Healthy meals w/o a stove/oven

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

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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.

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Tanya - posted on 10/12/2010

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My daughter used to love pasta (spirals etc) with a tin of pumpkin sweetcorn baby food and grated cheese with mixed frozen veges added. I cook the pasta in a microwave rice cooker, it is a quick easy meal. I also make a quiche in the microwave with any leftover veges and meat. Good luck

Anar - posted on 10/12/2010

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grilling? you get really small grills for like $30... u can cook a bunch of veggies/ chicken on it..
another thing is tofu/chicken(grilled ) ,spinach, yoghurts , oatmeal , fruits , healthy cereal bars, cereal, ...

Justine - posted on 10/12/2010

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a small gas camping stove may help until you are able to get a stove? Then at least you could do scrambled eggs, fresh boiled or steamed veggies, PASTA, RICE etc? (This will also ultimately be cheaper than buying prepared foods anyway, so you'll be able to afford the stove sooner! :-0) But I also just wanted to say well done for prioritising healthy food even under such difficult circumstances - a lot of people would have just given up, but it sounds as though you are doing everything you can (including posting here!) to try to maintain the quality of your son's food (and the rest of the family!) so just remembed to also congratulate yourself for that from time to time as well!!!

[deleted account]

In New Zealand we have microwave steam veggies that are easy to prepare and are very tasty - do you have something like that?
We also use the crock pot (Slow Cooker) and the George Forman Grill.
Sounds like you are doing a fab job as it is! I can imagine I would be paying a lot of visits to Micky D's if I had no stove!
Hope it works out for you soon xxx

[deleted account]

Oh honey.... you are doing NOTHING wrong! One suggestion though is to try to avoid using the canned vegetables so much and go with frozen vegetables. They microwave just as well or I just soak them in hot water. Frozen vegetables are far less likely to have preservatives, additives, sodium, etc... and are fresh when they are frozen. It also starts to decrease the amount of chemicals/residue that your child ingests from the aluminum can lining. And, make sure that you NEVER store leftover anything in the can in the fridge - ALWAYS take it out and put it in tupperware or even a plastic bag. I don't use anything in an aluminum can but total elimination is not necessary for everyone just limit it as much as it is possible, especially for your kiddo! Keep being creative! You're doing a great job! My husband and I eat mostly raw and entirely vegan and most of the time my kids have too. Though you can soak things in warm water or puree them in a blender to heat them up.

Sandra - posted on 10/11/2010

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Omg, sounds like you're doing great under the circumstances! I know you can do a lot with a microwave, when we had our kitchen done, I used to make rice, pasta, lots of things...but just be careful with the steam and water. Even a scrambled egg on toast and some steamed carrots is a great meal for your little one. Frozen veggies micro great, so you could make something like broccoli soup with low sodium broth and a potato,puree it up...good luck Nichole, i hope you get that stove soon, you brave mama!

Lorraine - posted on 10/11/2010

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Your doing OK mum. your baby is just fine on what he gets, finger food is good eg. cheese, fruit,

Catherine - posted on 10/11/2010

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well, how about a toaster oven to warm stuff up, then you can bake in there too.
how about steaming fresh carrots or broccoli in the microwave? I would recommend Super Baby Food from your library. There are lots of super healthy no cook toddler meals in there.
I commend you for not going into debt for a "convenience" item.
Do you have a little grill so you can make chicken or something like that. You can get a cheap little camping grill or find someting at the thrift store.

Allie - posted on 10/11/2010

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Salmon in the Microwave:
1/2cup soy sauce
2tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2cup green onions, sliced
2tablespoons sesame seed oil
1lb salmon filet (uniform thickness)

Combine soy sauce and vinegar. Add salmon skin up for 15minutes (or less depending on your rush) to marinate. Cook on high for 3 minutes, covered (plastic wrap works well) in a glass casserole dish. Peel skin off and flip over. Sprinkle onions and sesame oil. Cover and microwave on high for one minute. Serve over rice.

I usually use Uncle Ben's 90 sec. Ready rice and Kroger's frozen shelled edimame (5 minutes in the microwave) or some frozen microwavable veggie. My husband and two year old LOVE this meal. Enjoy!

Amy - posted on 10/11/2010

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You have some great ideas here. Just saw you have a crock pot and hot plate. Sounds like you've got what you need, just need some new meal ideas. Lots of websites can help you out, that's how I find variety for my family.

Christine Hess - posted on 10/11/2010

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Check out Craigslist... often times you can get a stove for free from someone who is remodeling their kitchen and just want someone to pick up the old one so they don't have to pay to have it hauled away. I personally, have listed 3 stoves over the years. Sold one and gave two away.

Crystal - posted on 10/11/2010

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Do you own a BBQ pit? Or a George foreman little grill 20 bucks! I would find a way to give Jim veggies. You can microwave broccoli which is the veggie w most vitamins.

