Summer Road Trip And Vacation Foods
Summer is here and it's time to get on the road to see America. And whether you're literally getting in your car and driving or flying to one destination and staying for your entire vacation, food often becomes the most expensive and least healthy thing about your trip. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can pack your cooler and your stomach for less using these travel tips.
You probably remember your family vacations cruising the highways and byways of America looking for the largest ball of twine, or just a camping spot for the night. You probably also remember the soggy sandwiches and warm drinks you downed from the old cooler. These days, coolers are much better at keeping the food cold and you don't have to rely on plain old ham or peanut butter and jelly. Plus, you can pack a number of healthy snacks that don't need any refrigeration at all.
To start, think about cutting up fruits and veggies and putting them in gallon sized bags. Foods such as carrots, celery, apples and grapes do quite well without refrigeration and make an excellent snack or side meal. Add a jar of peanut butter and small containers of homemade or pre-packaged dips and you have an excellent source of nutrients that keep the munchies away too. A great dip that goes well with anything and also needs no refrigeration is Hummus.
This mashed chickpea based spread is flavored with garlic, tahini (sesame seed paste), and lemon juice.
400 grams cooked chickpeas (fairly soft)
Juice from 3 small lemons
200 grams tahini
1 tsp. crushed garlic
a pinch of salt and a pinch of cumin
Place the cooked and drained chickpeas into the food processor add all the other ingredients, process until fairly smooth consistency.
One of the greatest inventions in the last few years are the 100 calorie snack pack, but packing these for a family of 4 or 5 can get expensive fast. So why not make your own snack packs using home-made cookies in zip-locked sandwich bags. You'll want to pack cookies that stand up well to the heat such as our Famous Oatmeal Cookies a classic family favorite in every house.
3/4 C. vegetable shortening
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. uncooked oats
1 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla until creamy. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Variations: You can add chopped nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, or coconut.
Yield: about 5 dozen
Once you've gotten to your destination, you'll want to keep your meals simple. After all, this is your vacation too. If you still want to eat out, make lunch your main meal of the day. In most areas, lunches are substantially cheaper than dinner and you still get the fun of eating out and trying something new.
For dinner, plan on grilling or making simple sandwiches and salads. Sides can be as easy as microwaving a bag of frozen vegetables or as complicated as marinating and grilling in season fare. Farmer's Markets and local produce stands can give you a real taste of the regional cuisine. For added flavor when you grill, try Spicy Garlic Vinaigrette over butter lettuce or as a meat marinade.
1/2 C. rice vinegar
1/4 C. Kikkoman Lite Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
Whisk together all ingredients and chill.
You can also make easy salads like Chicken Mediterranean Salad. This beautiful colorful and fragrant dish can be a tasty appetizer, great lunch or light dinner.
2 cups baby spinach leaf ( set aside )
2 C. white chicken (canned is fine)
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
2 Roma tomatos diced
1 C. broccoli slaw (you can find this in produce section in most food stores) or cucumber, cut finely
2 Tbs. fresh basil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbs. fresh mint
3/4 C. favorite mayo
Kosher salt and pepper for taste
Fold all ingredients together lightly until all is mixed well. Appearance will be creamy, fragrant and colorful.
Note: serving for appetizers, cut flat bread into quarters and put salad in bowl, add flat bread around bowl.
Lunch: fill pita, be sure to put baby greens in. Dinner: Get a colorful dish, add 1/2 C. of baby greens, a top the salad mix, quarter toasted pita on the side.
Make sandwiches even easier with our Dijon Chicken Salad Pitas. This is a pretty, fun quick meal or quick snack that's ready in only about 5 minutes!
1 10 oz. can of chunk white chicken, drained
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. celery seed or 1/4 C. of fresh minced celery
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
4 pita pockets
Drain chicken. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except pita pockets. Serve mixture inside of pita pockets.
Remember, no matter where you go or what you do, you're doing it together. So slow down and enjoy the trip and the tasty food that goes along with it.