Posted on: August 01, 2014
Written by: Jessica Minato, Senior Marketing Coordinator, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
You’ve just checked in to your spacious hotel suite featuring a complete kitchenette fully equipped with a full size refrigerator, microwave, stove, dishes, glassware, utensils, the list goes on! But there’s one thing missing… GROCERIES.
This missing piece of the puzzle often deters me from taking advantage of my in-suite kitchen; I usually resort to checking out the hotel restaurant or local eateries nearby… which can get quite costly when staying somewhere for an extended period of time. Preparing meals while you are on long term travel can significantly cut back on your daily costs and helps you maintain a healthy diet. It also allows you to experiment with local ingredients, combat homesickness with familiar flavors, and is especially helpful if you have children who have low tolerance for sitting in restaurants.
So, where to look for groceries? Ask the concierge if there are any convenience stores nearby, venture out to a local market, or if you’re in a pinch for time, check with your hotel to see if they offer complimentary grocery shopping services like Homewood Suites by Hilton® Halifax-Downtown and Residence Inn by Marriott Vancouver Downtown do.
During the summer season, you will find a wide selection of vegetables in the market. People tend to eat more vegetables during summer to help the body overcome the heat. Have a read through FitDay’s Top 5 Healthiest Summer Vegetables to see what’s popular this year.
Keep in mind, you don’t need a full fridge to make some delectable dinners. Our top Executive Chefs, Trevor Robertson and Willie White, and myself as an honorary chef, have prepared a few quick and easy dinner recipes for you… using a mere 5 ingredients, or less!
Prepared by: Chef Trevor Robertson, Radisson Hotel Saskatoon
Serving Size: 2-3
- ½ Box of your favorite pasta (Chef’s choice: Barilla Plus Penne)
- 200g of Goat Cheese
- 400ml of Red Wine
- 3 Shallots
- 3 Garlic Cloves
In a medium pot, boil pasta until el dente. Strain and set aside (save a little of the pasta water). In a large pan put in the diced shallots and garlic. Heat for just a minute or two and then add in the wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by ¼. Remove from the heat. Then add in the cooked pasta and stir in the goat cheese. The cheese will melt, mixing with the reduced wine to make the sauce. Use a little of the saved Pasta water if you think your dish is too dry or if you would like it a little creamier.
Chef Trevor admits to liking this fun and easy, 5 ingredient dish, year-round. In the summer, if you’re not on an ‘ingredient budget’, he suggests adding fresh tomatoes and basil or grilled zucchini and asparagus… And perhaps enjoying the left over red wine on the patio! Or in the winter, try adding roasted tomatoes, onions, whole garlic, and winter squash. No matter what the season, he encourages experimenting with your own favorite vegetables and herbs… you just might create something amazing!
Recipe #2: Pecan Cranberry Couscous
Prepared by: Chef Willie White, DoubleTree by Hilton™ West Edmonton
Serving Size: 3-4
- 3 Tablespoons Lemon or Herb Flavored Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Israeli Couscous
- ¼ Cup Coarsely Chopped Lightly Toasted Pecans
- ¾ Cup of Dried Cranberries
- 2 Scallions, sliced
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the couscous and pecans and cook, stirring, until toasted and light golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Add 2¼ cups hot water, season with salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 9-10 minutes. Then remove the lid, stir in the cranberries and scallions, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Transfer the couscous to a serving bowl and serve warm with a little more lemon or herb oil drizzled over the top, if desired.
You can use this as a vegetarian dish or as the base for a shellfish, seafood, or stir fry dish. Have leftovers? No problem! It can also be used cold the following day for a salad, with chicken or grilled salmon add fresh basil and citrus to greek yogurt & drizzle.
Prepared by: Myself!
Serving Size: 3-4
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- 4 Tablespoons of Vegetable oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 100ml of Pesto
- 1 Cup Feta Cheese
Spaghetti squash is just what it sounds like – a squash that gives you spaghetti-like strands when you cook it. Start off by halving the spaghetti squash lengthwise and seeding it. Then sprinkle your vegetable oil, a generous amount of salt & pepper, and your chopped up garlic over each half. Bake the spaghetti squash with cut sides up on a lightly greased baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, and then flip both pieces over and cook for another 10-20 minutes. Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled. Once cooled, use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the pesto and feta cheese. Serve warm.
Spaghetti Squashes have many health benefits and are a great substitute for pasta. If you’re not on an ‘ingredient budget’, I also recommend adding fresh vegetables, olives, and basil for some extra zest.
We invite you to try out our Chef picks, or your own variations, and let us know how they turn out! Similarly, if you have any of your own 5 ingredient recipes, feel free to share them in the comment box below.