Travel Hack #8 How to cook healthy, hearty meals while traveling
October 9, 2013
Traveling on a budget can limit your food choices to cheap, instant, and unhealthy meals, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Truth is, the healthiest ingredients are actually the cheapest in the market. Vegetables, beans, fruits, and bread is available anywhere at low cost to no cost, and a bit of talent in cooking’s enough to please a growling stomach.
Oats actually don’t come rolled, as rolled oats are a form of processing. So if you buy steel-cut oats, you may pay more for a bag, but those little grains are jam-packed with goodness and it will take less to fill you up.
The good news is that they don’t even need to be cooked! Simply soak them (1/8 to ¼ cup dry is a decent serving) in water, preferably overnight, and they will expand to more than double the size.
Drain them when you’re ready to chow down, add some raisins, cinnamon, any fruits you wish, top it off with yoghurt, and you have a breakfast of champions. Steel cut oats are one of the best protein sources you can find in a grain.
Ramen … With a Twist
Anybody who has spent time on the budget travel road could probably stand to own a few shares in a ramen company. These small packets of oriental noodles in a flavored soup base are cheap, yummy, and quick to prepare. But they are terribly processed, and lack many of the nutrients we need.
If you must have ramen, you can easily spice it up and be the envy of your traveling comrades. Along with the noodles (or before you add them), throw in a mix of local vegetables (try broccoli, carrots, peppers, and onions for starters). Add some rice vinegar (or whatever vinegar is available on the “free shelf”), soy sauce, hot peppers, and fresh ginger to the broth, and boil just long enough for the veggies to become al dente.
Just before you take your masterpiece off the heat, add an egg and scramble it into the soup. It will only take a minute to cook, and will add amazing texture, flavor, and protein to your now well-balanced ramen meal.
The glory with one-pot wonder dinners is that you can get as creative as you like with the local foods available. Just follow a simple formula: one starch (be it pasta, potato, or rice), one protein (cheese, meat, seafood, tofu, or beans), lots of veggies (onions, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, eggplant, and so on), and seasonings (fresh garlic, pepper, hot chili flakes, and anything else you can find – spices are easy to travel with too), can combine with some oil in a frying pan to make a delicious and nutritious off-the-cuff meal.