For the displaced folks, cooking is a project of its own. Of course, following my packing advice of looking around your kitchen and grabbing those items that are most dear to your Martha Stewart heart, you DO have your essentials. (For those disaster victims who have none of their personal items, I know you miss them.) The key to simple cooking is just that, keeping it simple. If you have told yourself for years that cooking from scratch is healthier and cheaper, which of course it is, you may have to lay that aside for now. The key word here is survival until your life can go back to YOUR normal. So give yourself permission to lower your standards a bit. For me, that isn’t giving up healthy food but definitely using the convenience foods that are available at the high end grocery stores. Those peppers already stuffed, the brown rice already cooked and the pomegranate already peeled found a place in my heart and in my fridge.
Also, disposable plates and baking pans are super helpful here. You can make up for your carbon imprint when you get a real place to live again but for now, throw aways are your friend.
My favorite simple meal is to use a disposable aluminum pan with fresh veggies spread out on it, sprinkle some seasoning (you bought seasoning mixes of garlic/onion/Italian etc so you don’t need a hundred bottles in order to add flavor), drizzle a bit of olive oil then add small pieces of boneless chicken like tenderloin or raw LEAN hamburger sprinkled on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for approx an hr. Uncover and keep checking till done. One dish used and throw it away.
I have resigned myself to the fact that my whole wheat cornbread and fresh baked cinnamon rolls aren’t going to happen again soon. But that’s not such a bad thing either. So readers……tell me your “cooking like we’re camping” dinner ideas.