Capsule Kitchen in a Tiny Home - 30 Days to Simplicity: Day 09

Day 9 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 8 I tried a new recipe using items from my Capsule Kitchen list and a non-list item from my RV pantry. It wasn’t exactly a hit with my family.

Last Night’s Meal

Last night’s meal was a new recipe: Crockpot Quinoa, Sweet Potato & Chicken Fajitas. I was sure this time I would have quinoa success. I didn’t.

We all agreed with Honest Toddler’s tweet last night::

I shredded the chicken as directed, mixed everything together, and served it up on tortillas. The tortillas were the only part of the meal with texture. The rest was basically mush. Maybe I cooked it too long. Not sure. My family ate it—and Mike willingly ate it again on tortillas for lunch today. Unfortunately, these planned-overs are over.

Tonight’s Plan

I’m going to make a comfort meal that my family loves, Pioneer Woman’s Pot Pie. I have 1/2 & 1/2, a pie crust and a package of frozen mixed vegetables that are non-list items that I want to use up.

For a side dish, I’m planning to use another non-list item from my pantry: Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. This little can intimidates me. It’s been hanging out in the back of my pantry too long, though. It’s time to use it.

A few months ago I saved a recipe for Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes. I’m going to give those a try this evening. I figure serving a new recipe with an old, well-loved recipe may be better received by my family.

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 whole Large Sweet Potatoes, Peeled And Cut Into 2 Inch Chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Chipotle Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Adobo Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons Pepper
  1. Place the chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot of water. Place over medium high heat and boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the water from the pot, leaving the potatoes in the pot.
  2. Add the butter, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce to the sweet potatoes.
  3. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add extra adobo sauce or chipotle peppers once seasoned depending on how hot you’d like the sweet potatoes.

Can You Help A Girl Out?

Got a sure-fire - yet, simple-  recipe using quinoa that I can try? I’ve got another 1/2 box left and I’d rather not throw it out.

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14 Comments Capsule Kitchen in a Tiny Home - 30 Days to Simplicity: Day 09

  1. Picture of Tristin Tristin June 09, 2015

    I totally feel you on the quinoa!  My kids like it but James and I can live without it.  I saw a recipe once that used it in homemade granola (the uncooked grain is baked up with all the other ingredients) and I tried adding it to my usual granola recipe and it worked beautifully! (Here’s the granola recipe I use as a guideline ) .  I’ve done it more than once to use up what was in my pantry—just added the quinoa in place of some of the nuts and baked it up and it all works well…I HATE throwing out food from the pantry. 

    I’m loving this series!

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


    Thanks for the suggestion to use the quinoa in granola. I make granola every week and I’ve been wanting to try a different recipe (my granola uses an ingredient I did not list on my Capsule Kitchen list). I’ll give it a try this weekend.

  3. Picture of Kari Mulderink Kari Mulderink June 09, 2015

    I love quinoa and my family has eaten it without complaint too.  We have mostly used it as a substitute for rice and served a stir fry over it.  Maybe you could try that?

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

    Hi Kari,

    Do you do anything in preparing the quinoa that is different from the package directions? 

    We do like rice and I’ve used that with stir fry.  I think because the quinoa “grains” are so little that my family tends to shy away from it. Not sure.

    I may have to give it a try with stir fry, though.

  5. Picture of Jen Jen June 09, 2015

    I have never had success with quinoa either. Sorry no help there! But I have a tip you might use for the chipotle. Since I never use the whole can at once, I take the whole can and blend it up (I have a little stick blender with a good processor attachment, but I’m sure you could easily just use a fork, they’re very soft) then I freeze it all in a ziploc bag. Then I add a small amount, probably a teaspoon to a tablespoon (it’s really easy to just break a chunk off) to certain dishes. My kids don’t like things too spicy, so I tend to keep it on the mild side, but you could add more if your family likes it. I like it in veggie chili and I also add it to refried beans to use in burritos, etc.

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


    If I ever dare to buy another can of the chipotles, I will try this trick.

    I really didn’t think I added that much to the sweet potatoes. But they were HOT.

