Healthy, No-Dish Meals that Have got Us Through A Week with No Kitchen

April 11, 2013

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We have been sealing our new countertops all week–sand and reseal, sand and reseal–which means although they are installed, we can’t use them just yet.  We are also out of a sink right now since that is covered during sealing and we aren’t using our stovetop either since we didn’t want to risk getting anything on the neighboring tops while they cure.

On the first day of this ixnay-on-the-kitchen phase, I took our dishes and a skillet we used to make our meal to the bathroom to wash it all and, um…that was the end of that! I wasn’t stoked on the idea of carrying all of our dishes to the bathroom three times a day.  So, we resolved to only eat meals that didn’t require any dishes at all to make–besides a knife to slice or spatula to flip. Afterall, this is short term. And, well, we love a challenge. We also used disposable plates, cups and utensils this week making it a week of literally no dish meals (gluten free, too!)

And just in case you find yourself in a short term (1-2 weeks, a month?) without a kitchen, or maybe you are just so tired of doing your dishes–here are a few meal ideas. These aren’t ground breaking, or recipes even–just a few foods that have gotten us through:

Yogurt: Individual cups are great, but The Greek Gods Honey Strawberry is our hands-down favorite.  You just have to get over the idea it is okay to put a couple scoops on a plate instead of in a bowl.  

Toast/BagelThis one is great for Greta (not gluten free, so not for me).  The toaster is a food prepper that doesn’t require any washing!

A piece of fruitWe usually have green smoothies for breakfast, but since our blender definitely requires washing, we simplified it to just eating produce that required not even an utensil to eat–an apple, banana, pear, strawberries, peel an orange, eat some grapes.

Baked Eggs: Did you know that you can bake eggs right on the oven rack? No dishes! 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

A Sandwich: Greta’s obsessed with sandwiches for lunch lately. Turkey, cheese and mayo.  But even if you did throw some lettuce, pickles or tomato on–no dishes. Hey-o!

A Protein bar:This is generally my lunch even when we do use dishes. I finally found a gluten free protein bar that tastes really, really good and is packed with protein and zero sugar.  Basically I’m in heaven.  We always order the Quest Bar variety pack because no one should have to choose between “Chocolate Brownie” and “Cashew Coconut.”  No one.

SaladIt took me until this experiment to realize salad doesn’t have to take any prep dishes.  Skip the salad bowl used to mix all the ingredients together and just put them straight on the disposable plates.

Rotisserie chicken: If you’re gluten free like me, check the ingredients, but most rotisserie chickens are gluten free and so nice to have on hand to slice and put on salad, or just eat as a main entree.

Chips and salsa:  Basically no list of my food intake is complete without them.  I’m always munching on chips and salsa.  Melt some cheese on top in the microwave and slice some scallions and you have nachos!

Baked (sweet) potatoes: A baked potato, sweet or otherwise is easy, filling, and dish free to make.  I like to top my sweet potato with some butter and cinnamon and Chris topped his baked potato this week with butter, sour cream and Tony Chachere’s.

Grilled steak and skewered asparagus: One night, after a particularly grueling day working in the kitchen, we grilled steaks.  And recently Kim and Scott skewered asparagus–which is genius and dish free.

Lettuce-wrapped turkey burgers: So, have we established anything grilled?  Anything grilled. These turkey burgers (pictured above) are, mmm, a favorite. I don’t even miss the bun.

Tin-foil dinners: In one pouch, Chris put black beans, jalepenos, garlic, bbq sauce and water, and the other he put potatoes, onions, oil, salt, pepper, and kale.  It was our meatless night, but if it wasn’t–we may have tossed in some hamburger or something. We cooked it right on the grill. 

That’s what we’ve been munching on. Can you think of some other dish-free foods?

Ps.  Who wants to see the finished countertops tomorrow?!

What do you think?

  1. Angela says:

    You went without a kitchen for one week and used disposable cups, plates and utensils for every meal?! The amount of paper and plastic waste that was generated for one week when there’s a sink in the bathroom is pretty disappointing.

  2. Katie says:

    I love the foil packet idea! I’ve made potatoes that way, also fish, but I never thought of doing a veggie meal that way.

    I do the salsa/chip thing too, but I’ll add some black beans into it for protein.

    I also like bean salads… one easy version is lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon), olive oil (about 2 TBL), parsley (optional), white beans (drained + rinsed, sliced red onion (as much as you like), chopped black olives (from the olive bar), salt + pepper. So easy!

    The counter tops look beautiful!

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  4. Patty says:

    Hmmmm. Dish free. Tough one. No… no wait.
    Olive Garden, Garcia’s, IKEA Cafe, Wingers, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Blue Lemon, Happy Sumo, Texas Roadhouse, Mikado, Caputo’s, Pizza Hut, Chili’s, Cheesecake Factory.
    Mmm. Eeks. Don’t know if Cheesecake Factory has gluten free.

  5. Gluten free–I could do. Dairy free–no way! I couldn’t do it. We already try to limit dairy because of Ryan’s lactose intolerance, but seriously who am I kidding–he would rather take the pill! There is a pill to help and he’d rather do that than limiting his cheese ;-)

    This post has helped give me some ideas of some dinner/snack ideas for next week. Did I just say NEXT WEEK??

  6. Excellent solutions! You are seriously a genius!

  7. brandilyn says:

    Email me if you ever want to swap gluten-free recipes! Dave’s got a severe gluten and dairy allergy, and I’ve basically mastered dinners and desserts in that area.

    • Thanks Brandilyn!! I always say “gluten free is the easiest diet I’ve ever done” (I honestly feel like I don’t not eat a thing) but I can’t imagine going dairy free, too.

  8. Callie says:

    Nice solutions! Sounds a lot like our meals when we remodeled the kitchen last year. Although we are also both in grad school with severe shortage of free time, so there were a lot of pretzel-baybel cheese-and-peanut-butter meals as well. Haha.

    Also, I’ve never heard of the Quest bars! Really no sugar? Does it have a sugar substitute or? I never buy granola bars because they taste way too sweet to me, so I’m v. intrigued!

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