Thursday, January 02, 2014


On our recent trip to Tasmania (post 1, 2 and 3) we stayed in an apartment we found on AirBnB with a full kitchen. Or - mostly full. There was no chopping board, nor was there a colander. But there was a gravy boat, so... It came with a big container of tea bags, instant coffee (blech) and sugar satchets, and we found a pepper grinder (but no salt). Otherwise, the cupboards were bare.

I thought I should do a blog post on self-catering holidays, since it is our favourite way to travel. I enjoy eating out quite a lot, and Andy likes it less, but we both don't love to do it for the entire holiday. Since we flew to Tasmania, we couldn't bring our own food, so we got a bit creative. The week's meals costed more than a week of eating at home would, but much less than eating out all the time. They were a bit carb heavy, but we did so much walking we needed all the fuel. I was going to go all detailed about what we bought and how we did it, but I kind of can't remember now, and it would get boring, so I'll just list the meals instead!

Our first meal was mushroom pasta - reduced-to-clear mushrooms sauteed in Nuttelex, mixed with a jar of sauce, and that's that. I didn't take a photo, because it was nothing special.

The next morning for breakfast we had porridge, made with little packets of sugar from the tea canister, and flavoured with peanut butter. It wasn't great! We bought raisins to make the porridge more tasty the rest of the trip.

At the Salamanca Markets on Saturday, we bought some dukkah, a lemon, and a big cauliflower. For dinner that night, we sauteed half the cauliflower in lemon juice and butter, and then mixed it with pasta and dukkah. It looked like beige mush but was really quite tasty.

On Sunday we went to the Farm Gate markets and got some more fresh produce - another small cauliflower, some baby bok choy, purple carrots, fresh garlic, broad beans and potatoes.
Purple carrots with a yellow middle.
Broad beans take time to prepare, but they're worth it.
Our veggies needed some pepping up after the day at the brewery.

So we had a Sunday Roast - potatoes, cauliflower, garlic and carrot, with some fresh broad beans, gently blanched, and reduced-to-clear vegan aioli.

For breakfast one morning, we had the remaining mushrooms with a block of tofu and some garlic, perfect with toast.

One night we had chilli beans on toast - a tin of kidney beans, a tin of tomatoes, come cauliflower and garlic mixed with one of those instant-sauce packets for "chilli con carne".

Another day we had sloppy peanut noodles with tofu, garlic, cauliflower and bok choy. For this we used a bottle of "singapore satay sauce" from the "ethnic foods" aisle, topped up with extra peanut butter, obviously. I ate so much and it was so good.

And one night we had reduced-to-clear kale sauteed up with some garlic, a jar of chickpeas, and the rest of the aioli as a sauce.

 With some yummy bread on the side.

 My main advice for self-catering holidays is to plan ahead a bit, but not too far - if you buy food for every meal at the start of the trip, you might waste a lot if you decide to eat out, or you have a late lunch and don't feel all that hungry for a big dinner. Choose things that can do multiple tasks, like peanut butter for satay, and for porridge, and for toast. Rely more on convenience foods, but pair them with gorgeous local produce whenever you can!

Do you like to self-cater on holidays? What are your tips?


Kari said...

I'm glad you shared this post because we self-cater as a matter of course on holiday, and it is my favourite way to do things! Usually if we're somewhere more than a night or two, we get a self-catering apartment and have all breakfasts in and about half of dinners, with a few more dinners that are take away but we eat at home. It gives me an excuse to explore new supermarkets and means we aren't buying multiple meals a day, which helps cost wise. It's probably healthier too, although like you found, we often end up with more carbohydrate than usual and some creative cooking methods (chopping boards are a common omission and chopping on a plate is hard work!). Markets make a big difference and it sounds like you made good use of them in Tasmania.

Nadine said...

I love self catering, much more than eating out all the time. My fall back is nachos (which you can pack full of veg and canned stuff) and endless stirfry. Makes it so much easier to get veggies and is so much cheaper!! And porridge for breakfast with salt and banana, which is my fav meal EVAH.

Bianca said...

So I had to google "reduced-to-clear." I had no idea what that meant! haha. I thought maybe it meant that you'd cooked something so long that it turned almost clear. Silly me!! Now I understand — it's on sale! :-) Hahahaha.

All of your homemade eats look delicious, especially those noodles. And the mushrooms and tofu.

Hannah said...

"[T]opped up with extra peanut butter" = winning at life.

Theresa said...

Woop, sorry Bianca, I forget that's an Australian-ism! Reduced-to-clear are the things a day or two away from their 'sell by' date so dramatically marked down in price. Andy and I LOOOOOOVE rtc because we are so not strict about best before and use-by dates! said...

Haha, reduced-to-clear is totally a Britishism too! I enjoy self catering too, especially in places where the eating out options are less than exciting!

Tres chic said...

Self catering is the thing i like the most...thanks for sharing this blog with us.
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Kayla :) said...

Wow that roast dinner looks great. It's making me really hungry, I've never even heard of roasting cauliflower! Do you parboil it first or just roast it from raw? I've also never cooked broad beans because I've never really known what to do with them, but this looks so tasty!

Theresa said...

@Kayla - roasted cauliflower is our FAAAAVE. Break it up into florets, toss with oil and salt & pepper, and then put in a hot oven (200 to 220), stirring every 15 minutes or so, until it's nice and brown and soft. YUM.

Theresa said...

@Kayla - roasted cauliflower is our FAAAAVE. Break it up into florets, toss with oil and salt & pepper, and then put in a hot oven (200 to 220), stirring every 15 minutes or so, until it's nice and brown and soft. YUM.

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