Healthy Hostel Recipes

Healthy…Hostel…Recipes. This page will help  you, who are on a short budget and keeping the cost down while traveling around wonderful Australia.

So, my number 1 golden rule…Is have a look at the free shelf in the fridge or cupboard in a hostel.

The Mystery Meal

There is always one part of the fridge or cupboard that is dedicated to the leftovers and left items. Will it be full of pasta? Rice? But…What can go into the pasta and rice? Will it be chicken? Mince Meat? Yoghurt? Basil Pesto? The choices are only limited by the kindness of strangers that come and go.

Breakfast Ideas

I always have cereal with milk which is super easy to make! Just pour cereal in a bowl, and then pour milk over it until you are satisfied.

Nutella on toast or any chocolate spread within your budget, quick and easy. And good for…On the go!

If I have time in the morning before work, I always try and make Poached Eggs on Wholemeal toast along with Avocado and Tomatoes (Both are optional if you can stretch out your budget) to give me a good energy booster before I start the day.

How to poach the egg?

  1. Bring the water to boil.
  2. Stir the water then add the egg. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Then remove the egg from the boiling water, then you should have a beautiful cooked runny egg.

Do you know how to get the stone out from the avocado? No? Here is a little tip for you.

  1. Halve the avocado by cutting around the seed lengthwise. Rotate the two halves apart.
  2. Take the avocado half with the stone in, place the flat of the knife over the stone. Hit the knife hard with the heel of your hand.
  3. Remove the knife with a turning motion, the stone should come with it.

Lunch Ideas

Mushroom Pasta is nice and simple and easy to budget with. And only requires four ingredients which are Mushrooms ( Hence the Mushroom Pasta…Duh!), Sour cream, Onion powder and obviously Pasta!

First step, boil the pasta, secondly fry the mushrooms with whatever oil there is from the free shelf (I never had to buy oil from the shop as it was always on the free shelf). Thirdly stir in sour scream and onion powder. Fourthly, add the mushroom sauce to the pasta and add spinach if you can afford it within your budget.

My personal favorite, Wraps.

I am a huge wraps lover. My favorite on a budget is Bacon Wraps with Onions, Carrot, some leaf salad and a dash of Garlic Mayonnaise on a plain wrap. But there are so many meats and vegetables that you could add. There is no right or wrong. Go crazy and make your famous wraps but keep things simple! Stick with one or two vegetables.

If you are on a tight budget, always have a look on the free shelf for sauces and you may get lucky with the odd vegetable that you can add to your wraps. I had few items that I took from the free shelf ranging from Onions to Peppers.

Toasties

In every hostel I have been to in Australia, there are always a toastie machine or a panni machine. There are many things that you could add to your toasties. But I keep my toastie simple with only three ingredients, maybe four if you want.

  1. Cook some bacon.
  2. Butter the toast or in my case if there’s a free basil pesto or sun dried tomato pesto, I use them instead.
  3. Pile the ingredients in order toast, cheese, cooked bacon, cheese, toast.
  4. Add a tomato if you want to feel a bit healthier.
  5. Toast it all until nice and golden brown.

 

Dinner Ideas

Burgers

I am also a huge burger lover, I love burgers! Who doesn’t! I think burgers are the number one backpacker’s food. Burgers are so simple to make and it is dead easy! All you need is 4 basic ingredients which are minced beef, egg, onion and parsley.

  • 500g of minced beef (with at least 15%-20% fat, better for cooking and not going too dry)
  • 1 Egg, whisked
  • 1 White or Red Onion, diced
  • Handful of chopped Parsley or, my personal favorite Basil.
  • Salt and Pepper to season

So, how to make it? Well, here it is a small simple guide

  1. Mix the ingredients together and form individual patties, should be able to make at least 6 patties.
  2. Chill them in the fridge for good 30 minutes to firm up.
  3. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry on each side for 6-8 minutes until cooked through
  4. Serve in a burger bun with whatever condiments of your choosing and a bit of lettuce and tomato.

If you want to be a bit creative, you can always add sun dried tomato pesto. Sometimes I add cheese in the middle of the pattie and merge with another pattie to create a big cheesy pattie! Yummmmmmy! Have I got your mouth watering?! I bet!

Home made Pizza

Yes! Another hostel favorite, pizzzzzzza! Nice and simple…And of course, quick to make.

All you need is three basic ingredients to make pizza. Want to know a secret? Pssst, I use wraps to make pizza! Yes, you heard that right…Wraps! Just use plain tortilla wraps.

So the ingredients you need are, tortilla wrap, cheese and BBQ/tomato sauce whatever float your boat!

  1. Preheat oven at 170 degree
  2. Place any kind of cheese that you like, put it on the wrap, then another wrap on top it. Oven it for 5-10 minutes until cheese melt.
  3. Pour over the sauce on the top of the wrap, add cheese
  4. Back in the oven until cheese are fully melted
  5. And….Eat your yummy pizza!

There are many things you can add to your pizza, vegetables and/or meats.

Want a tip and stay on budget? Ask your fellow hostel mates if they would like a pizza, if they do…Ask every single hostel mates to chip in per item. For example. 1 person bring wraps, another person bring cheese, etc…Get it? Cost saving!

Chicken Noodle stir-fry

Everybody favorite, Chicken Noodle stir-fry and dead easy to make and you can keep on budget easily. Don’t want all of these vegetables? Just remove some or even add some to your liking. This recipe should make at least 4 portions.

