Author Options:

Recommend some things to make with my limited kitchen? Answered

We are remodeling our kitchen/living room and are without a place to properly cook food. We have been eating out a bit, but its been annoying to rely on restaurant hours and their food to survive.

This is what I have and how I am limited.

- various cooking utensils (spatulas, knives, bowls, you name it...)
- microwave (pretty weak)
- rice cooker (small)
- Toaster
- toaster oven
- electric frying pan (9" and sort of difficult to get out and use due to how messy it can get)

I am limited since we are using part of our garage as the "kitchen" area. But the power is limited here in that only one appliance can be plugged in at once. We tried two and the circuit breaker flipped. So we can only use one at a time. So if I want to melt butter for toast I have to melt it in the microwave, then unplug the microwave and plug in the toaster, annoying but its all we have for the next month(s). Also the space is very small, we have a counter that fits a medium cutting board, so imagine a cutting board and maybe an extra square foot as workable space.

Can anyone recommend some food items we can make with these limitations. There are so many things posted, I found a few interesting ones like rice cooker pizza among others.


A Slow cooker is very handy also. You can prepare a whole meal without taking up a lot of space. Really good for stews and soups... There are lots of good indian recipes that you could do also and combine with your rice cooker... hopefully you wouldn't blow a breaker.

When you are making your rice, you can place a protein (sausage, especially) & veges on top, and they will steam AND flavor the rice in the process. I wouldn't put chicken or, say porkchops on top, unless you don't mind unbrowned meat. I have a girlfriend who always puts Chinese sausage on her rice, & it's yummy. I think Polish sausage would be especially nice, plus, say, broccoli.
I second the idea of a slow cooker--it's a very flexible tool. When you get it, look for a slow-cooker cookbook as well. You'll be blown away by how versatile it is--you can even bake in it!
Once a week, I make my hub a slowcooker pot of special whole-grain porridge. You start with 1/2 cup each of whole wheat berries, whole oat groats, pearl barley, & either farro or spelt. This goes in the cooker with a half-gallon jug of apple juice or cider, 2 sticks of cinnamon, and a few allspice berries. Cook on low overnight, and serve with milk. It's really filling & nutritious & yummy. He loves it! We keep it in a tub in the fridge & scoop out a cup for each breakfast, zap it in the microwave, & Bob's your uncle!

Sorry but I don't understand why your not using a multi tap extension cord. Then you can have as much as you want plugged in you just can't run them at the same time.

With a rice cooker you can make your plain rice then in the frypan cook other parts for a special fried rice. eg. bacon (sausage or other sliced meat from the "Deli"), frozen vegetables, scrambled eggs. This is a very satisfying meal. good luck.


7 years ago

If you have the ability to purchase or borrow one, a slow cooker would drastically expand your cooking options. It will use small amounts of power over the course of a day to cook your meals. An example menu for the day with the slow cooker might be:

Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal
Lunch: Sandwich or Salad
Dinner: Beef Stroganoff

You would start your oatmeal the night before using this recipe:

Alton Brown's Overnight Oatmeal
Even avowed oatmeal haters love this recipe. You can swap out the dried fruit listed for anything that you like. Pop it all in the slow cooker at night, and the next morning you have a beautiful, self-contained breakfast (sweetner and cream already in the mix).

Something non-heated for lunch like a sandwich or salad will allow you to pop the dinner ingredients into the slow cooker as soon as you eat your breakfast oatmeal.

Everyday Food's Beef Stroganoff:
This is a great one to make when friends are over. Literally just throw the starting ingredients in the pot in the morning, then add the final touches just before serving. It makes a lot and is phenomenal over egg noodles. (And because you're cooking it forever and it breaks apart, this is a good way to stretch a small, inexpensive piece of beef).

The upside of both of these slow-cooker meals is that you'll most likely end up with leftovers. If you have a fridge (you didn't say), there are two meals of leftovers from this day's menu with 2-3 diners.

I have cooked all sorts of things in my rice cooker, provided they are liquid based.

But WARNING WARNING, almost everyone I tell this to tells me that it is BAD for my rice cooker. I don't care so much because it cost $25 and it has held up quite well so far.

Some things include pasta, pasta sauce, pseudo-rice pilafs, stews, hard boiled eggs (perfect for this application), braised chicken thighs... I just have to keep pushing the "on" button and then I just treat it like a slow cooker....heh.

Some neat ideas: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/01/dining/01rice.html?_r=1

A few years ago I had the stove go out and had to microwave meals so I can relate. First off you should fix things you normally cook, but do it in bulk. Freeze or refigerate parts of meals you've prepped before. That way your not unpluging and pluging so much when its meal time. Don't over look the obvious, fire. Get out the ol' grill and BBQ some stuff. Great recipes all over the net on just about anything you want to cook, can be made on a grill. If done right you can prep a full meal on just one fire up of the grill.

I knew someone who lived on rice+peas+stock-cubes for a while, then rice+stock-cubes, then just rice... I think you could go a while with rice, but add some other things from the oven/grill/pan. Yes you'll get a bit tired of rice but it's a staple-food for billions of people, it'll be an experience...