*Photo By Justin Patterson
Part Three: Food, or Dine on a Dime!
(This week’s money installment is inspired by the creator of my future logo, who is not only a talented young artist, but also a recent college freshman doing battle with dining hall food.)
True fact: I LOVE to cook. What’s also true is that I don’t always have access to a kitchen. Whether it be living in a dorm style residence (thanks nuns of St Mary's and Sacred Heart!), working on a cruise ship where you can’t have much more than a kettle in your cabin, or on tour in hotel rooms that didn’t have kitchenettes, this kind of gypsy life will require some improvising on how to get a healthy tasty meal anywhere without having to eat out which will eat up your budget! In these recipes, I’m focusing on the food groups I tend to eat which are proteins, veggies, and complex carbs.
So…here some of my favorites, and how to make them with no kitchen at all! All you need is:
· a mini fridge or access to one, (most hotel rooms have one, or you can ask for one)
· a microwave (same deal as the fridge)
· a kettle
· hot plate,
· small pan
· can opener
· optional colander
· a couple of microwavable dishes/cups. I like plastic for travel as it doesn’t break in a trunk or suitcase.
I’m assuming that we all have access to running water and a sink in this scenario. On tour, I had a large-ish electric skillet, which I used maybe twice, so I don’t recommend that as much.
From the mouth of a fellow tough as nails, but heart of gold Showgirl Karolina Blonski-Heflin:
“Tour Tips: Bring a French press, single burner, and a pot.”
Cuban style black beans: Purchase a can of black beans, and some taco seasoning. Goat cheese optional. Put the beans in the pan and heat on the hot plate. Mix in the seasoning. Bring to a boil, stir. Serve. Put the optional cheese on top, or stirred in after cooking. If you are feeling fancy or need more food, get the microwaveable pack of rice and put the beans on top of the rice. If you are super extra fancy, chop whatever vegetables you like and sauté them first, before adding the beans.
Blanched Spinach: Boil water in your kettle. As the water is boiling, put spinach in a bowl. (if you have a colander, wonderful, but if you don’t, its also ok. When the water boils, pour it over the spinach, over a sink. Then pour the water out of the bowl quickly. Spice however you chose (I like garlic salt). This recipe is great if you are low on iron but can’t get a steak. (Or don’t eat steak.)
Cold or Hot Soba Sesame Noodles: Buy soba noodles. (They are made of buckwheat and have the most protein of all the noodles) Boil water. Put the noodles in. Turn off the heat. Let them sit in the hot water for three minutes or until they are the consistency you want them to be. Drain and pour cold water over the noodles. Add sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. If you like, cut up some green onion and put on top. Consume hot or cold. This preserves well in the fridge too.
Chicken: You can buy pre cooked boneless skinless chicken and microwave it, but I find the store made kind to typically be a bit too salty for me and it’s not as economic of a choice, so if you feel up to the task, poach the chicken (fresh or frozen) in water on the skillet, then remove from the pan and toss the water. Then cut into smaller pieces, and sauté in a little olive oil. If you want it to have a different flavor, you can make it Asian-ish by using sesame oil, or whatever you might find tasty. Season how you like it. Just make sure there is no pink in the meat so that you know it’s cooked through.
Caprese Salad: (Bette style) Cut up a big tomato. Get some (preferably fresh) Mozzarella. Cut that up. Get some basil. You can eat it on a plate, or put it on top of lettuce or baby spinach too. Put whatever spice or balsamic vinegar on top if you like that. Eat.
Egg in a cup: Scramble an egg in a cup. Add cheese if you like. Microwave for 30 seconds, or adjust the time as necessary for the power of your microwave. Make sure its cooked but not dried out. I happen to like a little ketchup on it, but season how you like it. Have some cherry tomatoes, and maybe some olives or a pickle. Breakfast is served!
Bette’s favorite morning smoothie recipe: (You need a blender or magic bullet for this one.)
One banana, some frozen strawberries (or fresh but I like it chillier), hemp/almond/soy milk, one tablespoon peanut butter, half a scoop coca powder, one small scoop VEGA Chocolate One powder (they sell them in small travel packs too, use half of that) and then if you like some flax seeds or chia seeds or both. Blend. Drink.
(I have trouble eating much in the morning before rehearsals so this is something I prep the night before and take it with me. That way when I start to feel hungry, I’ve got some liquid food ready to go. Extra points for prepping it the night before!)
In conclusion, there is no reason to go hungry or resort to fast food joints just because you are on a budget, or are a kitchen-less Bette. And if you’ve got some recipes in this genre of cooking to share, don’t hesitate to put them in the comments section below!
Bulletproof Bette shares her wisdom in the first ever Showgirl’s Guide to surviving and thriving in a city and industry that wants to eat you for lunch. Get exclusive content when you sign up below!