I'm not sure if this will still be too broad or vague, but here's my attempt at a rewrite. Please feel free to close it if it is still too broad/vague.
Friends overseas have a very minimal kitchen, and where they are, electricity is expensive, and they have a minimal income.
Here is what they have - one single electric burner, a smaller-than-normal dorm fridge (which eats up most of their electric bill, evidently), a very sketchy 80s or 90s microwave that they are reluctant to use because of radiation leakage, one very small pot with a lid, two chef's knives and a couple of bowls. They have access to vegetables, a little meat and a few spices and sauces (salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, onions), but that's more or less it.
They do not have access or easy access to the following - gas-powered or coal-powered products or devices; equipment or devices that are considered safe by most standards at home (they tried to get a hot water heater for coffee and it blew up in a month); ovens; toaster ovens; convection ovens; toasters; waffle irons; grills; George Forman grills; blenders; food processors; salad spinners, zesters, and other things we take for granted. They also do not have access to processed foods like Oreos, soup mixes, canned broth, instant [fill-in-food-here] etc. Dairy and seafood are also out but those are due to allergies. They also do not have internet access, which is why I'm posting as I'm just learning to cook myself. I'm hoping to have answers for them next time I call.
I am looking for general food categories or formulas that they could make that have minimal time on the stovetop and will help with their bill. Examples include stir-frys (cut up veg, add sauce, swish around, eat) or tortillas (eggs, add veggies and flavors, wait till eggs set, eat).
Are there other "food formulas" like the two mentioned above - not specific recipes - that they could use? I used the following criteria
- 5-10 minutes on the stovetop
- easily adaptable - e.g. for stir-frys, they can use whatever veg their market has available
- imparts a lot of flavor in a short time
- is forgiving
I really am looking for suggestions, not recipes. What can my friends do to make meals under those circumstances?
Thank you for your patience and help.