Picnic-Perfect Meals for the 200-sq ft Kitchen
Skie’s blue and not a single cloud can be seen. What does that mean? Time for a picnic!
But before you go rushing to Jason’s Marketplace scrambling up bits and pieces of pre-packaged food – let’s think things through. Do you really want to kick off your first picnic of the year half-heartedly? I didn’t think so.
So instead of bringing Pringles and chocolate – why not dish up a simple meal perfect for a day out?
The problem is obvious: SPACE. There’s clearly not enough space in the overly-cozy flats of Hong Kong to achieve your ideal picnic basket. Most recipes will require you to use a little bit of the oven, and the stove, and who knows what else. What I find useful is sticking with one cooking method (stove, grill, oven, or none at all!)
So instead, here’s a guide to cooking up scrumptious, picnic-perfect meals in a small kitchen!
Once you have everything in place, you won’t be squeezing in and out of the overly crowded kitchen trying to cut the garlic after you’ve just washed the knife from cutting chopping up onions. Every ingredient should be organized and arranged so when it comes down to the actual broiling and frying, it won’t be chaotic.
Whoever invented this – I salute you! What’s great about one-pot wonders is, well quite obvious – you only need one pot. Which means you only need one fire stove. Whether it’s a hearty meal or a foreign flair you desire, one-pot wonders will do just the thing. All you’ll need is a plastic container to pack your one-pot wonder out to your picnic! (preferably something you can snack on luke-warm)
CREAMY RICE, CHICKEN AND SPINACH One Pot Wonder
Only a couple of ingredients are needed!
What you need:
¼ cup of Italian Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 -1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
2 cups instant brown rice (or substitute with quinoa)
4 oz. PHILADEPHIA or Neufchatel Cream Cheese, cubed
1 pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 large tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan Cheese
To save space, put your tomatoes and baby spinach together (as they’re both vegetables) so you’ll save an extra bowl. After that’s done, cut the chicken up and put it aside.
For the steps, please visit: Here
They don’t have to be over-complicated! I’d say anything between a 3-5 ingredient sandwich is easy enough! To make it even simpler, you can lose the “meat” – (saves you from the extra dish-washing) but if you’re a fervent meat-lover, then packaged slices of turkey or ham from City Super is a great choice.
The very classic, Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
The Cheese – it’s all about the melt. Anything from Cheddar to Gruyere will work (preferably something you can use in the next coming weeks as you’ll have purchased a pack and will need to use it up before it expires)
The Bread – again, those nearly-expired bread you have from breakfast? Use them! This way, not only are you saving space, you’re making the most out of your groceries! White, Wheat, – it’s really up to you.
There are infinite ways of crafting the perfect grilled cheese sandwich – but I’d go with the most basic: grill both sides of the bread with butter on the pan and call it a day. Or, add one spice or herb to spice up the flavor. Keep it warm in aluminum foil!
Learn to diversify your Grilled Cheese Sandwich Here
On the same line as one-pot wonders, one-tray marvels are even easier! You don’t really have to adjust the heat at all times or stir endlessly. Just lay everything on a tray and see it crisp to life in the oven! But do remember – mise-en-place still applies!
For the picnic, I’d bring:
Oven-Baked, Crushed Potatoes with Gorgonzola
What you need:
500g of small potatoes
1 red onion, sliced
5 sprigs of rosemary
4 garlic cloves, 2 chopped, 2 crushed
60g Gorgonzola piccante, crumbled (or another preferred cheese)
Vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
Salt & Pepper.
Before chopping anything, think about the sequence. You need time to preheat the oven so you’ll do that first. While you wait for the oven to heat up, you have time to boil the potatoes, so while they’re boiling, you have the counter top to chop your onions and garlic without the potatoes taking up space. Put your onions and garlic away and stack them on each other, making way for the potatoes once they’re ready.
Now all you gotta do is mix! Mix all the ingredients together with the potatoes and lay them evenly on the tray and you’re all set!
More specific instructions Here
Now for the snacking part – you can always pick up apples and oranges from places like Jason’s Marketplace or assortments of nuts for a healthy choice! Remember to bring water to avoid getting dehydrated. I wouldn’t go for juice as it might go rotten sitting under the sun.
So there you go! Picnics don’t have to be over complicated or limited to supermarket food. There’s a range of easy meals you can dish up in less than 20 minutes. Kick-start your picnic with this guide and see where your next picnic takes you!
Jessica Tryde, born in Australia, bred in Taiwan, is a creative English copywriter living in Hong Kong. Her job includes whipping out creative ideas and digital executions. During her spare time, you’ll find her weight lifting in the gym, training for a gladiatorial bloodbath in a Muay Thai class or attempting to perform a yoga pose. If not working out, you’ll find her mingling with the locals at the wet market or reading at a local Hong Kong café.