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Reno starting - makeshift kitchen meal ideas!

38 replies

iwantabreakfastpantry · 25/03/2023 09:36

We are living in through our building works, which is starting on Monday.
Our front room will be our living room, kitchenette and we will use our dining table as the kitchen counter for prep, a single pan induction plate and a combi microwave.

So we are looking for essentially healthy, one pot, easy prep, low mess meals (who isn’t, I guess?!).
Both work full-time and then some. Two kids, 11 and 9y.
Veg or non-veg meals but not big pork, beef fans. Love fish but probably too stinky for a small space that we have to live, cook and eat in.

Would be very grateful for any recipes/meals that ticked all the boxes or pointers to websites!

OP posts:
iwantabreakfastpantry · 28/03/2023 18:28

Notyetthere · 28/03/2023 14:26

We are going to buy a ninja 15 in 1. Does everything - slow cook, air fry and pressure cook. No need for other gadgets taking up space. When we start our extension, we shall also get the single induction hob (ikea one apparently is great). We have the microwave so it will be those three gadgets.

That’s kind of what we have - single portable induction hob (borrowed), combi microwave, instapot (just been loaned for a try out). Slightly overwhelmed by the range of ninja/instapot things!

OP posts:
Caspianberg · 29/03/2023 05:41

A grill machine from wmf we use all the time still, even with full kitchen.

We grill most meat or hallomi or veg like peppers/ courgette. You can also open it fully for double surface area. Use normally for toasties.
We even take outside in summer when we want a quick bbq solution but not time ir effort to light main charcoal grill.

i expect other brands do similar if you look on Amazon, curry’s, John Lewis

WMF Lono Contact grill 2in1

Enhanced features and total versatility: The WMF Lono Contact Grill is a high-performance indoor electric grill that offers feasts of all varieties. Use it in open position for shared do-it-yourself tabletop grilling, or closed as a griddler. WMF's own...

Lastqueenofscotland2 · 29/03/2023 08:50

Soup and crusty bread
Pasta with a jarred sauce and salad
Dahl and naan
Rice is your friend for one pot stuff - risotto, paella etc

sashh · 29/03/2023 09:15

Get a slow cooker and a steamer. Sometimes Argos have 3 dor 2, if they do then get a rice cooker too.

You can cook whole joints / whole chicken in a SC.

In a steamer you can put meat or fish wrapped in foil with a selection of veg.

With a SC and a steamer plus your microwave you can do a full Sunday dinner.

Meat in the SC, veg in the steamer, roast potatoes and Yorkshires in the combi.

15 mins before you eat take the meat out, wrap in foil and make gravy in the SC.

Pasta with lemon - cook some spaghetti, grate the peel of a lemon and squeeze the juice out of it.

Once the pasta is cooked add the lemon juice, zest and black pepper.

Do you have a toaster? Baked beans cook quickly in a microwave and there is less washing up.

You can also do baked potatoes in a slow cooker.

The usual SC things like stews, soup, chili are easy.

I also use my SC to steam suet puddings, line a pyrex dish with suet pastry, add floured meat (steak and kidney with onion is traditional but check and leek can work).

Cruble in a stock cube then make a pastry lid, put that on and make a hole in the centre.

Boil the kettle.

Fold up a tea towel and put the pyrex dish with pudding on top. pour boiling water in to the hole until it it spills, pour the rest of the boiling water into the SC to come about half way up the side of the dish.

If you want to you can put veg in the water to cook but I generally find a pan is less fuss.

sashh · 29/03/2023 09:20

Oh if you are getting a toastie sandwich maker get one with different plates, mine has a flat plate, the triangular sandwich cut in the middle plate and waffles plate.

I fry eggs in the toastie maker

Spray oil, crack egg into the 'triangle' put the lid down but don't use the latch and leave for 2 mins.
I see you mentioned fish, in a SC you can make a sauce with passatta, veg (I'd use peppers, sweetcorn and peas) then about 30 mins before serving add a piece of fish per person.

iwantabreakfastpantry · 29/03/2023 10:21

These are brilliant - thank you!

OP posts:
123sunshine · 29/03/2023 10:53

Just going through this at the moment. On top of the suggested air fryer meals, slow cooker and microwave we have also been using our gas BBQ (It has a gas burner ont he side also) so can boil up pasta or fry bacon etc. In addition can cook up chicken breast and eat with salad and pitas, or bugers etc
Probably one of my favourite meals thats been easy is salmon fillets (in air fryer) but could also microwave or combi oven) salad and flavoured packs of cous cous (just need a kettle of boiling water).
We have eaten a lot of breaded chicken and fish etc from the air fyer. Currys, bolognaise and casseroles in the slow cooker (though have used the gas ring on the outside bbq to brown off meat etc first). This tends to be more at weekends when I have the time. Pulled pork int he slow cooker is another good one, serve with pittas or buns and potaote wedges cooked int he air fryer. There are lots of other ideas, it just depends on what you like and what you can be bothered making. I've found we've had to do some meals in shifts, feeding teenagers first then adults as not enough room in things like airfryer to cook for 4.

smizing · 29/03/2023 11:01


Fran919 · 29/03/2023 11:07

I’ve done this… in lockdown when takeaways etc we’re all shut!

Chicken Egg fried rice with packet rice and small cut up chicken or even the pre cooked chicken

one pot curries, stews and serve with bread etc.

pasta with frozen veggies can be cooked together and drained and use a sauce. Also the fresh filled pasta and gnocchi to mix it all up. There’s some lovely tasting pestos available now.

I managed to cook nuggets / frozen things in my combi microwave when I fancied something different.

Beans, mixed beans and lentils can be used it anything and everything to bulk out. Chorizo is a good and quick to give you the meat fix without spending ages cooking.

I personally found it easier to buy things like grated cheese rather than block just reduce washing up load as we did it in a bucket on the floor using boiled water.

once the weather picked up we used the bbq too to fry some meats like steak etc so can do fish like that to help. Sure super markets prepared them in bbq packs just to throw on.

RinklyRomaine · 29/03/2023 13:24

We did this a year ago. Lots of great suggestions here. We mostly used the air fryer and microwave. Mother in law did a lot of batch cooking for us, lots of salad; steam veg, jackets and similar.

Keep your sink connected as long as you can and get a couple of large lidded storage boxes because no matter what you do, dust will settle and washing up before cooking as well as after is annoying.

ScentOfSawdust · 29/03/2023 16:32

As a dedicated cook-from-scratch type, I was surprised how good frozen microwavable jacket potatoes were.

We managed for several months with just one gas camping ring and a microwave. Lots of chilli/bolognaise/chicken casseroles with the veg done in the microwave to avoid needing a second ring.

ScentOfSawdust · 29/03/2023 16:36

I was also very pleased with my bathroom set-up. We have more than one bathroom so were able to dedicate one to washing up. I put a small table next to the bath, with a waterproof table cloth over it and a washing up bowl and draining rack. I used the over-bath shower hose to fill the bowl and rinse so I never had to bend double over the bath to wash up.

Chillyjam · 29/03/2023 21:06

Cous cous or microwave rice with tinned mackerel/tuna and broccoli/peas

you can get whole chickens that can be reheated in the microwave with microwave new potatoes and veg or salad

microwave rice katsu curry sauce and chicken nuggets in an air fryer

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