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Tips and Tricks for Healthy Cooking While in Corporate Housing

By Katie McDonald

9 min read time

Preparing your own meals is a perk of corporate housing. Check out these tips for making simple home-cooked meals while in your corporate apartment.

When you’re on the road for work, you can kiss healthy eating goodbye.

Restaurant meals are great—once in a while. But when you’re having to eat at a restaurant for every meal it gets old. 

Have you ever been so tired of eating at restaurants during a business trip that you got a Little Debbie Snack Cake at the gas station and called it dinner? Um, no? Right, yeah… neither have I… awkward…

Travelers staying in corporate housing don’t have those problems though.

When you are on assignment or relocating for work, corporate housing is a great alternative to a traditional hotel. Besides having more room to spread out, the fully furnished kitchen makes it easier to eat healthy meals.

Like many other lodging options, you will have a coffee maker, mugs, and a microwave. But in corporate housing, you will also have all the necessities to make a full meal.

Corporate Apartments Come With All The Kitchen Tools

At ExecuStay Midwest, we furnish the kitchen in our corporate apartments with all of this:

Microwave

Serving Fork

Measuring Cups

Single Cup Coffee Maker

Casserole Dish

Measuring Spoons

Toaster

Water Pitcher

Cookie Sheet

Can Opener

7pc Cookware Set

Mixing Spoon

Knife Block Set

Cutting Board

Spatula

Dishes, Glasses, Mugs

Colander

3pc Storage Cont.

Wine Glasses

Teflon Frying Pan

Dish Towels

Corkscrew

Grater

Pot Holders

Flatware & Tray

Vegetable Peeler

Pizza Cutter

Serving Platter & Bowl

Glass Mixing Bowls

 

Granted, there are a few things you probably have at home that are not on the list. But you can make a lot of different meals with the tools provided. And if there is something you need that isn’t on the list, just ask our guest services team! There is a good chance they can get it for you.

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What To Cook In Your Corporate Apartment

Even with all the tools you need in the kitchen, it can still be a challenge sometimes to adapt to cooking while living in a corporate apartment.

When you’re at home, you have a supply of staples that are always on-hand like flour, sugar, and a bunch of spices. You will definitely want to stock up on some of these things when you get to your corporate apartment. But most people prefer not to spend a bunch of money on items they will only use once or twice while there. 

For those who were not able to bring their family along for their extended business trip, cooking for one can also take some getting used to.

Tips for Creating Home-Cooked Meals While In Corporate Housing

Everyone loves a meal made from scratch. But when you are living in a corporate apartment, simple is usually better. Here are some ideas for keeping it simple while still enjoying meals made at home.

  • Cook with partially made ingredients. Use frozen chopped vegetables or pre-made sauces in a jar. This is especially handy when you are cooking for only one or two people. These items allow you to use only what you need and save the rest for another meal.

  • Put part of the meat in the freezer for next time. Go ahead and cook the entire package of meat and season with salt and pepper. Then, before you add any additional seasoning, pull out all but what you are going to use immediately. Put the rest in a ziplock bag in the freezer to save for another meal.

  • Buy meat from the meat counter. If you don’t want to do the freeze method, another way to keep from wasting food (and money) is to buy only what you need at the meat counter. Only need one chicken breast? Buy one, instead of having to buy three or four at a time when they’re prepackaged.

  • Keep rolled cookie dough in the freezer. Sometimes you just need a cookie, and a back of hard dry cookies is not going to do the trick. For cookie emergencies like this, it is good to have frozen cookie dough in your freezer. Maybe it’s the kind you buy in the store, or maybe you prefer your own recipe. Either way, frozen dough makes it easy to bake only what you... a-hem… need.

  • Pre-made Entrees. Pre-made entrees that you buy at the grocery store are an awesome way to enjoy a meal that would require buying a bazillion ingredients to make from scratch. Those ingredients may not have another use before you’re ready to move out, and the recipe usually makes 4 times what one person can eat. I especially love the Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia, Chicken Cordon Bleu, or BBQ Brisket from Sam’s Club. The best part is that you can prepare only what you need, reducing food waste.

Recipe Inspiration For Corporate Housing

Keeping these tips in mind, you may still need a little inspiration for what to cook in your corporate apartment. 

We’ve put together a few recipes that can be made with the cookware found in your corporate apartment. They are also made with simple ingredients and can be made for one or two people. Of course, you can easily scale them up if your family is with you.


Meatball Sandwiches

These are made with only a few ingredients. Use only what you need, and save the rest for another meal.

Meatball-Sub

Ingredients:

Frozen Italian meatballs (5) per sandwich

Marinara sauce

Hotdog or hoagie bun

Mozzarella cheese

Italian seasoning (totally optional!)

Put the meatballs in a saucepan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Once they are partially cooked, pour marinara over the top and stir to coat. When meatballs are screaming hot, put them in the bun and spoon a little more sauce over the top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and Italian seasoning (if using). Put the sandwich on the cookie sheet and place it under the broiler in the oven until the cheese is melted and starts to brown.


Speedy Ravioli Bake, from Pillsbury

This is another recipe that can easily be scaled to however many servings you need.

Speedy-Ravioli-Bake-from-Pillsbury

Ingredients:

Frozen cheese-filled ravioli

Marinara sauce

Shredded mozzarella cheese

Dried Basil or Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 400oF. In a large saucepan, cook ravioli as directed on package; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, heat pasta sauce (and herbs if using) over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in cooked ravioli. Pour the mixture into your casserole dish and sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Note: If making this dish for one or two, skip the oven and sprinkle the cheese over the ravioli in the saucepan. Turn off the heat and cover until cheese is melted.


Healthy Burrito Bowl, from Bikinies and BriefcasesHealthy-Burrito-Bowl

5 ingredients, 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 can of corn, drained

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of tomatoes with chiles

1 cup of brown rice, cooked

Half of one avocado, diced

Mix the corn, beans, and tomatoes and warm in a saucepan. Cook rice. Dice avocado. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and serve.


The Best Caramel Apple Cobbler Dump Cake, from Instrupix

simple-easy-apple-cobbler-dump-cake-recipe-made-with-boxed-yellow-cake-mix-and-apple-pie-fillingThis recipe is perfect for sharing. It doesn’t require any fancy equipment or a bunch of ingredients, so it is easy to make while you’re staying in corporate housing. 

Ingredients:

2 (21 oz.) cans of apple pie filling

½ (11 oz.) bag of caramel bits (found in the baking section near the chocolate chips)

1 (15 oz.) box of yellow cake mix

1 cup of melted butter (2 sticks)

Preheat oven to 350oF, and grease the casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread both cans of apple pie filling onto the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle about half the bag of caramel bits evenly over the top of the pie filling. Evenly distribute the dry cake mix over the top. Pour the melted butter evenly over the cake mix, covering it as much as you can. Bake, uncovered, on the center rack for 30-40 minutes or until the buttery cake mix turns a deep golden brown. Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes, then serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.


Learn More About the Benefits of Corporate Housing

Being able to prepare your own meals while traveling or relocating for work is just one of the many perks of corporate housing. To learn about more of the benefits of staying in a corporate apartment, check out our article: How to Get the Best Value for Your Corporate Relocation.

Tags: Corporate Housing, Relocation Housing, Live Like a Local, Amenities, Healthy Living

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