|Sous Chef Bob preparing a roadside meal|
You can reap some important benefits from taking your own vegetables with you. Sometimes there is limited access to food, not to mention healthy options and/or organic options. Traveling can be hard on a body, especially if you are traveling a long distance, are taking public transportation, or have long days of driving. It’s important to do what you can to keep your immune system strong so you feel good and can enjoy your travels. The fuel you put in your body is one of the most important factors, so not something to be overlooked. You can also save money by taking your own food with you. Roadside food, airport restaurants and snack bars, etc are not cheap and often generate a lot of unnecessary trash from the packaging. You’ve already paid for your CSA vegetables, so take them with you and spend your money on other things you want to enjoy such as adventures once you arrive at your final destination!
|Cutting mat for preparing vegetables roadside|
Carol goes on to say, “Using the most perishable items first is important. Greens don’t hold up as well in a cooler as in a refrigerator so we are sure to use them the first day or two whereas carrots, beans, cauliflower, and cabbage all last several days in the cooler. I know that I feel better when I eat lots of organic produce and a road trip doesn’t HAVE to mean fast food. With a little planning ahead, you CAN take your HVF vegetables with you!”
|Sous Chef Bob cooking at Campsite with HVF arugula|
If you know you aren’t going to be able to use something on your trip or eat it before you leave, the SWAP box is a great option. Leave it at your CSA site so someone else can make use of it and save yourself the trouble of composting it when you get home. Take a reasonable amount of food with you and not more than you think you’ll be able to eat or you may find you have to discard it along the way. For example, when Richard and I travel for our winter get-away, we know we’re going to have a long day of air travel, but once we reach our destination we’ll have access to good, healthy food options. We pack enough food to get us to our destination and eat our final bites before we get off the airplane. Since we’re traveling in the winter we often take carrot sticks and slices of beauty heart radishes that we eat with nut butter or sliced cheese. We eat the cheese early in the day and save the nut butter for later since it can withstand room temperature better. There are some vegetables that are super-easy to take with you for snacks, etc. Sugar snap peas, mini-sweet peppers, and boiled edamame are some great options. Slices of kohlrabi, red radishes, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, etc are delicious on their own or you could add a little salt and/or a dip or dressing if you have that option.
If you are camping and have the ability to cook, you can implement some of Carol’s suggestions or here’s an idea from another member. “We love campfire Fajitas when we camp and it has become my ‘Signature dish’ when we go with a group of friends, and they request them specifically each year. The fajita mix is just the store bought package kind that you mix with water so nothing fancy. I chop up my peppers and onions at home and store them in a bag in the cooler. We cook them in a grill basket over our campfire so they get nice and smoky flavored. I typically cook the chicken on our camp stove (just a bit more reliable for something a bit more sensitive!), and then we combine them all together and serve. If you're lucky enough to get a jalapeño, have extra onion, and some tomatoes, you could mix up some killer pico to go with it!”
Another member who had to travel a lot for work last year offered these suggestions: “I think it’s helpful to do some advance cleaning, trimming, taking off tougher skin, etc (eg kohlrabi, can be made into a bald "ball", for use later). Some veggies are way more durable than I gave them credit for and as long as they're not in a super warm place, are a low food safety risk. I found that some of these vegetables travel well in a suit case: zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes, kohlrabi, carrot, kale, shallots, some onions, smaller snack peppers, spaghetti squash, for starters. Also, I began cooking some of my meals in my hotel room microwave. Some places like Ann Arbor, Michigan were so interesting that I just ate out every night. For other smaller towns....options were too chain restaurant heavy for me. I never knew how SUPERB an impromptu microwave ‘baba ghanoush’ could be--eggplant cut lengthwise, covered with slightly moistened paper towel, until softened as desired, then mushed up with spoon or fork, sprinkled with olive oil and salt/spices, or even just salt alone. I might have brought a small amount of tahini with me once.”
|Carol eating Sweet Sarah cantaloupe!|