Last week my husband & I, two dogs, and three bikes set off on a 3 day drive across the country from Pennsylvania to our new home in Colorado. Now, as someone who eats a 100% plant-based diet, and gluten-free, a big concern for me on this trip was – what am I gonna eat? Because, in the middle of the country, right off the interstate, there are not any healthy options within my eating guidelines. Which means, I had to do some planning and prep work.
The problem was, I was pretty limited on time and resources to prep a bunch of uber-healthy eats for myself! I was getting packed to move across the country, getting ready to leave our current house, saying good-bye to friends and family, tying up loose ends at my job AND most of my kitchen equipment was boxed up.
I managed to make do pretty well with what little food I had left, and what I could find at the local supermarket. And, I have to say, it worked out really well! I felt like I had good options for meals and snacks AND I felt better not eating a lot of junk! Below is a list of what I brought – these ideas could work for a multi-day drive, a day trip, or even in your everyday life if you are busy.
1 :: Quick Quinoa and Lentil Salad
I had some quinoa and sprouted lentils left that had to get used up. I simply cooked the quinoa and sprouted lentils together, then made a quick dressing of mustard, olive oil and apple cider vinegar & mixed together. I then packaged into individual sized containers & kept in the cooler – and that was lunch for 3 days!
2 :: Pre-bagged Oatmeal
The oatmeal that they serve at the free motel/hotel breakfast buffets? It’s nasty. Try this… mix whole oats, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs in a big bowl. Then put into baggies in individual size portions – about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. In the morning, add the oat mix to a thermos container and cover by 1” with hot water. Wait a few minutes and you’ve got oatmeal! Add a banana and you’re good to go.
Ok, so those last 2 required some prep time. But trust me, I was frantic busy and I still found 10 minutes to make both of those items, which covered breakfast and lunch every day. And I saved some money.
3 :: Hummus and Baby Carrots
You can find this at every grocery store now, buy the carrots organic. This was our favorite car food snack.
4 :: Fruit
We took oranges and bananas. The doggies enjoyed this too:)
5 :: More Snacks
We also got nut/dried fruit mixes from the grocery store, as well as some Saffron Road spiced chickpeas in the Falafel and Bombay flavors. Good “eat while driving” snacks.
6 :: Bars
I stocked up on a bunch of premade bars from Larabar, Raw Revolution and The Gluten Free Bar. I’m not a big fan of buying and eating premade bars … these were last resorts in case I got hungry and there was no where to eat. I think I ate one of them while driving for an energy kick. I had so much other food to eat these weren’t that necessary.
This is what we did for dinner… Our first night, we went to a Chipotle, where I got a veggie burrito bowl. The next night, we found a local brewpub with a huge selection of beers that made my husband happy, and a kale superfood salad that made me happy (Barley’ Brewhaus in Overland Park, KS).
For beverages, we brought our own coffee, tea, and Aeropress (for coffee brewing) and a hot water kettle. We are particular about our coffee & tea so this was worth it. I love having hot water with lemon in the morning so I brought lemon wedges in the cooler. We also brought every water bottle we had and continually filled them at rest stops for ourselves and the dogs. I also brought a kombucha tea for each day on the road as a treat.
I hope this gives you some ideas for your next road trip! What are your favorite snackies for a road trip?