The holidays are upon us, which means, there are a lot more cooking opportunities for us here, in the Arner Abode. In the spring and summer, especially living near the coast, we dine on a lot of salads, and grilling veggies and pizzas, so not a lot of indoor cooking. We do a great job of dining at home, but since living tiny, we want to be outdoors more often- hence the grilling in the summer. Gerry gets out his George Foreman Outdoor Grill and remains stationed there for most of the warm weather season. Lucky for us, being vegetarian, we use the grill for cooking most of our veggies for the week on it, even in the winter: peppers and onions, cauliflower, root veggies, and of course, Beyond Burgers!
When the colder weather rolls around, like most, we lean more towards chilis, casseroles, and roasting veggies. We have a standard oven in our tiny home, but boy is it a huge contraption for just a couple of lovebirds, who just want to cook for themselves. <3
Insert- the toaster oven. Through our tiny house tours, we see a lot of tiny house dwellers using a smaller version of a conventional oven, but we seem to get by with just the toaster oven. When we design our next tiny house from scratch, we are going without a standard oven, and keeping a stove-top with only two burners, and our trusted toaster oven.
Our toaster oven is a real O.G. We’ve had it for a few years and it shows. It is an Oster Large Capacity, nothing special (well, to the outside eye), but it sure packs a punch. Since we got ours years ago, they don’t make our model anymore, but here is the equivalent to ours. It takes a licking (and a few spills) and keeps on ticking. Every month, we have to take about an hour to really dig in and clean it, since it tends to begin looking like a fire hazard with caked grease and residue, but we take care of her, and she takes care of us.
We use the toaster oven for everything! We cook veggies, bake dishes-casserole style, tots to accompany our Beyond Burgers, breakfast items, desserts, and just about everything you can think of. Most recently, it was used for our Thanksgiving Tofurky, green bean casserole, baked beans, and a pie. You just have to be strategic with your timing, and of course, placement. You also have to be prepared with the correct baking items for your toaster oven.
Toaster Oven Cooking Prep List
- Toaster Oven Size Baking Sheet: We have used many types, but our “ride or die” sheet is the Pampered Chef Toaster Oven Pan. We use this baby, every. single. day. Sometimes, multiple times per day.
- The Personal Size Round Pan from Pampered Chef is also a must-have!
- You will also need a cake pan, or basically a pan with higher sides for items such as Tofurky or other items where basting is involved. This set is a great asset to your toaster oven cooking, and the cake pan in this set is amazing!
- A space for placement of your toaster oven. This may seem obvious to most, but for tiny house dwellers, you know what we mean! We have ours placed higher so Ger can reach it easily, but I (Shannon) have to stand on a step stool to reach it, but it works for us.
We really haven’t missed our conventional oven. It is practically spotless, though we do use it for storage of some pots and casserole dishes to make use of space. We use the stove-top for boiling and cooking items in pots, but then we only use 1-2 at a time, hence the future plan to only have two burners to accompany our toaster oven.
Of course, a toaster oven blog wouldn’t be complete without listing a fave recipe for a staple in our household: Nooch Peas AKA: Nutritional Yeast Chickpeas
- 1 can of Organic Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans (15 oz) If you are going the can route, like we do, grab the organic. You can literally taste the difference.
- 1/4 c Nooch (Nutritional Yeast- for those who don’t know, now you know. Try it if you haven’t, you’ll thank us later!)
- 3 T Olive Oil
- 2 T Paprika
- 2 t Garlic Salt
- Drain the can of chickpeas and lay them flat on a cloth to dry for 5 min or so.
- Put the chickpeas into a container with a lid. You are going to do some shake-shake action.
- Put half the amount of each item onto the chickpeas. You will use the other half at the end. (Nooch, olive oil, paprika, and garlic salt) Shake this stuff up until your chickpeas are coated.
- Lie flat on your toaster oven pan and put those babies into the toaster oven on 400 degrees for 30 min. You will want to stir them around every 10 min or so.
- These little babies will be golden brown when finished. Take them out, and put them back into the container that has a lid. Time to shake-shake again!
- Put half remaining half of each amount of item onto the chickpeas (Nooch, olive oil, paprika, and garlic salt) and SHAKE!
- Try to contain yourself and not eat the entire batch. Though, it is ok if you do. We use these as a snack, or salad toppers. YUMMY!
*Note, we do not sell Pampered Chef, nor is this an advertisement for Pampered Chef, we just really like their products for specific things, like the toaster oven. If you are in need of items and aren’t sure where to go, visit our friend, Barbara Timmons’ site: Cooking With Barbara. She will hook you up!
If you have great toaster oven recipes you love, please send them our way! We are always looking for more ideas!