Moved to Europe, now I have very limited cooking facilities - help!
Hello, MDAers. I recently moved from the US to the Netherlands, and I'm having trouble translating my primal/paleo lifestyle into Dutch! The apartment where I'm living has very limited cooking and food storage capabilities. I have a stove top and a microwave, but no oven of any sort. My fridge is essentially the size of a fridge you'd find in a college student's dorm room (i.e., tiny!). The freezer compartment is hardly bigger than a postage stamp. So far, I've been eating meat (chicken, ground beef, sausage) cooked in a frying pan, salad dressed with oil/vinegar, raw veggies, and fruit. I'm going to be bored to death if I eat this way forever, so I'm turning to you guys for help!
1. I need recipe ideas or general cooking advice for my limited facilities. Obviously, I can't cook in bulk and store large quantities of food. My grocery shopping is essentially limited to what I can carry home from the supermarket on my way back from work. There's plenty of fresh meat, fruit, and veggies available (if I can manage to read the labels...). I'm not so sure about the availability of other primal/paleo staples.
2. What cooking implements or supplies will be the most useful to me? I have the bare necessities - a frying pan, a few small pots, a spatula, some wooden spoons, a few knives. What else should I buy? Keep in mind that I have very little countertop and storage space and I don't want to accumulate a lot of things, since I will almost certainly be moving within the next 6 months.
3. Any other primal/paleo advice and resources from European (especially Dutch!!) MDAers or those dealing with similar limitations would be so welcome.
I just got one of these and I love it.
Amazon.com: Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6.33-Quart: Kitchen & Dining
It is a pressure cooker or a slow cooker. Plus you can brown meats in it like for a pot roast. You don't have to get two pans dirty. Has a timer and automatically switches to a keep warm setting when done cooking.
This is just me, but I do not like the way microwaves cook. I had one in my kitchen, I asked the landlady to remove it (she was really surprised) and got an oven you can sit on your bench (replaces the microwave) I was a bit worried about how it would cook, but I am very happy with it. You can sell it when/if you leave.
I've had to put it on a little white Ikea table to give me more bench space and this has worked.
It always takes a while to find the shops that have the goods you need. See if you can find a local co-operative supermarket. Also try the local Asian supermarkets as the coconut oil is cheaper and you get a few more exotic things.
Life. Be in it.
Can you get a Tangine or a slow cooker?
If you get a difuser plate to set on the burner you can use the tangine to slow cook all sorts of stuff into yummyness.
I have a le cruset tangine (cast iron base) so it can be used to brown meat etc before putting the heat down. Exspensive but soooo worth it, i use it quite a bit (osso buco is my fave)
Hi and welcome to the Netherlands. If you have any questions about labels or other things about living here I might be able to help.
I definitely second the slow cooker! You can do worlds with a frying pan, pot and slow cooker will do a lot of the oven stuff you are missing. Good luck and enjoy!
Originally Posted by DinoHunter
I would just work with what you have and go with lots of soups. They do not need to be stored in the fridge, are versatile and yum. Stir-fires is also good in the stove-top only situation.
When I was living in Africa I had no refrigeration at all. At dinner I always cooked enough to have one more meal of leftovers and it went into a Tupperware container overnight and I heated it up the next morning for breakfast. That took care of two meals and lunch was always something smaller.
Could you get a toaster oven? Ours is smaller than our microwave, but I can fit our 8x8 pyrex in it. I use it to bake things when I don't want to turn on the oven. Would likely expand your possibilities.
Are you sure you can't fit more food than you think in your fridge? We have a very small fridge in our trailer and when we go camping I can keep enough food (mostly meat) in that (minus the produce which is in a cooler), to last our family of 4, a week. The freezer is tiny, but can hold a surprisingly large amount of food (last time I had 16 hamburger patties, a package of sausage, a roast, 2 steaks, and a couple small packages of bacon in it.