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MICHELLE73101 Posts: 317
4/30/14 5:43 P

My go-to is a nutrition bar and piece of fruit. You don't need to refrigerate, and you can have it for breakfast, lunch, or a snack if you just need something to hold you over.

STARRD616 SparkPoints: (17,161)
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4/29/14 1:56 P

I just wanted to send you some encouragement. It sounds to me you are doing the best you can for where you are now. I remember some interesting meals when I was little (like mayonnaise sandwiches and beanwiches) due to the situation at hand. But, I remember my mom playing jacks and stroking my hair as I lay with my head on her lap and those are the moments I cherish. -- those will be the things your daughter will remember too, how hard you worked to make things good for the two of you.

This time will pass and things will be better and easier once you are in a place of your own. I saw some ideas on this site that would work to give you additional meals for the rotisserie chicken. There are quite a few new products that steam in the bag in the micro found in the frozen foods -- some with pasta and veggies and sauce that you just add meat. In addition to the chicken, you could try tuna if you don't mind heated tuna.

One last thing, do you have an affiliation with a religious denomination? If so, you may want to check to see if there is one local that could come along side of you -- maybe a group that would provide a home-cooked meal once a week? Wishing you a fast transition into your own place. emoticon

KOALA_BEAR SparkPoints: (18,475)
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4/29/14 12:47 A

There are microwaved baked potatoes topped with chili or turkey chili from a can. You can add shredded cheese or not. Also try some steamed broccoli and shredded cheese or canned soup (of the same type) over the baked potatoes.
Not sure what you like but smoked kippers or sardines with crackers makes a delicious meal washed down with some V8 or tomato juice. Hummus is also great with the crackers or serve alongside a small veggies plate.
You can buy potato or macaroni salad, cube some deli meat, and stir it in. Very good cold so you don't really need to heat it. Buy stir fry veggies that you steam in the bag, nuke for a few minutes, and eat the hot cauliflower, carrots & broccoli alongside.
Some places - hotels and convenience stores - sell hard cooked eggs so that might be another option. And I think your daughter will be okay with PB & J unless that's what you are giving her for lunch in which case, ever hear of cream cheese with jam? A nice change.

Grocery stores delis have all sorts of options - marinated vegetables, fruit salads, sliced turkey and ham, cheeses. Make quesadillas in the microwave with flour tortillas and shredded cheese. Add a little salsa for flavor. You can add meat too or skip it. Or spread some refried beans on it the next nite, roll up and have burritos. One cut up Roma tomato, a bit of lettuce or cabbage from all those salads and you have a meal. I personally could eat a bean and cheese burrito several times a week - add pieces of meat or leave it as is w/ salsa.

Also, there are plenty of what used to be called TV dinners and frozen entrees - either complete meals or main dishes. I would hope you would buy a couple of those disposable containers for leftovers. If so you can buy a box of Salisbury steaks in sauce, heat up water & butter with instant mashed potatoes and let your daughter whip them in a cup, serving by serving. Open a can of peas and it will be just like real cooking. A couple days later, finish off with corn on the side instead.

I think you have lots of options - I'm betting this is more that you are just sick of not being in your own place. Don't forget to treat yourself and your daughter to little treats. It is okay to microwave a few cookies to serve with milk or fruit.

Good luck.

IMAREADER SparkPoints: (221,069)
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4/28/14 10:59 P

I don't think I've ever had to stay more than a few days in a hotel, but these are really great ideas! I'm going to come back to it the next time I travel. I've gotten into the habit of trying to stay at one of those 'extended stay'-type hotels, since they have a nice little kitchen. I like to treat myself to a good dinner or lunch for a couple of meals, but I really gain weight if I do that every meal. I try to balance it out by fixing my own breakfast and picking up the makings for a healthy dinner for at least some of meals. My friends think I'm crazy ('that's what a vacation is for--to eat out every meal and treat yourself'. Bah!) but I can't afford (health/calorie wise) to do it. I'm still working on the balance, but I'm getting there with every trip.

Again, great ideas! I'm glad I stumbled on this thread tonight!

MIPCY1 Posts: 582
4/24/14 11:21 A

Ugh! I understand. We eat a lot of quick meals, and even though we don't use the microwave for more than melting cheese, maybe these hints will help:

*veggie potato. You could throw some rotisserie chicken on top, too.
*wraps. add your lettuce and veggies and whatever pre-cooked meat you like
*barbeque sandwiches with your rotisserie chicken + veggies
*quesadillas don't have to just have cheese. try adding your precooked meat.
*peanut butter and apple slices

Don't think just in the frame of "meals" think balanced snacks. I now I get grumpy if I go too long (days) between eating meat, but meat is definitely not your only protein source.

