4 Easy Recipes to Prepare in Saintlo Hostel Kitchens

A group of friends having a picnic

When I travel, I always carry my kitchen essentials, including a cutlery kit and a plastic container really handy for picnics). In a foreign city or country, I love to explore the local cuisine, but I also enjoy taking the time to cook a little, take a break, and share a meal with friends or people you’ve just met!

That’s why I love staying in hostels…. there’s always a well-equipped kitchen. Saintlo hostels naturally feature beautiful kitchens, perfect for preparing our favorite dishes or cooking with local Quebec products!

In addition to having a beautiful kitchen, the hostels often offer breakfast (or ‘petit-déjeuner’ for French travelers ;)). At Saintlo, breakfast is offered buffet-style to all guests staying at the hostel, making it perfect for those who love to start their day with a good coffee and a bagel with fruit with fruits.

Later in the day, starting at 5 PM, poutine is available at the Saintlo Montreal bar. Poutine is the quintessential Quebec dish! Everyone traveling there try it, and it’s truly perfect to be able to enjoy poutine right at the hostel.

But if your schedule doesn’t allow you to enjoy the offered breakfast or poutine, I can suggest 4 easy, quick, and budget-friendly recipes that I have tested many times in hostels!


Gourmet oatmeal snack or chia seed pudding with fruits or chocolate.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal (or 2 tablespoons of chia seeds)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk, depending on your preferred consistency
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (or honey or syrup typically found in the free food section of the kitchen.
  • One banana, strawberries, a handful of blueberries, or chocolate chips
bol de gruau
Un pouding de chia

Here’s how to make it:

  • In a jar or cup, pour the oatmeal or chia seeds, sugar, and milk (ensure the milk covers the oats or seeds). Mix well.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, add fruits or chocolate chips and enjoy!
  • This snack is convenient to prepare in an airtight jar and is ideal for transport.


Check the free food section in the kitchen for gourmet treasures, or visit one of the many bulk stores in Montreal or nearby grocery stores close to the hostels. This way, you can buy just the right amounts needed for your snacks.

Couscous salad

I make this salad all the time, whether I’m traveling or at home!

For the ingredients, you’ll need:

Bulgur wheat, amount according to your appetite. Buying bulgur in bulk is very economical!

Your choice of toppings: tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, avocado, hard-boiled egg, and canned tuna are my favorites.

Jeune femme se préparant de la nourriture à l'auberge Saintlo Montréal.
Une salade de couscous

How to make it:

It couldn’t be easier! My trick is to let the bulgur wheat swell in cold water. Simply cover a good amount of bulgur with cold water and let it sit. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables, cheese, cook the eggs, or why not shrimp, bacon, or chicken breast. The bulgur is ready when it is tender and has absorbed all the water. If it’s still a bit crunchy, add more water. Once the bulgur is ready, add the vegetables and toppings.

For the dressing, again, check the communal kitchen area—you’ll often find everything you need to make a good sauce. Otherwise, a bit of oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper are enough to season your salad! Mix it all together, and the salad is ready.

A group of friends having a picnic

This recipe is truly ideal for a picnic by the Lachine Canal, in a park, on a getaway outside the city, or simply as a dish to share during a hostel community dinner.

Fresh Asian spring rolls

For a fresh lunch or a convenient picnic to take along, Asian spring rolls are perfect! Head to the markets for seasonal local produce: like Atwater Market in Montreal or Byward Market in Ottawa, for example.

You’ll need:

Rice paper sheets, readily available in regular grocery stores but with various sizes found in Asian supermarket.

  • Rice noodles
  • Your choice of vegetables: carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, lettuce, avocado, bean sprouts
  • Mint or cilantro
  • Optional: shrimp, smoked salmon, ham, or chicken
  • For the sauce: a bit of peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, and a pinch of sugar (these are often available for free in hostel kitchens).
Légumes dans un marché
© Tourisme Montréal
Des rouleaux de printemps

Here’s how to make them:

  • Prepare the rice noodles according to the package instructions.
  • Cut the vegetables into thin strips.
  • Prepare the rice paper sheets: fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip a rice paper sheet into the water for about 10-15 seconds until it becomes flexible but not too soft. Place it on a clean, damp cloth.

Assemble the spring rolls:

  • Place a lettuce leaf in the center of the rice paper sheet.
  • Add a small amount of rice vermicelli, followed by some vegetable strips and bean sprouts.
  • Place a mint leaf and a cilantro leaf on top.
  • If desired, add a few shrimp or pieces of chicken.
  • Fold the sides of the rice paper sheet towards the center, then roll tightly from bottom to top to form a well-sealed roll.

Now, just prepare a small sauce, and your meal is ready to be enjoyed during the hot summer days!

A plate of nachos to share

Want a quiet evening with friends or dorm mates? Prepare a large platter of cheesy nachos! It’s perfect for sharing and often seen on the tables at Quebecois parties.

You’ll need:

  • Tortilla chips (nachos)
  • Grated cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend of cheeses)
  • A can of black or red beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • A small tomato and a bell pepper
  • A can of corn
  • Cilantro and lime for garnish
  • Sour cream, salsa, and guacamole for dipping
Des personnes qui cuisinent
Un nachos

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Rinse and drain the beans and corn.
  3. Dice the tomato and bell pepper.
  4. Spread the tortilla chips evenly on a large baking sheet or oven-safe dish.
  5. Evenly distribute the beans, tomato, bell pepper, and corn over the chips.
  6. Generously sprinkle grated cheese over the top.
  7. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden.
  8. Remove from the oven and garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges before serving.

It’s time to serve with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole!

Then, head to the terrace behind Saintlo Montreal Hostel! Access has just been opened, so it’s the perfect moment to enjoy and socialize with other guests at the hostel. There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as having drinks on a terrace on a summer afternoon!

Un pique nique

With these easy recipes, Saintlo hostel kitchens becomes a gourmet and communal spaces. And picnics have never been tastier.

Enjoy your meal!