and These Recipes?

Common Symptoms of Different Disabilities and How This Book Will Help

Must-Have Items to Crip Up Your Kitchen

If You Could Have It All—or at Least Most of It

Organizing the Most Unfriendly Room in the Home—Your Kitchen

Organizing the Pantry and Making Grocery Lists a Snap

How to Meal Plan

How to Meal Prep

How to Cook Safely When Disabled

Using Your Electric Pressure Cooker to Quash Anxiety

Staple Pantry Items

How to Convert Stovetop Recipes for the Electric Pressure Cooker

Food Storage for Less Waste

Canning or Freezing—Which Is More Disability Friendly?

The Recipes
  • How to Use This Cookbook
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Basics
  • Pot-in-Pot Cooking
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Cook Times Chart
  • About the Air Fryer Recipes
  • Allergies, Food Intolerances, and Substitutions
  • Reducing Spice: Flatbread Is Your Friend
Spice Blends and Bases
  • Ginger-Garlic Masala
  • Green Chili Masala
  • Thana Jeeroo
  • Garam Masala
  • Garlic- and Onion-Infused Oil
  • Herb Butter
  • Chocolate Mint French Buttercream Icing
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Hummus
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Paneer
  • Air Fryer Matzo Meal
Little Effort—Low Prep Times
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Tomato Coconut Soup
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Asian Fusion Japanese and Thai Peanut Chicken
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Daal Makhani
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Tahdig
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Thai Green Curry with Chicken
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Meat
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Aloo Muttar Gobi Chana
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Effin’ Good Chili
  • Air Fryer Salmon and Pear Salad
  • Air Fryer Chicken Pakora
  • Air Fryer Masala Shortbread
  • Air Fryer Chocolate Cake
  • Air Fryer and Electric Pressure Cooker Thai Winter Squash Soup
  • Bread Machine and Air Fryer Paczki
  • Bread Machine Instant Potato Bread
  • Bread Machine Cornbread
  • Bread Machine Orange Cinnamon Loaf
  • Bread Machine Lemon Pound Cake
  • Bread Machine Roti
Some Effort—Medium Prep Times
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Refried Beans
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Thai Red Curry with Chicken
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Middle Eastern–Inspired Rice Bowl
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Mexican Ground Beef Casserole
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Hamburger Stew
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Chicken Korma
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Matzo Balls
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Daal Stew
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Thai Chicken Panang Curry
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Thai Chicken Massaman Curry
  • The Best Roast Chicken You Will Ever Have 3 Ways: Oven, Pressure Cooker or Air Fryer
  • Air Fryer Potato Scones with Bonus Oven Method
  • Air Fryer Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Hash with Poached Egg
All Your “Spoons”
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Chicken Dum Biryani
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Doukhobor Borshch
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Matzo Ball Soup
  • Electric Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer Vegetarian Samosas

Canning Steps

How to Meal Plan and Prep for Surgery Recovery


Grocery List

Meal Planner with Examples

Meal Planner

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