Healthy meals w/o a stove/oven

Nichole - posted on 10/06/2010 ( 217 moms have responded )

1,268

50

139

Please don't judge me. We moved into our new house about a month ago. It's a rental that didn't come with appliances. We bought a fridge and already had a washer and dryer. We will buy our stove as soon as we can afford it. We just had to get out of living with the in laws for alot of reasons. Anyways my son is 13 months. I buy canned veggies low in salt and microwave them, gerber meals, bagels, yogurts, fruits, and let him have aliitle of our meals (microwavable dinners as healthy as I can find). Anybody have some good ideas one healthy meals for a toddler that don't involve a stove? We also found a lot of neat toddler snacks that have tons of vitamins. But just looking for more ideas so he gets a wide variety until we get the stove.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Julie - posted on 10/06/2010

261

13

65

Do you have a slow cooker/crock pot? I make tons of meals in mine because I am so busy in the evenings with kids activities that dinner is hard to fit in if it isn't ready to go when it is time to eat. They are pretty inexpensive 20-50 dollars depending on how big of one you need. There are tons of recipes for them at allrecipes.com.

Morgan - posted on 10/06/2010

1,116

44

166

try microwaving frozen veggies there much better than canned ones, just put them in a bowl with a bit of water. do you have anyone close by where you can go cook some things and then freeze them?
try google theres tons of microave ideas :)

Heather - posted on 10/06/2010

92

61

3

Where do you live???? I have a stove not being used in my garage you can have

Lisa - posted on 10/07/2010

1

14

0

Post on Freecycle in your area that you need a stove. Someone might have one not using

Cheryl - posted on 10/06/2010

42

2

0

Do you have a toaster? is it a toaster oven? If so, you can do a lot with that. Grilled cheese is a piece of bread with cheese toasted on it. Cookies (five at a time can be made in a toaster oven) Pre cooked bacon can be heated in a microwave or a toaster oven. Potatoes can be "baked" in a toaster oven or in the microwave, cheese and bacon bits can be added. Canned chicken and tuna provide wonderful salad" material, if you add a bit of mayonaise and some chopped celery pieces. You can scramble an egg or 2 in a microwave by greasing a bowl, scrambling the eggs cooking them at 15-20 second intervals, then stirring them up, cook again and again till done. You can do small summer or zucchini squash in a toaster oven by using a tiny pan, split the squash, and put some water in the bottom, baking in the toaster oven for about 45 min on 350. Keep an eye on it. Most frozen veggies, are microwavable as are so many of the microwavable healthy choice items. Rice can be made in a microwave, Uncle Ben's even has one designed for that. Don't forget about canned soups and chili products that are available and can be microwaved. Frozen cooked chicken can be thawed first in the fridge then heated in the microwave. As can pre cooked burgers, brats, hot dogs, beans, canned veggies. You have a lot of options, check out the backs of your products in the frozen food isle or the canned vegetable isle. Most produce can be eaten raw, like carrots and celery, lettuce, tomatoes, apples. Sweet potatoes can be made in the microwave. Recipies for microwave cooking are often for free on the internet. Google microwave recipies. Good luck!

This conversation has been closed to further comments

217 Comments

View replies by

Alyce - posted on 10/13/2010

36

27

0

I just thought of something else. If you have a toaster oven, you could make mini-pizzas: use English muffins and cover each one with spaghetti sauce, toppings of your choice, oregano, basil, and some Parmesan. Bake them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. I like them as a healthy snack, but you could combine them with a salad and make a meal.

Trisha - posted on 10/13/2010

4

5

0

oop sorry - just saw that you have all of the above. wonder if there's a cookbook for oven-less cooking? might be worth a search.

Trisha - posted on 10/13/2010

4

5

0

Have you thought about getting a single electric burner or indoor grill (like the george foreman)? When my grandmother didn't feel up to full blown cooking anymore, we bought her a george foreman and she used it for everything - any meat or fish, vegetables, sandwiches. Or with a single burner, you could saute or pan fry, cook pasta, blanch or steam vegetables. Or a slow cooker? Most of the inexpensive ones are sufficient.