  7. Picture of Jenn Jenn June 12, 2015

    Hi Crissa,

    I’ve made this salad a few times and it has been well received.

    The ingredients may not coincide with your list but I thought it might be helpful as it talks about the correct way to cook quinoa which is actually more like cooking pasta than rice.  I also LOVE this blog for recipes in general.

  8. Picture of Jess Curren Jess Curren June 12, 2015

    Cook the quinoa in chicken broth. It tastes WAY better. We use it as a replacement for rice, I love it on salads, or we have an enchilada bake that uses a lot of cheese, but it sounds like you might be dairy free people? I have a Costco sized bag in my cupboard that lasts us a good 6 months since we don’t have it often.

  9. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink June 12, 2015


    Very interesting read about cooking quinoa. Glad to have that bookmarked here.

    I’ll have to explore that website a bit more for the recipes.

  10. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink June 12, 2015

    I would guess that cooking the quinoa in chicken broth would add more flavor. Do you follow the directions on the package otherwise.

    We aren’t truly dairy-free (I sure like the occasional ice-cream treat). I do love cheese, and would eat it daily if I could. But my system doesn’t digest it well and the result is radiated lower back pain. TMI?

    I have rice on the list for now, but I may just have to take everyone’s quinoa suggestions and give the grain another try for the next 3 months.

    My family’s a little gunshy right now, so I will probably try to sneak my remaining quinoa into a granola batch this week.

  11. Picture of Lonna Lonna July 01, 2015

    I OD’ed my family on sweet potatoes this past winter but chipotle and adobo sauce weren’t on my radar for them. Will have to try that.

    As for quinoa recipes? You could try a tabbouleh salad and replace the bulgur with quinoa, add tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice.

  12. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink July 02, 2015


    Tabbouleh is a foreign dish to my family. Mike and I have tried the standard version a couple of times, but I doubt my kids have had it. I think I’m too scared to give it a try. ;)

    I’ve now tried the quinoa in a couple different ways, and I’ve decided the 1 cup left in the box needs to leave my pantry and find a new home. It’s just not working for me right now - and I’m okay with that.

    Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are here until fall squash comes along.

  13. Picture of Garrett Tershel Garrett Tershel July 18, 2015

    My name is Garrett, I have meet your husband through your website.  I have enjoyed reading your story, thanks for sharing. 
    So I agree quinoa is just too earthy for me.  We have a rice cooker and I cook the quinoa in chicken broth but it still doesn’t quite help.  Here is the only recipe I have ever liked made with quinoa and it has been asked for every time I have brought it to cookouts.  I don’t know if this will fit in your 33 ingredients but if you did want to give quinoa another shot, this is surprisingly good.  I think it is the rice vinegar.

    Confetti Quinoa Salad Serves 12

    This dish is an excellent source of vitamin C and iron.

    1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
    3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
    1/2 cup chopped green pepper (I use whatever color pepper I want)
    1/2 cup chopped red pepper
    1/2 cup chopped green onion
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

    3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
    3 tablespoons rice vinegar
    3 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
    1 1arge garlic clove,minced (I use more but we love our garlic)
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    1. Rinse quinoa to remove saponins. Cook according to package directions,cool.
    2.  Chop vegetables and cilantro. In a large serving bowl, combine quinoa, vegetables, and cilantro.
    3.  In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients and shake until well blended.
    4.  Add dressing to the quinoa and vegetable mixture. Stir gently to blend. Cover and refrigerate.

    Nutrition Facts (per1/2 cup serving)

    Calories 218 I TotalFat 6 g ISaturated Fat 1g I Sodium 116 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 36 g I Dietary Fiber 4 g I Sugars 1g I Protein 7 g

    Good Luck

  14. Picture of Crissa Boyink Crissa Boyink July 19, 2015

    Hi Garrett,

    You know, I was looking at the box of quinoa in my pantry yesterday, debating whether I should just pitch the rest or give it one more try. Your recipe is tempting. All the ingredients fit my CK list (those that aren’t listed as part of the 33 are “flavor boosters”).

    I think I will challenge myself to make this dish next week. If the family balks at it, then I know that quinoa is a no-go in this household.


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