Author Topic: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan  (Read 3397 times)

Travis

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Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« on: May 12, 2015, 06:15:26 PM »
I'll be by myself next month living in a hotel that just has a fridge and a microwave.  I could eat at the dining facility for $4 a meal or find a way to take care of myself.  I'd much rather pocket the per diem.  I imagine I'll be buying some ready-to-nuke dinners and sticking with bars or oatmeal for breakfast.  I don't know yet if brown-bagging lunch will be an option. Any suggestions?
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Rural

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 06:32:58 PM »
I just tonight had a delicious supper I made up on the fly: couscous with raisins, peanuts, and sunflower seeds, curried (curry powder and a bit of soy sauce). I was just thinking it would be a good go-to meal for travel. Everything's nonperishable, and the couscous cooks with hot water.


When I travel, I eat oatmeal with PB and raisins for breakfast - this can be made with a hotel coffeepot in a pinch.


Add some bread and you have PBJ sandwiches for a lunch option.


But you'll have refrigeration! Heck, you can do anything. :-)


It's easy to do pasta, rice, even baking in a microwave. Just Google whatever you'd like to eat and odds are there's a microwave recipe. When we moved into this house, we had only a microwave for six months, and I didn't change cooking habits much. No thanksgiving turkey, but pretty much anything else.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2015, 06:33:53 PM »
Do you know your grocery store options? Trader Joe's sells pre-made, pre-peeled hardboiled eggs that are a great option. Salads are an easy one (Ex- TJ's sells pre-cooked chicken, or you can buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it up). Oatmeal for breakfast, like you mentioned, good with peanut butter in it.
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mrshudson

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 07:25:02 PM »
Was going to suggest TJ's but somebody beat me to it. Yes, Trader Joes sells great, cheap mostly cooked stuff that I've relied upon for even business trips. I just hate ingesting restaurant food that frequently.

Breakfast - you can buy granola or cereal and have it just plain or buy small container of milk or yogurt and put it in the fridge, pre-cooked eggs, fruits etc.

Lunch - I love a nice big salad for lunch, especially this time of the year when things are warming up. I usually pick up a bag or two of salad greens, along with precut veggies from TJs like radishes, beets, carrots or their four veggie blend with carrot sticks, celery, cherry tomatos etc. are just fine also.  Along with this I pick up a can or two of beans (chickpeas, black or pinto), may be a couple of avocados and some salad dressing (I like their greek or ranch), may be a block or less of cheese (or grated if you prefer those instead). And some red wine because I like to drink wine with lunch sometimes. :)

Edited to add: I can usually get the above for under $35, which keeps two people (me and spouse) going for about 3-4 days. Rinse and repeat. Toss in an occasional restaurant meal.

Dinner - repeat of lunch. I also pick up a few canned soups (or their packaged tomato/butternut squash etc), a loaf of bread and something to put on bread (like hummus). Pick out their taco shells if you want to make it fancier. Another glass of red wine if you fancy. :)

Occasionally pick up some dark chocolate, and some nuts for snacking. Along with whatever fruit you like. I usually do ones that don't require washing/cutting like bananas, apples, oranges, or precut ones like watermelons and pineapples.

I do this regardless of the town I go to as long as there's a TJ's there, because their products seem to have internal consistency, and the pricing is the same across all cities. Plus I don't have to wade through aisles upon aisles with so many different branded stuff - I can also mostly ignore reading labels because they carry mostly clean stuff, plus you are restricting your diet to mostly natural stuff anyway.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 07:29:50 PM by mrshudson »

Daisy

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2015, 07:43:31 PM »
Breakfast should be easy.

No need to buy pre-cooked eggs. Cook your own in the microwave! I did this on a recent trip after getting the idea from someone else on the trip. I looked up how to cook an egg in the microwave. I made "scrambled" eggs, even though they came out with a little puffed consistency.

I took a water glass (glass, not plastic) that the hotel had, cracked two eggs in it, whipped with a plastic fork, microwaved for about 45 seconds, took it out and mixed up with the fork, put back in for about 45 seconds to a minute. It rose a bit (hence the puffed comment). It turned out well.

I suppose I could have added some veggies and stuff to it, but I hadn't given it much thought. Next trip at a hotel and only a microwave, I'll come prepared with a more elaborate recipe.