[deleted account]

we use our crockpot alot. you can go online and get 6 items or less recipes. my family loves them. we used this when our stove was broken for 1 month

Kathy - posted on 10/13/2010

2

0

0

sweet potatoes or yams are not that expensive and are a good source of vitamins also spinach, mix a little mashed up together and you have a jam packed duo.

Angie - posted on 10/13/2010

1

1

0

Sure, with a microwave you can cook about anything. Also consider fresh options that don't require cooking at all -- vegetable salads, fruit salads. We often have "sandwich night" where each person gets to make their own sandwich and instead of chips, we eat raw veggies like bell peppers, small tomatoes, cauliflower, etc. Good luck to you!

Geri - posted on 10/13/2010

6

20

0

How about serving the veggies & fruits raw? You don't need to cook them, and if your son is developing teeth, carrots are great for gnawing on, and great for your figure too. Make green smoothies -- my kids love them!!! Go to greensmoothiegirl.com -- wonderful recipes for using raw produce. Crockpots are wonders too, though, as are toaster ovens.

Alyce - posted on 10/13/2010

36

27

0

I second the idea for the crock pot. In addition to being a great way to cook healthy meals, you can make a big batch all at once and then freeze it in portion sizes for later.

Hayley - posted on 10/13/2010

33

8

0

why would anyone judge you?? you are doing the best you can and you obviously love your baby!! Congrats on buying your own place - an accomplishment!!

Angela - posted on 10/13/2010

7

30

0

You can get the ziploc zip and steam bags! They work for meat and veggies and tell you cook times on the bag!

Emily - posted on 10/13/2010

8

32

2

Steamed veggies! They sell frozen veggies in microwaveable bags so that you can steam them in the bag. You can do pasta in the microwave as well. We didn't have a stove for quite awhile, we got an electric skillet, which you can do just about anything in. Scrambled eggs are also good. You can do them in the microwave. Just mix them up how you normally would and nuke them until they are the consistency you like. It takes a little longer to do, but it can be done.

Ami - posted on 10/13/2010

70

20

10

What about hummus? There's a lot of different flavors available and you can use it on toast, bread, sandwiches with deli meat, as a dip for veggies, etc.

Sally - posted on 10/13/2010

961

14

8

And don't feel bad. My stove is starting to crap out and I don't know when I'll be able to afford a new one.

Sally - posted on 10/13/2010

961

14

8

Any sort of soup, stew, or roast can be cooked in a crock pot. So can baked pasta dishes. A lot of casseroles could be cooked in one too. Check your library for crockpot cookbooks.

[deleted account]

Sounds to me like you are doing well all on your own. Microwave and maybe a hot plate and your good. But there really isn't much you can't do in the microwave anymore. I know everything my 21 mo old eats I could do in the microwave. Potatoes, macaroni, veggies, chicken nuggets, ect. So I don't think any one is judging you. We all have been on hard times and you too will get through it. :)

Kara - posted on 10/13/2010

27

19

5

I noticed below that you said you have a George Foreman grill. buy some ham steaks and grill them up on that. Another thing I was thinking was that if you were able to go to either a family member's place or a friends place to pre make a bunch of meals that you can put in the freezer (in microwaveable containers) you can spend a day making tons of meals for your family and still have a healthy home cooked meal. You could make roast a chicken and freeze the meat in smaller portions, make some soup from the bones for another meal. You can even make some casseroles. Just a thought. Hope it helps you a bit.
Good luck!

Laura - posted on 10/13/2010

1

0

0

Please, please, please...while the person who said your child's food does not have to be that hot is correct, however please always make sure you heat canned food to 140 degrees to eliminate the possibility of botulism. A small child/infant can die if he ingests food with botulism. Even jarred baby foods should be heated before eaten. If you want to serve it cold, let it cool off after heating. I am not paranoid, I am a chef who also has a degree in Nutrition. Also, foods from the fridge that are great as is...fruits and veggies!!

