Cooking Without a Kitchen

by Maria on November 10, 2010


The first week without a kitchen was exciting. We were finally renovating our kitchen, a plan we had talked about since moving in almost five years ago. And for the first several days I welcomed the break from cooking. 

I had big plans for how I was going to keep "cooking" without a functioning kitchen during the 8 weeks of the project. Mostly I would use our new gas grill. But then there were also all those too-seldom-used appliances stored away in our basement: the indoor grill, the crock pot, the panini press, the rotisserie chicken maker. But I soon realized that even though I could very well cook full meals this way, without a kitchen sink meal prep and clean up would be challenging. I could hardly clean the roitsserie chicken maker in the bathtub and it was too cold this time of year to use the water hose outside.

So what have I been doing for dinner over these past 5 weeks? Well, in addition to taking the kids on many long weekend trips to see their grandparents, I have been relying on a combination of convenience and creativity. 

When it comes to convenience, nothing beats the microwave. So I visited our local Whole Foods market and picked out an assortment of healthy, all-natural frozen dinners. While it's not quite like eating a home cooked meal, frozen meals have come a long way. My favorite brands are Amy's, Kashi, Kettle Cuisine, Organic Bistro and Moosewood. Trader Joe's also has a great selection, but I just don't get there often enough.

I also loaded up on frozen vegetables, which are also easy enough to cook in the microwave and can give any frozen dinner or take out meal a healthy boost. (I bought frozen fruit too, thinking they would be great for making some healthy smoothies, but getting that blender clean afterwards proved not to be so easy.) 

We have also done some take out meals, and of course, before we started the project I had loaded my freezer with homemade frozen meatballs, soup, and lasagne. I also have friends who have opened up their kitchens to me, an offer I need to take them up on more often! 

So here we are in week 6 of the renovations, and while the initial excitement of surviving with a make-shift kitchen in the living room has worn off, we are making do. But needless to say, my hunger to get back into the kitchen is growing. So look for a burst of new CooksAid recipe photos next month, when, if all goes as planned, my new kitchen will be ready and I will once again be testing CooksAid recipes.


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