Onespotleft: have you tried a toaster oven or countertop oven? Right now, there's just the two of us, and I use it almost exclusively.

ONESPOTLEFT SparkPoints: (123,311)
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4/23/14 7:15 A

we cook everything in a microwave, our range quit on us and we don't have the funds to buy a new one yet, still saving to pay cash.

PLAYFULLKITTY SparkPoints: (150,899)
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4/23/14 7:06 A

Thanks Sherylds :) I saved this site for my work meals :)

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,361
4/22/14 4:30 P

40 Delicious Things You Didn't Know You Could Make in a Microwave

PLAYFULLKITTY SparkPoints: (150,899)
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4/22/14 12:46 P

I have some experience with meals in a hotel...once a year my family of 10 plus goes on vacation for 3 days...and only 2 meals are out to eat meals...going to and going from vacation... for breakfast i boil eggs to take. Also make muffins and take a simple fruit salad with cut up fruits of different kinds. Put in large baggies for easier storage in hotel fridge. Lunches consist of sandwiches and cut up fresh veggies. Dinners I make a couple casseroles that can be rewarmed in microwave...along with veggies that also can be warmed in mircrowave... frozen steam bag veggies are awesome for this type of thing :) We buy some stuff at a local grocery store like the bread for sandwiches and stuff like banana's and apples for snacks.

LOURDESE Posts: 302
4/22/14 11:35 A

I am gluten-free and frankly don't want to eat *every* meal out when I travel. I like trying to keep to a healthier diet.

Sandwich maker (I make eggs and heat up veg on it). Fresh fish the day you bring it home.
Oatmeal and oat milk keep really well.
Ryvita crackers
Cheeses for just a few days in tupperware containers
A friend of mine uses a George Foreman grill and an iron.

We traveled once with "our friend Frizzee". The biggest frizzee that would end up in a bowl of water as we traveled from place to place to keep it from wilting. Freshen up the water every day, and it's also nice decoration. Do the same with celery.

I've kept most food until it starts looking a bit 'done' and then I toss. It really helps when you are traveling and everything is closed at 10 o'clock at night.

Febreze to keep the place smelling fresh.

ACHANSO Posts: 1,073
4/22/14 10:59 A

Does the hotel have a free continental breakfast?

Grab an extra apple or orange when you're there- and some hotels put out oatmeal packets- healthy snacks any time of day!

SENIMMO SparkPoints: (57,752)
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4/21/14 6:46 P

This is nothing helpful about the food part, but a thought for the dishwashing situation. When we had to stay in a hotel for an extended time, I got 2 dishpans and set them on a towel on the dresser. Hot water from the tap and dish soap in one, plain hot water to rinse in the othe not the best solution, but it did keep the dishes out of the bathroom. You could also put a small dish drainer in one dishtub and pour hot water from coffee pot over them to rinse.

Hope things settle for you soon!

NEWLITTLE1 Posts: 795
4/21/14 6:17 A

I agree with Alihikes! being a military family, we also have spend our fair share in hotel rooms. Our longest stay was 47 days while we waited for our house to close with nothing but a fridge, a microwave, and a cabinet. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Canned tuna,shrimp,salmon, chicken, etc.
2. a bag of fruit (doesn't have to go in fridge or anything)
3. The salad bar at the local grocery store- sometimes they even have tacos!!!
4. Uncle bend brown rice packets (microwaveable)
5. canned soups (watch teh sodium level)
6. If you are careful, you can microwave pasta
7. The Tyson meals are ok as long as you temper the sodium - you can bet beef tips chicken, etc
8. Lot's of veggies and every time you go out to eat, grab teh travel packets of salad dressing (save space in fridge)
9. Hormel and other companies make "healthier" versions of their micro meals and all you do is store them in teh cabinet.
10. caned fruits!
11. Canned beans can be mixed in rinsed and cold to add some protien to a salad.
12. canned corn is the same way
13. Peanut butter!

I think that's most of them. I'll visit back if I think of any more

SUSANK16 Posts: 2,635
4/21/14 1:25 A

Got to agree that Alihikes suggestions shows how easy it can be to make good choices. It is all about making it a habit. Thanks for the reminder.

4/20/14 9:12 P

I like to keep a can of tuna/chicken on me for a quick meal. It may not be fancy, but I know im getting filling protein.