  • 250 g chicken, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 capsicum, sliced
  • 1-2 carrots, sliced
  • 500 g hokkien noodles
  • Oyster sauce, or whatever sauce you fancy.
  1. Add oil to a large frying pan or wok and heat to a high heat
  2. Add all vegetables, fry for until nearly cooked.
  3. Add the chicken and fry for 1 minutes
  4. Add the noodles and mix till combined then add as much sauce as desired.
  5. Fry until the chicken is cooked through, the vegetables are cooked to your liking and noodles is soft.
  6. Serve hot

 

Any other recipes worth mentioning? Let me know, and I be sure to add it, along with your name!

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Things you need to do when you arrive in Australia

First of all, well done! You have finally arrived in Australia! Let the fun begin! But before you start having the time of your life, lets get things in order before you start adventuring out to the jungle, off-roading on a 4×4, scuba diving or being a daredevil jumping off a cliff or jump off the plane and sky dive. Sounds pretty darn fun doesnt it!

  1. Medicare

Medicare is like NHS (National Health Services) for us, British Citizens. So it is an universal health scheme. It is a part of commonwealth government, not every country will get it. It guarantees  all citizens  access to a wide range of health care, with maybe a small cost or no cost at all. Australia has an agreement with 11 countries. So Australian citizens will get free healthcare for little cost when they come to live or work in those countries. Therefore as I hold a British passport  i am eligible to qualify for  Medicare.

Just go to any local Medicare bank. there are located throughout Australia. You can fill the form in at any branch,  make sure you bring your passport and visa paperwork that you should have before arriving in Australia.  They will check out the form, the card can take up to four weeks to arrive and it is valid for a year.

    2. Tax File Number

Tax File Number is very important to have, therefore it is to identifies you for tax and superannuation, which is a retirement fund (Superannuation). There is number of ways to get a TFN, depending on your situation. You must apply for a TFN because it helps you to get paid for any job, every job will need a tax file number. The number will come  either by email or post. Once you open a bank account, make sure you add the tax file number to it so you won’t get over taxed when you get paid. Just go to the bank that you want to open an account with. Give them your Tax File Number and they will happily add this to your bank details for tax purposes.

To apply is really easy, I did it without any issues. Tax File Number

3. Bank

There are many banks  throughout Australia, there are four major banks which are Westpac, Commonwealth, NAB (National Australia Bank) and ANZ (Australia and New Zealand Banking Group) For Commonwealth, you can apply online to get the bank card and can collect when you arrive in Australia. They also will happily set it up for you, so your card is ready to use. For the other banks you need to apply to open an account when you arrive in Australia.

All you need is passport and National Insurance Number (For UK citizens) go to any branch of your choice to set it up. To transfer money over from overseas, I would not transfer money from bank to bank which cost a lot of money for transaction fees. I used Transferwise, which has a very low fee, depending  on how much you want to transfer. There is another one for huge transaction, which is Currencyfair and you can save a large amount of money.

4. Sim card

There are many different mobile providers throughout Australia. Two most popular are Optus and Telstra. Optus is great for cities and towns coverage. Telstra is the best for remote areas to get signal and coverage. It does work in the cities and towns as well, but not as good as Optus. I use Optus, which only costs  $30 a month to get 4 GB which is more than enough.

All you need to do is, go to any branch and say what you want and they will find the best deal for you.

Sounds easy, yeah? Anything else I miss out, just comment below and I’ll be sure to add to the list!

 

Five things to do before arriving in Australia

  1. Get a Visa

First of all, get an Australian working holiday visa! It is super easy to get, but there are some requirements you must meet their needs in orderer for it to be accepted.  The visa is only valid for one year, which doesn’t begin until you enter Australia.  For more information how to get an Australian working holiday, check out their Working Holiday Visa . Make sure you also have a valid passport with at least 6 months before renewal.

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2. Start Saving

Australia is one of the most expensive country in the world, it has the highest minimum wage in the world! So you definitely need money to keep you going until you find a job and a place to live or just to travel all over  this fascinating country. You, of course will also want to have fun in Australia, so bringing enough money is essential. Once you enter Australia, one of the requirements is to be able to show your working holiday visa and also to show a proof of funds. At least AUD 5,000 is the least amount of money which is around £2,800. (But I wasn’t asked to show  proof of funds when I entered, nor my working holiday visa number). Just showed them my passport and voila entered.

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3. Get a travel insurance

It is important to have while traveling to a new country, but it may also be required as a part of the visa application. Because Australia can be pretty expensive if you are involved in any kind of an accident and the medical bill could sky rocket over your budget, so be prepared and get a travel insurance, you never know you may need it and it will come in handy. I am currently using Alpha Insurance, but will likely move to World Nomads when my insurance expires in a few months.

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4. Start looking for flights.

Once your visa application has been approved, look for cheapest possible flight to Australia so you can get a good deal. Skyscanner and Kayak are the best flight comparison sites out there. So get on them straight away and find the best deal.

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5. Have your resume…”Aussie-Ready”

Having your resume Aussie-Ready (Australians don’t call them CV’s!) before you leave home will help you find a job much faster, as there are certain things Australian employers will look for in a resume. Many backpackers, are mainly unprepared with regard to a resume and it can cost them their ideal job or to be able to work in a farm for the regional days to extend another year of your working holiday visa if you wish.

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6. Get excited! GETTTTT EXCITTTTTEEDDD!!!

Going to Australia on a working holiday visa will be one of the best experiences of your life, so start getting excited. It will also be one of the fastest years of your life, I am forever grateful to be able to witness how diverse this country is. So, make the most of it. Going to Australia with a positive attitude to finding work, having fun and making the most out of your stay in Australia is essential.

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Picture at the top : Taken at Fraser Island.