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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Road Trip Meal Ideas

When we road trip we very rarely eat out.  My kids prefer my home cooked meals over fast food any day.  We actually try to cook "at home" as much as we can when we vacation.  We usually rent a cabin, house or condo or stay in a hotel with a kitchen like Residence Inn.  It is so frustrating to go out to dinner, drop $70 and have my kids say "it was okay, but yours is better."  Also, I like to cook so cooking on vacation is enjoyable for me.  And last, I travel quite a bit for work so eating out is not really a treat for me.  This all being said I have come up with some easily transportable meal ideas that are ideal for eating in the car or in the park.  Here are some of my favorite ideas:

1.  Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad -- grill up a few chicken breasts (marinated in Lawry's marinade or Italian salad dressing), slice them up and throw them in a ziploc.  In a large tuperware put clean, cut up romaine lettuce.  In additional ziploc bags put some sliced red onions, chopped bacon (I actually cheat here and use Hormel Real Bacon Pieces - I buy them in a big bag from Sams, not as good as real bacon but a suitable substitution in salads) and croutons (either home made or store bought.)  Put all your baggies in the tuperware and put the whole tuperware in the cooler.  When it comes time to serve dump everything in the tuperware, add some Ken's Caesar dressing, put the lid back on and shake it up.  Serve it up on paper plates or bowls -- don't forget plastic forks!

2.  Anti-Pasta Pasta Salad -- see my recipe from a few days ago for the recipe.  Pack it in a large tuperware in a cooler, dish it up in bowls, cups or paper plates and don't forget the forks!

3.  Chicken Salad Pita Pockets -- see my chicken salad recipe from last week.  Store it in a cooler until ready to eat, serve it up in Pita Pockets.  (Croissants are also yummy but can be a little messy.)

4.  Turkey Wraps -- my favorite version:  Mix 1 tablespoon of low fat cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of salsa, spread on a soft taco size flour tortilla, add 2 slices of smoked turkey and roll up.  Wrap in foil and put all of them in a large ziploc bag.  Store the bag in the cooler and just hand them out and enjoy.  You can also make this with ham and onion and chive cream cheese.  Yummy, easy and so easily transportable!

5.  Southwest Chicken Salad Wraps -- recipe:

4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up
1 red pepper, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 package fajita seasoning

Mix all ingredients. Make up the wraps ahead of time, put a few spoonfuls on a soft taco size tortilla and wrap in foil.  Put all the wraps in a ziploc bag and store them in the cooler until dinner time!

6.  Lunchables -- my kids used to ask for Oscar Mayer Lunchables but they threw half the things away.  Now I pack up sliced summer sausage, sliced or cubed cheese (pick your favorite -- ours is smoked gouda), Ritz crackers and grapes and strawberries.  When it is time to eat serve everyone their own lunchable -- meat, cheese, crackers and fruit -- and nothing gets thrown away.

7.  Sub Sandwiches -- buy hoagie buns at the grocery store or Sam's and make up your own subs -- we like provelone, ham, turkey and salami.  Wrap in foil and put in ziploc, store in cooler.  We then pack mustard and mayo (either packets we stock up on from gas stations/restaurants or squeeze bottles) and sliced lettuce, tomatoes and onions in small containers or ziploc bags in coolers.  Then when it is picnic time every one can doctor their own.

Things to pack in your car: 

  • Paper Towels
  • Handi-wipes
  • Grocery bags for trash
  • paper plates
  • plastic silverware
  • Water bottles (or Tervis Tumblers) that can be refilled during pit stops

Embrace the journey!  Take a road trip!

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