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (194,576)
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Posts: 2,243
4/19/14 1:19 P

Wow, ALIHIKES--your list of go-to foods sounds great for my own kitchen at home! Forget the hotel! :) Thanks for reminding me how much I love beans & hummus! :)

PACAROLSUE SparkPoints: (4,521)
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4/18/14 5:39 P

Hmmm, grilled cheese with the iron! LOL Never thought of that one. It was bad enough when we moved into our house on a Saturday morning and didn't have a stove. We found a local diner and had breakfast, lunch and dinner there until the stove was delivered the next week. We were not very creative.

ALIHIKES Posts: 4,292
4/18/14 1:52 P

I have spent more than my share of time in hotel rooms (traveling for work) and I recently was without a kitchen for 3+ months while my kitchen was being remodeled (I sympathize -- I HATED washing dishes in the bathroom). Some of my go-to meals included:
1. Indian food such as palak paneer or veggie curry (several good varieties at Trader Joe's and health food stores; shelf stable so they don't take up valuable fridge space, heat in microwave). DON'T try these if your family hates spicy food
2. Soup (I bought good refrigerated soup in containers from CostCo or the health food store)
3. Cheese or hummus or almond butter on crackers, with fruit and carrots or celery (I got good quality cheese)
4. Ramen noodles (add left over chicken and vegetables to increase the nutritional value)
5. I bought hard boiled eggs at the grocery or cooked hot cereal in the microwave when I got tired of cold cereal for breakfast
6. Heated canned refried beans (fat free is available), add fresh salsa and pre-grated cheese, serve with reduced fat chips
I hope these suggestions help a bit! (I ALSO ate lots of salad and rotisserie chicken)

Edited by: ALIHIKES at: 4/18/2014 (13:53)
4/18/14 1:06 P

Ever thought of "grilling" a sandwich using foil and the iron?

PACAROLSUE SparkPoints: (4,521)
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4/18/14 11:43 A

I too am learning a lot from this thread. Did anyone mention tuna? If there's enough room in the fridge for a small jar of mayo you could make tuna salad for sandwiches. They even have premade tuna salad in pouches and I don't think it has to be refrigerated. I don't know how that could be, but preservative do wonders. LOL

It would be terrible to have to live this way, even just for a month, and with a young child to boot.

4/18/14 11:42 A

Having 2 kids I always bring our plugin cooler with us on long trips that way I can fill it with the right food from home and shop at the local supper markets along the way to get what we need. They are great because they plug in to your car lighter socket and in the hotel room so you have your food on the go no matter what.

SUE5007 Posts: 749
4/18/14 11:26 A

Don't forget there are cans of turkey, chicken and ham (though I've never tried ham) that make good sandwiches. The deli at my grocery store also has pre-made burritos, french bread pizza, sandwiches, and turkey breast available by the pound. You could microwave a baked potato then heat a can of chili with frozen veggies. Have you tried making the chicken into burritos? Or pita sandwiches?
The times I used an electric skillet in a hotel room (I didn't ask before hand, just made sure to not create any smoke) I put a little bit of water and a few drops of soap into the skillet when I was done cooking. I wash it along with the utensils right from the basin of the skillet. (Not in the sink) Then I dump the soapy water into the toilet and flush. Then rinse the pot in the sink or tub. If you can't use a skillet in the room, is there a patio where you could use it?
Good luck to you! Hang in there!! emoticon

4/17/14 6:51 P

I sure think you girls have gone above and beyond to help with the meal ideas. There are great ideas packed into many of these suggestions and will help anyone that is looking for some new and fast ideas. Great help girls but not sure the originator really wants help. Or at least she does not sound like she wants help. I am sure using a lot of the info for our trip back to Michigan and staying in a lot of hotels along the long way back. Love the trip but hate the eating out fact. This is perfect timing for me. So thanks to all of you for your time. As always SP is the best and always there when we need you. Jude

ACHANSO Posts: 1,073
4/16/14 10:20 A

Yes, I agree, use canned veggies like green beans, corn, and canned fruit in light syrup to add to your other menu items.

SERDECZNA Posts: 2,919
4/16/14 10:01 A

Hi, YankeeGirl6!
Part of your problem is that-- having only a mini-fridge-- you don't have space for refrigerated ingredients. You gotta leave that for milk for you & your child, maybe some cheese, yogurt, hummus, fruit, jam, eggs, and some carefully-chosen veggies. I'm sure the mini-fridge has only a micro-freezer! Veggie burgers or veggie sausage would not take much of that space.