Laura - posted on 10/13/2010

64

80

1

Egg Poofs are wonderful and very easy! Get a microwave safe bowl (I like little Pyrex glass ones). Put in two eggs, a tablespoon of milk, a little salt and pepper (and other spices if you like - oregano, basil and red pepper are nummy) and microwave it for about 2 minutes. (It'll "poof" up and kids love watching it!) Then grab a slice of your favorite cheese to top it off, some fruit and a piece of peanut butter toast and you've got a yummy, quick little meal!

Renee - posted on 10/13/2010

4

0

0

I just discovered that fish/shrimp cook really well in the microwave (about 4 min. for 1 lb.). My 11 mo. old also really loves little peices of steamed veggies, tofu, yogurt, sweet potato (also done in the microwave). Whether it's short term or not, you can do a lot of stuff for toddlers w/o cooking. They haven't developed as discriminating of taste or a sense of 'breakfast food' vs. 'dinner food' yet...to them, food is just food. Don't feel like you have to prepare a gourmet meal. Little healthy bites of a well-rounded selection are good enough.

Kathryn - posted on 10/13/2010

1

20

0

Nichole, They have frozen veggies now that steam in a bag in the microwave and they are really good! You can also get the Nitrate free Turkey hotdogs and zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Kathryn

Jill - posted on 10/13/2010

1

0

0

One of my favorite easy meals, which can be made on your grill or in a skillet on the hotplate is quesadillas. All you need is a package of tortillas, sliced pepper jack cheese and salsa. If pepper jack cheese is too spicy for your toddler, just use mild shredded cheddar. Put tortilla on grill, top with cheese and 2nd tortilla. After a minute, or so, when cheese starts to melt, flip and grill until cheese is completely melted and tortilla is slightly golden. Cut in wedges and serve with salsa.

Carolyn - posted on 10/13/2010

5

1

0

Crockpots are great. I made pork chops yesterday straight from the freezer.
2 onions cut up on the bottom
4 thick pork chops
I small jar of cinnamon applesauce (dump right on top of chops) add about a 1/4 cup of water
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, and thyme
Cook on low for 8 hours Can't be much easier.

Heather - posted on 10/13/2010

13

13

1

I use my george foreman grill to make most of our meat. I cook chicken breast and hot dogs and steak , pork chops and fish on it. Use the crock pot you can make a lot of meals in that, that you would use an oven for it just takes longer. All the skillet you can make anything on you would use a frying pan for. You can find frozen packages of meals that have microwave instruction on the package . I make ham and cheese sandwiches on my skillet (the flat thing that you make eggs etc. on) and warm up a can of vegetables in the microwave.

Dee - posted on 10/13/2010

40

12

0

When we first bought our house it did come with a stove hower it was a gas stove and the gas leaked so until we bought a new one and changed it from gas to electric which took a little over a month I made meals in my slow cooker and also used my george foreman for anything else. Those are cheaper and by far the best thing around to use when needed. I also still cook all my breakfasts on it. Also BBQ is also the way to go if you have one. If not a coal buring fire with a grill.

Sarah - posted on 10/13/2010

22

9

1

just keep doing what your doing in feeding your child and can do a ton of things in a microwave toaster crock skillet camp or reg grill. can make grilled potato slices with bacon peas or any veggie add them in when close to done if you use can or frozen veggies. can cook any meat cut chicken breast thighs legs, pork chops. hamburgers. in crock pot can make sheps pie. be creative make sure food is safely cooked to temp. by the small vienna sausage even have a toddler brand in canned toddlers section. not everything has to be 100% healthy, hard to afford nowadays to put fresh veggies and fruits on table your mom feed your baby what you would eat and call 'healthy' can cook macncheese in micro or crock pot. vary cook times if need test n check food and youll be all set. check on websites and google quick meal ideas. with what you have pots n pans will be good until you feel you are capible of seeking out a stove. if chose not to for a while can depending how big house is set up kitchen and dine in one and the dine room could be turned into a play room if there is enough room

Alana - posted on 10/13/2010

10

0

0

Great suggestion on the freestuff.. also try freecycle.org. Folks are helping each other out all the time.. it's worth a try and a way to give and receive!

