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6 (MORE) Easy, Cheap, and Healthy Hostel Meals


healthy hostel recipes, what to make in a hostel kitchen, hostel kitchen meal ideasOur post 6 Easy, Cheap and Healthy Hostel Meals is one of our most popular posts of all time, so our contributor Laura is giving you 6 MORE super-simple recipes for when you’re traveling around, are on a budget, and have got a hostel kitchen at your disposal. And if you’re looking for more ways to save money on food, check out our post on how to save while traveling.

Spanish Tortilla
This delectable delight is similar to your basic omelette, but with a hearty twist. If you’re needing to add some balance to your diet, substitute the potatoes with your veggies of choice, such as peppers. At that point though, you’re just back to your regular omelette, which is great too.

Kitchen Tools Needed:
Spatula (or a well-honed wrist flipping technique)

Ingredients Needed:
A few eggs
About ½ an onion
Two potatoes
A splash of milk
A dash of cooking oil

1. Slice up your potatoes and onion and cook them up in the skillet with a bit of oil
2. Combine the cooked mixture with your milk and eggs and pour into the skillet as you would with a normal omelette
3. Keep shaking the skillet to avoid the mixture from sticking to the bottom; cook until the bottom is glowing a nice golden brown color
4. It’s sometimes easier to flip if you slide it onto a plate from the skillet first and then put the skillet on top of the plate to flip the tortilla on its other side
5. Add seasoning to taste–salt, pepper, hot sauce (if you’re feeling adventurous)

Chicken Salad
This extremely simple dish can also be super healthy. Plus, if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, the chicken can easily be combined into a wrap, sandwich, pasta, or rice dish. It’s not hard to find fresh or frozen chicken breasts in a ton of different regions around the world. If you don’t have the resources or are looking for a quick, simple meal, boiling chicken is a great way to go.

Kitchen Tools Needed:

Ingredients Needed:
Fresh or frozen (but now thawed) chicken breast
Veggies (tomatoes and cucumbers are always a good choice)
Whatever dressing, sauce, or spices you happen across in the fridge or at the store
Tortilla or some sort of bread (pasta and rice can always work instead) (Optional)

1. Dice up the chicken into bite-size pieces and drop them into a bowl of simmering water (if the water’s boiling too high, the chicken will be tough).
2. Cut up your lettuce and veggies for a wrap/salad or prepare your pasta/rice dish.
3. When the chicken is cooked all of the way through (for small pieces like this it shouldn’t take too long), take it out of the water and put it into a bowl to season.
4. Add whatever spices or seasoning suits your fancy. Simple spices such as salt, pepper, basil and garlic are always winning combinations, but so are things that include different flavors like ginger, cumin, or chili peppers. If salad dressings like ranch, Italian, or ceasar are around, those are also scrumptious!
5. Mix the freshly cooked chicken with your veggies and drop it into a salad, roll it all up in a tortilla, smush it in between two pieces of bread, or mix it in with your pasta/rice.

This is a healthy dish that will make great leftovers for the morning, to pack for lunch to sustain you on your hike the next day, or for whatever it is you do.

*Hostel cooking tip – Make the quest to find ingredients an adventure. Change the veggies you use based on what’s in season in the city you’re in and make it a chance to interact with the locals.

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Chili Con Carne
Here’s a dish that is often thought to be tricky, but an easy chili can be as simple as you want to make it. IF you want to add meat, pretty much any kind will do– beef, chicken, pork. The longer it stews, the more flavorful it can be, but it can also be quick and simple as well. Plus, you can make it as spicy as you want. This is paired great with things like rice or pasta. Most of the other ingredients are pretty flexible.

Kitchen Tools Needed:

Ingredients Needed:
Ground meat (if you want it)
Garlic seasoning, onions
Peppers (if you want)
Beans (canned kidney beans work well)
Tomato sauce
Rice or pasta

1. Sautee your veggies in a pan and mix in the meat.
2. Cook it all up with the tomato sauce. Add extra spices and chili seasoning to taste.
3. Mix with some sort of pasta or rice, depending on what’s available.
4. As with almost all things, this will only improve with cheese added to the top.

I really can’t stress the benefits of sandwiches enough. They’re clearly cheap, extremely easy, and guaranteed great to pack on the go. Not to mention, it’s a great way to try the local breads, cheeses, and meats. All the ingredients store well in the fridge and are great to grab on the run. You can collect the ingredients all day while you’re moseying through town.

Kitchen Tools Needed:
Well, if you must, I suppose you could use a knife to cut the cheese, but that’s about it

Ingredients Needed:
Bread (snag some from breakfast)
Meat (or veggies)
Mayo or any condiment you can find

1. Take whatcha got and slap it on the bread
2. This works great for breakfast, lunch or dinner

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Lemon Pepper Pasta
This is a dish that’s easy-peasy lemon squeezy (get it), but one that makes you look way more culinary inclined than you may actually be. It’s a yummy one!

Kitchen Tools Needed:
Mixing utensil

Ingredients Needed:
Fresh or frozen (but now thawed) chicken
A lemon or lemon juice
Some form of Italian-esque seasoning (basil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper–all good ideas, but use your best judgement)
Canned alfredo sauce (or something similar)
Veggies (your call–broccoli or peppers are always good)

1. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and soak it in the lemon juice with the spices to marinate while you’re getting the pasta boiling
2. Cut up the veggies while you’re at it
3. Cook up the chicken in the skillet
4. When the chicken’s cooked, mix in the cooked pasta, sauce, and the veggies until they’re tender

Tuna Casserole
While tuna’s not for everyone, some people really dig it. If you’re feeling like a little taste of the sea, this casserole is about as easy as it comes.

Kitchen Tools Needed:
Mixing Utensil

Ingredients Needed:
Can of Tuna (more if you’ve got more than a few people)
Peas (if you want)
Cream of ______ soup (mushroom is always good, but, let’s be honest, it all pretty much tastes the same anyway)- one can should work unless you’re cooking for more than a few people
Diced Onion to taste
Cheese (slices or whatever you happen to find)

1. Cook your pasta with the peas until it’s al dente; drain
2. Dump back into the pot; add in the drained tuna, onion, pepper, and cheese until it’s all cooked and melted
3. Yeah, that’s it!

What meals do you like to make when you’re traveling? Do you try to stay healthy when cooking in a hostel? Let us know in the comments!

Photo sources: JaBB via Flickr, jpellgen via Flickr

Laura’s persistent urge to experience new cultures has her currently stationed teaching English in Hong Kong since graduating college this year. Before that, she studied abroad in both the Netherlands and Costa Rica and found them also to be quite pleasant experiences. When not doing the whole English-teaching thing, Laura loves exploring new places, hiking, playing the piano, and enjoying some nice bread and cheese. If you’re still curious, check out her Hong Kong blog.

2 thoughts on “6 (MORE) Easy, Cheap, and Healthy Hostel Meals

  1. Leila

    That looks like my kind of thing!!! I’m crazy about chili. I found out that carrots will blnd in very well, and celery too. I put a can of corn in and there is a one-pot meal (chili con corn) 🙂

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