How to cook in a very limited kitchen? Help!

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Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,045

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Posted: 12 Nov 2012, 02:48
I'm about to go to London for a week. I rented a small apartment for my stay, which means that I'll have a tiny little kitchen to work with. I don't know exactly how it's equipped, but from the pictures I can tell that there's a microwave, a tiny little stove, probably an oven, and at least a couple of crappy Teflon-coated pots and pans. My guess is that there will be some craptacular knives but not much else in the way of utensils.

I make most of my food from scratch, and would like to continue doing so. I'm a bit of a cooking snob, though, and I'm used to having high-quality cookware, well-sharpened knives, a seasoned wok, mixing bowls, ramekins, measuring and weighing tools, a blender, and an excellent assortment of cooking utensils.

Staples are a bigger problem, though. I have a drawer full of dried herbs and spices, organic extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, a few different vinegars, miso paste, fresh garlic and ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, rolled oats, and so on and so on.

Getting to a grocery store is easy enough-- it's a five-minute walk at most. The problem is that I'm at a loss for what to make once I get there. If I was going to be there for a month I'd just buy a bunch of stuff, but that doesn't make sense for only a week. How can I make delightfully tasty foods when I don't have the basics available?

Help! I'm afraid I'm going to spend the week alternating between bangers and mash and Indian takeaway.
schmetterlin...

Joined: Apr 12
Posts: 71

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Posted: 12 Nov 2012, 06:41
I think your best approach is just to keep it simple & do away with too much cooking. For me a great lunch on the run is a packet of prawns (with chillie & coriander) & some cherry tomatoes. Eggs are always good. & most shops do the already prepared veg that you can cook in the microwave. Much better than bangars & mash or Indian takeaway. Since its only for a week you might want to give 'Innocence' meals a go. They are vegiterian & super tasty, or a fresh soup that only requires heating. Hope you enjoy London Smile
Tina
riocaz

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 654

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Posted: 12 Nov 2012, 08:24
Which London? Smile

If it's UK & if you are in/near the Borough (Or right up north Barnet/Edgware way) I can lend you a half decent knife & a few spices. Wink

Food-wise: I would personally make a big pot of something that will last a few days in the fridge, that's on your plan and base your meals around that. So if you do give into temptation, you can be sure you have been on-plan the rest of the time.

At the end of the day if you are off plan for a week. It's only a week. You know you can get back to it when you get home.

42" jeans(25/01/2013) 40"(28/02/2013) 38"(20/03/2013) 36"(25/05/2013)
Down from 60" waist jeans since June 21st 2012.

Still keeping to my 26" jeans, but they are too tight for comfort. too many tasty things in the US, and over Xmas.

Onwards and Downwards! Smile
http://www.menu52.com/
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,045

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Posted: 12 Nov 2012, 12:08
London UK, of course, staying near Queen's Park.

I think you guys are right that a big batch of something (soup, stew, casserole) is the best bet. I can assess what's available when I get to the place then shop accordingly.

I already have a trip to Neal's Yard planned for Monday, so I'll also have cheeses to snack on. Add a dozen eggs and I'll be all set.
riocaz

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 654

      quote  
Posted: 12 Nov 2012, 12:23
I'm not letting myself have cheese ATM (it's always been a trigger food of mine) but for my birthday I am going to Neals Yard and buying myself a selection of cheeses. That and a loaf of good quality bread (also a trigger food)and that's my lunch sorted.

I work about 10 minutes walk from their Borough branch. And haven't dared even go past it since June.

42" jeans(25/01/2013) 40"(28/02/2013) 38"(20/03/2013) 36"(25/05/2013)
Down from 60" waist jeans since June 21st 2012.

Still keeping to my 26" jeans, but they are too tight for comfort. too many tasty things in the US, and over Xmas.

Onwards and Downwards! Smile
http://www.menu52.com/
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,045

      quote  
Posted: 18 Nov 2012, 10:58
I just arrived in the tiny little apartment that I rented. As I expected, there's a tiny stove and a tiny oven, a microwave, two teflon-coated skillets and a teflon-coated sauce pan. I have a couple of crappy knives, a can opener, and a wooden spoon and spatula. Also, a couple of sets of dishes.

The good news: I stumbled on a fabulous farmers market a few blocks from the apartment. While I'm traveling my goal is to focus on eating real food rather than processed garbage, and not so much to count calories within reason, so that was like hitting the jackpot. I picked up:

- A dozen eggs from pastured hens
- A wedge of sharp cheddar
- Butter
- A loaf of tomato herb bread
- Two sweet dumpling squashes (single-serving-sized winter squash)
- Fresh pressed apple juice
- A tub of carrot/ginger soup
- A tub of wild mushroom soup

I'm typing this while eating hand-crafted carrot and ginger soup, eating a slice of bread, and drinking a glass of delightfully tart apple juice. This is my idea of heaven.
Ingria

Joined: Oct 11
Posts: 530

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Posted: 18 Nov 2012, 11:21
Bon Appetit! Sounds delicious, glad it worked so well.
~~~~~~~~~~
The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor. ~ Author Unknown
It doesn’t matter what diet you follow… What matters is what makes you follow your diet. ~ Tom Venuto
riocaz

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 654

      quote  
Posted: 19 Nov 2012, 06:41
Welcome to London Hoser. I hope you have a wonderful visit. The soup sounds delicious.

42" jeans(25/01/2013) 40"(28/02/2013) 38"(20/03/2013) 36"(25/05/2013)
Down from 60" waist jeans since June 21st 2012.

Still keeping to my 26" jeans, but they are too tight for comfort. too many tasty things in the US, and over Xmas.

Onwards and Downwards! Smile
http://www.menu52.com/
eKatherine

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

      quote  
Posted: 19 Nov 2012, 09:35
I just spent a week in Toronto in a nice hotel that had only a tiny refrigerator in the room. I brought my rice cooker, and was able to cook in it meat and vegetables that I bought at the supermarket across the street. I recommend to everyone that they get a rice cooker for when they travel.

If I traveled to Europe much, I'd probably wait and buy a 220V one there as well. Adapters don't usually work for power appliances.
skillin

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 1

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 01:58
Ha, the kitchen you are describing sounds a lot like the one I have to deal with every day..

Except the oven, don't own one.
mmpearce

Joined: May 11
Posts: 81

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Posted: 20 Nov 2012, 09:39
Sounds like a great farmers market! This isn't what you asked, but I found that I lost weight when I stayed in London for a few months. Not by cooking, but by eating out (portions really were smaller there...at least 8 years ago) and walking constantly. I must have walked at least 5 miles every night minimum just exploring. And on weekends checking out walking routes from the saturday walking club. They have dozens of beautiful walks planned with suggested stops for lunch. I thought it was brilliant. You can meet up with other people on designated day/route or go on your own.

http://www.walkingclub.org.uk/this_week.shtml



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