Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Trapped in hotel!

Still no way to access my blog while here. Shout out to my best friend James for helping out. So, because of this (the stupid computer, not James... because James is the best), still no pictures to post, but I am still blogging!
Yesterday I wort e a little about eating in airports, but what about after you get to the hotel? Sometimes when I travel for work I can go eat out and there isn't a lot of problems, however, when I travel on my own, I tend to eat in my room a lot more to save on money. Every stay I learn something new about how to make it a bit easier for me. Here are some tips for any vegans out there, or really anyone who wants to be able to save a little by eating in.
First thing that you need to deal with is your room. You need to try and get one as well equipped as possible. Look for hotels that have kitchenettes or suites. Double check before you book the room for what that means because every hotel is different. The room I have right now has a fridge and a microwave, but I have had other suites that have a full kitchen right down to utensils and pots and pans. I find that if you are looking for cheaper spots, just go outside the touristy areas and you will have a much better chance. If you don't mind a small commute, it is worth it. If you are not so big on a commute, look for private owned hotels. You are taking a slightly larger gamble with them, but just do a little research and it will work out.
Now, once you got your hotel room and they have confirmed it is a for real suite with something to cook with, ask after you check in if they can provide cutlery, plates, bowls etc. You can ask for her things like pots and pans if you got an actual kitchen For the most parts, hotels are accommodating.
So what to cook? Well, depends on what you are working with. Where I am I have just a microwave and fridge, so I am pretty limited. For breakfasts, I usually have instant oatmeal, miso soup, breakfast burrito, cereal. At home, I have a green smoothie and it is really hard not having one when I am away. I have actually considered bringing my immersion blender, but because I fly, I haven't. Definitely an option if you love a smoothie in the morning and check baggage or drive. Lunch I rarely eat in my room, but on the few occasions that I have, a sandwich is an obvious one. If I am low on cash, this is my easy standby. Instant soup is another easy one, but not that great. My favourite is pita chips, hummus and veggies. Filling, easy and requires pretty much nothing.
When I eat dinner, I prefer something hot.  One thing that I have tried once was tofu scramble (I guess this could be breakfast too, but I always have it for dinner). The tricky part will be getting spices, but you can either pack your own o just buy when you get there. if you can find bulk, it's pretty easy. Chop up a tomato and put it in the bowl, crumble the tofu (Get pressed, more convenient or you can get silken). add with your fave spice and any cooked veggies if you have any, cook for 4-5 minutes. You can also just cook tofu or tempeh in the microwave. I cut it into strips and then if I have it throw some salad dressing (vinaigrette) on it. Cooke for 4-5 minutes and then top with BBQ sauce or marinara. You can have this with instant rice, baked potato (To do this, just wash and poke some holes in a potato, cover with a wet paper towel and zap it for 10-12 minutes) and with some steamed veggies (Throw veggies into a freezer bag, add a little salt and pepper and a couple tables spoons of water. Cook for 3-4 minutes). The one I was hoping to take some pics of was cooking spaghetti squash! At the store, buy a spaghetti squash, being careful that it will actually fit in the microwave. Ask the store if they can cut it for you, lengthwise. Get a plate and put a little water on it. Put the cut squash, cut side down on the plate and microwave for about 10 minutes. Once done you can top it with earth balance and garlic, or with some marinara. Insanely easy to do.
Lastly, snacks... I have to admit I don't do a lot of snacks in the hotel. I generally just buy some hummus and veggies or chips and keep some fruit, snack bars etc. But for research purposes, I did attempt one dessert and it was not bad at all.
Duke Nukem Apple Crisp
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 packet of instant oat meal cinnamon spice flavour (or if you want to get some regular quick cooking oats, it would probably work too)
- 1 Tbsp margarine, melted
- hand full of nuts (I used walnuts and pecans), chopped
First, prep the apples and add them to a bowl (or in my case... a glass). Add a little water (About 2 Tbsp) and cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next pull the apples out of the microwave and drain the water. Add the oatmeal and margarine and cook again for about 5 minutes. Test the apples with a knife to see if they are cooked. Once ready, top with the chopped nuts.

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