Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ask the Internet: Small Kitchen Cooking (with Lots of Roommates)?

Today’s question comes from reader Caitlin. She asks:

Q: I'm in San Francisco for a three-month internship. I'm used to cooking for myself almost every night, often using many ingredients and spending a good deal of time on my meals. My living situation here involves a small kitchen that is shared with a very large group of people. On top of that, all I have with me is a pot and pan and a few basic ingredients (olive oil, salt etc.) I'm wondering if you have any suggestions about meals that

  1. Don't require very much equipment.
  2. Are relatively quick.
  3. Can be made with a few ingredients.
  4. Still give me the pleasure of cooking something and taste great!!
  5. Are not simply pasta with a sauce because I've already exhausted that ( :
If you have time, let me know if you have any ideas.

A: Caitlin! Boy, do I ever hear you. Junior year of college, I shared a house with seven friends. We each bought our own food and cooked on our own time. Needless to say, there was a lot of cereal involved.

First, there are two older CHG posts might be just up your alley: Last-Minute Little Dinners for One and 65 Cheap, Healthy One Dish Meals with Good Leftover Potential. The latter will give you office lunches for a few days, which can be very helpful, especially if your internship is unpaid.

Speaking of one-dish meals, I’m thinking that would be your best bet in general. They don’t usually involve huge financial outlays, the ingredients won’t take up much space in a limited fridge/pantry, and you can be as daring or conservative as you like. Stir fries are the easiest and most popular variety thereof, but a few spices and some internetz searching should open new worlds.

Beyond that, Deb from Smitten Kitchen cooks in a tiny galley (42 square feet!), and there’s fantastic stuff all over that blog. I might take a few minutes/hours to peruse.

But enough about my ideas. Readers, what about yours? What kind of meals would you suggest for Caitlin? Do you have any experience cooking in a small kitchen, surrounded by roommates? Do tell.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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