staying healthy on the road – how to make salad with a teaspoon

There’s something about travel that captures my imagination. Seeing exotic places, meeting interesting people, experiencing things you just don’t get at home. And of course finding new taste sensations (chilli fried grasshoppers with lime anyone?).

Even traveling for work can be fun. Takeoffs and landings. Fancy (and not so fancy) hotels. The security of a corporate credit card. Traveling to places that the average tourist wouldn’t ever think to visit.

But there are times when the constant eating out and room service can make you feel a little bleeah.

Which is exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago when I was traveling for work. Four days into the trip, I found myself badly missing my kitchen and craving a big salad. Not those tiny mixed leaf room service options with bad dressing, floury tomatoes and exorbitant price tags – but a seriously big healthy salad – preferably made by my own hand.

And so it was that I found myself wandering though a supermarket close to the hotel, racking my brain as to what I could cook for dinner that would be:

  • A. Healthy and involve salad and
  • B. Able to be prepared with the cooking equipment in my hotel room – namely a teaspoon.

Lets just say thank heavens for prewashed bags of mixed salad leaves. And for things in cans – with self opening lids. And that lemons can be persuaded to give out their juice with a teaspoon. Who would have thought?

Since then I’ve been experimenting with minimalist, low prep salads. The tuna chilli is definitely a favourite. The chickpea and parmesan comes a close second. I had it for lunch at work the other day. One of the guys from marketing commented on my lunch saying ‘That looks amazing – where did you get your salad?”

Do you think he would have believed me if I told him I made it with a teaspoon?

tuna chilli salad
serves 1

Tuna with chilli oil is my new favourite thing, but feel free to choose plain tuna if you aren’t up for a little spice. I like to use the oil from the tuna as a bit of dressing for the salad. By all means use tuna in springwater (drained) if you have a low fat fetish.

1 bag pre washed salad leaves
1 small or medium can tuna in oil with chilli
1 lemon

Open salad and pick out few leaves to make room for the tuna. Flake tuna and chilli oil into the salad bag and shake a little. Punch lemon with the handle of a teaspoon (see image below) squeeze lemon juice over salad through the hole. Enjoy.

chickpea salad

chickpea & parmesan salad
serves 1

The tricky thing with this salad is that a whole tin of chickpeas can be quite a big eat. If you’re not super hungry feel free to ditch some of the chickpeas. I was also a little worried about not being able to properly wash the chickpeas but they tasted lovely with a little canning juice left on.

It’s been a long time since I last used pre-shredded cheese. If you are preparing in the luxury of a kitchen – or somewhere with a cheese grater handy at least – I’d recommend going with better quality parmesan. But the pre shredded stuff was surprisingly good.

1 bag pre washed salad leaves
1 can 400g (14oz) chickpeas, drained
1 lemon
1 small handful shredded parmesan cheese, optional

Open salad and pick out few leaves to make room for the chickpeas. Add the desired amount of into the salad bag and shake a little. Punch lemon with the handle of a teaspoon (see image below) squeeze lemon juice over salad through the hole. Sprinkle over cheese if using.

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Alternative traveling salads on my list to try:

  • canned red salmon and lemon,
  • cottage cheese with smoked salmon
  • canned lentils, yoghurt & pinenuts
  • ricotta with canned baby beets

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