This is a guest post by Kiran of Easyrealfood.com. A holistic health coach and mom of 4, Kiran provides tips and recipes for getting real food on the table – easily!
Having healthy meals on vacation IS a possibility and needn’t be a big stress for you. With a little planning, it’s completely doable!
I am a big fan of getting accommodations that have some type of kitchen or kitchenette. This is SO helpful in preparing meals, which allows us to not only know what is going into our foods, but I find it to be a time and money saver, too. We always do breakfast in the room/condo. Once we head out for the day, we are well-nourished and feel good about saving those extra $$$ on an outside meal. From there, we’ll either pack a lunch in a cooler to bring along or plan to eat lunch out and dinner in. We almost never do more than one meal out in a day; this works for our family, but determine what works best for you.
Having some good staple meals is super helpful. Keep in mind that these meals may not be the ultimate in gourmet, but they will be satisfying and versatile. Most are customizable to suit various palates in your family. If you are looking for ideas and inspiration, look no further!
Vacation Meal Planning
Making meals ahead of time and freezing them in preparation is a great way to take even less stress off of your packing and on-site prepping, and be able to enjoy a variety of foods. Here are a few meals that work well to make ahead of time and freeze:
Easy Meals to Make on Vacation with Kitchen Access
A simple versatile one, this has always been a crowd pleaser for us! You will need:
- Bag of tortilla chips
- Can(s) of black beans (organic if possible)
- Can(s) of chicken (optional and organic if possible)
- Shredded cheese
- Jar of salsa
- 1-2 avocados
- Sour cream (optional)
Place tortilla chips on a baking sheet and top with beans, chicken and cheese. Bake at 350 until cheese has melted. Remove and add dollops of salsa, and cubes of avocado. Sour cream would make a nice addition, too.
I love this idea because the options truly are endless. In fact, you could get a bunch of ingredients and mix and match this idea on two different nights! Here are some ideas to get your thoughts going:
- Cheese (2-3 varieties work well)
- Sausage or even jerky pieces
- Dried figs
- Dried apricots
- Banana chips
- Cucumber slices
- Cherry tomatoes
- Seeds of any type
- Various nuts
- Olives (canned or from an olive bar)
- Crackers, pretzels or chips
An oldie but goodie, my family always enjoys making their own variation of this. Items that travel well can include:
- Lunch meat (I look for the natural/Applegate brand)
- Cheese slices
- Nut butter
- Romaine lettuce
- Cooked bacon
- Pre-packaged lox
- Swiss chard (to wrap your sandwich in)
- Don’t forget bread or wraps to go along with this!
Pasta + Sauce
It doesn’t get much easier than this. Get some pasta of choice, a jar of sauce, and a fruit or vegetable to go on the side. A bag of lettuce works nicely; add in a bag of carrots + hummus on the side and you’ve got yourself an easy meal!
Cook some taco meat prior to leaving; freeze ahead of time and pull it out the morning that you leave. In addition, bring the following items:
- Tortillas or tortilla chips (or both!)
- Bag of cheese
- Jar of salsa
- 1-2 jalapeños (if you like it hot)
- Can of beans
- Rice to cook in your kitchen/kitchenette (optional)
- Bag of salad for a “naked” taco bowl
Another tried and true – the possibilities are endless here. And while homemade dough is what we do when at home, I’m a little more realistic while on the road. I don’t want to have to schlep along the dough, an appropriate baking sheet, spray, etc. Instead, I’ll bring a box of Simple Mills crust or a pre-baked whole-wheat version. Topping suggestions:
- Pizza sauce
- Onion (bring one and cut it there)
- Pepper (same as onion)
- Chicken or pork organic sausage (cut when ready to cook)
- Greens (hey – some people enjoy these on pizza!
Do you make your meals prior to heading out? What are your favorite meals on vacation? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!