Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Frugal Cooking on the Road with No Pots!

Did you ever get so excited about a trip that the logical part of your brain shuts off causing you forget very basic things? This past weekend I remembered to pack bowls and spoons for the oatmeal I brought but I never thought about bringing a larger microwavable container to heat something for the whole family. I had also intended to call the motel to see if they had pots and pans in the room but forgot.

Flash forward to Saturday night when we opted to eat in our motel room to save some money and because we were all worn out from the excitement of the day. There was no way the boys were going to be able to behave in a restaurant. We stopped by Greenstar Coop and I picked up the makings of a quick dinner that could be cooked one dish at a time in the microwave.

3 containers of diced tomatoes
3 bags of frozen broccoli
3 cans of garbanzo beans
3 packages of precooked, preseasoned Spanish style rice (which I would never buy under normal circumstances because its too pricey.)

I divided each package in half and created a delicious layered meal. The bottom layer was the rice mix, then garbanzos, the broccoli and I topped it with the diced tomatoes. Two and a half minutes in the microwave for each plate and dinner was served. It must have been an active day because Rob, my seven year old, demolished his food. Silly me, I had assumed it would be too much for the boys and that there would be left overs.

Sunday morning we had breakfast in as well. The motel had a continental breakfast so while I made oatmeal with sunflower seeds and currants or bananas in the microwave, the kids and Jim picked up free orange juice, coffee and bagels. The money we saved eating these two meals in caused me to feel no guilt when we bought our lunch for the ride home.

We opted for pizzeria pizza made with soy cheese from Pizza Aroma on the corner of Green and Cayuga Streets. I don't know if words can adequately express the sheer joy of being reunited with the pizzeria experience. The hot boxes opening and releasing the aromatic steam that has built of inside. The combined textures of the sauce, the cornmeal on the back of the crust and soy cheese itself almost put us into sensory overload. Since we had a four hour ride back, we got our pizza to go and ate it in the car. This was probably a good choice since the joyful noises we were all making may have been inappropriate in a restaurant setting, even one as casual as a neighborhood pizzeria.

It was a great trip!


Anonymous said...

Hey Katie,
Sounds like your trip was lots of fun. I know this is off point, but I was sure you had posted your recipe for Peanut Noodles on here and yet I cannot find it anywhere. Can you let me know where to look for it or could you pretty please with stevia on top post it again? Thanks and just know that there are some of us fellow frugal veggies flung to the farthest corners of our planet who look to you as a reminder of why we do what we do the way we do it. Peace, love and harmony

KleoPatra said...

Thank you for an upbeat post... making the absolute best out of a situation like this... well done!! Soy cheez pizza... mmmmmmmm! i can only IMAGINE your sheer joy. i am looking forward to experiencing that feeling too someday...

Katie said...


Here's the link for the Peanut Noodles http://frugalveggiemama.blogspot.com/2005/06/requested-recipes.html

I also linked it into the pasta dishes to make it easier for everyone to find. Thanks for reading!

Thanks Kleopatra!