Laura - posted on 10/11/2010

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Crock pots are a God-send. Vegetables, fruit, meat--you name it, it cooks it! Cleans up pretty easily, too--also, toaster ovens work great for things like toasted cheese, garlic toast, baked potatoes (which you can then mash if you want.) Don't lock yourself into a box--the sky is the limit.

[deleted account]

Steamers are great, now they have so many varieties of rice, broclii with cheese etc. that are really good. What about a toaster oven they are cheap and you can bake just about anything in them. The crock pot is super useful too. There is a cook book called "fix it and forget it" has tons of slow cooker recipes in it, every thing from meat, veggies to deserts. Man I love that book!!! Hope this helps a bit. BTW, why would anyone judge you for wanting to get out from under your inlaws roof? I say good for you, its ok to have to go without for the sake of your own sanity ;)

Amber - posted on 10/11/2010

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I use an electric skilled as much as my stove and oven combined. They are 30-40.

Tanya - posted on 10/11/2010

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Crockpot!
I use mine at least 3-4 times a week. And they are fairly cheap to buy.
You can make super healthy meals with a slow cooker or crock pot and there are lots of recipes on the internet.
Plus, the meat comes out super tender, as do the veggies so it's great for small kids/babies that need things soft.

Penny - posted on 10/11/2010

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You can always scramble up some eggs and microwave for about 40 seconds. My 14 month old LOVES them!

Deborah - posted on 10/11/2010

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Our kid loves Plain yogurt (either Stoneyfield or Fage brand), microwaved turkey meatballs, Mandarin oranges that come in juice (not syrup), bananas, cheese pieces cut-up.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/11/2010

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Oh, and if your kid isn't allergic - nuts are a great addition. A bag of trail mix is a great thing that lasts in the cupboard.

Rebecca - posted on 10/11/2010

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Steam veggies in the oven and mash them and freeze them, healthy and fresh. You can also boil fruit aswell in the microwave. I agree, get a slow cooker, you can do lots of healthy things in there.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/11/2010

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Also, try raw fruits, like bananas and strawberries. We buy boxes of frozen blueberries and let our daughter dig into them as well. Finally, the microwave actually destroys less vitamins than boiling or steaming for most vegetables, especially folate in greens, so don't feel bad about the microwave. Heck, it's healthy even when you DO have a stove. My only suggestion is agreement with a lot of others - go frozen instead of canned. :)

Oh, I buy traditional oatmeal (with nothing in it) and microwave it with a bit of water - 2 minutes. Then throw in a spoonful of honey and some cinnamon. Toddlers love it!

Tracy - posted on 10/11/2010

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You can make an omelette in the microwave and add cheese and ham? I got the omelette makers from Matalan for £2. Cheers, Tracy

[deleted account]

Hummas is a great healthy protein source. My 11 month old daughter loves it on whole grain crackers!

[deleted account]

A slow cooker and a toaster oven will make up for a stove/oven any day, if you're inventive. I even baked a cheesecake in my toaster oven when our oven had a busted thermostat. You can easily microwave potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets and carrots to just soft and give them to him cut into french fry shapes. This time of year there's so much fresh produce at every farmers' market. Soup is always good-just toss lots of veggies and some broth into a slow cooker and wait for the house to smell wonderful. Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 10/11/2010

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The flat thing is either an electric skillet or an electric griddle ;) just wondering, do you have access to a toaster oven? decent ones can be had for under 60. Totallllllly understand inlaws ;) good luck! haven't read all the way thru yet

Jane - posted on 10/11/2010

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I don't have any ideas for meals, however, in order to add to your cooking experience, have you thought about getting a inexpensive toaster oven? This would allow you too cook all kinds of things that a microwave just won't let you do....things such as meatloaf, roasted chicken, pork chops/roast, etc. Just a thought. I can't imagine trying to cook with out an oven. You might also want to do a google search on microwave recipes...I bet there are a TON of them out there :) Good luck and hang in there.

User - posted on 10/10/2010

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I would invest in a crock-pot and a George Foreman! They are absolute lifesavers and fairly inexpensive, not to mention the use will be worth the cost 10 fold!!!

[deleted account]

well u no the healthiest thing for anyone to eat especially children is raw fruits and veggies and you could even mush up bananas and whatever else you can think of that doesn't have to be softened on the stove. Experiment and see if you can just soften up some fruits and mush them just by letting them soak in water...anyway hope this helps :)

Vanessa - posted on 10/10/2010

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I would try and buy a hot plate or indoor BBQ or grill. That way you are able to at least cook something. try second hand or sales you just need to spend $20-$50 for one of these that way you are not always using the microwave.

