Help! TF eating in a hotel room? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 04:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've started doing some short-term contract work which has me living in hotels for six weeks at a time. My first contract put me up in a hotel room with full kitchen, but this time around I'll only have a refrigerator and microwave. Yikes! I'll also probably bring a blender, and the room will probably have a coffeemaker so I can heat water. And I'll be able to come home on the weekends and stock up at the co-op. The contract gives me per diem for food, but it gets lumped in with paychecks so I won't start receiving it until about halfway through the job. I'm pretty tight on money for now.

Please help me figure out how to stay as TF as possible! With the microwave and hot water as my only cooking sources, I'm feeling a little discouraged (especially in winter, I don't do well on cold food alone) but I think I can work out a decent compromise, at least.

Oh, and did I mention I'm allergic to gluten and dairy? And am trying to kill off the Candida overgrowth in my gut?

Here's what I'm thinking, and I'd love more suggestions (thanks in advance!):

Breakfast:
coconut milk smoothie OR
hot instant GF cereal with CO, nut butter and frozen fruit OR
homemade TF-friendly protein bars? (don't have a recipe yet) OR
???

Lunch:
NO IDEA (I'll probably eat at the job site)
maybe hard-boiled eggs?
maybe it's worth getting good GF bread and bringing a sandwich with good meat, or scrambled egg, or liverwurst, and veggies?
???

Dinner:
I can make batches of raw veggie pasta and raw veggie pasta sauce on the weekends, and eat that throughout the week OR
I can probably make a casserole and bring servings for the week (maybe Eggplant Kiku from NT, or Frittata or stew or something - but something will have to go in the microwave at some point because I'm not good with only cold food!) OR
leftovers from eating out OR
???

Snacks/desserts:
crispy nuts
coconut crackers from EFLF
liverwurst? (I can make a batch to bring during the week? most store-bought has dairy in it)
olives
apple slices and nut butter
???

We're officially TTC!!!
 
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#2 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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Can you make a bunch of food on the weekends when your home so you can just microwave it?
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#3 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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I'd make a large batch of hardboiled eggs, mix salads on weekends and use it for lunch over the week.

For dinner, a large batch of soup made in the weekend and frozen in ziploc bags. You can eat warmed up soup with bread.

I've read in travel forums that people take a small indoor electric grill with remove-able plates (griddle on one side and grill on the other) - you can use it to grill veggies, grill meat, salmon patties (from tinned salmon, ) make omelettes, pancakes etc

A small plug in rice cooker can be used to make soups, boil or poach eggs, steam veggies (most rice cooker come with steamer basket, casserole, pasta, curries, sauce etc). You can use canned beans, veggies, spices to make chili in the rice cooker too.

A crock pot can do all of the above and also cook your dinner when you are away, but I personally wouldn't be comfortable letting an electric appliance ON in a hotel room when I'm at work.

It's upto you if you want to use those appliances in a hotel.

The microwave - I gave it up for 2009 new year and haven't missed it since but I'd use it in a pinch if that's the only resource available. You can use it to make a lot of things - boil veggies, cook soups, chili etc ..

nerdy mom to DD1 7yo, D2 infant
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#4 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Just a quick thought on this--green smoothies (you can use your coconut milk in them too). They can be a meal on their own...

Here's a cool thread w/ all sorts of smoothie ideas.

Lauren, wife to my dear and mama to amazing River
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#5 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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fyi, scrambled eggs can be made in the microwave. Grease a bowl (I prefer butter, but you can use whatever), then scramble in 2 eggs (I add yogurt and rice cheddar as I'm lactose intolerant) and whatever spices. Cook for 2min 15 seconds, stirring at 45 second intervals. Probably go 3 minutes for 3 eggs. Add spices after cooking, because for some reason the spices all go into the middle of the bowl when I'm microwaving eggs.

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#6 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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I don't eat TF, but reading your post made me think about Alton Brown making oats in a coffee maker. You might find an electric kettle or crockpot for a few bucks at a local walgreens or clearance mart (goodwill?) and make some boiled eggs or crockpot meals. I wonder if you can find a local thrift store and buy a whole portable kitchen, like an electric burner and pans. I've done some extended stay travelling with my family, and always pack a good knife, baggies, and a microwaveable dish. I buy groceries when I get there, but having a knife and baggies (empty for leftovers/snacks, and some of spices) makes my day. The last trip I went on was a total jackpot; the motel had a table in their "laundry room" with things people left behind, including small appliances. I mention the goodwill aspect because sometimes I'll hit those stores up if I pack inappropriately and need warm/cold weather gear. I've seen cheap appliances (2-5 bucks) and fantasize about how luxurious a crockpot or skillet would be next to the hotel coffee maker. At least if you have a tiny crockpot, you can make your gluten-free grains and have hot breakfast or dinner waiting for you.

I hope you enjoy this adventure, let us know how it goes and what exciting hotel room recipes you come up with!
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#7 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 08:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
fyi, scrambled eggs can be made in the microwave. Grease a bowl (I prefer butter, but you can use whatever), then scramble in 2 eggs (I add yogurt and rice cheddar as I'm lactose intolerant) and whatever spices. Cook for 2min 15 seconds, stirring at 45 second intervals. Probably go 3 minutes for 3 eggs. Add spices after cooking, because for some reason the spices all go into the middle of the bowl when I'm microwaving eggs.
You can also make them without stirring and they are like a solid slab of egg.....tastes like the egg in the McMuffins @ McD's. YUM.
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#8 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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buckeye_bebe reminded me--I have owned a portable burner (it's a single electric burner that plugs in). I bet you could buy one somewhere like walmart for not too much money. It works very well and is great when you need to cook out of your kitchen. I would highly recommend taking one, even just for making scrambled eggs, etc...

