Capsule Kitchen in a Tiny Home - 30 Days to Simplicity: Day 03

Day 3 of my 30 day blog series journaling my experiment with a Capsule Kitchen. The plan? Use 33 ingredients to create all our meals for three months. If you just joined me you can either start at Day 1 or view all Capsule Kitchen posts.

On Day 2 I looked at our go-to meals and wrote down the recipe ingredients. With a little bit of finessing, I came up with my list.

My Capsule Kitchen List

  1. apples
  2. avocados
  3. bananas
  4. carrots
  5. cucumbers
  6. onions
  7. spinach
  8. sweet peppers
  9. sweet potatoes
  10. tomatoes
  11. bacon
  12. chicken
  13. ground beef
  14. almond milk
  15. eggs
  16. Greek yogurt
  17. orange juice
  18. sour cream
  19. canned beans
  20. rice
  21. oats
  22. salsa
  23. crunchy peanut butter
  24. honey
  25. dried fruit
  26. nuts and seeds
  27. tortilla chips
  28. tortillas
  29. coffee
  30. tea
  31. red wine
  32. fresh seasonal produce from roadside stands and farmer’s markets
  33. dark chocolate

The “rules” call for being specific about the 33 items - I’m not ready for that level of detail. I like to have an assortment of beans, for instance. Also, dark chocolate will remain on the list - a square a day keeps Momma happy.

What About Flavor?

Spices, oils and condiments are “freebies” in this experiment.

What Can I Make With These Ingredients?

On Day 2 I mentioned my go-to meals. I found several other recipes that use these ingredients. I’ll mix in some new recipes with the standards. I’m sure the family will let me know which meals I can add to the rotation. And which ones I cannot.

What Do You Think?

Is my Capsule Kitchen List something you could work with? What does your list contain?


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13 Comments Capsule Kitchen in a Tiny Home - 30 Days to Simplicity: Day 03

  1. Picture of Tammy Tammy June 03, 2015

    This is GREAT! I think your ingredient list is spot on especially #32. Also, its a good think you included red wine and dark chocolate. I think I would include dried beans as well as LENTILS - red and green and brown. You can do so much and they are SO full of nutrition. Also the lowly potato - so so good for you! :)

  2. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink June 03, 2015

    Hi Tammy,
    I had dried beans in place of canned. But, I just can’t seem to get the hang of dried beans and since I’m trying to Simplify food right now, I decided to go with the canned for right now. Any hints on how to do dried beans in my crockpot? I did them successfully once—about 3 years ago. ;)

    I’m curious about lentils. My friend Angie introduced me to them this past winter. I may give them a try in the future. Let me get through this first month to figure out how my list is working for me.

    The only reason I don’t have potato listed is because we are eating sweet potatoes in recipes where potatoes are called for. Also, since I’ve given myself #32 , we can have potatoes later this summer (Wasn’t that a sneaky move?).

  3. Picture of Jen Jen June 08, 2015

    I love this concept, and I have majorly simplified my cooking since starting our rv adventure. I didn’t go by these rules exactly, but we have a small list of recipes that we rotate through every week. Yes, we eat the same 5-6 meals every week! We usually have one night of leftovers and/or eating out. If we start to get sick of something, I’ll pull it out of the rotation for a few weeks. Looking at your list, it looks like you could easily make burritos, fried rice, veggie wraps, beans and rice. These are some of or go to meals. Also I like to put leftover chili over a baked sweet potato. In excited to see what else you discover with this experiment!

  4. Picture of Jen Jen June 08, 2015

    Also, I think I would need more fruit on my list, we joke that our kids are fruititarians. I went to the store yesterday and bought bananas, apples, grapes, nectarines, plums, and frozen berries. I don’t expect it to last through the week. :) but for me, having tons of fruit on hand simplifies things for me, so I wouldn’t want to cut it back. I’ll have to count up my list…

  5. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink June 09, 2015

    Hi Jen,
    It sounds like you simplified food in a “tiny house” quite quickly. I guess I’m a slower learner. ;)

    You are right about the meal suggestions - burritos/tacos have always been a fall back meal for me. My son especially loves fried rice. Veggie wraps not a big hit with the men in my house. And I have yet to successfully cook up a tasty beans and rice dish.

    Chili over sweet potatoes. Hadn’t thought of that one. Will give it a try.

    We are fruit eaters! When I made my list, I was dreaming of freshly picked fruits purchased from the farmer’s market. Unfortunately, the growing season where we are is short and the farmers’ market doesn’t start until the end of June. It is almost strawberry picking time, though, so we’ll be eating lots of strawberries in the near future.

