I spent last week in Cairns for work, and aside from working for 10-12 hour days on a really interesting project, I was really looking forward to hitting up a grocery store to buy a week's worth of easy-to-prep, good ingredient foods. I was thinking things like almond butter on toast for brekky, veggie burgers of some variety, lots of good veggies and fruits, and snack foods.
My hotel was great. $115 a night for this one bedroom apartment.
And the kitchen was pretty well stocked with utensils, pans, plates, and so on.
So I walked the two minutes to the nearest grocery store, an IGA. And my dreams of a gourmet week were quickly dashed. They had only a few choices for bread, the only nut butter was peanut, and aside from soy milk there was nothing else vegan-on-purpose in the whole shop. No veggie burgers. No soy yogurt. No vegan biscuits. Even though I bought only basic things, it still ended up costing $40! I got: pasta, a jar of homebrand sauce, a sweet potato, a container of mixed salad leaves, soy milk, green beans, bananas, nuttelex, two half-tins of beans, a pack of udon noodles, and a loaf of bread. For $40.
So what kind of meals did I put together with this paltry selection?
Well, pasta, obvi. And my breakfast of champions was toast with peanut butter, a banana, a cup of tea, and work.
I "baked" the sweet potato in the microwave, and mixed it with the salad leaves and a tin of chickpeas. Only - no salad dressing! So I melted some peanut butter and soy milk together in the microwave and had peanut dressing. It was actually pretty good.
And I continued the peanutty theme (since peanut butter was the only flavouring agent I had) with a green bean and udon noodle peanut stir fry.
This was filling, but not that satisfying.
Anyways, at least Cairns was nice.