Kris - posted on 10/13/2010

2

28

1

Here is a good simple meal that you can eat with crackers, salad, or as a sandwich. get a few cans of the hormel chicken(usually found same area as the tuna). Open and drain, put into a medium size bowl. Cut up some grapes, apples, and celery into small pieces. mix into bowl with chicken. Now add about a cup of MAYO. ADD brown sugar and apple cider vinegar to taste. ITS a delicous chicken salad that will last up to a week in the fridge. My whole family loves it and people at work beg me to make it for them. GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY EATINGS!

Alana - posted on 10/13/2010

10

0

0

do you have crock pot or slow cooker? You can make wonderful, soups, stews and exceptionally tender meats in one and you don't have to stand over it all day!!!

Tracy - posted on 10/13/2010

2

17

0

I agree, you can cook almost anything with the grill, crockpot and griddle. However, if you do feel that you need a stove sooner and live in or near a bigger city/town, try searching free stuff on Craigslist, most bigger cities have this and you can almost always get good working appliances or even a hot-plate for free.

Stephanie - posted on 10/13/2010

5

0

0

I lived in a situation without a stove for about 2 years, and got a really big electric frying pan that I could do a lot in and had a slow cooker, and a microwave. Between those things, I was able to do quite a bit, although I was very happy to have a stove again. The lifesaver for me, besides the electric frying pan, was the library, they had books with one dish meals I could make in the frying pan, and throw a vegetable in the microwave. I also got the hard boiled egg thing for the microwave so I could make those in the microwave. I used to microwave spaghetti noodles too, so i could make spaghetti/chicken cacciatore in the electric skillet. There are a lot of things you can make with just a few inexpensive small appliances!

Yvonne - posted on 10/13/2010

4

1

0

There is a network of moms called cafemom.com.I belong to some groups that would be able to help you in that area.Microwave cooking,crockpot cooking

Lois - posted on 10/13/2010

78

9

7

stop beating yourself up about the situation. It sounds like you are doing the best you can under very hard conditions. I would sugest trying chunky soup for yourself ( it's a fairly compleat meal) as to what you are doing for your little one-I would just add a few fresh fruits,maybe apple slices with penut butter on them or bannanas.

[deleted account]

Buy a crock pot in the mean time! You can slow cook SO MANY things (pot roast, chicken, vegetables---there are a million cookbooks out there for slow cookers). Added bonus: you don't have to spend a lot of time on food prep, and dinner stays warm until you're ready to eat it.

Candy - posted on 10/13/2010

1

20

0

try crock pot meals and usr low sodioum and then you can puree them and feed like babyfood. My kids ae what we ate only I seasoned more heavily once I took their portion out.

Monique - posted on 10/13/2010

1

0

0

I think you are doing great considering, what about wholemeal pita breads with tzatziki or hummous ....

Cheryl - posted on 10/13/2010

7

0

0

There are actually quite a few things you can do with a microwave using the concept of steam. Another thought is buying a smallish crock-pot (I love these). I just bought a 5 quart one for $20, but you can get 3 quart crock-pots as well. Aside from the ease of cooking (toss stuff in and leave it for hours), there are a ton of healthy, easy recipes for them.

For the microwave though (since that is what you were asking about), I do a fish recipe that is easy. I use filet of sole (you can use other types of fish, but you'll want a fish like sole, haddock, cod for this one). I lay the fish in the casserole dish, add about 1/4 cup of milk, a pad of butter on each fish piece, a little salt, pepper, and tumeric (yellow spice) and nuke it for about 10 minutes. You want the fish to be white and flakey, so if you use haddock, it will take longer. I sometimes throw in cut up tomatoes as well.

Kim - posted on 10/13/2010

11

21

0

Not judging. You need to do what you have to do until you get your stove. Your doing fine. Sounds like your looking for the best in your situation and that is all you can do. Good luck on the stove hunt and keep smiling.

Karen - posted on 10/13/2010

33

4

2

Jacket potatoes cook nicely in a microwave and you can add cheese or baked beans afterwards. Serve with sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Prick the potato and microwave on high for 5-8 minutes depending on size, you can serve in the skin or scoop the potato out!