Good luck!

Lauren, wife to my dear and mama to amazing River
I traditional foods
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#9 of 13 Old 11-30-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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You can also eat hummus (Blend together a can of chickpeas- rinsed, sesame seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt) with raw veggies, crackers, organic wholegrain tortilla chips etc. You can also make fermented salsa on the weekend and store it in the fridge. It lasts indefinitely in the fridge and is sooooooo good!

Other variations - White bean hummus, roasted red pepper hummus, sundried tomatoes hummus etc

For candida, you can make your own flax seed or grain free crackers and it keeps for a week or more (if you refrigerate)

nerdy mom to DD1 7yo, D2 infant
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#10 of 13 Old 12-01-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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I was in a hotel for a week at a conference, and brought some food with me. I also ate out more than I should have, but things that worked for me were:

cooked meat (chicken)
hard cheese (I know you are no cheese)
TF soaked and naturally sweetened granola with milk (or coconut milk) for breakfasts. fast and easy
salad stuff: easy to assemble, throw on some of the aforementioned meat, some quickly whipped up dressing, and you have a meal. can be varied greatly as well.
bread (gf bread?)

If I were going to be living in a hotel during the week for 6 weeks, with those appliances, I'd try to get a crockpot, hotplate, or other method for cooking food, at the least for boiling eggs, and making gf breakfast porridge.

Other ideas:
Breakfasts:
PB, coconut oil, banana and (optional) GF bread (toasted? I guess a toaster is probably too much to bring)
hardboiled eggs
homemade granola made on the weekends? (might be too much work)
dried fruit and nuts (with hardboiled eggs?)
quiche (made at home on the weekends) cold or heated in microwave
scrambled egg sandwhiches -scrambed eggs can be reheated on toast under a broiler. does this work in a microwave? maybe reheat the eggs, then put on bread?

Lunch:
salami, sliced meats, sliced chicken breast or tri-tip, (cooked at home on the weekend), with gf-bread (either sandwhich, or just bites of each, dipped in some mustard, salad dressing, whatever) with sourkraut from home
make soup at home, reheat in the microwave and put in a thermos
hummus and veggies can make a meal. you could add some little pickles and some heated meat put in tinfoil to keep it warmish. raw carrots, steamed broccolli (in the micro), celery, other things
quiche from home

Dinner:
Baked sweet potatos or potatos (can be done fine in microwave) with reheated chicken or other meat
one of my fave kale microwave recipes: chopped kale, and slivered garlic with a little water at the bottom of the bowl, cover, and microwave until cooked, stirring once or twice (it cooks better via steaming than via being in hot water), toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sea salt. It is a tad chewy sometimes (not always), but delicious and easy, I used to make it at work all the time when all we had was a microwave
steamed or other veggies cooked in microwave
reheated soup
reheated meat
make a dish of cassarole, or chicken marsala, or chicken cachetorre, or stew, or whatever on the weekend (or two to alternate for what you want) and reheat it

I really wouldn't worry about using the microwave on a short term basis. you need the hot food, and thats that. It's not ideal, but it will work, and still have plenty of nutrition. It's better than eating out all the time.

(obviously some of these would need combining for a whole meal)

I think there is a lot of cooking that can be done in the microwave, maybe on the regular food forums people might know more about that?


Good luck mama. Please let us know what genius things you make in your hotel room and how you do it. I'd love to know for future times away from a kitchen.

Caroline, partner to J, post partum doula, kitchen manager, aspiring midwife, soon to be nursing student, mama to my furbaby, someday a mama to not so furry munchkins, G-d willing
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#11 of 13 Old 12-01-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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I lived out of a hotel room once and the best thing I brought was a toaster oven. You can cook almost anything with it. Baked chicken, roasted veggies, rice, etc.
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#12 of 13 Old 12-01-2009, 01:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyRae View Post
buckeye_bebe reminded me--I have owned a portable burner (it's a single electric burner that plugs in). I bet you could buy one somewhere like walmart for not too much money. It works very well and is great when you need to cook out of your kitchen. I would highly recommend taking one, even just for making scrambled eggs, etc...

Good luck!

That's what we do. We aren't TFers per say, but we are dairy/egg/gluten/nut free and try to eat whole foods/organic/grass fed stuff as much as possible. We also travel a lot. So, we have a portable burner (electric) that we bought for about $30. We bring some pans, etc. I've used it to make vegan french toast, all sorts of veggie stir fries, spaghetti & meat sauce, etc. It has been our travel life saver!

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#13 of 13 Old 12-01-2009, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone, for your great suggestions! I hadn't even thought about other appliances, but I bet my DBF would part with our toaster oven and/or small crock pot. That increases my options immensely! I'll let y'all know how it goes...

We're officially TTC!!!
 
I blog about traditional foods, nurturing creativity, keeping a simple home, and the elements of crafting a meaningful life at www.maggiesnest.org.
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