by Andrea Sperling

I've been redoing my kitchen so haven't been able to use an oven or a stove for over  two weeks.  It's very strange when you cook a lot to suddenly not be able to do a lot of cooking. Luckily, I still have my old, leaky refrigerator sitting on the sidelines, so I prepared several soups and stews and froze  them so I could just defrost and microwave them as needed. (Yes, I know I lose a lot of the nutrients but that's just the best solution for me right now). I also have a fabulous Zojirushi rice cooker so we've been making a lot of rice balls and assorted rice salads.

One thing I'm able to prepare a lot of are salads using everyday ingredients. Take carrots, for example, which we love in my house. Dishes with carrots are one of the things I still can prepare without having much of a kitchen available. In the winter, I love to roast them with olive oil and a little cumin. Without an oven, I'll julienne them with some daikon radish and add some rice wine vinegar, a little sugar or honey, a squeeze of lime and top them with perhaps a little cilantro, sesame seeds, and a couple of red chili pepper flakes. Trader Joe's starting selling those crunchy sugar snap peas again so I sliced a few of them and added them to the salad. Now, I've got a great side dish I can nibble on all week. Tomorrow it's going in a taco filled with black bean salad and then perhaps another day mixed with some roasted tofu. Who says you need a kitchen to cook?