I first initially wanted to write this post highlighting all of the glamour of the Pinterest perfect kitchen I had planned, but truthfully after we ripped open our kitchen and have been living off of microwavable meals I figured I would share the real side of living and working through a renovation. When we first knocked down the wall to our kitchen and ripped out the cabinets and countertops I was so excited and started to see the potential our contractors and Katie from American Cabinet Suppliers had seen. Katie’s CADs made my Pinterest dreams come to life (see drawings below!) Everything seemed to be lining up! They started in on the kitchen a couple of weeks after we had taken it all down and we had a small kitchen set up in our dining room- it wasn’t ideal, but we were making it work. And then ish got real- real fast. Our home is an older build so we had to replace some old piping and re-work some electrical which set the project back and prolonged my dream of cooking up meals in our perfectly designed kitchen. In addition to these set backs we decided to rip the band-aid off all at once and have our ceilings refinished (which were once glorious 80s popcorn!). I soon grew tired of the microwavable meals and my mental health grew dreary living through it all. I had to re-group what was going on and Chris and I put together a game plan to get us through the next few weeks so I thought today’s post would be a mixture of where we are now, what it will look like when it’s complete and what we’ve found to make our lives easier during this process.
Extra Fridge: If this is something you don’t have- I would highly suggest in investing in an additional one before you start. Eating out can get costly fast and you’ll appreciate the convenience of the fridge and any fresh foods to sub with your microwavable meals.
Meal prep: either by utilizing a grill, instapot (worth the investment!) or crock pot and whatever you can’t cook through these utilize the microwave! If you have amazing friends or family like I have been lucky to have ask to use their kitchen for a day of meal prep. There truthfully is nothing like a fresh home cooked meal. Here are some meals that are easy and healthy to prep during the process!
- Zoodle Pasta: Frozen Zoodles (carrot or Zucchini) with frozen turkey meatballs and Trader Joes Organic Pasta Sauce. Easy meal you can make in under 10 minutes.
- Poke Bowls: This has been a favorite lately! We discovered Bumble Bee Poke in the frozen section of our store (better fresh but we’ll take what we can get!). We throw on some brown rice and pair it with cucumber, cilantro and green onions. Top with siracha to kick it up a notch!
- Southwest Bowls: Canned Southwest Corn with cooked shrimp or diced chicken topped with cheese, cilantro, enchilada sauce, and sour cream!
- Daily Harvest: They make some delicious microwavable options! Whether snagging one for a personal lunch or splitting it as a side they make some great options, like their Califlower Rice Pesto, that are ready to make in minutes! Bonus: used code SOS for an additional discount at checkout!
- Artichoke: We used this one night to cook for our Christmas dinner and they turned out so wonderfully! Cook for 30 minutes for the perfect artichokes!
- Soup: This one is a super secret family recipe (ok not really, but it is really good!). Take a can of tomato juice, throw in diced chicken, salsa, tomato paste, southwest corn, chilies, garlic let it cook for 30 minutes, Top with sour cream and tortilla chips (optional).
- Make any protein of choice! Chicken is ready in under 30 minutes- throw in some veggies and all if it will steam and cook together for an easy meal!
- Protein (Steak is our choice!) and Broccolini. Not entirely sure why Broccolini is so much better than Broccoli but it is so delicious! We toss it in olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. put it on aluminum foil and throw it on the grill for 10-15 minutes!
- Swordfish: I found this recipe on Pinterest a couple of years ago and it has been one of our favorites! Grilled swordfish topped with crab or shrimp, avocado, lime siracha and cilantro makes for a perfect pairing with a salad for an easy, healthy delicious meal!
Invest in a diffuser: and douse it in lavender essential oil. I have this next to my bed and after a long day of working through the chaos and dust it is my tiny savoir.
Paper Plates, Forks, Knives– take it to go! Dishes are a hassle when your only option is a bathroom sink. You will have plenty of dishes to do with the few cooking utensils you will need during the day so keep what you can disposable. It will elevate the extra load of having to do dishes after a long dusty day!
Thanks for following along our journey thus far! It is starting to come together quickly and I can’t wait to show you the final results!