When you’re travelling on a budget, you don’t want to be spending all your money eating out at restaurants. And however cheap fast food may be, you know you’ll feel sick if you eat too much. One of the best ways of saving money is to learn some quick and easy meals to cook in a hostel.
If you’re lucky, your hostel will serve a free breakfast, and you can fill up on rolls, pastries and coffee all included in the price of your dorm. But what to make for lunch and dinner? Many hostels only offer basic kitchen facilities, with the occasional crockery and cutlery. Some will have a hob, others only a microwave and toaster. Below are some ideas of what to cook when you only have basic equipment at hand and can’t stand the sight of another sandwich.
1) Super salads
No oven? Not even a microwave? No problem. Do as your mother said and eat plenty of veggies. Think salads are boring? Think again. Most supermarkets now have a huge selection of single portion ready-made ingredients beyond the plain old leaves in a bag. Use the leaves as a base and build from there.
Grilled artichoke hearts go well with tomatoes and vinaigrette (many hostels will have communal bottles of olive oil and vinaigre). Spice your salad up with ready to eat Cajun chicken and sweetcorn, or get creative with prosciutto and melon. Go Greek and add feta and kalamata olives, or try an Asian noodle salad with chicken and cilantro.
2) Rolls and wraps
Okay, so they’re similar to a salad, but summer rolls are delicious morsels of salad plus meat or shrimp that you can dip into sauce. They will require your hostel to have a kettle, so you can boil water to soften the rice wraps, but it will be worth it.
No Asian foods section in the supermarket near you? You can turn your summer rolls into lettuce wraps just as easily. Want a more Mexican take on a roll? Who doesn’t love a tortilla stuffed with meat, cheese and veggies?
3) Microwave meal
If your hostel has a microwave you’ve got even more possibilities for dinner. Nachos can be made easily in the microwave, just pour some tortilla chips on a plate, cover with toppings and cheese and ‘cook’ for a minute or so until the cheese is melted.
Ever had breakfast for dinner? Most UK supermarkets sell ready made pancakes. You can also usually find ready cooked bacon or breakfast sausage, perfect for reheating. For the final touch, butter the inside of a cup and crack an egg into it. Cook for 90 seconds or until the egg is ‘poached’ and use a knife to carefully slide it out of the cup.
Alternatively, you can chop up some ham, cheese, and veggies and mix with a couple of eggs. Cook in the microwave as an omelette and eat with toast or fresh baguette.
What are some of the best meals you’ve made in a hostel?