If you spend a lot of time traveling for work, you might be eating more than your share of ready-made meals and take-out. That might not be so healthy for you. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 70% of sodium most Americans consume is from restaurants and processed food. Even if you’re eating at healthier restaurants, there’s still something comforting about eating a meal you made yourself.
Chances are, in your long-term hotel, corporate housing, or business rental from an app like Zeus Living, you’ll have a furnished kitchen. And while you might not feel as comfortable as you would cooking in the comfort of your kitchen back home. It’s good to have a few go-to meals under your belt. Meals you can whip up in strange surroundings with a minimum of equipment.
Supplement the food you pick up in grab-and-go sections and in restaurants by learning to make some basic staples. Stop by the grocery store (or have groceries delivered) and pick up the ingredients to make your home-away-from-home feel a little more cozy.
Learn How to Make an Omelet
Yes, it takes a little perseverance to get from producing a sad blob of not-quite-scrambled eggs to making an omelet that looks like a professional made it. Think of the rewards! Once you learn the technique you’ll be able to cook a restaurant-quality breakfast for yourself in a matter of minutes. There are plenty of videos online to teach you. Not much in the way of kitchen equipment is needed, either. And, because cooking perfect eggs isn’t a thing that everybody can do, you’ll be that much more likely to impress any guests you might have.
Figure Out How to Hack Spaghetti
When you’re living in a corporate rental, you probably don’t have the time to make an all-day Italian sauce. Or even the inclination to clean up afterward. However, as long as your furnished kitchen has a few pots and a colander, you can turn out a delicious, replicable dinner with a higher-quality jarred sauce, a little fresh produce, and/or something from the butcher’s counter, and packaged noodles. Step it up with a bottle of Chianti or Italian mineral water, depending on your mood. You can cook your own meals that are much healthier and you made it yourself!
Get Really Comfortable with a Casserole
Just because you’re living the jet-set life doesn’t mean you can’t find comfort in a simple casserole. While not every furnished kitchen will be furnished with oven-safe cookware, you might be able to make do with a disposable aluminum pan from the grocery store. Reflect back on your childhood. There just might be a meal something like a chicken and rice casserole that you loved before you ever even knew what elevated cuisine was. There’s a 99.9999% chance that you’ll find the exact recipe online that your mother used. Plus it’s probably really low-maintenance to make for the very reason that casseroles were meant for busy people to make on a weeknight.
Spice Up a Simple Classic Like Beans & Rice
With a can of beans, a package of boil-in-the-bag rice, and a jar of salsa, you can make a meal that will get the job done. But why not use a little creativity? Nearly every culture that ever was has had some way of making beans and rice unique and awesome. If you master just one, you might find a whole new level of comfort food. Here are some ideas to get you started: Learn to make a Louisiana-inspired red beans and rice with sausage. Try an Italian-style risotto with fava beans. Or a Costa Rican Gallo Pinto with some Lizano sauce that you order online.
Sometimes the limitations in life inspire more creativity than complete freedom. While you’re traveling and have access to a furnished kitchen, you may not be as comfortable as you’d like. But with a little research and practice, you could surprise yourself with some new culinary skills and impress your colleagues when you tell them what you made for dinner last night. And, as a bonus, here’s a 10-minute beef and broccoli stir-fry recipe you might like to try.