Meal prep in a tiny kitchen

Let me introduce you to my kitchen.

My tiny kitchen.

My kitchenette.

Basically, it’s a glorified shelf with a hot plate.

I’ve always sworn to myself that I would never sacrifice kitchen space in an apartment – but, alas, I didn’t plan on moving to New Zealand.

In Canada, kitchens are the hub of the house. The center of everything. I’ve lived in a 500-square foot apartment in Toronto and I swear that 300 of those feet were the kitchen.

They’re important, okay?

Now, I understand that there are many homes in New Zealand with large, gourmet kitchens. But that’s not what I’m dealing with in the Wellington CBD.

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Tonight I’m meal prepping a couple of big dishes: Apple Fennel Breakfast Sausage from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook, and BudgetBytes’ Slow Cooker 5-Spice Chicken. These two blogs are my absolute go-to’s for cooking inspiration – they both have easy and simple meals, along with a few extra special recipes for when you’re feeling fancy (which I’m not tonight).

Brett and I are actually going to Tequila Joe’s for all-you-can-eat tacos in an hour (sounds amazing, doesn’t it?), but I know that I don’t have any food prepped for lunch tomorrow, and rigorously avoid purchasing lunch at work. It’s just not worth it when I can make better-tasting, budget-friendly and healthier food at home.

So here we are. In the tiny kitchen.

The trick is to clean as you go. As you can see, I haven’t even pulled my ingredients from the fridge and the counter is already full. But the chicken drumsticks are already in the slow cooker and I’ve washed those dishes – now it’s time for the sausages.

I’ll also admit that I don’t own most of the spices listed for the sausages. Partly from a budget perspective (setting up in a new kitchen can be very costly!), but I also don’t want to clutter up my precious pantry space with dozens of spices that I’ll only use a few times between now and the next big move.

This is where a patio herb garden comes in handy.

I’m quite impressed with this little garden – especially the sage plant. This started out as a $3 grocery store purchase (the ones you buy, use once and then it dies). But somehow it’s re-sprouted several times and is thriving in comparison to my other herbs. I’ll be damned.

Now, while these sausages are cooking, I’m also poaching eggs in the oven. It’s all about saving the counter space, plus I’ve found that this method of oven poached eggs really works. My coworkers might hate me when I reheat eggs at work for a mid-afternoon snack tomorrow, but trust me, the runny, golden yolks will distract me from them pinching their noses in disgust. Well worth it in my opinion!

Note: No, not visually appealing but damn they are delicious! And one thing I will never cheap out on is Canadian maple syrup. It’s a must, eh? (Yes, I’m also horrified that I just said ‘eh?’ like that).

So that’s it for me today before I head off to Taco Thursday. And I can do so knowing that I’ve got everything ready to get back on the healthy food wagon tomorrow morning.

Adios Amigos!

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