So, assuming that the more you can cook from cans, the better... I've used the "Man and a Can" series of cookbooks with great success from times of (extended) power outage, cooking for a crowd at a rustic cottage, and when I was in transition myself. There is a wonderful variety of ideas in his books.

SparkPeople has great recipes for a variety of canned bean salads. And one of my favorites is pinto beans, tomato, green onion, lemon juice, oil (salad or olive), salt, pepper, avocado, and jalapeno slices (fresh or from canned), inspired by

* baked potato with pinto beans, and cheese (salsa, canned tomatoes, onion...)
* veggie burgers in buns or crumble and combine with beans and canned spaghetti sauce or tomatoes for "chili"
* Edamame (great at room temp) with some sea salt. Or combine in a salad with mandarin oranges, green onion, vinegar, some hot pepper flakes, cucumber chunks (seeds scooped out), and just a little bit of sesame or veg oil.
* low cal, high fiber English muffin (such as Thomas's) with lower fat cheese and veggie sausage inside. You could slip in a slice of tomato.

Edited by: SERDECZNA at: 4/16/2014 (10:43)
HADLEY123 SparkPoints: (22,511)
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4/15/14 10:49 P

I've done the quesadillas, soup cups, frozen burritos/dinners, nachos and eggs in the microwave like others here have suggested with really good results. I also like pizza bagels in the microwave - they're a hit with the kids and can be made with stale or frozen bagels. I imagine dry food storage for handy ingredients is a little difficult for you too.

I bet you could poach fish and melt some butter as a dipping sauce in the microwave for a little variety. Definitely you could make bacon and then have some BLTs. I'm not a meat eater personally, so more than that is a stretch for my imagination. I can buy frozen, fully cooked vegetarian meatballs and make them into subs. I'm not sure if there's a real meat equivalent but I promise my carnivorous neighbors' kids love them.

I feel your pain though. Being unsettled is really hard and borders dangerously close to nightmare territory. I hope you're settled and happily cooking home made meals soon.

ACHANSO Posts: 1,073
4/15/14 1:53 P

Since you have a microwave, I have a little egg poacher that is microwave safe- Nordic Ware makes them I think- they are available at Walmart. Eggs cooked in the microwave egg cooker could be made into an omelet, breakfast sandwich (bacon is microwaveable), a breakfast burrito, etc. And eggs are so healthy!

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
4/15/14 1:52 P

As others have mentioned those rotisserie chickens sound like they can be pretty versatile. I don't currently eat them due to the sodium content and the fact that I've got a working kitchen that I can cook stuff in, but you bet I'd eat them if I were staying in a hotel room for a month. I'd eat a lot of them, just like you're doing. Anyway, I'll throw in a couple more suggestions:

Chicken burritos. The canned refried beans heat up well in the microwave and you can warm tortillas in it too. What else you put on them depends on what you like--avocado, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, etc.

Chicken wraps. Tortilla, chicken, lettuce, avocado. I actually will eat this with corn on the cob as a side and I love the corn on the cob in the microwave idea.

Chicken salad sandwiches. Shred the chicken, add some reduced fat mayo (or greek yogurt or a combo of both) and then add a bunch of diced celery and some green onion and it's done. Extras keep well in the refrigerator.

Pair the chicken with different sides. Salads, different microwaved veggies, microwaved sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, etc. I'm pretty sure you can cook pasta in the microwave too.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 4/15/2014 (13:53)
BHENDRICK2 Posts: 1,207
4/15/14 1:46 P

do you have room for a toaster oven some models are very good to have we lost our stove for many months and used one

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
4/15/14 12:25 P

Yankeegirl6, I bought my son a cookbook that was devoted to making meals with rotisserie chicken.

I don't even know if this was the title I purchased for him but there are plenty of books on amazon that have that kind of goal - cooking within the limitations of some diet or living situation.

If you have an iPad, you can put kindle books on it with the kindle app. What a wonderful thing that is! If not, you can order a hard copy of a book and get it fairly soon. If all else fails and you go 'old school,' a bookstore might be able to help you out!

I don't know that my son ever used the book I gave him. I gave him an awesome ramen noodle cookbook, too.

Your situation is defined by how many spices you have, how much space you have, what kind of tools you have, what foods are available nearby, how easy the cleanup is and how much you are willing to live with the smells of cooking. I don't know that I would like to be in a hotel room that smelled like curried rotisserie chicken, for example.

