Tasty Travel Tips: Recipes for When You're Up the Creek Without a Microwave

By: Ben Phelps

You just started a travel assignment, you get to your hotel room, your Airbnb, or your Vrbo reservation, and then you realize there’s no kitchen, not even a microwave. It’s a reality many nurses and healthcare workers have experienced when beginning a travel contract. Of course, you can always ask about your accommodations beforehand, but mistakes and miscommunication can happen. March is National Nutrition Month, so we compiled a list of recipes and food ideas to help avoid boarding the takeout/delivery train when you’re stranded without a microwave or proper kitchen.

How to Wave a Life: Quick Microwave Recipes

Fortunately, most lodging options provide a fridge and a microwave. So, let’s start with some ideas for cooking when you only have a microwave but don’t want to buy a microwave meal. For most of these, purchasing (or packing) microwave-safe bowls to heat or mix various ingredients is a good idea.

  1. French Toast Mug
    • This scrumptious breakfast snack is a quick and sweet way to start your day. The recipe comes with lots of customization options to allow you to tailor this treat to your taste buds. Plus, it’s a great way to use up the last bits of fruit and bread from other cooking adventures. Budgetbytes brings us this recipe with tantalizing photos each step of the way to leave your mouth watering.
  2. Honey-Lemon Chicken Enchiladas
    • Perfect for lunch or dinner, this enchilada recipe is an excellent option for anyone looking for a savory meal with a friendly amount of spice. The recipe calls for a microwave that can hold an 11X7 dish, but if your microwave is on the micro-size, you can always cut your enchiladas in half before cooking.
  3. Pasta Noodles
    • Whether you want to make pasta or craft mac-and-cheese without cheese powder, this microwave cooking method is for anyone who loves noodles. Of course, making noodles in a pressure cooker or on a stovetop is also an option, but you don’t have to pass on pasta if you only have a microwave. Being able to make pasta noodles opens up endless possibilities for dietary exploration on the go.
  4. Quesadilla
    • A quesadilla provides you with the option to either make an excellent appetizer or a full-blown meal. If you want something light, stick with a simple cheese quesadilla, but if you’re looking for the main course, throw in meat, veggies, and spices to make a dinner worth your dollar. Adding that extra tortilla will help avoid the soggy texture often cooked up when typically using a microwave.

No Microwave? Romaine Calm (No-Cook Recipes for any Location)

Without a microwave, you can’t even heat leftovers. It’s not exciting, but you can always make a sandwich. Just kidding. Eventually, everyone gets tired of making a sandwich, but don’t lose hope. You have more options than you realize.

  1. Salmon-Stuffed Avocados
    • Avocados are a power food, and fish are filled with omega-3s, which can carry you through a hard day in healthcare. This recipe requires no cooking and only takes about 15 minutes to make. Don’t like salmon? Mix it up and grab some pre-cooked chicken.
  2. Summer Gazpacho
    • This cold soup will have you leaning back in your chair, thinking about the beach in no time. Of course, it makes a great summer dish, but it can be had year-round. Gazpacho can be used as a soup or dip for any bread you have.
  3. Roast Beef and Tomato Pizza
    • When it comes to pizza, we always think first of the traditional hot cheese with delicious tomato sauce. Pizza comes in many variations and doesn’t need to be hot. Admittedly, this is similar to a sandwich, but it’s a fun way to add variety to your diet and an excellent way to branch out and try new flavors.
  4. Pork and Vegetable Spring Rolls
    • Spring rolls are a great way to add those typically avoided vegetables to your diet. If you don’t like pork, you can always swap it out for chicken. Don’t want meat? No problem. This recipe is delicious, with mushrooms or jackfruit as alternatives. While getting the hang of rolling spring rolls can take time, what better opportunity than while away on a travel contract?

Healthcare Workers on the GO: Not All Heros Wear Crêpes?

Staying healthy while working on the road is important. Even if you don’t mind takeout all the time, it’s still important to add variety to your diet. Plus, travel work allows you to try new ways of cooking, not just new foods. Don’t give up if you are stuck in lodging without a microwave. These recipes can help carry you through. Alternatively, you could buy your own microwave for the trip. Here’s a list from the New York Times Wirecutter series discussing the best microwaves. We’ve had nurses bring their own spare tires before, so a microwave doesn’t seem out of the question! Do you have a favorite recipe you like to use when you’re out on a travel assignment? Let us know! Are you interested in keeping up with Krucial Rapid Response? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

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