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food ideas for staying in a motel with no microwave?

We will be traveling to a national park about 7 hours away from us and will be staying in a motel with no microwave. The eats in the area aren't that great and we want to watch our pennies. We are thinking about bringing along a hot plate and a pan/pot to heat up some food. Do you have any ideas for what we can bring along with us in a cooler to heat up from some meals? TIA!!

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  1. Do you have a cooler? If so, I would go somewhere like Trader Joes and stock up on pre-cooked foods. If you take the hot plate and a small fry pan, TJs has carne asads, carnitas, "just" chicken, "just" salmon, and bunches of vegetable and salad offerings as well as guacamole and hummus and great cheese selections. Pair it up with their flat bread, tortilla, pitas or bread and you will be a happy camper

    4 Replies
    1. re: janetms383

      how long are you there for? what about a slow cooker recipe?

      1. re: cleopatra999

        Yep...a crockpot would be great to bring along, I think!

        1. re: cleopatra999

          we'll be there for 3 days so not that long... i hadn't thought about a slow cooker... hmmm

          1. re: coffee_addict

            I left a beef stew cooking in a crock pot in a motel one cold February. It was great to come in after being out all day to a hot meal that just needed a good bread to make a feast.

      2. Sandwiches come to mind, of course. And as long as you have some sort of cooler/refrigeration, there are plenty of things normally served hot that can be equally satisfying when served cold, depending on your tastes, such as pizza, or fried chicken. Or something like soup or chili can be made in advance and reheated on a hot plate.

        1 Reply
        1. re: weem

          sandwiches made me think of a sandwich grill, or whatever those things are called where you put the sandwhich in and it toasts and heats up the middle?? yummmy.

        2. Crockpot stew or chili for one night.
          Skillet sauteed Pork Chops sauteed in OJ concentrate with Apples & diced Yams, the next night.
          Third night? A small pork butt crockpot cooked all day with a bottle of BBQ sauce and whole baby potatoes added.

          Bacon & Eggs or pancakes for breakfasts
          Sandwiches piled high for lunches.

          1. If you have a car, there are a couple of things that are very useful for foodies. Nowadays, they make tiny portable fridges that you can also plug into a car's "cigarette lighter" or whatever it is called now, and in a motel room. You can of course take a small microwave or toaster oven if you have one, and remember the hotplate is also useful for making coffee etc. The little fridges aren't very expensive.