Lunches

Food for the Road: Bean Salad and Sun-dried Tomato Quinoa/CousCous

If you’ve ever been on a road trip with me, you know that I travel with food. Here are two dishes you can prepare in a hurry to take with you on a road trip. Bring reusable forks, spoons and bowls, then pull over at a rest stop to eat this healthy food instead of getting fast food. It makes plenty so that you can eat it for lunches or snacks throughout your weekend getaway. These dishes are also perfect for a cook-out, tailgate, or potluck because they yield plenty to share.

(Please forgive the low quality, iphone photo!)

Image

Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cooked beans, or 4 cans of beans rinsed and drained. Use a mix of beans such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, or white cannelloni beans
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jar roasted red peppers, diced …
  • and/orĀ 1/2-1 jar artichoke hearts (either marinated or non-marinated is fine), chopped in halves or quarters
  • 1 jar pitted olives, chopped (either kalamata, black or green are fine, it depends on your preference)
  • olive oil (start with 1 teaspoon and add more to suit your preference)
  • vinegar (try white wine, red wine, apple cider, and/or balsamic, starting with 2 teaspoons and adding more to suit your preference)
  • lemon juice (start with 1 teaspoon and add more to suit your preference)
  • dried herbs such as oregano and basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Mix everything together. Shake/stir until well coated. Eat immediately or let marinate for added flavor. This will stay good for at least 5 days, but you probably won’t let it last that long!

Sun-dried Tomato Quinoa Cous Cous

Ingredients

  • 2-4 carrots, shopped into rounds or half moons
  • 1 cup cous cous (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1 cup mix of red and white quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (I prefer the jar from Trader Joe’s) Note: the oil is important here because it flavors the rest of the dish. If you don’t have oil-packed jar, then you’ll need to add in oil (such as olive oil).
  • 1-2 TBS pine nuts (or more!)

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, add about 1-2 teaspoons of oil or 1-2 tablespoons water and heat over medium heat. Add carrots and shake them around while they cook a couple times a minute, for about 3 minutes or until carrots are soft and beginning to brown
  • Add 3 3/4 cups water to the saucepan with the carrots and bring to a boil
  • Add the quinoa and cous cous, return to the boil, stir, then reduce the heat to a low medium (just at a simmer) and cover. Cook for about 10-15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, drain about 1/3 of the oil out of the jar of sun-dried tomatoes. If you want this to be especially tasty and are not as concerned about the fat content, leave in more oil. If you are more concerned about fat content, use less oil.
  • Once the quinoa and cous cous are done cooking, pour them into a large travel dish container (I use a glass 8 inch by 8 inch pyrex). Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and remaining oil from the jar. Add the pine nuts and mix.

For both of these dishes, be flexible and creative when you making them. Taste as you go. Serve together, or eat separately.

Advertisements
Categories: Dinner, Easy, Lunches, Potlucks Tailgates and Road Trips, Sides | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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:

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

Lunch
– 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

Simple Lentil Salad

If you’ve ever been to a potluck with us, or seen us after a road trip, you know that a bean salad is one of our staples. For some reason, I haven’t featured it on the blog. However, I’ve recently discovered lentil salad as an alternative. The reason these are important staples is: (1) they are high in protein and fiber so they are super filling and therefore reliable when we may be stuck in an environment without many vegan options; and (2) it is easy to make from non-perishables you have on hand.

The lentil salad is modified from a recipe in the April/May 2012 issue of Vegetarian Times.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups green or black lentils, rinsed
  • 2-4 tablespoons oil (you can use more to make this for other people, such at a party)
  • 4-5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or more, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey, more or less to taste (again, I use up to 4 when I make this for other people, such as at a party)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 or more chopped carrots (half or quartered moons) – optional
  • 2 scallions/green onions, chopped
  • walnuts
  • dried cranberries
  • approx 1/2 jar roasted red peppers, sliced and chopped (you could also use dried and reconstituted or fresh and diced peppers. Roasted is best, and you can get those in a jar)

Steps:

1. Cook the lentils with the bay leaves following instructions on the package, or, cover with about 3 inches of water, boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes total, but after about 25 minutes…

2. … throw in the carrots, if using. Finish cooking for the remaining 5 minutes. Drain out any extra water and remove the bay leaves.

3. Mix lentils with the oil, vinegar, and honey in a bowl.

4. Then add in scallions/green onions, red peppers, walnuts, dried cranberries.

5. Season with salt/pepper to taste.

6. Let cool and marinade for a few hours before serving if possible.

Variations: play around with substitutes such as artichokes, beans, onions, cucumber, olives, etc…

And you have an easy, high protein, high fiber, traveling meal. Pictured below with carrots, but without green onions.

The oil and sweetener is usually more than I’m comfortable with. However, until I figure out alternative seasoning, it’s still pretty healthy and easy so I’m not going to worry about it.

Categories: Easy, Lunches, Potlucks Tailgates and Road Trips | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.