Following are a few ideas for round out road meals. What to bring, along with simple suggestions from most menus that can make a significant difference.
Healthy Round Out Road Meals
Road trips are often a rite of passage in the summer. In fact, crowded highways have already broken records this season, according to national driving associations. That may mean pit stops along the way at one-of-a-kind grub joints. Such detours may perk up the taste buds, but leave your usually exceptional eating habits in a ditch along the highway.
I’ve found that, in addition to packing healthy snacks that don’t require refrigeration for car trips, what can fill in the missing nutritional gaps at roadside diners are mini packs of secret weapons. These are the kind of foods nutritionists recommend, but don’t often appear on menus and can be popped almost like magic bullets before the meal. For instance, dietitians often advise a small portion of a “good fat,” like nuts, along with lean protein and vegetables at meals, as well as talking up antioxidant-filled gems like dried fruit. Whole grains, which they tout, may also be in short supply from short order cooks.
Following are a few ideas of what to bring, along with simple suggestions from most menus that can make a significant difference while leaving a greasy spoon flavor fest virtually intact.
YOUR OWN STASH:
–Meaningful Medley: Combine golden and dark raisins, dried cherries and dried blueberries.
–Going Nuts For Nuts: Combine shelled pistachios, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.
–Grab A Grain: Combine oat, whole wheat and barley ready-to-eat cereals to eat a few bites dry.
FROM THE MENU:
–Check Your Oil: Ask for olive oil and vinegar and drizzle a few dashes on every salad or hot vegetable you order, as well as compatible items, like soups, omelets, chili and casseroles.
–Aim For Avocado: Add this “good fat” to sandwiches, salads, omelets and burgers.
–Breakfast-Free Bowl: Order a dry bowl of whole-grain cereal and eat a few bites dry or sprinkle on dishes, like soups, salads, hot vegetables, macaroni and cheese or meatloaf. Or order a side of brown rice and add a few tablespoons to burritos, wraps, hot vegetables or soups.
AFTER-WORK GOURMET COOKBOOK SHELF
There’s the old saying “You don’t know what you don’t know.” If part of that exasperation is not mastering how to properly eat lobster and other culinary quandaries, an apt guide is Ashley Blom’s “How to Eat a Lobster: And Other Edible Enigmas Explained” that’s also handsomely illustrated by Lucy Engelman. Topics, such as cracking nuts, eating a whole fish and how to open a coconut, are broken into easy-to-follow steps. Practice a few times and, voila, you are a connoisseur, or at least probably won’t embarrass yourself.
Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the author of seven food books, including “Mrs. Cubbison’s Best Stuffing Cookbook” and “The Sourdough Bread Bowl Cookbook.”
To find out more about Lisa Messinger and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM