Who’s ready for a road trip? More importantly, who’s ready to start packing food for a hotel stay?
I am a big believer in packing food when traveling, not only because you’ll save money. The biggest benefit is knowing that you won’t be eating tons of sodium, fats, and unpronounceable ingredients. Unless you have access to fancy farm-to-table establishments that boast pure ingredients… but then I will have to refer you back to the “save money” benefit.
“Does anyone have any meal ideas?”
A few weeks ago, my dear friend Kris posed a question on Facebook. “ Does anyone have any meal ideas that are easy to fix in a hotel room with ingredients that do not have to stay cold? The easier, the better.”
The answers poured in. Salads packed in a mason jar, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, summer sausage, baked potato bar in a slow cooker, crackers and fruit in a cup, avocado topped with tuna, and instant soups. All great ideas!
Now, it’s my turn to share some of my favorites.
Do you have a good portable cooler?
Make sure you have a Ziploc bag filled with ice and wrapped in a towel to catch the drips. Or, invest in a Yeti cooler and keep everything cooler and longer.
- Delight your people as you whip up guacamole and chips. Technically these don’t even need to be refrigerated. Bring avocados, salsa, onions, and tomatoes.
- Make hummus. Sure, you can buy the pre-made stuff and keep it in your cooler or bring along a pouch or two of Bush’s Hummus Made Easy, some chickpeas, and whip them up using a Nutri-Bullet.
- Smoothies make great travel companions. Bring out that Nutri-Bullet again and pack it full of healthy goodies and antioxidants.
- Why not prepare a plate of Caprese salad? There is no reason why mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar can’t come along on your trip.
- Avocado toasts for the win! Bring a nice baguette, mash up an avocado, and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and red pepper flakes!
Does your hotel room have a mini fridge?
Score! This increases your packing options, and the sky is (mostly) the limit.
- Prepare sliced meats, cheeses, olive, and pickle tray. Perfect for snacking and TV watching.
- Want something a little more substantial? Roll out some Reuben Rollups.
- Homemade potato salad will help fill that “I need some comfort food” urge. Extra credit if you do mashed cauliflower salad.
- At some point, you will want a salad. Pack a head of lettuce, blue cheese, and viola – you’ll have a simple, no-fuss wedge salad.
- Want something to fill that void between meals? Try a beet and yogurt salad using the handy olive oil and balsamic vinegar you packed for the Caprese salad.
Do you have a slow cooker?
Now we’re talking! One of the challenges of a hotel room without a microwave is that you may crave something hot and toasty. A slow cooker will help fill that void.
- Pack eggs, cheese, and grated potatoes and prep the night before, set on low for eight hours. Wake up to breakfast in bed.
- You’ll want them if you haven’t already discovered Reynolds’ slow cooker liners. Line your slow cooker and when you are finished eating… toss the liner away. No cleanup is needed.
- Slow-cook your favorite nacho sauce. That way, it is always ready for when a nacho-eating craving hits.
- Potato bar time! Use the slow cooker liners to place the potatoes in and slow cook and another bag for chili or nacho sauce. Or both.
- Go bold with beef ribs. Why not? Tucks some potatoes and carrots in there while you are at it.
Does your hotel room have a microwave?
Best-case scenario. 9 times out of 10, if the room has a microwave, it also has a refrigerator. Or, do what we did and buy an inexpensive microwave and bring it with you. Ours cost $25 at Walmart, and we store it in our basement in between travels.
- Pack along a pre-made frittata. Good enough for breakfast or any meal of the day.
- Pack along breakfast sausages to go with your frittata.
- Go nacho crazy. Precooked chicken, cottage cheese, tomatoes, avocados, and the works can now be achieved.
- Ditto quesadillas.
- Wraps can be heated to bring out the yum factor. Try a chili steak and rice wrap for a complete meal.
Have any favorites that you’d like to share?
Eat well, my friends.