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7 Meals When You Don't Have a Kitchen

When preparing for a kitchen renovation with new clients we make it a point to have a conversation with them about establishing a temporary kitchen. This can be set up in a spare bedroom, lower level or garage. Maintaining a sense of normalcy and healthy eating habits is a pain point for homeowners during a kitchen renovation. You can only eat at restaurants or friends' houses so many times, no matter how welcome you are.


Make a game plan for this time as it can be, at minimum, three months without a usable kitchen. A sense of normalcy and routine is a helpful tip to get through this process.


Successful Cooking During a Renovation:

1. Prepare frozen meals for a slow cooker, Instant Pot or accessible oven. (Pro tip: in the months leading to your renovation, cook in double batches and freeze the rest)

2. One pot/one sheet pan dinners are going to be your new BFF.

3. Batch cut vegetables and portion out protein to minimize the need for prep space.

4. Keep your appliances minimal and multi-functional: range (if able), slow cooker, refrigerator.

5. Prepare a wide variety of meals so you don't grow bored with repetitive meals.



Here are recipes we love that are easy to make ahead of time and freeze or cook with minimal tools and prep space.


Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana

This is my FAVORITE soup! It's the ultimate comfort soup and brings a heat to warm you up through the colder months. Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest here.


Easy Crockpot Carnitas

Tacos are the easiest recipe to spice up and make customizable for all of your picky eaters. This Pinch of Yum recipe delivers a juicy result and bountiful portions. Get the recipe here.


Pinch of Yum created an amazing 16 Healthy Freezer Meals guide + post here.


Best Grilled Chicken Wings

Who doesn't love restaurant quality, saucy and delicious buffalo wings? Throw these on the grill and pair with a side salad for a week night meal outdoors. Get the recipe here.


5 Ingredient One Pot Pastas

Five ingredients, one pot, it doesn't get easier. Delicious, convenient and minimal effort. Pasta dishes like this are perfect for whatever leftover vegetables and protein you have left over. Get the recipes here.


Spicy Sockeye Salmon Poke Bowls

This light, refreshing meal only requires light prep work. Perfect to make ahead an easy lunch or dinner option. Get the recipe here.


Greek Turkey Meatballs

Full of flavor, make ahead meatballs, customizable for the whole family. This recipe is a winner winner Greek Turkey Meatball for dinner. Get the recipe here.


Slow Cooker Thai Pineapple Vegetable Curry

Made to be prepped + frozen, this flavor packed meal is perfect for throwing in the slow cooker and enjoying for several meals. Get the recipe here.


Bonus: Kath Family Favorite Vegetarian Lasgna

This meal can't be easier to make, put it together, bake as directed, freeze and thaw in the fridge the night before you're ready to eat. Reheat in your favorite small appliance. Recipe below.

Ingredients

16 oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (Classico fans here, low added sugars)

12 lasagna noodles (cooked 1/2 way, drained, rinsed in cold water)

1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 c grated parmesan cheese


Filling

2 cups of cottage cheese

2 beaten eggs

salt + pepper

1/2 lb raw spinach, chopped

dash of nutmeg


Use a 9x13 pan, spread tomato sauce to coat the bottom of the pan (so your noodles don't stick!).

Cover with a layer of 1/3 of the noodles

Layer 1/2 of the Filling

Layer 1/3 of the remaining sauce

Cover with 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese


Layer another 1/3 of the noodles

Remaining filling

Followed by another 1/3 of the sauce

Sprinkle the remainder of the mozzarella cheese


Last of the noodles on top - top with the reminder of the sauce.

Top with parmesan cheese.


Bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees, uncover the last 10 minutes.


Enjoy!

Katie Miller + Jkath Team


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