Since we moved in at the end of May, we have been living without a stove/oven. The sellers had left one, but because we were going to get a new one immediately, we never tested it to ensure it worked. And before we even moved in, Jeremy lugged the old thing into the garage and did not handle it with care thinking we were just trashing it. Between all of our other renovations, we had an energy audit done. It was very useful, and we can’t wait to take advantage of the incentives offered to re-insulate the 50-year-old home. When we found out that we could get even more incentives if we were gas customers, rather than oil, we thought it would be prudent to just check to see if it was even possible. After a few weeks of waiting, we got the good news! There was gas in the street, and we would only need to pay $800 to get it connected to the house. (Note – that does not include the cost to convert the heating system to gas, which is a whole other beast in and of itself.)
We are so excited to have gas heat instead of oil – not only for environmental reasons but cost as well. And even more importantly, I get to cook with gas rather than electric. Have I mentioned I hate using an electric stove?!! The problem is that it is a very long wait. We immediately returned the new electric range we had purchased right after buying the house (it hadn’t even been delivered yet.) But we’re waiting to purchase a new gas range until the utility company actually comes out to bring the gas to the house. So right now there is a big hole in our kitchen where a range should be.
And this also means there is a big hole in my meal planning abilities. Thank goodness it is summer and using the grill is easy and expected. But we’re still living without fresh-baked goodies (you know I love to bake!), pasta (oh how good does a plate of spaghetti sound right now?), and other simple meals cooked on my stove or in my oven. I won’t lie. It’s been a major struggle. I think we’ve eaten out a lot more. I think we eat a lot of sandwiches, but we also eat a lot of salads so hopefully the carb levels balance out. Knowing we still have at least another 6 weeks before we’re all gassed up, I figured I better take this challenge by the horns and figure out some go-to meals. Here is a list of some great stove/oven-free meal ideas.
- Chicken “Cheesesteaks” on our Griddler (deli chicken sliced up with sliced peppers)
- Backwards Dinner (pancakes, sausage, bacon, etc. using our Griddler served with a side of fruit salad)
- Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry using our electric skillet and served over Trader Joe’s Frozen Jasmine Rice (just 3 minutes in the microwave!)
- Asian Chicken Wraps (Asian marinated grilled chicken with jasmine rice, carrot sticks, lettuce, and peppers) My favorite so far!
- Slow-cooked Chicken Soft Tacos
- Slow-cooked Balsamic Roast Beef Sandwiches with Au Jus and Grilled Potatoes
- Slow-cooked BBQ Pork Sandwiches
- BBQ Pork Nachos (perfect for leftovers!)
This list does not include the obvious choices of turkey sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tender salad (chicken cooked in our toaster oven), grilled chicken, etc. I’m trying to be innovative, but mindful of time and costs and summer heat! Next up is innovative oven-less desserts… (I tried a brookie in the crockpot and wasn’t impressed.) Thankfully it’s easy to get ice cream around here. But if you have any suggestions, please let me know! Another 6-8 weeks of this?