Monday, November 12, 2012

Road Trip!

Somewhere in Oklahoma...


  A slight change of plans leaves Sean and I without the RV for the next 6 weeks or so, on a cross-country road trip to the east coast, visiting with family and friends.
So how do we live out of a Dodge pickup truck, on the interstate, for several days with a strict plant-based diet?

Here are some tips for a successful vegan road trip:

1. Bring a camp stove!  If you want a hot meal that doesn't come from a truck stop microwave, I highly recommend a small one or 2 burner camping stove.  Don't forget a pot and a pan.  (camp stove recipes to follow)

2. Pre-mix spice packets.   This is so great for road trips or camping trips, and I've been doing it for years.  In a ziplock bag or empty spice jar, I always pre-mix an italian seasoning blend, and in another I pre-mix a southwestern spice blend. These come in so handy on the road.

Italian spice blend- equal parts garlic powder, oregano, fennel seed, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper
Southwestern spice blend- equal parts chili powder, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

3. Research in advance.  Know what stops you might want to take along your route to find good produce and bread.  You can also look into veg friendly dining options in cities along your route, but if you're in the middle of nowhere, you should be prepared to feed yourself.

4. Bring easy non-perishables like rice, pasta, and cans of beans (don't forget a can opener!).  Also stocking up on veggies that can last a few days without refrigeration or in a cooler is a good idea.  Potatoes, tomatoes, kale, onion, & avocado are some great choices for your trip.  A small bottle of olive oil comes in handy and travels well, as does tempeh or vegan deli slices for quick sandwiches.

5.  Bring a trail mix to snack on.  Dried fruits and nuts are fast, easy, and you can eat them while you drive.

Easy camp stove recipes:  

Rotini with Potatoes and Cannellini Beans
serves 2-3 cook time 10-15 min

½ lb whole wheat rotini pasta
1 large yukon gold potato, cubed ½" cubes
2 tsp italian spice blend (see above recipe)
1 can cannellini beans
3-4 leaves of kale, discarding vein, chopped
½ cup cauliflower, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil

In a pot, add potato and water for boiling the pasta.  When water boils, add pasta.  After 5 minutes add beans (with their juice) and cauliflower.  When pasta is al dente, add garlic and kale to water.  Strain immediately.  Return to pot.  Stir in spice blend and olive oil.

Rice and Smoked Tempeh
serves 2-3 cook time less than 10 minutes (Gluten Free)

1 cup cooked rice
1 tsp southwestern spice blend (see above recipe)
1 zucchini chopped
½ of a red onion, chopped
3-4 slices of tempeh, chopped
1 tomato chopped
½ tsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp olive oil

In a pan over med heat, add oil, onion, tempeh and liquid smoke. Sauté 5 min.  Add rice, zucchini, tomato, and spice blend.  Sauté just until hot.  Serve immediately.

* Great with corn chips or wrapped in a burrito shell.

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