Cooking Outside the Box

Your favorite Tiny House denizens, like many other couples, get stuck in the routine of cooking the same short list of meals on a regular basis. Lately, I’ve been trying to stir things up with a brand new recipe at least once every week or two. Some are overwhelming failures, others are nothing to write home about, and once in a while I hit a home run.

You’re welcome.

Step 1: Wash the dishes 

When your entire counter space is approximately 3.25 square feet, you need every available inch when you’re getting ready to start cooking. Getting the dishes from the counter into the drying rack opens up the space you’re going to need.

2012-11-05 04.00.41

the kitchen, pre-dishwashing

Step 2: Gather ingredients 

One advantage to cooking in the tiniest kitchen in the state of Vermont is most of our kitchen implements, spices, and basic ingredients are within arms reach. While larger kitchens may have fancy rooms like pantries (that might be bigger than our whole house), we keep our cabinets pared down to the absolute essentials and purchase additional ingredients as needed for specific recipes.

Step 3: Cook!

I’m the type of cook that tends to take a recipe, substitute half the ingredients and twist the rest up into knots, creating a completely different end product. This recipe is mine and is one part online potato soup recipe, one part adjustments based on the ingredients we have available, and one part inspiration from Jamie’s grandmother.  I wish there was a way to capture the smell for this post – it’s divine.

Curried Root Vegetable Soup

4 small cloves garlic, minced
1T olive oil
8-10 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
1-2 large sweet potatoes, diced
1-2 large white potatoes, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp curry powder
2 cups water
1 can coconut milk

  1. Heat olive oil and saute garlic until tender. Add bacon and continue to saute until bacon starts to turn crispy.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots and spices and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add water and bring up to a boil. When the liquid is boiling, turn down the heat to bring the mixture to a low simmer. Keep simmering until the veggies are tender. After the first 15 minutes, keep checking the tenderness of the vegetables and ensure there is enough water in the pan that the veggies don’t adhere to the bottom of the pan. Add additional water 1/2 cup at a time if needed.
  4. Stir in coconut milk and adjust spices to taste.

Ta da! That’s it!

Random Cooking Notes

  1. I tend not to measure while I cook so these are all approximate measurements – adjust to your own tastes.
  2. We ate this as a soup, but you could thicken the liquid or cook it down a little more and serve over rice or pasta.
  3. I use a three inch tall cast iron pan for this dish. I’m a huge fan of one-dish-wonders and this pan is amazing. You could also cook this in a larger saucepan or heavy bottomed stock pot.
  4. I used several strips of bacon in this recipe but that can easily be omitted for a little extra oil if you want it to be a Veg dish.
  5. I don’t eat onions, but those could certainly be added (add and saute with the bacon before adding other veggies). You could also use parsnips, beets, turnips and other veggies depending on what you like and have available.

One thought on “Cooking Outside the Box

  1. Pingback: It’s a Dirty Job | Tiny House Adventures

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