If you’ve ever had work done on your kitchen you’ll know just how disruptive it can be when it comes to trying to cook a meal. You set up shop with a microwave and fridge in the living room, but then weeks stretch into months and you’re utterly sick of the sight of ready meals; and the staff at the local takeaway know your order before you’ve even opened your mouth to speak.
Well if you’re about to enter this zone of chaos, I’ve got some tips for you via my good friend and food writer Ren Behan who’s working with Safestore on a new series called Dinner Renovations. Having just been through 12 months of gruelling home renovations herself, Ren Behan has put together some of her quickest and simplest recipes for anyone in need of inspiration. You can see just how easy they are in this video she’s put together…
Tasty and simple recipes
Renovations be damned, I’d love to get stuck into Ren’s Warm Potato, Asparagus and Halloumi Salad followed by her Roasted Rhubarb and Vanilla Posset for dessert. Why shouldn’t you be able to eat well? It’s so stressful living through building work that a meal like this would cheer you right up!
One pan meals are my favourite because you don’t need to faff about too much to drum them up. Then once you’re done, you can just plonk it down and everyone can just help themselves. I think the warm salad would also make a brilliant side dish for a BBQ – if you’re getting your kitchen replaced in the summer then I imagine you’ll be doing a lot of outdoor grilling!
Possets are a brilliant make-ahead dessert and pairing seasonal rhubarb with dreamy creamy vanilla is pure heaven in a ramekin. You can find Ren’s recipes for these simple but tasty ideas over on Safestore’s website
Ren’s Top tips for cooking through building work
If you’re about to embark on home renovations, or are already part way through, then cooking a healthy and tasty supper at the end of a long and dust-filled day will probably be low on your agenda. However, cooking needn’t be stressful, particularly if you focus on quick and simple recipes, which require minimal preparation and equipment.
- One-pan or one-tray meals are a great way to tackle dinnertime, whether you are cooking for one or two, or for a larger family.
- Renovating your home or your kitchen also presents you with a great opportunity to de-clutter and simplify your kitchen kit!
- Prepare a list (or set up a Pinterest board) for one-pan meals. If you have a microwave with an oven-setting, tray-baked meals can be a god-send.
- Invest in an all-in-one cooker, a slow cooker or a pressure cooker (the Instant Pot regularly receives rave-reviews) to cut down on the equipment or space needed to cook and prep.
- Keep your essential kitchen equipment in large, clear plastic storage boxes so that you can easily see where things are. Pack away and store things that you don’t use on a day-to-day basis, such as larger crockery sets, mixers, blenders, cake stands and excess pot and pans.
- If you have to set up a temporary kitchen, try and find a separate space for the builders, so that they can become self-sufficient with cups of tea and biscuits and so that you can easily keep track of supplies without getting in each other’s way.
- During particularly busy periods, ask your family and friends whether you can batch-cook (ideally using their kitchen space) and perhaps use one drawer in their freezer, or keep a smaller freezer of your own in the garage.
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