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Nov 2, 2011 05:22 AM

Without appliances!

Hello all I am seeking your advice!
Two days ago, my boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment. It's larger, nicer, and much cheaper than our former apartment (not to mention without black mold!), but there is a catch: we have no refrigerator and we have no stove! At the time being, we have a microwave, a crockpot, and a George Foreman grill. It's cold enough outside for us to keep our cold groceries out on the back step without worrying too much about spoilage.
Needless to say, we need to save up for these appliances (or somehow find them for free? HA!), but that will take some time. Until then, what do you guys suggest for good food to eat without having to resort to preservative-filled, shelf-stable, instant, microwavable. . . gross.
I'm definitely up for getting creative with the appliances I have on hand. Today I am making miso-honey chicken with grilled sweet potato slices on the George Foreman grill.

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  1. Reading this was interesting because you actually have a few good cooking mediums but the one that gives me trouble is the crock pot . . . . mostly because it is great for soups, stews, beans, slow cook things that you could actually have cooking all day long (without having to worry about refrigeration) but I always make a large batch when I do that and that would leave you with leftovers that WOULD need to be refrigeration. . . . .

    Sounds like you will be doing a lot of day to day shopping until you can at least get a small "college dorm" type refrigerator at least for leftovers.

    The george foreman grill is great for panini type sandwiches and the crockpot for soups. One of my favorite combinations.

    George Forman for grilled veggies and you could still use the crockpot for braised meats (just don't make a lot of leftovers) -

    or rice in the crockpot (never tried it but I bet it would work) and veggies and chicken for a quasi stir fry on the george forman

    I bet you could even do a calzone in the george forman if you wanted to get a little creative and pizza sauce in the crockpot.

    1. Wow, that is challenging. I recommend scouring Craigslist for appliances as there are often freebies if you don't mind ugly colors/older models.

      Thimes' suggestions are great - you can really do alot with a Foreman. Quesadillas are easy. For breakfast, toast works great. You can also do overnight oatmeal in the crockpot.

      1. there are usually free appliances on freecycle.

        1 Reply
        1. re: magiesmom

          freecycle or craigslist; find a temporary refrigerator that works or switch to camping mode and fill the ice chest with ice every day. Do you have a camp stove or outdoor grill? electric skillet? You can boil water and steam vegetables in the microwave - and, poach fish fillets.
          Check the crock pot threads for baking breads and cakes.
          With your miso-honey chicken with grilled sweet potato slices on the GF grill, you're doing fine.
          Meet your neighbors... maybe one will 'share' refrigerator space with you?

        2. I second the motion for checking out freecycle. To me the cooking isn't the issue, its the refrigeration. Or second hand perhaps, although those seem to be electricity hogs. You might find a bar fridge for cheap, too. Just SOMETHING to keep your food safe...
          As for cooking, well, you can do almost anything in a crockpot this day and age. That plus the grill means you'll be in for a ton of soups and stews and cooked chicken I think! My friend makes Paula Deen's Mac and Cheese in her crockpot and swears by the technique. She particularly loves that crusty semiburned cheese crust she gets on the bottom of the crockpot. The other thing you could do is buy a 2 burner coil portable cooktop. They cost around 20 dollars, and would give you some more options. :)

          1. You might consider a single-burner countertop induction unit. There are several relatively inexpensive ($60-$80) brands available. Even one of those would increase your ability to cook different foods. I have a ceramic cooktop, but I still use the induction burner more than the cooktop. You'll likely find many uses for it even after you buy your stove or cooktop.