Snacking and ROAD TRIP Munchies

I promise I will be better about crediting my sources soon.  I copied a lot of this stuff for my own personal reference for a long time never intending to share.  But now that I am blogging, I really do think they are great ideas and thoughts and wanted to share.  Read more at http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2013/06/19/real-food-road-trip-eat-well-spend-less/#cjPVuki7ZYf6Vaz7.99

My boyfriend and I love to go on road trips.  But now that I am a diabetic, we need to start packing for the car better since not all road side restaurants offer servings that are right for us.  Not to mention it can be costly.  So while not all items below are good for me, they are great in general for road trips, the lunch box or to snack at work.

So here we go, SNACKING.

  • Assorted roasted nuts — honey roasted, tamari roasted, chile roasted or plain — are always a hit.
  • Cut your favorite hard or semi-hard cheeses into cubes and pack in an airtight container for snacking.
  • Look for prepared trail mix, or throw together your favorite dried fruits, nuts and seeds from our bulk section to make your own.
  • You can’t go wrong with getting your fruits and veggies. Think grapes, carrots, cherry tomatoes, apples and celery sticks. Prefer apple slices to whole apple? Keep a cut apple from browning by putting the slices into its original shape and securing with a rubber band.
  • Marinated olives, mushrooms and roasted peppers from our olive bar are perfect for chilled picnic appetizers. Homemade pickles are simple and add zip to snacking.
  • One word: popcorn. Pop up a variety of flavors and pack them in airtight bags or jars to keep it fresh.
  • Whole-grain breads, pita bread, all-natural snack crackers and chips are simple snack solutions.
  • Look for dips and spreads in the prepared food section of the store or make a few of our favorites: Baba Ghanouj, Black Bean Hummus, Cream Cheese and Cashew Nut Dip, or Guacamole. Pack them with corn chips, sliced cucumbers, baby carrots or sticks of jicama for dipping.
  • Invest in a good quality cooler for perishables. Look for air-tight gasket seals around the lid and, on larger coolers, a leak-proof spigot for draining melted ice. (Consider the size: coolers filled with food and ice can be heavy, so you may want to buy two coolers of manageable size rather than one large one you can’t lift easily.)
  • Look for watertight containers for storing foods. Is there anything more disappointing on a picnic than discovering that your sandwiches are water logged from melted ice? Heavy-duty, reusable ones are best. Mason jars are a great solution for salads, chilled soups and cut fruit or veggies – they’re reusable, resealable, and come in a wide range of sizes.
  • Try reusable dishes and flatware on the road. Heavy-duty plastic or melamine plates and cups are perfect for picnics, along with metal flatware. And they lend a little elegance to your al fresco dining, too.
  • Keep a small wooden cutting board and sharp paring or pocketknife on hand for last-minute food preparation. Be sure to wash the board with extra hot and soapy water after cutting meats and before packing it back up to avoid bacterial growth.
  • During the summer, keep a light, over-sized blanket or sheet in the back of your car for impromptu dining on the ground. A plastic ground sheet is also a good idea to protect the blanket — and your backside, for that matter — from ground moisture.
  • Two kitchen towels, one damp and one dry, sealed in plastic bags, will ensure you’re prepared for almost any picnic mess. A roll of paper towels is handy, too.
  • If you have the room, folding camp stools or other outdoor chairs are always handy for outdoor meals.
  • Don’t be bugged! Thwart hungry ants by drawing circles around your plate with chalk. Talcum powder works equally well if dining on the ground. Ants can’t stand the smell and texture of either. Deter bees with sprigs of fresh mint, and choose a spot with a light breeze to help keep mosquitos away.
  • Garbage bags take up very little space and are essential. Be a responsible picnicker!

Consider these sandwich epiphanies:

  • Use alternative seed or nut spreads like tahini or cashew butter with an unexpected fruit spread like boysenberry jam or quince jelly.
  • Pair creamy smoked Gouda with sliced apples on pecan raisin bread.
  • Layer garlic hummus with ripe tomatoes and sharp cheddar cheese on spelt bread.
  • Grill veggies or tofu ahead of time for a roasted sammie.
  • We’ve got the perfect trio: roasted yellow peppers, ripe tomatoes and a spread of cream cheese on a French baguette.
  • Stuff pita bread with sliced chicken breast, lightly dressed spinach salad and purple onions.
  • Spread ham salad on rye bread with dill pickles.
  • Herbed goat cheese and red onions are divine when paired with sliced turkey or roast beef.
  • Sandwich deli-roasted veggies and pepper jack cheese between slices of olive bread.
  • Arrange cream cheese and apple or cucumber slices on sourdough raisin bread.
  • Go gluten-free by wrapping sandwiches in large lettuce leaves or rice paper wrappers.

Dinner

  • egg salad made with homemade mayo and plenty of mustard
  • homemade whole wheat crackers and/or /Blue Diamond Nut Thins (pricey, but compared to fast food, it’s a far better compromise, and some in our family need to be gluten-free)
  • cut raw veggies: carrots, cucumbers, pea pods (cukes in particular also work great for dipping egg salad)
  • sliced cheese
  • sliced apples
  • power “balls” from Healthy Snacks to Go – like a homemade Larabar, but more bite-sized and easy to eat for kids. My personal favorites are Cinnamix and Cocoshew, so I make those most often!
  • individual water bottles
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • sweet potato chips
  • dehydrated green beans
  • baked apple chips
  • crispy roasted chickpeas (in Healthy Snacks to Go…now why don’t you have a copy yet?)
  • fresh fruit, cut for easy eating if necessary
  • your favorite muffin recipe
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