Every year we go to a weekend event at a hotel conference center. There are many restaurants in the area, but due to our responsibilities, leaving the facility would complicate things. We considered eating at the hotel restaurant, but they recently renovated from casual to entrees starting at $35 with things i wont eat such as fah-fah-fah foie gras.
We're staying in a regular room at the hotel without any cooking facilities. Since we traveled by car, we packed a toaster and a rice cooker. I planned on using a cooler to store perishables, and as a backup, the trunk of the car, since we are in temperatures well below freezing at this time of year. As it happens, the hotel rents refrigerators for their regular rooms. It was $10 for the entire weekend, well worth it for the convenience.
Breakfasts were simple: toast, fruit and coffee. Lunches and snacks were no cook: cheese, crackers, rotisserie chicken, olives, canned dolmas, stuffed eggplant, and other antipasto type things. For dinners: Thai Coconut Chicken Curry Noodles and Lentils & Rice.
whole breast from a rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 C or so sliced carrots
1 can coconut milk + 1/2 can water
T or so of Thai Basil Garlic condiment
1 box frozen peas.
2 bundles of rice stick vermicelli
Place everything but peas and rice stick in rice cooker and push the switch. When the carrots are tender, add the peas. When it comes back to a boil add the rice stick, and push it down to submerge. If necessary, add a bit more water. Return it to a boil for a couple of minutes then turn off the cooker. Let stand a couple of minutes, and voila. In retrospect some sliced lime would have been a nice finishing touch.
Lentils & Rice
1 C lentils
1/2 C rice
1 t basil
1 t garlic powder
1 T bouillion powder
2 C sliced carrots
3 C water
1 T olive oil (use oil from the dolma can or olive container if you forget or don't want to pack it)
Place all dry ingredients in a ziploc bag before you leave home. Put everything but the cheese in the rice cooker, and push the switch. in 20 minutes or it will be finished cooking. Serve with parmigiana cheese.
We were able to have relaxing meals that were satifying and faster than room service. And there is the added bonus of saving a great deal of money. Next year we'll do this again, maybe i'll make & freeze some waffles for the toaster!
Please post your ideas!