Staying at a timeshare resort with an ensuite kitchen is convenient and thrifty. You can prepare your family’s favorite meals and store leftovers to be reheated. A fully equipped kitchen is also a handy feature when you want an early morning or late-night snack.
By making meals in your own “home away from home,” you cut dining costs that can eat into your budget. You also get the privacy that restaurants cannot provide. You feel comfortable in your own private space.
But what do you cook when on vacation? Check out these tips and quick recipes below for the next time you are planning to cook for your family while on vacation!
TIP #1: Keep It Simple
Delicious meals do not need to be complicated with dozens of ingredients. Some of our favorite meals involve fewer than five ingredients; peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, and meat and potatoes.
Here’s a list of quick meals with five or fewer ingredients:
- Salsa Chicken
Chicken breast, salsa, taco seasoning, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place chicken coated in taco seasoning in a baking dish and then cover with salsa.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until juices run clear. Sprinkle chicken with your desired amount of shredded cheese and continue to bake for a couple minutes.
- Serve with sour cream and enjoy!
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken breast, Swiss cheese slices, cooked ham slices, breadcrumbs, and seasoning.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut chicken breast in half. Place a cheese slice and ham slice on top of each breast half, roll each one, and secure wheels with a toothpick.
- Bake rolls in a baking dish for 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
- Optional: Add another cheese slice on top and bake until melted.
- Mushroom Pork Chops
Pork chops, an onion, fresh mushroom, can of cream of mushroom soup, and seasoning.
- Chop onion and slice mushrooms.
- Brown seasoned pork chops on a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, and cream of mushroom soup over pork chops. Place the cover on the skillet, reduce the temperature to medium-low, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Tofu Lo-Mein
Package of extra firm tofu, flavored ramen noodles, pack of frozen stir-fry vegetables, and olive oil. Add soy sauce for taste.
- Remove water from tofu and cut into bite-size cubes. Fry with oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown.
- Bring 1 ½ cups of water to boil and add ramen noodles and seasonings. Boil for two minutes or until the noodles break apart and then drain.
- Add frozen vegetables to skillet with tofu and cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in noodles and serve!
TIP #2: Multi-task Ingredients
Similar to using a few ingredients for each meal, use the same ingredients throughout your vacation. You can serve chicken in different ways and make potatoes every way known to man! Using the same ingredients for several meals is cost-effective and less wasteful.
It helps to plan your meals in advance and highlight which options you can use similar ingredients. Look for similarities between your family’s favorite foods and try substitutions where possible. The easiest and cheapest ingredients to use in different ways include chicken, potatoes, rice, and cauliflower.
Check out the grocery lists samples below:
Meat: Chicken breast, tuna (canned), ground beef, eggs, cooked ham slices,
Breads: Sliced bread, breadcrumbs, macaroni noodles, hamburger buns, packaged ramen noodles, tortilla wraps
Diary: Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, Swiss cheese slices, mozzarella cheese, tomato basil feta cheese
Produce: Tomato, onion, cauliflower, bell peppers, mushrooms, can of diced tomatoes, can of corn
Other: Salsa, taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, french fried onions, basil pesto, olive oil, mayonnaise, and favorite seasoning
TIP #3: Plan your meals for each vacation day
You want your family to enjoy their vacation days without complications or hassles. The best thing you can do for them is plan your meals per day. It will leave you stress free and your family will already have an idea of what to anticipate for their breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Here are some examples of the meals your family can make for a week-long vacation.
Breakfast: Breakfast in a bread bowl – Eggs, hamburger buns, and peppers
Lunch: Ham and cheese sandwiches – Swiss cheese slices, cooked ham slices, sliced bread, and dressing to taste
Dinner: Salsa Chicken – Chicken breast, salsa, taco seasoning, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.
Breakfast: Eggs on toast – Eggs and toast
Lunch: Chicken quesadilla – Chicken breast, shredded cheese, and tortilla wraps
Dinner: Tuna Casserole – Canned tuna, macaroni, cream of chicken soup, shredded cheddar cheese, and french fried onions
Breakfast: Cauliflower tots – Cauliflower, an egg, shredded cheese, and seasoning to taste
Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese – Macaroni, shredded cheddar cheese
Dinner: Chicken Cordon Bleu – Chicken breast, Swiss cheese slices, cooked ham slices, breadcrumbs, and seasoning
Breakfast: French toast – Bread, eggs, and cinnamon
Lunch: Egg salad sandwiches – Eggs, mayonnaise, bread, and seasoning to taste
Dinner: Pesto Cheesy Chicken Rolls – Chicken breast, basil pesto, mozzarella cheese, and olive oil
Breakfast: Omelets – Eggs and whatever you want; chicken, peppers, mushrooms, etc.
Lunch: Grilled cheese with/without chicken – Bread, cheese of choice, and chicken if wanted
Dinner: Ground Beef Stroganoff – Ground beef, packaged ramen noodles, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, and seasoning
Breakfast: Fried cauliflower balls – Cauliflower, shredded cheese of choice, breadcrumbs, and an egg
Lunch: Burgers – Ground beef, sliced cheese of choice, buns, and desired toppings (tomatoes, onions, etc.)
Dinner: Feta Chicken – Chicken breast, tomato basil feta cheese, and breadcrumbs
Breakfast: Breakfast peppers – Bell peppers, eggs, and anything you want inside
Lunch: Cheesy chicken casserole – Chicken breast, sliced cheese, and cream of chicken soup
Dinner: Ground Beef Curly Noodles – Ground beef, ramen noodles, can of diced tomatoes, and can of corn
See? With just 32 ingredients, you can make 21 different meals!
Replace any meal with dining out and even easier alternatives, like cereal and milk for breakfast, chicken nuggets and fries for lunch, and pasta and sauce for dinner. You can also pick up some frozen favorites like pizza and microwavable snacks.
You can always serve leftovers, and making big dishes like casseroles can feed your family for a few meals. Make one at the beginning of your vacation and take it easy in the kitchen for the rest of your stay!