I had the unique pleasure of taking an RV road trip this summer and I’m here to tell you, it was actually easier to eat healthy on the road than at home since we’ve been back! See, on the road we made arrangements to be able to prepare all of our own food. We ate only one meal out of the “house” the entire week and we picked an old hometown favorite restaurant that is known for its fabulous salad bar! Aside from that we ate at our campsite or picnicked somewhere nearby, always able to bring our own food and enjoy. I wanted to share some of our meals since I know camping and road tripping can leave some people wondering how the heck to eat healthy!
Planning the Menu
As I’ve discussed before, planning ahead is everything. I’ve gotten into using a Bullet Journal (more on that another day) and I’ve gotten even better at planning ahead and knowing what kinds of meals and snacks we’ll need to get through a week. The first trick was to keep things REALLY simple. So first I decided to come up with repetitive meal options so I didn’t have to recreate ideas every day.
- Steamed veggies and rice for most breakfasts, with occasional oatmeal
- Chopped salads with chick peas for most lunches. Here’s how I make chopped salad for a week.
- Veggie burgers or grilled veggies and rice and/or baked sweet potatoes (and veggie dogs for others) for most dinners.
- Ample snacks of grapes, melon, berries, carrots, sugar snap peas, oatmeal cookies, etc.
Disclaimer: I brought my Instant Pot and was able to cook my own rice and steam veggies a couple times through the week, and we had a microwave for reheating a few times. If I was camping without access to electricity, I would instead stock up on cooked rice either from home or from a packaged option at the grocery store, and survive without reheating. Everything tastes better when you’re camping anyway.
Before leaving, I made homemade veggie burgers, ketchup, and hummus. It’s nearly impossible to find sugar free and salt free versions of these, so making my own makes me feel right at home and I don’t worry about being tricked into overeating from a silly condiment. I also made a chopped salad using the Buzz method shown above. It kept perfectly for a week! Each day I just served the chopped veggies over a bed of greens and added beans, berries, and my favorite flavored balsamic vinegars from The Olive Tap. I also brought Chef AJ’s Tropical Treats, a banana oatmeal cookie that can be dehydrated. It’s a great finger food snack but it can also be crumbled into granola. Tastes great both ways!
Trial By Fire
No really, we did trial and error over the fire. It was super fun! One of the tastiest treats was slicing up zucchini and summer squash into four long pieces, and just laying it on a grill over the fire. Or putting it on a skewer as shown. Delicious! Roasting corn was another favorite. It’s super simple. Gently peel back the husk (leave it intact, don’t tear it off!) and pull out the silks. Close it back up, knowing it’s ok if it’s not perfect. Really, it’s ok. Use twine to tie the husk together so it stays on. Soak the whole thing (twine and all) in a bucket of water for about 20 minutes. Lay on a grill over the fire for 8-12 minutes depending on how hot the coals are. The husks trap the moisture and allow the corn to steam inside, and even though the flames may lap at the outsides, you’ll get a really nice roasty flavor without turning it all black.
Not surprisingly I also mastered the art of baking potatoes in the fire: Simply wash it, wrap it with 2 layers of foil, and place near the coals somehow. A grill is nice, but the foil is protective enough that you can throw these bad boys right in. I ended up with some of the sweetest softest sweet potatoes I’ve ever had. Think grandma’s candied yams at Thanksgiving! Even cold, these were amazing for breakfast the next day. Lesson: Bring long tongs next time to retrieve hot potatoes.
I found great success using a “s’mores cooker” which is intended to sandwich s’mores together. I placed veggies in it to roast over the fire when we didn’t have a grill, and I also placed veggie burgers in it in foil which worked perfectly! They were already cooked, and just needed to reheat.
Find What’s Fresh
Pretty much anywhere you go in the summer, you’ll be able to find roadside produce stands. This held true for us and we took advantage of it. Fresh corn, peppers, tomatoes, berries, and peaches. Delicious! This is a good tactic all year round – focus your diet on what’s fresh and available in season and you’ll have the best produce available. In many climates it’s not ideal, but it’s nice to keep in mind.
Have Fun With It
Whether you’re on the road or cooking at home, have fun with it! Be creative while keeping the food simple and easy. It always tastes better that way too!