We are beginning to see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! The flooring & cabinetry are in place, we have a few dangling but live lights above and our stove & refrigerator are installed & functional. Hallelujah to no more dorm fridge!
I was able to use the stove the first time & prepare a little something for our Thanksgiving spread at my sister in laws house, and it’s so wonderful to have room to store fresh lettuce & more produce again. I have been slowly packing away the smaller appliances that we have been using to cook with over the past four months in our dining room & I decided that a little recap of our favorite five no-kitchen meals was in order.
I really struggled some nights throughout this process, and we relied on Schwaan’s home delivery foods more than I had planned, but we did find a hand full of meals that were pretty easy to make using just our electric skillet, toaster oven & microwave. Each week I tried to plan ahead for the number of meals I thought we would be eating as a family, the majority of us anyway. I was sometimes able to stop at my parents house right after groceries to prep & package a few meals for later in the week. Using their kitchen was essential, or we would have had no place to sterilize Christa’s nebulizer equipment. But back to food–
In case your planning a kitchen project of your own, and are beginning to ponder the question “What will we eat?” Hopefully this will help!
These were a favorite long before the remodeling, but I found they were easy to pack with a variety of ingredients to suit everyone & so easy to grill up in the electric skillet. In the case that you don’t have an electric skillet- you should try one! We used ours mainly before for camping, but it was perfect for so many things indoors as well, and only one non-stick pan to wash when done. If you’re looking for a good one, this is the hamilton beach brand I use & have had great luck. I’d guess ours is easily 10 years old & still going strong… Our favorite recipe for quesadilla filling was:
2 cup cooked & cubed chicken breast
1 can cream of onion soup
4 T Salsa
1 cup frozen or canned corn
Sour cream on the side for serving & more salsa if you like
mix ingredients & spread inside soft flour tortillas. Grill in your skillet sprayed with oil or butter spray until crisp & flip to brown other side also. These were so easy to enjoy hot off the griddle & not a complicated option for paper plates too!
#2 Scrambled Eggs & Sausage
Even though you all make scrambled eggs your own way, I’m going to add this recipe, because I’ll often use more of the cream of onion soup to give them an extra creamy & savory flavor.
1 dozen eggs (I would crack them into a gallon ziplock to mix & avoid a dish to wash- really!)
1/2 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
salt & pepper to taste
mix carefully inside the bag with a fork, or seal & shake & knead it to combine everything thoroughly
Turn up the skillet to high & grill those sausage links first. Set them off to the side on a paper towel & fry your eggs next- the skillet will not need any extra oil & you’ll get great flavor left from the sausage…
I like to start with a nice hot skillet for the eggs also, then as I’m turning them I begin to reduce the heat a bit & let them finish on medium heat.
#3 Grilled Peanut Butter Sandwiches & Fruit
Now keep in mind I’m feeding 4 kids, and a husband who’s really not-so finicky about eating kids food. This one covers the basic of having a hot meal, but was utra easy & I always had peanut butter & bread on hand. We usually had bananas & apples to go along with this one.
Just like a grilled cheese but substitute your favorite peanut butter between the slices. Toast them up nice & buttery brown with a slab of real butter in the skillet first.
#4 Mini Pizzas
These were again always a hit because everyone gets what they want. They guys like me to layer on the pepperoni & my girls are pretty happy to just keep it cheesy. The most common form & easiest to find is probably using english muffins for the base. Sometimes our bakery has some fun flat breads we’ve had good luck with too. Just slather on a helping of pre-made pizza sauce & top with whatever your heart desires. The toaster oven was essential for these. I found so many times that all we really needed for a meal was this little appliance. I cooked 8×8 foil pans of freezer meals in it, toasted garlic bread, reheated leftovers I didn’t want to get chewy in the microwave..you name it!
#5 Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
This one wasn’t originally on my list of things I’d planned to try without a kitchen for sure, but I discovered one day that you can by rice- precooked & seasoned already to use. Maybe it’s been around for awhile & I’m a little behind, but it was a game changer for this recipe.
1 pkg Uncle Ben’s Precooked rice- chicken flavor
1 pkg Carvingboard chicken- cut small. It’s precooked & cut into fajita sized strips already, so it was very easy to cut down a little more to bite sized pieces. I love my kitchen shears for things like this
1 can cream of onion soup
1 pkg cream cheese- cut into cubes or 1″chunks as you add it
1 can mixed veggies, drained
Dump all ingredients into an 8×8 foil pan. Stir as well as able & cover with foil. Bake in 10-15 minute increments in the toaster oven, stirring between each. Heat until hot & bubbly throughout.