A friend of mine was stuck without a working stove and frantic because she was at her vacation home and not near any restaurants or grocery stores. She had a refrigerator with food, though, and a working microwave. I asked her why she didn't use her microwave and she said, 'We only use that to heat up coffee....' I have cooked several Thanksgiving turkeys in the microwave!

I second the recommendation about corn on the cob...

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 4/15/2014 (12:27)
4/15/14 12:23 P

There are some bottled sauces that aren't high in calories to perk up rotisserie chicken - masala sauce, curry, spicy Asian, peanut sauce. sriracha or sweet spicy sauce are good too.

I'd get some veggies - fresh and pre-washed or frozen to heat alongside. Some frozen veggies are better tasting - we like corn, peas, green beans. We don't care for frozen carrots or broccoli.

I bake potatoes in the microwave all the time. Sweet potatoes too!

If you like corn on the cob, you can take fresh cob with all the leaves on them and simple rinse and put them in the mircowave. After about 7 minutes, leave them to sit for a few more minutes and then pell the leaves and silk off. It tastes so good you don't need butter or salt!

LILITHB Posts: 3
4/15/14 11:48 A

I think with a microwave and a pirex bowl you could even make a good soup, and decline with all the kind of veggies you can dream of!
Broccoli fineli chopped+chicken broth, cook 30 min, add shredded chicken and cheddar for topping.
A large can of chopped tomatos, beef broth, small chopped onions, oregano - and perhaps a touch of smoked paprika, mike 30 min on low (simmer), add a small can of corn plus a small can of beans. In this one, you could add beef meatballs, pre-cooked separately in the microwave.
Tomatoes and a jar of grilled peppers, chopped. Yum.

For all travelling foodies, how about a mini-spice kit? A small jar of concentrated broth, oregano, salt and pepper (from any fast food), pizza deliveries usually bting pouches of extra parmesan and chili flakes.... Perhaps a small bag of curry.... :) it all helps, and you can fir it all in a toeletries bag.

BELDAME SparkPoints: (83,798)
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4/15/14 9:33 A

Rotisserie chicken with a bag of steam in the microwave vegetables? I'm partial to microwave mashed potatoes, although they're not really a good every-day choice.

COREY04 Posts: 80
4/15/14 9:27 A

Hey there:
I have been reading this thread with great interest and I feel your pain. I travel for work. Besides missing my family at home, I also miss my juicer and my ability to cook a flavorful meal that is not drowning in fat.
There are a few things that I have done. I found a great grocery store with a soup and salad bar. Sometimes, when they serve soups that are clear broth based, like chicken noodle soup and kale soup, I have that with a salad.
If I stay in a hotel with a microwave, kashi and some other companies make great organic frozen dinners, that have ingredients I know and that I can pronounce.
I rotate what I do, because I get sick of the same stuff. When I am tired of hotel breakfasts, my quaker medleys come out.
GNC makes a portable blender, that works well for protein shakes. I am not talking about the cups with the little stirrer in it. Despite of what GNC says, they don't break up the fruit. I work in Vermont, and Vermont peanut butter company makes a vegan crunchy peanut butter that I love.
I always miss my juicer back home. Where else can you have 1 cup of spinach, pineapple, and mango for breakfast and it makes you feel great?
I hope I was able to contribute some decent ideas.

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,785
4/15/14 9:26 A

Hotel living will make people cranky, but maybe you need to be more creative or less stuck on certain foods. Rotisserie chicken can be pulled and dressed with BBQ sauce, mixed with veggies, seasonings and Greek Yogurt to make chicken salad that can be used to stuff celery ribs or in lettuce wraps, can be pulled and mixed with Asian flavors/sauces for more traditional lettuce wraps, etc. For me, I get more bored of the sides than I do of the actual protein. So yes, if I were eating premade chicken, salad mix and the same dressing more than twice, I would be unhappy. But if I ate that chicken with steamed carrots with butter and dill for one meal, chicken salad for another, chicken with cucumber salad (cucumbers peeled, seeded, chopped mixed with Greek yogurt and seasonings) for another and so forth. Maybe add some different sauces for the chicken (BBQ, wing sauce, honey mustard, etc.), and I could eat chicken for most of my meals for a couple of weeks. Would I be over joyed? Not really, but it would do, especially if I did throw in the occasional restaurant meal.

HAWKTHREE SparkPoints: (63,583)
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4/15/14 9:20 A

@ FunkyWVChick
Lots of good advice! I like it.

