Feliz miercoles!

I enjoyed reading all of your guesses as to why my eats will be undergoing a makeover of sorts for the next month. I’m not training or traveling—though neither is bad idea (especially the traveling)! I’m not doing a vegetarian, grocery or budget challenge—though all sound oddly enticing (me gusta competition). And I am definitely not going dairy-free; you know that would entail giving up crack cream cheese AND a beloved Greek delicacy, right?

The one correct hypothesis came from resident smartie, Ms. SnackFace, in my numero uno comment. Kailey wrote:

Hmmm, my guess is that you’re cutting out dairy for a bit? I don’t know. Or you’re going to be in a living situation that doesn’t allow you to have your own food/kitchen.

As I said, erroneous on the dairy-free account—though you can’t blame a vegan for throwing that one out there ;). However, the kitchen-free living situation? Right on el dinero.

Yes, for the next month (hopefully not longer!!), I am a kitchen-less foodie. Oxymoronical, no? Worry not. I’m not moving to a third world country or a halfway house, or some other kitchen-less land. I’m just getting my kitchen renovated.

This is not a simple renovation, hence our contractor estimating 6-8 weeks of construction—with the kitchen being completely out of commission for at least 4 of those weeks. Oh, we’re also doing the dining room—which means that the entire contents of my kitchen and dining room are temporarily residing in my living room. It’s a pretty hysterical sight: refrigerator, dining room table, necessary kitchen appliances, plus pantry food I’ve deemed necessary—all in the corner of my living room.

So what does this mean for Los Foodie Diaries?

  • Hopefully not its demise
  • A LOT of microwaving
  • A LOT of toaster oven-ing
  • An influx in eating out (TWSS)
  • A downgrade in food presentation :(—no kitchen means limited/disposable dishes & hand-washing everything. Que Amish!
  • An increase in very simple & easy to re-create meals (that’s a plus, right?)
  • Withdrawal from these:

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Although the idea of having to microwave most of my food for an entire month is causing a littttle bit of anxiety, I’m determined to make this work. How? I am challenging myself to be as creative as possible with my microwave & toaster-friendly eats. Why? Porque I love you all, and I don’t want to bore you to death with canned soup for every meal. Trust me, canned soup will be aplenty—but I’m going to do my best not to let my kitchen-less restrictions get in the way of delicious, healthy food. If the dorm room chicas can work it out, so can I :).

If you have any tips for easy, virtually-appliance-free eating, I’d love to hear them. Also, local amigas, feel free to invite me over to use you for your kitchen cook for you :). Will work for kitchen-access.

Hopefully the challenges that come with a kitchen-free vida make for some interesting blogging!

Let’s get to Tuesday’s treats, a.k.a. day #1 of kitchen-free eats!

That’s Amore Oat Bran

…because clearly I can’t get enough strawberry amor.

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In the bowl: 1/2 cup oat bran; 1 cup water; brown sugar; 2 fresas positioned in corazon shape; whipped cream also in heart-form. Cooked in the everyone’s favorite radiation-spewing household appliance—by necessity, not choice.

Non-Pleasantville foto:

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Moral of this microwaveable story: Micro-ed oat bran is still delicious! I prefer stove-top cooking because it’s easier to control the texture. But for a simple bowl of oats—with few mix-ins—the microwave got the job done!

I imagine that cooking banana & pumpkin oats don’t work as well in the microwave; have you tried either?

Lunch gave me hope that simplicity can breed flavorfully creative eats.

After toasting two pieces of whole wheat toast, I smeared a Laughing Cow wedge & raspberry preserves on one side.

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Honey maple turkey & “grilled” pear slices went on the other half.

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How, you may wonder, does one grill pears without a kitchen? Well, if you can get past the mildly unsanitary method, you can simply throw the slices directly onto your toaster oven’s wire rack. I wasn’t above it.

The result: a knock-off Thanksgiving day sandwich!

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I was reading a magazine with a turkey/pear/brie/cranberry sandwich yesterday, and I couldn’t shake my intrigue despite lacking half the ingredients. So, LC & raspberry preserves played the roles of brie & cranberry sauce. Encore, encore! This was SO GOOD.

