Okay, things are really warming up here with the Reliant Blogger Challenge. Well, not temperature wise really. But you know what I mean. We’re into the second month and we have been given a great new challenge. To cook an entire week without using our oven.
So, challenge accepted. A full week of No-Oven Recipes it has been. In fact, it has gone so well, that we are still trying to avoid using the oven as much as possible. Why? Think about it. When you bake anything in an oven, one of the very first instructions is to “preheat” the oven. That has already extended your cooking time as far as energy consumption is concerned. Then, you have to open the oven to put the food inside, losing some of the heat inside, and wait for the food to cook. This typically requires quite a bit of time and uses a lot of electricity.
Now, consider something like a microwave, grill, or pressure oven. We have been using a Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven because Colby just recently got one to review and it was perfect timing. The pressure oven has a pressure-controlled environment that concentrates the heat on your food, which in turns allows it to cook faster. Faster cooking time means less energy spent. Plus, it is smaller than a traditional oven, so less space to warm. Heat is forced into the food and you have an optimal cooking environment.
The microwave is similar in that there is less space to heat and shorter cooking times. The grill, even a counter top electric grill, with use less energy than the stove. And, finally, depending on your stove top, even it can be more efficient for cooking. So let’s talk no-oven recipes!
First, we had to do the math on using our slow cooker. On a low setting for 4 hours, we found that our Taco Soup recipe will require about 600 watts of energy. (You should be able to find your slow cooker wattage on the bottom of the appliance). That was still going to be considerably less than cooking in our oven for 30 minutes or more, as well on the stove top for the sides. The slow cooker provided a one-stop meal. Everything into the pot and you can be done.
- 1 lb. hamburger meat, browned
- 1 can of corn
- 1 can of Ranch Style beans
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 1 Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packet
- 1 taco seasoning packet
- 1 ½ cup water
- cilantro, to taste (optional)
- shredded cheese (optional)
- corn tortilla strips (optional)
- onion, diced (optional)
- avocado slices (optional)
- Brown, drain, and rinse hamburger meat.
- Add meat,corn, beans, tomatoes, seasoning packets, and water into slow cooker. Add cilantro, if desired. Stir and cover.
- Cook on low for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Serve and top with your choice of toppings, such as shredded cheese, corn tortilla strips, onions and avocado slices.
Easy, right? And so good on cold days!
Now, here are 13 more no-oven recipes I rounded up so you can start your “no-bake week” as well:
- Skillet Apple Chicken
- Root Beer Pulled Pork
- Easy Ravioli Skillet
- Grilled Chicken Salad With Basil Vinaigrette
- Tejas Jambalaya
- Caprese Salad Pasta with Chicken Sauté
- Grilled Tortilla Pizzas
- One Dish Stovetop Tamale Pie
- Creamy Chicken Pesto & Bowtie Pasta
- Copycat Culver’s Colby Jack Pub Burger
- Stovetop Chicken Mac & Cheese with Broccoli
- Blue Cheese Burger with Pancetta
- Sausage and Kale Soup
How do you conserve energy while cooking?
Be sure to follow myself and the other 4 Texas bloggers on our quest to save money and cut our energy costs over the next few months. You can follow along by watching the #ReliantChallenge hashtag.