YANKEEGIRL6 Posts: 1,183
4/15/14 9:06 A

I was really looking for an interesting idea for the rotisserie chicken or something else to do with some sort of pre-cooked meat. I feel so much better when my diet consists mostly of lean meats and vegetables and fruit. Grains and beans make me feel bloated and sluggish. The only things I want to be less than I want to be a vegetarian is a vegan. I'm seriously feeling the effects of weeks on end of way too much salt.

My hotel doesn't allow a hot plate or electric skillet. As a 24 year veteran of the industry, it's a good policy, one based on the safety of all the guests. I can't just change hotels because I work for the ownership group of this one.

Maybe I'm just grumpy because I washed the plastic ware to pack my lunch in a sink that's 4 feet from where I pee. I'm a little embarrassed that my child is on a first name basis with the staff at Chipotle, but I suppose there could be worse things.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,247
4/15/14 7:56 A

one easy option is cup of soups. yes, i said cup of soups. check for the nile, health valley or dr macdougall's brands in your stores. they have come a long way from just ramen. there is potato leek, lentil curry, spicy black bean [the big cup of this has 13 grams of fiber in it] and several others i can't remember off the top of my head. the ingredient lists are pretty decent as well. and they are open, add hot water, microwave for a few minutes easy.
i also really like the thai kitchen noodle carts. those and some just veggies dehydrated veggies make a quick meal that i like to keep in my desk at work.
beyond that what do you wish you could have? as long as it isn't grilled you stand a good chance of being able to make it in the microwave. if you have no idea how to go about it make another post about how to make that specific dish in the microwave. lots of people have lots of cheater ways to go about things and most are willing to share. most grocery stores have also greatly expanded their premade sections over the past years, which adds even more options if you don't have room to store multiple servings of things. target's new simply balanced line has microwaveable pouches of different grains like farro and quinoa and seeds of change has some nice blends as well [and target or redplum usually has coupons for them as well].

4/15/14 7:39 A

I have used a toaster oven and a hot plate in a hotel before. I made pizza, burritos and toast in the toaster oven. Eggs, potatoes, broccoli and green beans in a pot on the hot plate. The hotel even let me use the hot plate outside (in the winter) to fry hamburgers.

Does the hotel you're staying at have a BBQ available? Some do, if not look for a hotel that offers more amenities.

I've stayed at some fairly inexpensive hotels that have full kitchens in them. The Townplace Suites we stayed at by the Buffalo airport was really nice and if you book it for a month it's only $69 a night, free breakfasts too!

ANDILH Posts: 1,543
4/14/14 10:11 P

Frankly I totally feel for you. I have to spend a week in a hotel in a few months because we have a series of medical appointments at a hospital out of state. We generally have to stay 4-6 days, and that's more than enough for me.
Hummus wraps (we like them with a tortilla, hummus, shredded carrots, tomatoes, basil-also sometimes use sour cream, cheese, grilled chicken or tofu, basically whatever you like) are fairly easy, can be made quickly, are tasty, and variable since you can change up what you use for them.
If nearby groceries have rotisserie chickens for a reasonable price, you can make chicken salad with individual sized greek yogurts and other vegetables.
If you want to invest in an electric skillet (are you allowed that in your hotel? Many don't allow even hot water pots now) you could make grilled sandwiches, or a variety of stir-fries. Quesadillas with cheese, beans, chicken, tomatoes (or pico de gallo). Couscous might be a good option as a grain for you since you just pour hot water and let it steep. It could be used under or with many things.

SANDRAPSKI SparkPoints: (28,461)
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Posts: 86
4/14/14 9:08 P

My 24-year-old-son has the same appliances ... his "go to" quick and easy meals:

Cheese quesidillas (flour tortilla with a handful of cheese topped with a second tortilla and nuked for about a minute)

Cheese nachos (tortilla chips & cheese); you could take some of the rotisserie chicken, sprinkle it with taco seasoning, and add that to the nachos

Mini-pizza's that are designed to cook in the microwave along with pizza or breakfast pockets (lean pockets are a tolerable alternative and will just fit in a mini-fridge 'freezer' if you take out the ice cube tray)

Baked potato (white, Yukon gold, or sweet) topped with whatever is leftover from lunch ;-)

Good quality hot dogs (be sure to prick first otherwise the ends blow up ;-) tucked in a bun (about 90 seconds to heat)

Thinks I wish he'd eat:

Veggies steamed in microwave, sprinkled with parmesan cheese

Frozen veggies in some type of sauce topped with rotisserie chicken or crumbled precooked bacon (Hormel makes low salt bacon bits that punch those veggies up as well)

Trader Joe's has a bunch of stuff that can be heated in microwave including precooked rice.

