A Reader Asks :: Eating On-The-Road

Sarah asked, "Have your eating/meal planning habits changed much now that you are living on the road?"

A Reader Asks :: Eating On-The-Road 1
Tim at his usual evening post - washing dishes

Yes. A bit. We still eat in more than we eat out. We still prefer simple, nutritious meals - not made with cans or boxes. We still eat fruit like nobody's business.

That being said, we don't always have the availability of high-quality grocery stores, the luxury of time, or the convenience of a large kitchen working area. Plus, we don't have a dishwasher (which makes clean-up longer).

We do, however, have a refrigerator, a small freezer, a stovetop, a microwave, and an oven - not to mention a full set of pots & pans and a set of glass bowls w/ plastic lids for storing leftovers.

These are some tricks of the trade we've picked up over the past 6 months. They work equally well for most any kind of travel.

1. Ask a local. In the beginning, we just typed "grocery" in our GPS and navigated to the nearest place. Big mistake. Now we find a local and ask for recommendations.

2. Pack a picnic. It's so nice to eat outdoors, isn't it? The girls love to be out in the wild and, if they spill crumbs, Tim doesn't get stressed out. ;) We like to pack at least two big reusable plastic water bottles (easy to carry and refill throughout the day), sandwich fixin's, chips, fresh fruit, and lots of wipes for easy clean-up.

3. Use a Crock-Pot. We love ours. Favorite recipes include Chicken W/ Black Beans & Cream Cheese and Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue.

4. Use other speciality kitchen appliances. We make regular use of our breadmaker & our blender (fruit smoothies!).

5. Buy a Rotisserie Chicken at the grocery store. We like to shred the meat on a big salad. Then, we use the leftovers for chicken quesadillas.

6. Grill. Tim's especially good at making sweet corn. He has it down to an art.

7. Eat vegetables, rice, beans, and/or noodles. They're (1) good for you, (2) inexpensive, and (3) kids usually love them. Speaking of which, we'd like to start eating even more vegetarian meals in the coming months.

You might be wondering about all of the products in blue font? They're made with plastic components...and we would have a rough time eating healthy without them.

What are your top tips for eating healthfully when you travel? Also - Do you have any good vegetarian recipes to share?

I am participating in a compensated program by Plastics Make it Possible® in partnership with the American Chemistry Council and Ogilvy PR. 

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9 comments on “A Reader Asks :: Eating On-The-Road”

  1. Hi there
    Just came across your site and LOVE it.
    I love the chart with all the changes you have made with your shopping!
    I just wanted to share some info on how bad it is to microwave ANYTHING...
    It's one of the changes we have made in our household

  2. We have raised Lily to be a vegetarian and I'm mostly one (I love pepperoni pizza and the very occasional cheeseburger). I just started calling myself a vegetarian about 4 months ago and to help with that I got Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and I love it. I've already cooked more out if this cookbook than I have any of my other cookbooks ever.

  3. daughter #2 is mostly vegetarian, and this summer has been cooking for us a bunch. She likes to take a container of firm tofu and whatever veggies we have around and stir -fry it all in my lovely cast-iron wok that I have had forever and would never give up. We either have rice or couscous or maybe now we have tried quinoa too. I also have a fritatta recipe with potatoes & squash and peppers. There's also veggie pizza - no one will turn that down! I use to always figure on going veggie once a week or so, but lately it is much more and feel we are healthier. Or and the easiest of all - black bean enchiladas - buy cans of black refried beans, and corn tortillas. Warm slightly so you can make burritos and put in a baking dish. Cover with enchinlada sauce and cheese - bake- yum. I can think of lots more actually, but maybe you don't want to read about food so much right now.....Whatever we eat I tell Linnea the recipe can't have more than 5 ingredients - I am not interested in fussy food right now.
    The greatest thing for us has been finding an organic CSA that delivers a tote of organic veggies and fruits every week to our house. sometimes there's been stuff I have to look up to figure out what it is and how to eat it.: ) I really think we are eating more veggie stuff cause they keep bring us more every week!!

  4. We just moved to what I call a small town and my husband calls a small city (he's wrong) after having spent the last decade in a large city. Since my husband requires gluten free food, finding bread he can eat has been a challenge. We live in a smallish apartment (nothing on an RV, of course) and I've always claimed that we would get a breadmaker when we had a larger place. But, you know what? We kind of need it NOW. And if you have one in an RV, it seems like we should be able to find SOMEWHERE to put it. What kind do you have? Where do you store it? Do you have any favorite bread recipes?

    We do risotto, polenta "lasagna" (layered polenta with ricotta cheese and veggies in between layers), and straight out vegetarian lasagna (with GF noodles) for our vegetarian dishes. And a broccoli lemon frittata that is yummier than words can say.

  5. When I worked out of the home I enjoyed my crockpot! Then I started staying home when Sugar was born, and my crockpot broke and I discovered that I could use my cast-iron dutch oven in the oven so I haven't replaced the crockpot, although I do miss it at times. I think a breadmaker would be nice to have, because although I make bread the batches are always HUGE and I haven't been able to successfully reduce the recipe! And I've got my eye on a certain blender... it's been on the Christmas list for a couple of years now!

    Anyway... we use Rotisserie chicken the same ways you do, we love to grill and although my husband will never agree to not having meat on the table at dinner we do often have two or three vegetables as a part of the meal!

  6. Thanks for answering my question! Even though you've had to make some changes to your eating habits, your family is still eating healthier than most, I bet!

    We love the Crock-Pot too. I seriously don't know what I'd do without one.

    When we travel, we try to stay in a hotel with a suite. We can usually find one that is not much more expensive than a regular hotel room and we save money by using the kitchenette for breakfast and lunch. Plus it's nice to have a separate bedroom so we can stay awake after our 2 year old goes to bed.

    For vegetarian dishes, we like baked ziti and vegetable stew in the Crock-Pot.

  7. I was wondering why there are no links in the blue products :)
    I love your recommendation about asking a local. We sometimes never even think about asking someone - too busy using Around Me App to find a store nearby:)

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