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Backpacker Meals #1: Chorizo and Butternut Squash

When you’re backpacking, money is often tight. You want to experience everything a place has to offer but, at the end of the day, a budget is a budget. Food can be one place to save some pennies.

When I was travelling in Australia and New Zealand, I often used to cook in hostel kitchens. My travel buddy and I invested in a cool bag to take from hostel to hostel and filled it with breakfast food, stuff to make sandwiches for our lunches and various dinner foods. Those dinner foods were generally confined to spaghetti on toast or boxed macaroni cheese, in the shape of dinosaurs. 

When I moved into my first house at university, I had to start cooking again everyday and I was back on a budget. Food goes off pretty quickly when you are cooking for one so planning ahead it kinda key. Butternut squash and chorizo are not exactly common additions to a cheap shopping list but they taste really good together and can be used in a variety of dishes.

 

The recipes I’m putting on here may not be stuff I actually made when I was travelling, but it’s stuff I made quickly and on a budget, so I figured it’s transferable to a hostel kitchen- depending how well equipped it is.

I should start off by saying that the amounts used here (and in most of my recipes) are fairly ambiguous- I just throw  in what I can find.

Ingredients

      • One butternut squash (about 2kg)
      • 100g sliced chorizo
      • One onion
      • Pack of vegetable stock cubes
      • Margarine
      • Arborio Risotto Rice

Soup– Three Portions

Ingredients

      • Half the butternut squash
      • 2/3 of the sliced chorizo
      • Half the onion
      • 950ml vegetable stock

Recipe 

      • Heat oven to 200 degrees. Slice butternut squash into chunks, deseed, pop into a roasting tin and cover with margarine so glazed. Leave in the oven for about 20mins until chunks soften and brown around the edges.
      • Fry chorizo in a pan for 5-10mins until it has cooked and softened. When done place to one side in a bowl.
      • Chop and fry onion using the same oil that the chorizo was cooked in to soak up the flavour. Fry in pan for 5-10mins until soft and brown
      • Once the butternut squash is done, put it in the pan with the onions and season. Stir and cook together for about 5 mins before adding the stock. Cover pan and let simmer for 15mins, stirring at regular intervals.
      • Pour into bowl and use a hand blender until soup smooth. I should probably have mentioned that  you do need a blender but some hostels are particularly well stocked so it is worth checking. 
      • Add chorizo, stir and serve!
      • Split rest into two portions and put in fridge for next couple of lunches/dinners.

Risotto– one (large) Portion

Ingredients

      • Half the butternut squash
      • Half the onion
      • 100g rice
      • 1/3 of the sliced chorizo
      • 800ml vegetable stock

Recipe

      • Heat oven to 200 degrees. Slice butternut squash into chunks, deseed, pop into a roasting tin and cover with margarine so glazed. Leave in the oven for about 20mins until chunks soften and brown around the edges.
      • Fry chorizo in a pan for 5-10mins until it has cooked and softened. When done place to one side in a bowl.
      • Melt some margarine and stir in the rice and the onion, sliced, for a couple of minutes, add 800ml vegetable stock and stir whilst roasting butternut squash until rice is soft and stock absorbed (about 20 mins).
      • Add in sliced chorizo and butternut squash, serve and grate some cheese on top if you have any!!

What to do with the leftovers? You will have lots of rice, margarine and stock cubes left over but really anything can be used in a risotto so any leftover veg/meats you have can be used up. My personal favourite is mushroom risotto- just slice a handful of mushrooms and put them in alongside the onion instead of the butternut squash and chorizo. 

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