By Tiffany Block
Eating healthy on the road is an enormous challenge. There are so many tempting foods and so many tempting places to eat the food.
A few good road rules will help pave the way. Most everyone knows that the easiest way to get food on the road is by stopping off at one of the zillions of fast food restaurants lining the major highways. What do they offer? Greasy burgers, salty fries, highly sweetened soft drinks, and high-fat desserts. Let’s be real. Who wants to sabotage all the hard work they’ve done prior to their road trip?
If you’re like the average American, you’ll just pass your cash over the counter and accept your food in return. Then you can hammer down one of America’s favorite and longest lasting novelties -junk food! My mother always told me, “Average wasn’t good enough.” You must be better than average.
If you want to make a significant change and eat really well on the road, then try some tried and true advice:
Go to the health food section of your local grocery store or supermarket and buy ready- made meals in a cup. By simply adding water, you can have a delicious, steaming hot and inexpensive dish of healthy macaroni, noodles, soup, chili, etc.
Fill a bag, crate or box with an assortment of yummy, healthy foods. You can buy these at your local health food store, although most food stores now have health food sections. Buy jars of no-sugar jams, low-fat peanut butters, and delicious grain breads.
Bring along plastic knives, forks, cups and plates.
Get a case of bottled water. Drink up. You’ll save much money along the way if you bring your own water.
For breakfast, pack fresh bagels, low-fat muffins, cereals and soy milk. Soy milk doesn’t have to be refrigerated and can be stored in your hotel room or in your car.
There are plenty of ways to eat healthy on the road if you truly have the desire and ambition. Move over junk food. More and more people are committing to healthier lifestyles, and traveling on a road trip doesn’t have to be a roadblock. Each time you take a trip, you’ll learn new ways to eat more healthly along the road. Drive safely, and happy healthy eating!
Rainbow Pasta Salad
1 (16 ounce) package tricolor spiral pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (6.5 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl; add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Summer Orzo Salad
3/4 cup orzo pasta
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo pasta, and cook until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes; drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, and season with onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until the mushrooms have softened and released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, corn, peas, parsley and cooked orzo pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Buffalo Chicken Wraps
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup hot sauce
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan; cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the hot sauce over the cooked chicken and toss to coat.
Lay out the flour tortillas and divide the chicken evenly among the tortillas. Top the chicken with lettuce, celery, and blue cheese dressing. Fold in the sides of the tortilla and roll the wrap burrito-style.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.