Friday, August 28, 2009

Kitchen Sink Salads & Yummy Veggie Sandwiches; or, How I Survived Life without a Stove

I can't believe that mere days after I  abused my electric stove in print, it decided it had had enough and quit working.  And blew a fuse in the process. What a drama queen!

While I was thrilled to finally have an excuse to get a gas stove, I still had to figure out what to eat for a few days. I toyed with the idea of testing out some real hardcore raw food recipes - you know, things with kelp powder, nutritional yeast,  and  Celtic salt. Maybe I'd make mock mashed potatoes, refried beans made from sunflowers,  or some uncooked lasagne. But after looking up some recipes, I temporarily lost my appetite.  
Now, I'm sure there are some truly stellar raw food dishes out there. Things with actual seasonings, spices, and flavor, food that looks pretty on the plate. But the recipes I was finding were, for the most part, flavorless mounds. At best.  Take, for instance, this "Italian Pasta Salad" dish I found on
Needless to say, I moved on to plan B: salads and sandwiches.

The Kitchen Sink Salad is just that: all the veggies from the fridge  that were in danger of going bad plus some items from the cupboard that don't require heat. The salad was composed of arugula, carrots, yellow grape tomatoes, green pepper, green onion, and black olives, tossed with a light balsamic vinegar and peanut oil dressing. I topped this with a basic tuna salad of Cento oil packed tuna, onion, celery, mayo, salt, pepper, and my Creole seasoning. Simple, satisfying, and full of flavor. 

Of course, sandwiches were a no-brainer. I am a sucker for any kind of tomato sandwich, so I made one with arugula, thin slices of queso fresco, and mayo  on Ezekiel whole grain bread. On the side I had a a little cup of Amy's chunky tomato soup (thank goodness for the microwave!) topped with a dollop of sour cream.  This meal hardly felt like a compromise.

Losing my stove for a few days was actually a good lesson in simplicity. It's so easy to get caught up in wanting to make the Next Great Complicated Thing, that you forget how nice it can be to just throw some delicious, fresh ingredients together  and call it a day. That said, I'm not going to be giving up pasta, sauces, or sauteed garlic anytime soon!


  1. Good job on making the best of it!

  2. "roughing it" can be hard. I am glad you have found a way to survive:-)

  3. Ah, but tonight ... hot food! At long last.

  4. I think I would go through withdrawal, not having my stove! :)

  5. I've never had to live without a stove top, but I went for almost two years without a working oven. We made do with a grill, a toaster oven, and an electric rotisserie, but when we finally broke down and bought a new stove it was like being in heaven - I baked every day for two weeks.

  6. Dave - I feel you! It's awesome when you can improvise but ... when you get the real thing it's like - oh, yeah... I remember this. It doesn't have to be crazy and jacked up. Sweet.