Advice on how to cook in a tiny kitchen

Discussion in 'Slimming World Off Topic' started by dudette2001uk, 26 July 2011 Social URL.

  1. dudette2001uk

    dudette2001uk I will be a Princess!

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    Hi all,

    I'm moving to a new houseshare at the end of August, and I really need some advice on how to cook (and shop I guess!) for a teeny tiny kitchen. I had to find somewhere quickly before finishing school for the summer holidays, so didn't really have time to look around for somewhere else, and can't afford to rent a flat/house on my own at the moment.

    The kitchen is the smallest kitchen I have ever seen (think no room to swing a cat!), and only has a small fridge and freezer that will be shared between 2 people minimum, and maybe 3 depending on whether the landlady manages to let the other room.

    I do have a george foreman grill, and I've recently bought a slow cooker, but I'm a bit worried about how much time I'm going to have to spend cooking every day due to not having the freezer space to bulk cook food.

    Does anyone have any advice? Do any of you have really small kitchens, and how do you cope?

    Sian xxx
     
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  3. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    I too have a small kitchen. The one thing I would say it that you need to keep on top of the washing up otherwise you just end up with no work space at all. Most meals I cook are done in 2 saucepans max. Shopping wise, I buy enough meat for 2 of us for 2 weeks, and enough canned stuff for 2 weeks. I take the meat out of its packaging and put in freezer bags so it takes up less room in our tiny tabletop freezer. I buy veg/fruit 3 times a week on my way home from work.
     
  4. Snakes and ladders

    Snakes and ladders Silver Member

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    Hey Sian,

    I spent years living in houseshares with tiny kitchens, trying to eat healthily. It's definitely a challenge, as you don't have room in the freezer to store lots of ingredients. But it is possible!

    I know you're on SW, and I don't know much about what you're allowed to eat or not, but here are some things that I found worked well:

    - Lentils. They're really good for you (protein and complex carb), they come in a compact bag that you can store in your cupboard, and they're super tasty. They're also pretty much a complete meal. I often make dhal, and then to have some veg I either throw in lots of fresh spinach or have a salad. For that, you just need one hob. And you only need some cupboard space for the lentils, a couple of onions, the spices, and the spinach / salad.

    - Does your kitchen have an oven? If so, you could do a healthy roast chicken, and let that feed you for a few days.

    - I found the most valuable tool in a small kitchen to be my pressure cooker. It allows you to cook one-pot meals healthily and quickly, within 20 minutes. You can just chuck in all the veg and meat you want, a little stock / bouillon and seasoning, pressurise, and voila! The advantage is that you're in and out of the kitchen quickly and you only use one hob, so your housemates won't be telling you off for monopolising the kitchen!

    - Canned tuna, and

    - Eggs, make a healthy, protein-rich meal in very little time, and very little need for storage. You can have it with salad and wholemeal pitta / Nimble bread or something.

    - Use canned food, like red kidney beans, butter beans, and other pulses. They're rich in protein and complex carbs, and they're super tasty. They also need very little fuss to prepare.

    - Use UHT milk. I have been using Sainsburys basics skimmed UHT for years now. I just keep a big pile of it in my cupboard. It takes up less space than having lots of milk in the fridge, and it actually tastes much creamier than fresh skimmed milk (no idea why, but lots of my friends agree, so it can't just be me!).

    You could also try making an agreement with your housemates about staples in the fridge. If you share the milk, for example, that already reduces the space taken up from 3 large cartons to just one. The same applies to condiments like tomato sauce, low-fat mayo, chutneys, jams, spices...all those jars and vials that just fill up your kitchen cupboards and fridge, festering in the corner...

    If you like, I can give you recipes for stuff like ghulash (which is a wonderful 1-pot dish), dhal, and so on; it's all been tried and tested at dinner parties!

    Good luck, and I'm sure you'll enjoy living in a house-share, it's so much fun living with others. Do you know your housemates already?

    SL x
     
  5. dudette2001uk

    dudette2001uk I will be a Princess!

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    Thank you both for the fab ideas :)

    Snakes and ladders - I've only met the landlady once, so I don't really know my future housemate(s). I've lived in houseshares since 2003 other than a couple of years where I was at my parents, but I've never lived anywhere with a kitchen this small :) Thanks for the great ideas though!

    The lady has a shed outside, so I guess things like potatoes, leeks, carrots, onions, swede etc can be kept outside in the shed. Not so sure about fruit, but then I tend to eat mostly apples, oranges, bananas etc which can be kept in a fruitbowl.

    It'll be interesting to see how it works out, lol! :)
     
  6. Snakes and ladders

    Snakes and ladders Silver Member

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    Good luck, and keep us posted! Sounds like a potentially interesting diary thread, if you ask me, the challenges you face cooking in a small space!

    SL
     
  7. shenzi

    shenzi Gold Member

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    Hi Dudette,

    My Kitchen is tiny I defiantly agree kingsled on the Washing up! Lets hope your new housemates keep on top of theres also!

    Its just an idea but could you get a little fridge/freezer and have it in your room??
     
  8. Starlight

    Starlight Gold Member

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    I need to stop scrolling so fast down the unread posts list.

    I read this title as 'Advice on how to cook a tiny KITTEN' :giggle:
     
  9. dudette2001uk

    dudette2001uk I will be a Princess!

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    Lol!! I may not like cats, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to cook one ;) xx
     
  10. dudette2001uk

    dudette2001uk I will be a Princess!

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    I'm a bit a**l about washing up, so that won't be a problem :) Hmmm...I hadn't thought of having a little fridge-freezer in my room. That might be feasible! xx
     
  11. fillymum

    fillymum synful soul

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    Exactly what I thought plus a small cupboard to keep your dry stores

    A million years ago when I was a stewardess the galley's were always tiny, tiny. The bonus's............less walking...........closer to clean everything. I could reach every work surface without moving from the spot.............excellent.

    I hope you are happy in your new home Sian. Have you stopped to think that perhaps you could rent you own place and sublet the rooms.
     
  12. dudette2001uk

    dudette2001uk I will be a Princess!

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    Thanks Sue :) Ideally I would like to rent my own place and maybe sublet a room, but because it was very short notice with going home for the summer I didn't really have time to advertise for a housemate to share with me :) xx
     
  13. Shirleen

    Shirleen Gold Member

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    My advice would be to keep your elbows in and buy pots with short handles!

    Lol
     
  14. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    Blimey - i went to uni in 1997 & my halls kitchen was just like this then - it was basic even for then & a constant source of complaining. I thought they were supposed to be providing proper kitchens in all halls. You're not at York are you?
     
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