    When did you start RVing? Are you blogging?

  6. Picture of Jen Jen June 09, 2015

    We’ve been on the road since 11/2/14, so around 7 months. I’m not blogging, although I’ve considered it, I’ve never really made the time for it.
    Don’t let me fool you, although I have simplified quite a bit from when we were living in a house, I still have some things I could work on. My biggest obstacle to simplifying, and the reason I don’t think I could get down to 33 ingredients, is we all eat a bit differently. I have three young boys, the 9 year old has some food allergies that we have to work around, and the younger two are a bit pickier. So the nights we’re eating salad or fried rice, they’re eating peanut butter bagels. I eat mostly plant based, and my husband likes meat at least once it twice a week. But like I said, it’s a major improvement on how I was cooking at home. The other thing that helps me simplify is having a few nights a week where the meal is set and I don’t even have to decide what to cook. We always have Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday! The rest of the week I decide which meal would work best depending on what we’re doing during the day.
    I’m curious, how often do you go grocery shopping? I’ve toyed with trying to only go once a week, and it has sort of worked, but then big trips are always a bit overwhelming for me, since we are in a new town every week. So I wonder if two smaller trips would be easier.

  7. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink June 09, 2015

    Jen,

    Remember, I’ve only just now started with the 33 ingredients and I have run into snags. And I have two teens with would like a couple things added to my list. I’m thinking I will probably just make them their own short list—because I really want to stick to 33. ;)

    They aren’t picky eaters. But, we all have different schedules this summer (kids have jobs), so they like to have quick to grab meals. If I don’t have planned-overs for them to heat up, they won’t cook anything for themselves. They really just want heat and eat.

    I would love to only visit the grocery store once a week. But that’s not happening. I seem to be running for a quick pick up of bananas or tomatoes, etc.  So, it’s looks like it might be one bigger shop and one smaller shop each week.

    Because we are staying in one place for the summer, I’m learning where things are in the stores and can quickly pick up what I need and go. I know it’s a bit tougher when moving to a new grocery store every week or so.  When we first started traveling, I nearly had a melt down in the first “different” grocery store I shopped in.

    I hope you’re enjoying the road! Where’d you launch from?

  8. Picture of Jen Jen June 09, 2015

    We launched from St Louis, Mo and we’re currently in Oregon, moving on to Washington tomorrow. I’ll be looking at your site for recommendations in Michigan. Do you think it will be too cold there in Oct? We plan to go home in sept for a family wedding, then stick around in the Midwest through the holidays. That’s the loose plan anyway! :)

  9. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink June 09, 2015

    Jen,

    October in Michigan can go either way. Sometimes we have a beautiful “Indian” summer and sometimes it’s cold and dreary.

    How’s that for a concrete answer. ;)

    Is there anything in particular your family enjoys?

  10. Picture of Jen Jen June 09, 2015

    Well a truthful answer is better than a concrete answer! :)
    We enjoy getting out and exploring parks, mostly national and state parks, not just playgrounds. We’re limited a bit by our 3 year old, when it comes to hiking, and other things we’d like to do like kayaking, but we’re happy to just play by the beach, river, forest etc. My boys are also interested in anything science related. But really we’re just up for adventure!

  11. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink June 09, 2015

    Jen,
    Let me think on it a bit. If you’d like to chat about it off the blog, you can contact me at crissa@boyink.com .

  12. Picture of kris kris June 24, 2015

    Really interested in this whole series!  We are planning to hit the road for a bit (maybe a month to start) in a couple years with 2 littles (they’ll be about 8 & 3).  When I think of the change to how we do meals I feel overwhelmed!

    Re beans in the slow cooker - DH says don’t add salt to the 1st soak and do cook in a low sodium broth.  We love rice and beans with some quartered sausage, diced canned tomato, and hot sauce.  Also - black beans go great with sweet potatoes.  Black bean sweet potato burritos are one of my favorite meals.

  13. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink June 25, 2015

    Kris,

    Planning to hit the road. Cool. We think 8 years old is the ideal age to travel. That age remembers the experience. And the younger “toddlers” we know just seem to thrive in the outdoors.

    I do hope to try dried beans again. I just needed to start my first Capsule Kitchen with the simple thing. I’ll keep your husband’s ideas in mind when I switch.

    I have a few recipes that put black beans and sweet potatoes together. I just haven’t tried them yet. I’ll give one of them a try this weekend. Thanks for the suggestion.

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