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,785
4/14/14 2:56 P

Instead of trying to think of a whole meal, break a meal down into it's parts: protein, veggies, whole grains, fruit (whatever you are trying to accomplish). There's tons of ways to get protein that will work in your situation - eggs (see below or buy precooked hard boiled), canned beans, frozen precooked meats, peanut butter, quinoa, canned/pouched tuna/chicken, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, etc. Grains can be microwaveable rice/pasta, whole grain bread, whole grain crackers, etc. Veggies/fruit - tons of frozen and fresh precut, prewashed selections as well as washing and prepping yourself.

Some suggestions:

Frozen chicken patties/nuggets and other frozen precooked meats (Perdue has a new Simply line with lightly breaded/grilled items - not my favorite to microwave, but will do in a pinch).

Veggie burgers on bagel thins/sandwich thins.

Tuna in a pouch mixed with Greek yogurt/lite mayo/mustard/relish/bit of onion, etc.

Baked potatoes (done in the microwave) topped with beans, salsa, reduced fat cheese, etc.

Broccoli slaw tossed with vinaigrette is a favorite side and refrigerates well if you make a batch of it. Also there are several frozen steam in bag veggies which are decent.

Amy's makes some decent burritos/frozen meals that microwave well.

Peanut butter sandwich (I'll use rice cakes, but also one slice of whole grain bread) with baby carrots and fruit.

Veggies and hummus.

Cottage cheese with veggies and fruit and maybe some whole wheat crackers.

Pasteurized eggs/egg whites cook well in the microwave. You can pre-steam veggies in a little water, use canned tomatoes or throw spinach in raw with the eggs and zap away.

Whole grain waffles with PB and fruit.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,746
4/14/14 12:49 P

Some grocery stores have a larger selection of cooked meals- check those out as well and browse the freezer section, lots of other meal options that only need a microwave (check the sodium content, it's usually high).

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
4/14/14 12:15 P

We actually cook vegetarian, so meat is not an issue, but there is still a world of options! Beans and rice for one. Canned beans and minute rice, with some sauteed veggies, salt and curry powder, that is a staple of ours. We do omelets as well, but ant pasteurized egg product will serve as well as the whole eggs if that skeeves you out. Can't avoid the bathroom sink issue if you want to cook at all. Invest in a good scrubber and some scouring powder, that's all. Its worth it for actual cooked meals.

That said you can also try salads for meals, like pasta salads or bean salads.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
4/14/14 11:03 A

Grapes and low-fat cheese, healthy soup (maybe low-sodium) to which you add some more cut up vegetables from a supermarket salad bar. With some bread that you both like.

Tortillas with cheese, salsa, pre-made guacamole and cut up meat from the salad bar.

Clam chowder (from can) with some added canned clams.

Pastry shells from the freezer section of the supermarket, made into mini-quiches. Use egg-beaters, half-and-half, cheese, veggies and meat to vary the quiches. Cook in the microwave (google 'quiche microwave' for recipe ideas.

Here's one:

I use eggbeaters for everything. In your case, it's just easier to pour the eggs and other ingredients (less mess) than to break eggs and have to clean up. If the health hazards of raw meat concern you, you may not like using fresh eggs.

There are some good ideas there. In addition to being healthy, your concern is easy cleanup and preparation.

Polenta that comes wrapped in a tube shape is handy because you can just cut slices of the already-cooked polenta, warm those up in the microwave, top with some chopped tomatoes (there is a brand that comes in a box but is refrigerated once it's opened), some veggies and some shredded cheese. Then cook it all again. Warm up the polenta first before adding the toppings.

The egg-stuffed pepper can be changed to a 'pepper stuffed with anything.' Brown rice soaked overnight to make it cook quicker in the microwave, with vegetables, cheese, meat, egg - any that you find easy to handle - seasoned and then baked in the microwave.

Eggplant slices cooked in the microwave and topped with anything. Ditto for baked potatoes.Leftover baked cold potatoes, mixed with anything, makes a casserole.

It sounds like you may have a simple selection of spices for your cooking.

When looking at the list of suggestions in that link, I'm reminded that corn chips, when smashed to little bits, make a nice crunchy topping for casseroles. I often add smashed corn chips to a spicy soup and cook it along with the other ingredients. The soup itself can be loaded with all kinds of veggies, but the corn chips just gives it a nice flavor for me and not much is required to do that.