I bought some veggie chips (not totally healthy I guess) and some fresh fruit to complement the eggs.

Yogurt with granola/nut mixture and some berries or other fruit was my other in-room hotel breakfast that week.

Daisy

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 07:47:22 PM »
I was on a ski trip, so for lunch I packed a ziploc with some cucumber, carrots, celery. I had also brought some roasted chickpeas I had made at home prior to the trip. Once I finished those, my protein part of lunch was canned sardines (nice because you don't need a can opener for them and I like sardines better than canned tuna). Dessert was usually an apple or banana and some dark chocolate.

flygal

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2015, 08:41:10 PM »
I don't know about your travel circumstances, but I spent 6 weeks last fall in a hotel while doing training for work.  I was lucky to have driven to training which gave me easy access to grocery stores, as well as let me pack along a virtual kitchen.  I brought along a crock pot, water boiler, electric skillet, and a hot pot.  I considered borrowing a George Foreman style grill, but ended up not having time to track one down.  $4 for a meal is probably not a bad deal, but I get tired of eating out.  With my virtual kitchen I barely knew I wasn't at home. 

Travis

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2015, 08:59:33 PM »
I don't know about your travel circumstances, but I spent 6 weeks last fall in a hotel while doing training for work.  I was lucky to have driven to training which gave me easy access to grocery stores, as well as let me pack along a virtual kitchen.  I brought along a crock pot, water boiler, electric skillet, and a hot pot.  I considered borrowing a George Foreman style grill, but ended up not having time to track one down.  $4 for a meal is probably not a bad deal, but I get tired of eating out.  With my virtual kitchen I barely knew I wasn't at home.

Thanks for the ideas.  I'll be attending a training course at Fort Benning, GA for three weeks.  I couldn't find a TJ's in the area.  I expect I'll swing by the commissary my first day to buy everything I'll need. A rotisserie chicken sounds pretty good.  I did that once when my wife was out of town and that fed me for almost a week.  Some fruit, a bag of frozen veggies, and some kind of rice or pasta solution might work.  Just buy a couple tupperwares and flatware to store/cook it all?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 09:35:06 PM by Travis »
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Bracken_Joy

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 09:03:02 PM »
Breakfast should be easy.

No need to buy pre-cooked eggs. Cook your own in the microwave! I did this on a recent trip after getting the idea from someone else on the trip. I looked up how to cook an egg in the microwave. I made "scrambled" eggs, even though they came out with a little puffed consistency.

I took a water glass (glass, not plastic) that the hotel had, cracked two eggs in it, whipped with a plastic fork, microwaved for about 45 seconds, took it out and mixed up with the fork, put back in for about 45 seconds to a minute. It rose a bit (hence the puffed comment). It turned out well.

I suppose I could have added some veggies and stuff to it, but I hadn't given it much thought. Next trip at a hotel and only a microwave, I'll come prepared with a more elaborate recipe.

I bought some veggie chips (not totally healthy I guess) and some fresh fruit to complement the eggs.

Yogurt with granola/nut mixture and some berries or other fruit was my other in-room hotel breakfast that week.

Microwave scramble tastes shockingly good with salsa.
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Trifele

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Re: Will be in hotel for 3 weeks, need to meal plan
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 04:55:24 AM »
I used to travel a lot for work.  Some great suggestions here, including the microwaved eggs, the crock pot, and the basic meal plan of salad/raw veg with a protein like beans or sardines.

I'll just add -- get a one quart pyrex glass dish with a lid and take it with you.  It won't take up much room in your suitcase -(you can fill it with socks/whatever and put the lid on).  It's a little bit heavy, but very worth it.  It will serve you well:


* Microwave cooking dish for eggs, pasta, soup, oatmeal and more,

* Eating bowl

* Snap on lid to store leftovers in fridge


I hate microwaving in plastic/tupperware -- the glass bowl is way better. (There are some studies out there about substances in plastic transferring to food when the food is heated).  I also have a combo metal knife/fork/spoon set that I got at a camping store that I love.  It beats heading down to the hotel breakfast area to scrounge for plastic utensils. 

Good luck!  With both a fridge and a microwave you should do great.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 10:07:39 AM by Trifele »