I’ll be the first to admit that food isn’t one of the reasons why I travel. However, for many people, food is one of the highlights of traveling. Most of the meals people eat are in a restaurant, cafe, or a quick bite at a food stand or market. While this can be some of the best food you’ve ever eaten, sometimes a good home (or hostel) cooked meal is what you need.
When I am on the road, I like to come up with some easy meals for my budget travel adventures. Others like to wine and dine in restaurants, go on picnics, or find delicious local foods on the street. While there are some weird foods in the world, there are also some fantastic ones as well – and some you can make even when you are traveling.
I am not a food expert. However, Ben Wolfgram is part of a traveling couple at Two Without a Clue. More importantly, Ben runs a fantastic site called Hostel Cookers where he gives backpackers some easy meals for the road. In this guest post, Ben shares a few of his favorite meals while traveling.
5 recipes for the road
There is no better way to make new friends and experience new cultures than food. My girlfriend and I have traveled and lived by this motto throughout South America. While cooking in hostels we’ve built great relationships and learned about recipes from around the world. In a hostel kitchen you’ll find dishes from every corner of the world. Here are five of our favorite, go-to dishes.
They are easy to make, only use a couple of ingredients, and are inexpensive. Find some hungry travelers in your hostel pool together money, buy from a local market, and cook together. You’ll save money, meet new people, and have a great meal. Plus, when you get home you can share stories, pictures, and a new meal with your friends and family.
Paella is a versatile dish that can be made with sausages, chicken, seafood, or just vegetables. So no matter where you are, you’ll be able to find ingredients to throw together this dish. For Paella, you’ll need medium grain rice, garlic, the veggies you want, and some sort of protein (optional), and a pan with fitting lid to cook it in.
Stir-fry is fast, easy, and delicious. The aroma of garlic and ginger sizzling of a hot pan is hard to beat. There are a couple of secrets to making a mouth-watering stir-fry: Start the rice cooking while you prepare all the vegetables, sauce, and protein. If you’re using beef, freeze it an hour before you start cooking to make it easier to cut thin with the inevitably dull hostel knife. Cut meat as thin as possible, or it’ll be chewy. Marinate the meat in your ginger sauce while you prepare the vegetables. Cut vegetables thin allowing them to cook fast in the stir-fry so they are nice and crispy.
3. Chicken Hollandaise
We love this recipe, it is super-fast and scrumptious. We make this recipe when we are starting to get hangry (Hungry and angry) and want something fool-proof and mouth watering. All you need is a package of chicken ramen noodles, a chicken breast, eggs, a lemon and butter. This recipe is guaranteed to make your taste buds dance. The only tricky part is making the hollandaise sauce, and not ending up with scrambled eggs.
4. Beans and Rice
This recipe is extremely fast, easy, and cheap! Plus it can be eaten hot, warm, or cold. It reheats very well, and tastes better with time (just like chili). If you are staying somewhere for a while, make a big batch and you’ll have enough food for a couple of meals. We make it in the evening and serve with torilla shells for simple burritos. Refrigerate the leftovers and eat for breakfast with a couple fried eggs on top, and if we are lucky, take along the rest to eat as a quick snack while strolling around the city.
5. Spanish Omelet
When a dish has many names then you know it’s a good staple to have in your recipe book. The Spanish Omelet, Tortilla Espanola, or Tortilla de Patata (potato omelet) are all names for the next dish. This is a great recipe for using fresh produce. We mention vegetables commonly used, but you could use whatever vegetables that are in season.
Check out Ben’s website Hostel cookers for more easy recipes on the road!
What are some of your favorite dishes to eat when you are on the road?