Q: I'm in San Francisco for a three-month internship. I'm used to cooking for myself almost every night, often using many ingredients and spending a good deal of time on my meals. My living situation here involves a small kitchen that is shared with a very large group of people. On top of that, all I have with me is a pot and pan and a few basic ingredients (olive oil, salt etc.) I'm wondering if you have any suggestions about meals that
- Don't require very much equipment.
- Are relatively quick.
- Can be made with a few ingredients.
- Still give me the pleasure of cooking something and taste great!!
- Are not simply pasta with a sauce because I've already exhausted that ( :
A: Caitlin! Boy, do I ever hear you. Junior year of college, I shared a house with seven friends. We each bought our own food and cooked on our own time. Needless to say, there was a lot of cereal involved.
First, there are two older CHG posts might be just up your alley: Last-Minute Little Dinners for One and 65 Cheap, Healthy One Dish Meals with Good Leftover Potential. The latter will give you office lunches for a few days, which can be very helpful, especially if your internship is unpaid.
Speaking of one-dish meals, I’m thinking that would be your best bet in general. They don’t usually involve huge financial outlays, the ingredients won’t take up much space in a limited fridge/pantry, and you can be as daring or conservative as you like. Stir fries are the easiest and most popular variety thereof, but a few spices and some internetz searching should open new worlds.
Beyond that, Deb from Smitten Kitchen cooks in a tiny galley (42 square feet!), and there’s fantastic stuff all over that blog. I might take a few minutes/hours to peruse.
But enough about my ideas. Readers, what about yours? What kind of meals would you suggest for Caitlin? Do you have any experience cooking in a small kitchen, surrounded by roommates? Do tell.
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