June 11, 2011 by Stacy McDonald
Over the years, our family has traveled many thousands of miles together, across the country and beyond, speaking at family conferences, homeschool conventions, and churches. Of course, now that we’ve married off a few children, our clan of twelve is now a dwindling group of nine. And the diapers and port-a-cribs we used to need are no longer necessary. Since our little ones are growing up, in some ways traveling is easier.
However, as our diets have become healthier, and three of us are necessarily “gluten free,” eating on the road is a bit more complicated. On our recent trip to California (a very long 3-day drive), we decided to prepare ahead and make meals we could eat at rest stops. This ensured a faster trip; provided healthier, gluten free meals; and was a lot cheaper than filling up on garbage at fast food joints along the way.
For breakfast, we had things like yogurt, granola, fruit, sliced kielbasa, cheese, rice crackers, and bacon we cooked ahead. We thought about doing boiled eggs, but nobody sounded excited about that. For lunch and dinner, here are a few of our recipes:
Mexican Black Bean Quinoa Salad (You can use risotto rice in place of the quinoa, but you’ll be missing out on the extra protein and the great taste and texture of quinoa).
Italian Black Bean Salad – This can be served with or without meat and still gives a boost of protein.
Anti-Orzo Salad – This is one of my favorites! Great served alongside grilled chicken!
Thai Noodle Salad with Chicken – A wonderfully refreshing summertime salad! Easy and travels/stores very well!
Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad – A gluten free twist on traditional tabbouleh!
I had also cooked and seasoned ground beef ahead of time. I froze it so that it would slowly defrost in the cooler. The first night in a hotel, we had taco salad using the made-ahead beef, shredded lettuce, grape tomatoes, shredded cheese, a healthy salad dressing, and tortilla chips. We served this in paper bowls and had a nice, healthy meal in our room without having to pay for room service!
Eating healthy isn’t too difficult if you get excited about it. And the tastes are out of this world! You’ll feel better and you’ll find that food that hasn’t been “re-invented” or ravaged really does taste better!