Cooking simple recipes while travelling isn’t just a great way to save money, but also connects us to the people and cultures around us!
While on a Workaway trip, it’s also a great way to help out hosts who usually provide food or ingredients to cook. 👩🍳 👨🍳
As we explored previously with foodie Workwayer, Malou:
Food and community are intrinsically linked.
It’s so true! When we gather around the table for a meal, we often get to share and connect with each other. We’re also naturally more inclined to enjoy each other’s company as we enjoy the food together.
But we know that it can be tough deciding what to make when you’ve got a lot on your plate!
So here’s our fave list of travel recipes. Join us as we explore some of the most delicious, simple, and culturally relevant meals and treats that you can prepare for yourself, your hosts, and the people around you while travelling. 🍳
Rice and Beans (Gallo Pinto)
Found in a majority of Central American countries, ‘Gallo Pinto’ or ‘Rice and Beans’ is a popular local dish! Gallo Pinto makes a filling meal that is sure to be a great strength builder for the rest of the day. Ideal for vegetarians and vegans alike, it gives you the daily fibre you need with grains (rice) and beans. It’s also a quick one to prepare, though the cooking time is another story! It takes about 2 hours, but it also means there’ll be plenty of time to chat around the table or get on with your work while it’s cooking! When it’s all said and done, you’ll have a hearty meal ready for you- and it’s definitely a quick one to eat! 😝
- Rice (long-grain white rice)
- Small dried red beans
- Red bean cooking liquid
- Oil (Canola)
- Onions (finely chopped)
- Start with rinsing the beans well with water being sure to remove any debris. After doing so, place the beans in a large pot and add enough water that it’s just over the beans by 3 to 4 inches. Bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low or medium-low and let it simmer for about an hour and a half. Then during the last 30 minutes of cooking time add 2 teaspoons of salt. On the side, you can fry the chopped onion in heat.
- Then combine the cooked beans with the fried onion (making sure to leave the cooked beans liquid behind). Then use the liquid to cook the uncooked rice in along with a teaspoon of salt.
Enjoy this homey and filling recipe after a day of exploring new places or helping out your hosts!
No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Bites
This is a berry good recipe, especially for one of those days when you need something refreshing and sweet! This light and creamy treat will help you get through a busy day.
You could make them in little cupcake/muffin pans or bake them all together in one pan and then cut them up! Whichever way you prefer the best thing about this recipe is how adaptable and small the cheesecake bites could turn out to be! Small enough to snack on when you’re out exploring on trips. They might also be the perfect surprise treat for your hosts or a party that you or your host might throw during your stay.
- Graham Crackers (for the crust)
- Brown Sugar
- Cream Cheese
- Granulated Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Optional: Berries of different kinds (whichever is in season) like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
- Optional: Melted Chocolate
- Start off with the crust, melt butter and stir it in with crushed graham crackers (Tip: to get a nice consistency, put the cookies in a bag and roll over them with a rolling pin) and brown sugar until it hardens and clumps together.
- When the crust is done, line it in either a cupcake or muffin pan or any small pans you have.
- Follow that by combining the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract together, whipping them together until they become fluffy.
- Once there are no streaks in the whipped cream mixture, place it within the little graham cracker crust tarts.
- After that, place any of the optional toppings on top of your little delicious treat! We highly recommend placing the berries right into the whipped cream cheese mixture as well as on top of it!
- Finally, keep it in the freezer for a couple of hours before taking it out to serve! 😋
We’ve seen the magic of spaghetti bolognese through Disney and movies, it’s a classic dish that always makes us swoon. ✨ Especially because no matter how much you might have to get done within a day, Spaghetti gets done just in time! 😉It’s both convenient and fun to make with a group of people!
Main Ingredients and The Process
- Tomato sauce
You could use a can of purée or you could make your own tomato sauce by peeling 5-6 tomatoes for a boil! Boil them with a pinch of salt, onions, garlic, oregano and thyme blending them with water for the consistency desired.
- Meatballs (feel free to exclude or replace it with portobello mushrooms if you’re not a meat-eater)
Prepare the meatballs by mixing lean ground beef/mushrooms with breadcrumbs, garlic, black pepper and egg! Simply combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl, and use your hands to form as many little round meatballs as you like.
- Spaghetti Pasta
These long stringed pieces of perfection can be found at pretty much any supermarket! 😍 While finding and buying them is fairly easy, making your own pasta could be more of a bonding process. If you’d like to give it a go, here’s a good recipe on how to make pasta from scratch.
With the above ingredients, it’s one of those recipes you can make anywhere you’re at! You could make some Spaghetti Bolognese whether in your hostel, your host’s kitchen, a van or wherever you are in the world.
Mint Lemonade is a popular drink in some locations in the Middle East! We had to throw a drink on the list for those hot days when all you want is something to cool you down! The beauty of travelling is that after walking around all day exploring new places, you get to sip on a refreshing drink to help you hydrate! Save this one for a long day of adventure, or even as a ‘welcome home’ drink for your hosts after they’ve been out all day!
- Fresh lemon juice (or real lemons squeezed)
- Mint leaves
- To make a lemonade syrup, all you have to do is add the sugar and water into a saucepan. Heat it over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and then leave it to cool.
- Add the syrup into another half a cup of water and a little concentrated lemon juice or squeezed lemons.
- Top it up with some fresh mint and ice cubes. Instead of just stirring it though, you could also throw it all into one blender, blending until smooth!
You’ll be able to store them in the fridge to keep for the next couple of days! Now can we get a more perfect picnic drink than this one?!
Simple Stir Fry
Whether you’re stir-frying veggies, rice or noodles, this is a quick way to have a delicious meal prepared! Great for long days when you need to whip up a fast but good dinner or when you’ve got projects lined up for the rest of the day. It’s also ideal for a big group of people! Have fun experimenting with the different ingredients you could add into the dish; you could stir fry nearly anything that works for you! And you could have it done in 20 minutes or even less.
- Vegetables or vegetable mix
Whatever is tastiest and most affordable to get is what you need in this recipe. Carrots, peas and cabbage, corn and spinach are some of our favourite choices. You can also use a frozen vegetable mix from supermarkets.
- Soy Sauce and/or Vinegar
Very essential and usually easy to find. Soy sauce IS the way to go! Optionally, adding a small dash of vinegar will also add a lot of flavour to this dish.
- Chopped bell peppers
These add a nice crunch and flavour to your overall dish.
- Green Onions/Onions Also to add flavour to the dish – best to start with this!
- Optional: Rice or noodles
Choose wisely! If you decide to add this, it’d be like the base of your dish.
- Additional spices and herbs (of your choice)
Feel free to add spices and herbs of your very own choice. Apart from salt and pepper, the most common ones are chives, coriander, paprika and garlic!
- How well can you toss vegetables and soy sauce? Well, that’s essentially all you have to do along with the other seasonings of your choice, fry them all up together!
- Start with your onions and garlic and fry them quickly – adding black pepper and salt to taste.
- Then, crack an egg into the frying pan on one side and place the (pre-cooked) rice on the other side, carefully mixing the egg in with the rice. You’ll get an egg that is properly sectioned out amongst the rice.
- For noodles, it’s completely up to you whether you wanna skip the egg part or to include it! This is a great dish to use leftovers for as well.
Cheers! All these different recipes will have you feeling both full and satisfied while saving you a lot of money during your trips. You’ll be able to gather with people around you, get to know them better all while eating some good food. Have fun trying these simple recipes and let us know what you think of them! 🍽