Stove top only meals, good for cold packed lunches (it's complicated)

I'm working in Switzerland for the summer so I am away from my comfort zone pots and pans. The apartment I am renting does not have an oven, but the tiny tiny kitchen does have two stove top burners. I'm looking to adapt my cooking around said lack of oven so I'd love suggestions!

I also would like to bring my lunch to work, and there is no microwave at the office to my knowledge. So suggestions for stove top meals that are good cold packed lunches would also be appreciated! I know I am going to get really sick of various pasta and veggie salads....

  • Posted by: LucyS
  • May 23, 2012
  • 2457 views
  • 7 Comments

7 Comments

MrsMehitabel May 24, 2012
This is a bit of a blurb, but ratatouille is great at any temperature.... and I don't know about you, but I could eat it for many days at a time.
 
BoulderGalinTokyo May 24, 2012
'The philosophy of textural dishes in small amounts should translate well to any culture'-- great line, Sam1148!
 
BoulderGalinTokyo May 23, 2012
Sam is right about Japanese homes not having an oven. A rice cooker is a stand alone appliance you could use to make the basis for a lots of recipes. Add food directly into the rice cooker---my friend just made Paella in hers.
 
Sam1148 May 23, 2012
The bento is a great 'cold' lunch. You probably know the courses better than I do. But the basic idea is textural. A simmered dish or soup, a crispy dish or steamed and cooled veggies and/or grilled dish (like a small salmon slice stove top grilled coated with miso, etc--chilled and packed cold for lunch), vinegary salad, rice---fruit and pickles.

Which can be a bit packing intensive for westerners. But there are many bento boxes for sale on the web with all the little compartments and sauce containers, and the philosophy of textural dishes in small amounts should translate well to any culture.
 
Sam1148 May 23, 2012
Look into web recipes for "Bento Box" lunches.

Most do not require an oven. And you'll see some 'bento lunch box" hard ware for transporting your lunch. The bento box will have compartments for items..and lunch suggestions are balanced with fruits, fish, rice, salads---sometimes stews or grilled things on a stove top grill. http://www.laptoplunches.com/

Quite a few Japaneese kitchens do not have ovens, so you'll find recipes that simmered, stewed, or grilled on a stove top grill--designed for minimal or no heating after packing. You can use cupcake paper to place in fruits and nuts among the main courses in the lunch box.

 
bigpan May 23, 2012
Invest in a Dutch-oven or tagine - that will solve having to only have stove-top menus.
Invest in a wide mouth thermos so you can keep a stew or soup reasonably hot for lunch.
 
aargersi May 23, 2012
Are you sick of grain salads too? Can you get farro there? I have been making a lot of farro / veggie / cheese salads that are good cold or room temp. You might also consider a premade sandwich such as Waverly's winner:

http://www.food52.com/recipes/6896_pan_bagnat_le_french_tuna_salad_sandwich

Hmm . maybe something like a Spanish tortilla could be made stovetop with a covered pan??
 
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