Here's an easy one you can do - when cooking pasta, bring the water to the boil, add your pasta, stir and let it boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat off entirely, put a lid on the saucepan, and let it sit for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Works perfectly well.
Here's what she has to say about ovens :
"If you make no other changes to the ways you cook, stop using your oven."Ovens are the Humvees of the kitchen. According to the Department of Energy, about 87% of an electric oven's heat is wasted, absorbed not by the food, but by the oven walls or dissipated into the room."..."If you do nothing else to green your cookprint, switch from a conventional oven to a toaster or countertop oven. Anytime you can bake, roast, or broil in a smaller oven, you're cooking greener. Plus, compared to conventional ovens, small ovens preheat and cool down in almost no time at all, and they don't heat up the entire kitchen."
So I asked for a benchtop oven for Christmas (from my FIL, who is easily guided as to what we'd like, and has deeper pockets than us) ...meet my Breville Smart Oven. It is really awesome. We've been able to retire our regular toaster, and for not much more bench space, we have this :
It comes with a baking tray, grill pan, and pizza pan, and takes dishes up to 33 cm (13") square. A lot of my ovenware fits in it already. It's big enough to roast a small chook, and can toast up to 4 slices of bread at a time. It has settings for crumpets (more heat on the top), grilling, roasting, defrosting, and heaps more. I love being able to just dial up the temperature exactly (in 5º steps), and I can even swap between Fahrenheit and Celsius if I want to.
Another lovely feature is that it turns off automatically once the cooking time has been reached, more like a microwave oven, so overcooking isn't a problem. I've used it frequently, and found it excellent, with good even heat. And because the trays are smaller, they're much easier to clean (unlike oven grill trays which never fit in the sink). Just a little thing, but it all adds up!
I haven't used the wall oven once since getting this little beauty.