What we eat on vacation: Part 2 – Making your own meals

It is important to bring the right snacks and basic kitchen tools to make your own healthy and cheap meals while on vacation. We brought a whole suitcase of snacks, prepping tools, and other odds and ends for eating on the go.

Here are a few key staples:

Food Prep & Storage
– Small but sharp travel knife with knife cover
– Small cutting board
– Cloth bags like these
– A few lightweight storage containers that can act as bowls and storage (check out these BPA-free ones that we use)
– Ziplock bags
– Extra rubber bands and twistie-ties for securing open bags of trail mix and other snacks
– Bamboo utensils like these
– Camping sponge (that’s quick-dry) with camping dishwashing soap and a towel for drying
– Spices or seasoning for pre-planned meals
– Plastic plates
– Water bottles and travel coffee mugs

Snack Foods
– Trail mixes and nuts from Trader Joe’s (They are the cheapest and have great varieties. We brought six packs for our 10 day trip.)
– Individual oatmeal packets
– Dried berries for oatmeal (eg raisins, cranberries and blueberries, also from Trader Joe’s)
– Dried fruits for snacking (We brought pineapple and mango, also from Trader Joe’s)
– Crispy snacks to get your salt fix like crackers, salad snap pea chips, and banana chips
– Power bars like Luna and Cliff

We also got groceries and carried perishables in a cooler (big thanks to my mom and dad for organizing that.) With all of those items we made the following breakfasts and lunches:

– Oatmeal with berries and nondairy milk
– Granola with berries and nondairy milk
– Tofu scramble (an easy version using Matt’s camping stove)

– Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches
– Power bars with trail mix
– Baked tofu and vegetable sandwiches
– Carrots and hummus on the side


Categories: Breakfast, Lunches | 2 Comments

Snapshots of the Past Few Weeks

My blogging was disrupted a month ago when I left for a 2+ week trip to India for work. Every time I travel for that length of period, it takes me almost just as long to catch up on life again when I get back.

Before I try to get back on a more regular blogging schedule, I’ll share a few shots of some of our meals from the last few weeks.

I’ll start with the best items first… Happy Herbivore’s super easy, 6-ingredient black bean burgers. These are about 110 calories per burger (w/o the bun and condiments), soy-free and oil-free. Top them with your favorite toppings (I use hummus, green salsa and sundried tomatoes).


As a side to that meal, we ate Happy Herbivore’s carrot fries. Again, super easy and healthy. I got this recipe when I purchased one of her $5 meal plans, which I highly recommend for quick, easy, healthy meals. It comes with a shopping list, which is so convenient. I prefer the family plan because recipes are four servings, and instead of making all the lunches, we make the full dinners and eat the leftovers for lunch.


Next, was our Easter brunch: tofu scramble, blueberry crisp, and chocolate zucchini muffins.

  • The tofu scramble is our own creation that we throw together in a saute: tofu, green onion, pepper, other vegetables on hand, a bit of oil, nutritional yeast, turmeric, cumin, hot sauce, salt, pepper, occasionally tomatoes, etc.
  • Blueberry crisp was also from the Happy Herbivore meal plan. Easy, soy-free, oil-free, sweet and delicious.
  • Fat-free chocolate zucchini muffins, another recipe from Happy Herbivore! Soy-free if you use another type of non-dairy milk, and oil-free too. Great for chocolate lovers.


And for a close-up of the Blueberry Crisp:


One dinner was Japanese Curry with Edamame from Vegetarian Times:Image

And finally, as a result of cleaning out the fridge/pantry (and my husband’s creativity): a cold salad mix of orzo, red quinoa, chickpeas, kale, red pepper, dried cranberries, red onion and a sauce of probably olive oil, vinegar, lemon mix (but honestly I don’t remember, he just threw it together and this was weeks ago).


Coming up (if I can stick with this blogging thing…): spring and summer meals using fresh fruits and vegetables. This is favorite time of year to cook!

Categories: Breakfast, Burger, Dinner, Muffins | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Typical Breakfast

For years I struggled with finding a breakfast that would fill me up until lunchtime. Matt introduced me to oatmeal, and I’ve never turned back. We typically use either a multi-grain mix of rye, barley, oats and wheat or just oats. We almost always use the “rolled oats” because they only take about about 5-10 minutes to cook on the stovetop. With the exception of when we travel, we also always use the kind that are just plain oats or grains and don’t include any added sugars, flavoring, etc… because we make our own.

The typical staples in our oatmeal are:

  • banana
  • walnuts (rich source of omega-3s)
  • raisins
  • dried cranberries, blueberries or other dried fruit (from Trader Joe’s, the cheapest source I know of for dried nuts and berries)
  • flax seed (rich source of omega-3s and high in fiber)


You can cook the oatmeal in the microwave but we do it on the stovetop. While it is simmering, we get ready for work.

Once the oatmeal is finished we add a little bit of non-dairy milk and eat!


A few notes:

  • We used to always add some maple or agave syrup to sweeten it, but our need to taste sugar has reduced over time so that’s no longer necessary. If I remember to, I simmer the raisins with the oatmeal so that the oatmeal soak up some of the sugars from the raisins.
  • This can get boring over time so we try different variations. My current favorite is peanut butter oatmeal. Another favorite is adding chopped apples and cinnamon. We also sometimes do Happy Herbivore’s chai oatmeal and pumpkin oatmeal (using canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice)
  • It may seem like this takes a long time but it really doesn’t if you plan ahead. And, the feeling of fullness all morning is worth it.
  • My friend Myra loves our oatmeal breakfast. She says she dreams about it 🙂
Categories: Breakfast | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Green Smoothies and (Eggless) French Toast

Today is President’s Day, which is a holiday and so we both have the day off of work. I wanted to take advantage of the lazy day to make a fun breakfast (Eggless French Toast) that is also healthy (Green Smoothies)

Matt made one of our typical green smoothies. We eat smoothies for breakfast about 3 times a week. We vary the ingredients, but this one included: spinach, non-dairy milk (e.g., soy), bananas, frozen berries, flax seed, peanut butter and almonds.

I have been wanting to try Eggless French Toast for a while. I followed the recipe from the cookbook, Peas and Thank You. Ingredients included non-dairy milk, whole wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, nutritional yeast and vanilla extract. It also called for a non-dairy creamer, but I didn’t have any of that, so I used extra non-dairy milk plus about 2/3 Tbs. of tapioca powder.

It took about 15 minutes to make. We ate it with a bit of non-dairy butter (made by Earth Balance, which is a plant-based oil blend and is non-hydrogenated, meaning there are no trans fats) and maple syrup.


Categories: Breakfast, Smoothie | Tags: | 4 Comments

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