1

votes

Limited Cooking Options

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 16, 2011 at 7:25 PM

A friend is trying to go Paleo but is renting a bedroom in a house that doesn't give him cooking privileges. The only way he can "cook" is with a hotpot and a microwave. Changing his living situation is not an option right now, so it's either eat crappy fast food (he's checking to see if there is a Chipotle or Baja Fresh nearby) or try to make due with what he has. Eating out a lot isn't an option for him either. Yes, I know many Paleos don't like microwaves but, again, it's what he's got.

I've recommended canned salmon, sardines, and other good fish. Also hard-boiled eggs. My creativity seems to have tapped out there.

If the only way you could "cook" was with a hotpot and microwave, what would you do?

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on May 17, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Another great idea. Thanks again.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on May 17, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Oh - great idea! Thanks.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on May 17, 2011
at 06:19 PM

Yes. An electric style plug in burner. Very small.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 16, 2011
at 07:31 PM

what do you mean by "hotpot"? like an electric style plug in burner?

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10 Answers

3
2e841984c55e1f346f6e38f60c1620a6

(540)

on May 16, 2011
at 07:34 PM

You can make all kinds of good stuff in a hotpot, which is really a small crock pot. If he can get a crock pot he can make roasts and stews of all kinds. One of my favorite things to do is put a bunch of chicken breast with salsa and let it slow cook for a few hours until you can shred it. It's delicious... He could probably use the hotpot to do the same if that is truly his only option.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on May 17, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Oh - great idea! Thanks.

2
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on May 16, 2011
at 09:49 PM

Does he have friends, like you, who will let him stop over once or twice a week and spend the day prepping and cooking food?

Just thinking if perhaps he has a small refrigerator/freezer he could precook things or store 'prepped burgers or chicken' in the freezer and just do a small amount of reheating and prepping in his space??

If he can get most of the work done somewhere else using someones kitchen, maybe he can prep enough to last a while. For convenience I prep all kinds of paleo/primal pancakes and waffles and 'breads' for my hubby's breakfast (he doesn't really know he's gone paleo/primal), I pull out what he needs at night and let defrost in the refridge and he just toasts it or heats in the small countertop oven we have.

This guy is in a tough spot, because clean up would be awful as well!

1
07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

on May 17, 2011
at 12:44 AM

Things that do well in microwaves:

bacon, eggs, fish, steamed vegetables, potatoes

I assume a hotpot is like a crockpot in which case he can easily have:

roasts, stews, meatballs, chili

Just don't worry about the "brown the meat" direction in those recipes. It's not neccessary at all.

I second a Foreman grill for variety. He could grill up some burgers!

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 16, 2011
at 11:37 PM

i think there's a lot you could do with a microwave and a "hotpot", including poaching eggs and fish, easy stews (if i am correct in my understanding of what a hotpot is), however, going to a yard sale and/or a thrift store and buying a semi decent old toaster oven which he could even keep in his room would open up worlds of possibilities for him. Then he could bake egg dishes like frittatas or crustless quiches, or just eggs baked in a dish, he could roast meats, fish, roast vegetables... toaster ovens are amazing and perfect for one person.

1
91219405abedbfd400ce00dea242a00f

(1044)

on May 16, 2011
at 09:34 PM

I suggest he invest in a small Foreman grill. That will open up a ton of meat options.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on May 17, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Another great idea. Thanks again.

1
C1a9731f404b68be8f7e6a032b3395dd

(105)

on May 16, 2011
at 07:36 PM

Where (location/state) does he live? This may sound weird, but most of our public parks here (Mississippi) have outdoor grills. If I was in his situation, I would buy my meat for a couple of days and grill it all out at once. Chicken/Steak, etc. That is super lame that he can't ever use the main kitchen though. He should try to negotiate for a time period each week where he can cook in the oven for a couple of hours.

0
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on May 17, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Work within your limits Grok did. Until you can cook which I rank up there with Paleo and low carb, cook for health, you can make great strides by subtracting food groups like straches and wheat, all sugars and wait until you are ready to take a good go at it. A half hearted attempt might not be good for the long run right now but eliminating those ugly white foods is a great step forward.

0
D5096ff5baffc0ba5d20b21346414a7a

(1112)

on May 17, 2011
at 12:08 AM

The cooking part I think can be managed with supermarket veggie options, small appliances like toaster ovens, microwaves, crock pots, electric skillets, Foreman grills for your meat, room refrigerator, etc. Just watch the smells and the smoke and possibly tripping a breaker. The big problem is lack of a kitchen sink and properly disposing of garbage. I have actually had to work through this during remodeling (not even a bathtub to use) and found that some camping out sites have good information on washing dishes...the old Boy Scout 3 tub procedure.

0
6e24575aafccf63e02172715b3cd60ef

on May 16, 2011
at 09:44 PM

White rice and Sweet potatoes can be done in microwave. Also You can chuck in half a dozen eggs, lots of butter and other ingredient in the m/w, just keep stirring and you get a cross between scrambled egg and a bad omelette.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 16, 2011
at 09:11 PM

Almost all salad bars at grocery stores (especially Whole Foods) have enough of a variety of proteins and vegetables to provide a rounded Paleo diet. Even your basic salad bar will have hard boiled eggs, sometimes chicken or ham, crunchy vegetables and oils. He could keep good olive oil where he lives for dressing. Whole Foods would have a pretty wide variety of options but is more expensive.

My quick and convenient lunch is exactly this, to go to the nearest grocery store and get a salad full of protein, fat, mushrooms, and crunchy vegetables. The salad dressings are usually awful (first ingredient soy oil), so I take the salad home undressed and add oil, vinegar, and salt.

Many grocery stores also have prepared foods, you could get a quarter/half chicken for example.

It is very Paleo to eat one big meal a day, so he could keep some items around his room for a light breakfast or lunch and get a big salad bar meal for dinner.

There are also more Paleo-friendly takeout, like most kebab places will do a kebab with a salad (no rice or bread). Most home made soups are Paleo too, same with chili.

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