Titti - posted on 10/13/2010

8

0

0

anyone knows what a microwave acutally is, what it is made of, where it is produced and how it functions? why do we need them and are they biodegrable??!! i never used a microwave, so its definitely something one can live without. ah, yes, bananas, mango, pears, ... naturally dried fruit, ... :)

Titti - posted on 10/13/2010

8

0

0

carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts, bread and cream cheese? you dont need a microwave. check the internet for raw baby food.

Katie - posted on 10/13/2010

31

0

1

grilled chicken strips; instant rice with grilled chicken in it and shredded cheese on top; easy mac and cut up hot dog; fresh fruits and veggies; hamburgers; peanut butter & jelly (or honey); tuna (maybe mix with a lil mayo) and saltines; tortilla, shredded cheese, and lunch meat, 30 sec in microwave; umm... celery, peanut butter, and raisins - ants on a log :) i donno, there's a few! good luck!

Robynne - posted on 10/12/2010

3

2

0

hello... a great investment is a microwave steamer. you can bascically cook any fresh food in it as it works like a conventional steamer. THe only trick to make sure you dont lose all the nutrients is dont nuke your food on too high a temperature or for too long. once you have the steamer you can basically do anything! Sweet potatos, steamed fresh mixed veg, steamed chicken. I even give my one steamed Salmon with a little bit of garlic and herbs and he loves it! Good luck, and hope you manage to get that stove soon!!

Traci - posted on 10/12/2010

1

0

0

Crock pot and a great receipe book would be a good place to start. Also think about mixing items into pancake batter such as mashed sweet potatoes. You can cook the veggies in the microwave and run them through a food processer or blender then mix them right into the pancake batter.

Connie - posted on 10/12/2010

21

12

1

And to add to my prior comment, I have a 21-month-old and about the only thing I use the stove for is to boil noodles so you should be able to get by for a while without a stove.

Connie - posted on 10/12/2010

21

12

1

The Gerber Graduates snacks are pretty decently healthy but the microwave meals are PACKED with salt. Same amount as in adult foods -- the Beech Nut versions of the same meals ("chicken and stars" etc) have about one-third the salt that the Gerber ones have. It's not gonna kill your kid of course but you don't want their little tummies to always expect highly seasoned food.

I would say to continue to serve baby rice and baby oatmeal as part of the diet because those are really healthy and packed with vitamins and minerals. Mix with jars of baby food vegs, or chewable pieces of fruits/vegs.

Rachel - posted on 10/12/2010

195

22

12

Between the microwave, slow cooker, griddle and george foreman grill you should be able to make almost anything. I have a stove and don't even use it that much and I feed myself, husband and five year old.



Breakfast - lots of oatmeal, microwaved with fresh fruit in it, eggs and/or sausage/ham can be made on the grill along with blueberry pancakes, egg sandwich with eggs cooked in the microwave with a slice of cheese between two toasted english muffins, yogurt with fruit, cereal...



Lunch - sandwiches, frozen tortellini or ravioli microwaved with pesto or marinara, canned refried beans with cheese and leftover grilled chicken rolled up in a tortilla, cheese quesadillas or grilled cheese on the griddle, and of course there are canned chili and soup, although we don't eat those often because they're loaded with salt.



Dinner - grilled meat on your george forman, burgers with toasted buns, microwaved frozen veggies, baked potatoes with cheese from the microwave, breakfast for dinner, and a million things you can cook in your slow cooker from meals with rice, potatoes to meats, soups and stews.



Snacks - we eat tons of fruit, peanut butter smeared on bananas, cheese sticks, apple sauce, trail mix...



Good luck!

Nancy - posted on 10/12/2010

2

0

0

Rely on your slow cooker! Fabulous meals can be made - and not just stews either. You can cook really moist chicken and I made a pork loin roast in there recently. Just rub spices on the roast or chicken (wash the chicken first), put it in the crockpot along with 1 Cup of water and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Yum!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms