While it can be challenging to maintain a vegan diet at the best of times, being vegan while travelling can be especially rough. And for vegans who have to travel frequently to omnivore-centric cities and towns, tracking down healthy, tasty and affordable vegan fare can be downright frustrating. But take heart: Ted Lai, a.k.a Vegan MacGyver, is providing some mega-inspiration for vegans trying to put together a solid meal on the road.
Here’s a close-up of the Grilled Cheese Burger we did as part of our collaboration with @hotforfood. We did it slider style. There’s a layer of @bitchinsauce, @beyondmeat sliders, spinach, tomato, and cornishons all between two grilled cheese sandwiches made with @followyourheart American slices. The burgers were marinated in a sauce that was two parts ketchup to one part #sriracha. Next installment of this collaboration drops on Wednesday. Make sure you watch for it on the @veganoutreach Facebook page. #vegan #vegansofig #veganfoodshare #pollutiontv #veganmacgyver #wokwildside #whatveganseat #plantbased #hotelroomcooking #LookMaNoKitchen #hotforfood
The concept is so simple it’s genius: via his Instagram, YouTube and Facebook pages, the affable Lai demonstrates how to finesse store-bought ingredients into something delicious from his hotel room. And the best part about it all is that he uses ordinary equipment like a steam iron, kettle, hair dryer and even non-wax dental floss (which is great for cutting soft foods like polenta, in case you were wondering). Crucial hashtags? #hotelroomcooking and #LookMaNoKitchen, of course.
For most foods, set the iron to cotton or linen and turn off steam. Always use parchment paper to keep food and iron clean. #veganmacgyvertips #howveganmacgyverscook #vegan #vegansofig #veganfoodshare #pollutiontv #veganmacgyver #wokwildside #therealironchef #whatveganseat #plantbased #hotelroomcooking #LookMaNoKitchen
Lai, a father of two, got started with hotel room cooking when his younger daughter started travelling regularly to hockey tournaments and, as a result, he began spending a lot more time working on the road. Starting with cold sandwiches and salads, Lai began experimenting with preparing food using the tools he had on hand, gradually figuring out a series of hotel room hacks that enabled his vegan family to eat well wherever they landed.
The results, not surprisingly, are nothing short of awesome: couscous with spicy peanut sauce and garlic tofu, French toast sticks with almond butter dip and the ridiculously simple — and delightfully gooey — grilled cheese sandwich. (Lai’s hot tip: always pack some parchment paper in your suitcase to keep the hotel equipment – and your food – completely clean and hygienic.)
Yes! This is the moment @gen_lai20 And I discovered that an iron can make a melty cheese sandwich! Used @followyourheart American slices. #nationalcheeseloversday #vegan #vegansofig #veganfoodshare #pollutiontv #veganmacgyver #wokwildside #whatveganseat #plantbased #hotelroomcooking #LookMaNoKitchen
Another added bonus? While Lai’s recipes are strictly vegan, even non-vegans will appreciate the ease of preparing meals using store-bought ingredients and super-simple techniques — not to mention the novelty of ironing dinner.