Jen - posted on 10/09/2010

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Great and very healthy toddler snacks that don't require a stove/oven....avocado, pears, TraderJoe's ready lentils, cheese cubes, feta cheese, black beans, fruits, greek yogurt, etc. I personally try to avoid using the microwave for my toddler's foods (it destroys much of the nutrients), but there are so many fresh options around. You could also get a hot plate from Target to heat up chicken noodle soup and other healthy meals. Moms are great at improvising, and it sounds like you are doing an awesome job.

Donna - posted on 10/09/2010

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I can't imagine eating microwave meals every night., They are so full of fat and salt and expensive. I cook in my crock pot about once a week and have homemade soup from the crockpot lots in the winter. The crockpot food reheats great in the microwave. Check out a charcoal or gas grill. The basic models are not too expensive and they also add some variety in the meal options.

Margaret - posted on 10/09/2010

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I'm sure the net has a whole HOST of sites with nutritional information for every age group - and by giving your son a wide variety of tastes (and not just what YOU ;like) he should in theory eat everything as he grows. Where kids have likes and dislikes, they are often about TEXTURE and not just taste. (for example many kids don't like cooked tomatoes, onions and mushrooms,but you can whizz them up in a blender and add them to other things - like spaghetti bolognaise meat or gravy and they absolutely LOVE the taste- my THREE children were all like this - and as they got older they LOVED those things - in fact one of them became a chef and they all marvel at what they didn't eat then, but LOVE now!) Don't be afraid to let him try curry etc I actually dipped my finger in many different things and that allowed my children all to develop a wider variety of taste experiences (just don't give him a whole bowl of chili quite yet - lol!) However I met a mother who gave her 6 week old cut up steak which I think was absolutely ludicrous and she wondered why he always cried and never slept - the poor little thing's digestive system must've been on OVERLOAD! Hope this helps! (Margaret in Australia)

Misty - posted on 10/09/2010

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Tupperware makes a cooker that you can use to cook meals in the microwave you would typically cook on the stovetop or in the oven. I can bake a chicken and even make a cake as well. Hope that helps.

Celissa - posted on 10/09/2010

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You can cook so much on the George foreman, and a lot of the meals are actually more healthy on there than in the oven! We make a lot of chicken. We make grilled chicken sandwiches on the GF, and they're wonderful! You can also make grilled cheese on there, tilapia is great on there, and you can marinate various meats and veggies and cook them on there too. The steamer dinners you get in the freezer section are wonderful. Soups, potatoes, sweet potatoes, most any frozen meal you get will have microwave directions. I make this really yummy spaghetti my husband loves with the crock-pot. All I do is put chicken in the slow cooker and cover it with one can of spaghetti sauce. I let that cook on high for about 4 hours, or you can cook it on low for 6. After three hours I add in bite size pieces of green peppers and sliced mushrooms. I also add some fresh garlic and let that cook the last hour. For your noodles you could either boil them in the microwave or buy the pre-cooked ones from the deli section of most grocery stores, I know Walmart carries them, and just heat them up. Chicken noodle soup is also really easy to make in the slow cooker, as well as vegetable and pot roast too! If you want any of my recipes for those things send me a message I'll gladly give them to you. =)

Jenifer - posted on 10/09/2010

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@Tisha - It is not illegal to rent out a house without a stove - an apartment, yes. But landlords do not have to provide appliances. We had to rent ours through Rent - A - Center when we rented our old house. It was horrible, the payments sucked, but we did it. I do agree with the crockpots though. I have 4 kids and things can get quite busy at my house. I use my crockpot religously! I set it and forget it. My house always smells amazing by the end of the night. You 'can' use your griddle as a stove, but I would not suggest it (as for cooking hamburger meat.) I would say to go to a friend's house and make a bunch of meat and then freeze it. Not the best tasting after it's been frozen again, but it works until you can get a stove.
Hope you get one soon! :)

Terri - posted on 10/08/2010

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Try freecycle.com I think it's a site where ppl post things that are free, and you can go on and ask for a stove. You will be amazed as to how giving people are.

Terri - posted on 10/08/2010

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You can buy a small toaster over, and you can bake chicken, and various other meat in the small oven. To complete the meal they have the steamers in the frozen food area which are great, not to mention healthy. Hey do not stress about it, you are doing the very best you can do, and you are not living so different from people that have a stove. Also, you can buy a small little outside grill to cook your meat on. I go to yard sales, and garbage sales, and you would be amazed at what you can find for nearly nothing. Always remember that all prices are negotiable. Also, estate sales. Look at used appliance stores also. Somtimes you can get a great deal, and again if you don't have the money yet, it will give you an idea what to save for. It might not be as much as you think. Good luck:)

Kristin - posted on 10/08/2010

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I have also lived in a house with inadequate cooking facilities. I found with an electric steamer I could cook all my vegies perfectly, steam meat if I wanted, and it made beautiful fluffy rice! And I had an electric frypan for cooking things that couldn't be steamed. I also had a microwave, but hardly used it, the steamer and frtpan where enough. I now have a George Foreman, and a slow cooker as well, and am considering covering my stove top to make extra bench space. Good luck with getting the new stove, but I really don't think you need to hurry with saving for it.