Like these…

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Actually, the sweet potato FSTG chips are my least favorite flavor so far. Don’t get me wrong; they’re good. But they’re not mind-blowingly good like every other FSTG flavor I’ve tried. I think it’s because they aren’t sweet potato-y enough. Compared to (admittedly less healthy) SP chips like Terra & whatever JetBlue serves in-flight, these have a very faint sweet potato taste. Perhaps I’m too much a cheetah-enthusiast to enjoy my dearly beloved orange veggie in any milder form.

This obviously did not deter me from eating half the bag. I wish I were exaggerating. However, when one is exiled from the entire first floor of her house (ahem, where all the food is) due to the demolition of the aforementioned kitchen & dining room, one is forced to hoard bags of chips to one’s bedroom and commence mindless munching. If you couldn’t infer, I’m one.

While those chips saved me from starvation, this little dorm-friendly appliance saved me from sickness.

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Well, maybe not. But it made it better. I started to feel sort of sick in the afternoon, and my remedy for any and all illnesses is green tea. And lots of it. GT overconsumption was only made possible by the above water heater (not sure of its proper name).

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I probably drank 16 cups—con honey, obviously.

When construction ceased for el dia, I hit up the previously forbidden fridge for a snack.

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Container of plain greek yogurt & Fiber 1. This is one of my all-time favorite simple yogurt mixes. I know a lot of people stay away from F1 because it has high fructose corn syrup. But it’s one of the only cereals I really like—and I’m not really sure where I stand on the whole HFCS thing—so I enjoy it in moderation. What are your opinions of HFCS?

Dinner Part I was only made possibly by my foodie foresight. On Monday, before my kitchen was ground into debris, I decided to prepare some food that (1) could not be cooked sans kitchen and (2) might come in handy during these hard times.

One of these items was one of my dietary staples: Green Cheetahs.

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That would be FIVE zucchinis—grilled to charry perfection—in that container. Seems like a lot, but it won’t last long.

I had a big pile of mis favoritos alongside some steamed green cauliflower, and Soy Vay!

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For the main event: Toaster-oven pita pizza.

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I prepared this the same way I do in my standard oven: Brushed with EVOO, baked at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes on each side. This time I topped it with 3 tbsp. (maybe more?) Greek Olive hummus, broccoli, spinach, red onion and roasted red pepper (all cooked in the microwave!) and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Broiled for 3-5 minutes after the toppings go on.

SO HUMMUS-Y.

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SO CHEESY.

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SO NOT PIZZA. I adore thee.

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I have a feeling pita pizzas are going to become a staple. I promise to get creative with toppings. Any suggestions?

Something else that’s going to become (er, remain) a staple?

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Popcorn! If I’m being confined to microwave cooking, you best believe my favorite microwaveable treat will be making frequent appearances. Also—it’s National Popcorn Poppin’ Month! I needn’t any more incentive. Without access to a popper, it’s going to be Jolly Time/Orville Kettle Corn. I prefer Jolly Time; it is the best Kettle Corn ever! Chemical-laden corn never tasted so good ;).

Still pretty sick, I drank this poison before bed.

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Cherry Theraflu is gross. But it knocked me out and made me feel a little better—so I manned up and chugged.

Before I go, please check out:

  • Natalie’s amazing non-profit program, Project Feed Me, which seeks to help feed families in need. Becoming a member and committing to food donations is ridiculously easy: All you need to do is buy two of the “recommended food items” each week for nine weeks. At the end of nine weeks, bring your items to your local food bank. It’s so simple—and really can make a huge impact.
  • Jenn’s interview with breast cancer expert, Dr. Kristi Funk. Amid all of this month’s breast cancer awareness fund-raising efforts, we have to remember to be aware of breast cancer as it pertains to us. Jenn’s interview is very informative and taught me some things about breast cancer I’d never heard. Did you know that Ashkenazi Jews are exponentially more likely to carry a gene that’s been linked to breast cancer? Or that drinking in excess of 5-7 glasses of alcohol per week increases your risk for developing breast cancer? There’s a lot of very valuable and interesting information in the short segment, so I urge you to watch it!

Ok, I’m off to O.D. on more green tea and get creative in the kitchen living room.

Buenos noches,

-Sarah

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