At home, navigating plant-based eating can be bumpy. When traveling, the whole foods, plant-based road can be full of potholes. Gearing up for a 5-day, 1700 mile maiden voyage pulling our new trailer, Oatis, meant lots of food prep. Food options would be limited while taking some of the less traveled roads. Gas station “food” options or fast food chains would leave us feeling heavy and tired, so we packed the following plant-based staples for dependable on-the-road sustenance:
Apples, Bananas, Cooked Brown Rice, Canned Black & Garbanzo Beans, Sweet & Red Potatoes, Homegrown Beets, Homemade Whoats! Bars, Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread, Garden Fresh Tomatoes, Onions, Spices, Vinegars, Mustard, Popcorn
Simplicity is King when traveling. We'd mix the prepared brown rice and canned beans then spice it up with the flavor of the day. Our absolute favorite plant-based meal was the sweet potato sandwich...Instant Pot steamed sweet potatoes mashed on bread and doctored up with plant-based fixings (tomatoes, onions, mustard). A super easy breakfast favorite was steamed red potatoes in the pressure cooker. Ate 'em just like apples, in one hand and bite. A darn good twist on hash browns only without the oil and something the driver can cleanly munch. Apples and bananas were perfect mess free snacks for in-between meal cravings. Air popped popcorn spiced up to your preference is a great alternative to gas station potato chips. Steamed beets from the Michigan garden made a great treat!
Occasionally there will be Proceed with Caution signs on the plant-based road. For instance, one night at a hotel during the cross country trip included continental breakfast. The Standard American Diet scene: white bread with little nutritional value, make your own waffle batter, and some sugary pastries. The packet oatmeal ingredients list included caramel color so we ate homemade Whoats! without the added processed ingredients. Important note- if the choice is packet oatmeal or sugary pastries, it's oatmeal hands down. The point is to read labels, or better, eat as many things without labels as possible to eliminate confusion.
Bottom line? Keep it simple, meaning eat as close to whole foods as you can. Food doesn't have to be fancy, just nourishing. Whole, plant-based foods provided the stamina and energy necessary to travel 1700 miles in 5 days...food for thought when planning your next road trip!
Your Plant Based Forks on the Road,
Matt & Erica, The Wandering Food Pharm
Matt & Erica are Plant Based Advocates, FoodTerventionists, & Writers. Always seeking new adventures, please Email Plant-Based destination suggestions!