If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s food. Not only do we all need it to survive, but it’s also a way we feel connected to each other – sharing a meal at a table and having a conversation tends to bring a sense of camaraderie and a feeling of family. That’s part of the reason why HI USA hostels around the country have shared kitchens and common spaces to eat in, so travelers from all corners of the world can come together and be a temporary family no matter how different their lives back at home might be. With the holidays coming up, it’s especially important to feel that connection when you’re traveling, so we figured we’d share a couple of recipes that are easy to prepare on a budget and great for sharing with new friends. Get cooking (and eating)!
One of the best things about an American Thanksgiving dinner is the variety of foods and flavors being served up in one meal. Now, as a hosteller, you’re probably not going to want to buy a whole turkey and all the trimmings, so this bowl is the next best way to get that variety. Plus, it’s a meal that requires many hands, so it’s best prepared as a team. Pick up some fresh, seasonal ingredients at a local farmer’s market if there’s on near your hostel.
- Brown rice
- Green beans,
- Cut in half squash/pumpkin
- Cubed fresh corn cobs (cut into quarters or you can remove the kernels from the cob) or 1 can of yellow corn kernels
- Garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 can of cranberry sauce
- Greens (collard greens, Swiss chard, spinach or kale)
- Turkey meat or tofu or 1 can of garbanzo beans,
- Drained oil for cooking
- Herbs and spices
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the rice according to instructions on the packet. While the rice is cooking, prepare the green beans, squash, and corn in a large pan for roasting. Sprinkle with the chopped garlic, some oil or butter, and season with whatever herbs and spices you find in the kitchen (just don’t forget to add salt and pepper!). Roast until cooked. Season the turkey meat and roast in the oven until cooked. For a meat-free option, cut the tofu into blocks, squeeze out the excess moisture and season before roasting; or season the garbanzo beans and place in a pan for roasting. Heat some oil in a pan, add some garlic and cook until fragrant and add the greens, season with salt and pepper and heat until they are just cooked and bright in color. Remove the greens and in the same pan, heat the canned cranberry sauce until it’s warmed through and liquidy. Assemble the bowls with the rice, roast vegetables, protein, greens and sauce and enjoy with a side of good conversation!
Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pie
- Premade pie crust
- 1 can of pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 1 can of condensed milk
- A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, eggs and condensed milk with about a teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg and the salt. Pour the mixture into the pre-prepared pie crust and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the filling is firm and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Once cooked, cool the pie and serve with some whipped cream and a cup of coffee.
HI USA tip: One of the best things about cooking at a hostel is having to improvise with what you have – so feel free to add touches from your own national cuisine and mix it up! Are you going to try these recipes? Share your results on Facebook and Instagram! Looking for more cooking inspiration? Try these easy recipes perfect for hostellers.