Make a stir-fry with shredded cabbage (bagged pre-washed coleslaw without dressing) some oniony things from the supermarket salad bar, and add in pre-cooked shrimp at the end. Then add your stir-fry sauce (bottled) and mix the whole thing up again and heat it all together. Serve with rice, quinoa, or even pasta.

Cilantro+oil+lime juice+ground ginger. Toss with bagged shredded cabbage. In an oven-proof bag, steam a boneless, skinless filet of halibut in the microwave.. Stuff pieces in a corn tortilla and top with your seasoned slaw = fish taco. Throw out the oven-proof bag; it's tempting to think you can reuse those things but it's probably not a good idea.

Taste everything and salt to your own taste, of course! No need for this stuff to be bland.

For a meat meal that doesn't require much preparation on your part, ask the butcher at one of the markets to trim lamb shoulder of any external fat and cut it into cubes for you. All you need to do is season the lamb in the cooking container (a glass pie dish would work), cover and cook at 70% (7 on my microwave) at 8 minutes per pound for medium-rare. You can use leftovers to stuff in pita bread with seasoned yogurt and again, chopped veggies from the salad bar.

You can cook frozen peas in the same cooking container that held the lamb (in the juices). Throw in a leftover baked potato, warmed up, and you've got a full plate and only used one cooking pot.

Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 4/14/2014 (12:59)
FUNKYWVCHICK SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,200)
Posts: 7
4/14/14 11:00 A

I'm a touring musician and I spend a lot of time in hotels. At least you had the good sense to book a hotel with a mini-fridge and microwave; many places don't even offer that any more.

If you don't want to invest in any small appliances (understandable) I recommend finding whole grains that can be cooked in the microwave or with hot water you can make in your coffee maker; my grocery has great small packs of quinoa and brown rice that can be cooked by adding hot water. They are slightly more processed than traditional grains, but still healthy and a good source of healthy fiber and nutrients. Oats are also wonderful, and can be subbed for many other grains when seasoned with savory spices and cooked to a harder consistency.

Cans are also your friend right now; combine cans of black beans, kidney beans, and chick peas with a can of seasoned corn or tomatoes (or both) for a protein-rich bean salad that can be served alone or with a grain for a more complex meal. Tuna in the pouch is great because it doesn't need to be drained.

Sweet Potatoes, broccoli, and spinach are all nutrient-rich options that work well in the microwave.

Best of luck to you!

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
4/14/14 9:34 A

Even if you stuck with pre-cooked meat (shock, horror :P), you could use a hot plate and small pan to cook up veggies for stir fry and the microwave to heat up those 90 second bags of rice. Another idea would be to check out cookbooks or cooking websites geared towards students in dorm rooms since they too have little more than a fridge and a microwave. I've personally made some pretty good shrimp scampi in the microwave. Also, a lot of grocery stores will steam seafood for you while you wait, so at least that's another protein source. You can also scramble eggs in the microwave too.

Edited by: LEC358 at: 4/14/2014 (09:35)
YANKEEGIRL6 Posts: 1,183
4/14/14 9:28 A

I only have my bathroom sink so I don't really consider that proper sanitary conditions to handle raw meat. It skeeves me out a little that I'm washing dishes the same place I brush my teeth.

First world problems, I know.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
4/14/14 9:18 A

If you aren't willing to use a crockpot how about a hotplate or electric frying pan? With that plus microwave plus mini fridge you can do almost anything you want. Eggs, stir fry, pasta dishes, you name it.

My family has so many issues with allergies and not eating various things that dining out while traveling or on vacation is not often practical. The above combination of "appliances" plus a small supply of oil, spices and so on have served us well.

YANKEEGIRL6 Posts: 1,183
4/14/14 8:51 A

My family is in transition while relocating from Tennessee to Ohio. My nine year old and I have been living in a hotel for the past month and have another month to go before our house is ready. Any suggestions for preparing meals? I have a mini fridge and a microwave. I don't have a crockpot and don't want to buy. Frankly, I find the easiest way to ruin perfectly acceptable food is to put it in a crock pot. I usually carry a lunch to work and make us a dinner

I just can not handle another meal of pre-grilled chicken on salad greens which has become our staple. Our hotel is close to several groceries stores, one of which has very good rotisserie chicken.

Please, this is situation is stressful enough so I would appreciate it if no one reminded how unhealthy pre-grilled chicken is and that I'll die in 6 months from not eating only free range organic eggs laid by chickens that I raise myself. I get that I'm not making "the best" choices, I'm looking to make better choices than a steady stream of carry out dinners, canned soup, and cold cut sandwiches.

Thank you.

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