Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to Prepare Meals without an Oven, Range, or Microwave

You know what happens when you tell people that your family of eight doesn't have an oven?

The mouth drops open large enough to fit a submarine sandwich.
J

Since we moved in two weeks ago, we haven't purchased an oven/range or a microwave. So far, no one's starving.

We've joked about being the Ingalls, but I told my husband that I am not cooking over an open fire.
J It seems primitive not to have an oven or stovetop, but we're finding it to be a great challenge. First, I'm just not ready to spend the money. Maybe it'll be our Christmas gift to us. Maybe we'll find a scratch-and-dent that’s been marked down. Second, I'm really enjoying the creativity of working around it.

We do like sandwiches and fresh vegetables, but that's not all we're eating. Here's how ~

Crock-pots. It is amazing what you can do with a crock-pot. Just google or hop on Pinterest, and you'll soon see the possibilities are endless. We have three of varying sizes, and until we buy the oven/range, they have a permanent residence on the countertop. Crock-pots aren't just for chicken breasts or meatballs, though. What about oatmeal? Chili dogs? Beef and cheese dip? {Did you know you can brown ground beef in the crock-pot?} Chocolate almond bark for dipping? Rice? Biscuits? Well, we haven't been brave enough to try that yet, but soon, I think.
J




Coffee maker. My husband and I drink coffee in the morning, but it's also a great way to make tea by placing tea bags in the filter. Then, you could drink your tea hot, or make the amount in the pot super-strong so you can add water and ice to make it iced tea. When the filter is empty, you can run plain water through the maker and simply heat it. We've found this works well for instant hot cereals.


Toaster. English muffin pizzas. Hot sandwiches, like ham and cheese. Toast with a slice of co-jack melted on top. Warming up leftover pizza. Biscuits, a few at a time.


Waffle maker. You don’t even have to make waffle batter if you’re in a hurry. Roll out a biscuit and pop it in. J

Electric skillet. We inherited ours from my husband's grandmother nearly fifteen years ago, but it still works well. Just this weekend, I put scrambled eggs in one half and sausage in the other half.



And Thankgiving? Large turkey in the roaster. Green bean casserole and mashed potatoes in slow cookers. Store-bought Hawaiian rolls. Fresh vegetable tray. A no-bake double-layer pumpkin-and-cream-cheese dessert.

Bon appetit!







What do you fix without an oven, range, or microwave? This blogging community would love to read your suggestions in the comments. J Thanks!



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18 comments:

  1. Last May through mid-October, we didn't have a stove or oven. We tried a solar cooker! It was SOOO much fun, and the food was amazingly tasty. Plus the "power" (the sun) was free. :D We also did lots of cooking in the electric skillet (pancakes were a favorite) and crock pot (orange or pineapple chicken etc.) We even tried a chocolate "cake" in the crock pot, and it was wonderful!!!

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    1. I'd never heard of a solar cooker before, so I googled it. It does look like fun, Christa! With the weather we've been having lately, though, overcast and rainy, I don't think we'd get far with it. :-) We'll be trying a cake soon.

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    2. LOL Yes, the one thing solar cookers need is sun! And the specific type we have doesn't work well in the winter in the northern latitudes (where I live) because the sun angle is so low. But we had such fun experimenting with it May through October! Hope your cake goes well! :)

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  2. This is amazing! I understand why you see so many jaws dropping!:) You sure bring the saying to real life that "Where there's a will, there's a way"! :)

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    1. Just waiting for the best deal, Sue, but thanks for your encouragement! :-)

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  3. I went without an oven for almost a year. The top of my stove still worked but I am a big baker, so not having an oven was a challenge. I used a roaster for about six months until it died and even baked cakes in it. Then I got a large toaster oven. It was great, I made anything I wanted in it and I still use it in the summer when it gets hot!

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    1. We have contemplated a toaster oven that will do six slices at once, but never splurged since our small one still works well. But now the wheels are a-turning! :-) A large one would fit so many things.... Thank you for the suggestion!

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  4. I have only made soup beans, soup,, chili, spaghetti sauce, turkey breast, and baked potatoes in a slow cooker. I have seen where some people do cobblers, cakes, and chicken and dressing.

    We are all just spoiled to having everything at our fingertips and think we can't do without them. I do like them for sure.

    Charlotte Moore

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    1. "Only," Charlotte? That sounds like a lot! :-) And this is a good time of year for chili....

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  5. All I can say is...your tenacity must be visible from space. Truly. I'm just one person on my own with a microwave and oven/hob in my appartment...and sometimes I feel challenged! Giggle! My mum told me she had only an electric skillet before she married and used to make cakes and roasts and everything in there...now I have confirmation this is possible! I'd never thought of making tea in the coffee machine...Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Thank you, Helen. *blush* Just trying to make do until we can find the right price, but I hoped and prayed this post would be encouraging to someone.

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  6. I would be lost without my crockpot and my slow cooker! Love them both! And, really like my electric skillet! I just wish I had enough counter space to leave them out all the time! :)

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    1. I never used my electric skillet much since the range was so handy, but I agree with you. I really like it! Thanks, Leah. :-)

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  7. Maybe you don't need an oven!! I could pass on the microwave any day!! You are so innovative. This was a really creative post. I read a post about all the things you can cook for Thanksgiving without an oven. You would be able to find it on Quirky Mama on Facebook. Just scroll down when you get there. This was the second time today that I read about Hawaiian rolls. I have no clue what they are and I lived there for four years, LOL!!

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Judith. I'll look her up...love the name! And Hawaiian rolls are more a brand name, I think. King's Hawaiian? There are knock-off recipes, but they're sweet, soft rolls that stick to the cardboard and come in an orange package. Check the bakery section of your local grocery, not the bread aisle. Yummo! :-)

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  8. This is wonderful! I am amazed at how creative you are. We often think that there are things in life we just have to go spend money on. I never thought to make tea in a coffee maker like that - thanks for the tip. I haven't had a microwave for years and I don't miss it at all. In the winter, we burn wood in our wood stove for our heat and I cook on top of it as often as I can so that I can avoid costly electricity. ~Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

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  9. I love this post because it's like a riddle: how can you feed 8 folks without a stove or oven? Fun! This year I bought a Wonderbag, but you need a stove to get the ingredients going. Then, basically you snug the pot in the Wonderbag and put a covered lid on it. You could do the same with blankets; I read about that in the book Living More with Less by Doris Janzen Longacre (the book is about 30 years old but a great read). Anyway, I'm babbling... love your blog!

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  10. Dear Meghan, you are one resourceful woman! I wouldn't have thought of all these possibilities, but I can see how you're getting along quite well. I love crock pots and the many things you can make in them. Bless you for your creativity.

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)