Liz - posted on 10/08/2010

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You can usually get a toaster oven for under $50.00 and you can cook bread, chicken, fish and all sorts of other things in them. You can also do some oatmeal or other warm cereal in the microwave.

Ginger - posted on 10/08/2010

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Oh, one more thought since I noticed some people mentioned certain cookbooks. Don't buy the cookbooks, check them out from your local library. Most library systems don't charge you to get a card. While the book is yours write down the recipies that you think you'll use. Or just get recipies online. You'll be overwhelmed with the recipies offered for free online.

Ginger - posted on 10/08/2010

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Nichole - and those of you out there just starting out .... Two bits of advice. One - don't think new when you need an appliance. Check in newspapers under appliances for sale and garage sales, look at auction items. The last stove I bought, which was for our lake cabin, looks like new and cost me $10 at an auction. You can furnish a whole house reasonably thru items bought at an auction.
In the meantime, to find healthy ways to fix food look for a recipie book for camping. You don't need to cook over an open fire to use these recipies. Instead of the fire, use a microwave or a pan on an electric plate. Both microwaves and single electric plates are inexpensive (even in the store you can find them for $30 or less). Then finally look at what you are eating. When my daughter was born I used Gerber foods without much concern since she ate anything and at every meal. My son was different. He wouldn't eat or ate little and often. I left a bowl of canned green beans on the table almost every day. He wouldn't stop to eat a meal that contained cooked veggies, but he'd go by and pick up a bean or slice of carrot etc every time he passed a low table where I left healthy food. And whatever we ate, he ate. By that time I'd become very good at blending foods for my elderly grandfather. You can blend anything that has enough juice in it. And if you need to, you can add juice with water, milk, etc. You can microwave fruit until its soft enough for him to handle a slice the same as you would veggies, usually they require less time due to sugar content. Hope something here helps. But I really think buying used is the best piece of advice I have to offer.

Jazi - posted on 10/08/2010

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Actually take a look onto craigslist or freecycle for your area to see if you can find a stove/oven there for inexpensive or free.

Its also a good place to find/share other items like childrens clothing, moving supplies (good boxs, paper for wrapping) toys, dishes, ect.

Pasta can be cooked in the microwave, frozen veggies are healthier than canned, and slowcookers are your friend.

On your griddle - french toast, pancakes, egg scrambles with veggies, use whole grain bread, whole grain flour.

You can find hot plates at stores for between $15 & $30. That way you have a burner that you can use a traditional pot on if you so desire.

Gina - posted on 10/08/2010

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Oh, I forgot to mention that if you are renting the owner should provide the appliances. I would ask them for a stove it never hurts to ask. We rent out a home and all that is included. Good luck!

Gina - posted on 10/08/2010

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Good for you I think that's awesome!Do you have a crock pot? You can make a lot of meals in there. You can also get fresh veggies and boil them in the micro until they are soft(Carrots, potatoes)

Cecilia - posted on 10/08/2010

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you can make Gazpacho, some avocados, herbs, tomatoes, and onion pureed. Also a hummus would be good and easy to make! cheese sandwiches are awesome load them with veggies! But my fave is definitely the hummus, you can make so many different variations! Congrats on YOUR new house!

Jennifer - posted on 10/08/2010

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A toaster oven or griddle can make all kinds of things and is much healthier than the microwave. We actually make alot of my son's meals in the toaster oven...give it a try.

Laryssa - posted on 10/08/2010

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Sure sounds to me that you are doing the best you can in a difficult situation! Bravo to you for that! I think it is commendable that you aren't looking for someone to give you a handout! That being said...Do you have craigslist or something like that in your area? Sometimes I find great deals for cheap there. If not, keep loving each other and loving your baby and saving that money too! Sounds like he is getting fruit, veggies and vitamins. Maybe add in some peanut butter for protein if you can. Take care and Congratulations on your new home!

Tracey - posted on 10/08/2010

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any veg you boil you can cook in a bowl of water in the microwave, slow cookers are great too and the grill can do meats and even veg(grilled collieflower is great) with baking papper tou can pan fry without fat, all this is healthyier than boiling veg

Liza - posted on 10/08/2010

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if you have a blender you can do smoothies. we use vanilla spiro-tein (soy based protein. can get @ gnc and some grocery stores) with a bananna and frozen blueberries. I add some dark chocolate chips too. We use half a scoop for my 2 year old. also, my husband scambles eggs in the microwave. for healthier veggies get the frozen. maybe look into purchasing a george foreman to cook meat or grill fresh veggies.

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