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KELLY_R Posts: 3,012
4/22/13 6:21 P

Assuming you have a cooler:

Chicken, tuna or egg salads might be good.

You could try out bringing some tabbouleh - I make mine with quinoa instead of bulgar.

Pre-make a healthy pizza the day before and cool it then slice it up and take the slices with you. (I love cold pizza, personally).

Pasta salad

Any casserole dish that tastes good cold.

Cold grilled and seasoned chicken with some pre-cut fresh veggies and perhaps something to dip them in - dressing, hummus, etc.

Hope this helps

ELENGIL Posts: 957
4/22/13 12:11 P

Get a cooler for your trunk. Pack with ice. Add food and drinks! If you don't have to be on the road right away, bring a table cloth and find a picnic table or just spread it out on the bleachers, you can have a nice family dinner without the inside of the car getting its "fair share."

Taco salads are a tasty cold dinner packed with veggies. Just pack the ingredients in separate bags so nothing starts to wilt or go weird, then dump a big handful of shredded lettuce, some cold seasoned ground beef or chicken, and top with salsa, avocado, taco sauce, whatever you like. If you have lidded bowls, those are great for shaking it up and getting everything well seasoned.

Other ideas to mix and match:
Non mayo-based pasta salad. Can you do cold spaghetti? It's amazing what you can eat cold if you try.
Baked chicken.
Hard boiled eggs.
Tortilla wraps.
Strips of steak.
Home-made pizza leftovers.
Home-made "hot pocket" style pies.
There are also pre-made food pouches (think MRE but less... military) that are pretty darn tasty. I've had the Tasty Bites Indian pouches with some bread to dip, a great on-the-go meal, even unheated. And these don't need to be kept cool.

Of course, there's also the whole "cooking on your car engine as you drive" method of family dinners... never tried it myself, but it is an intriguing concept.

CUDA440 SparkPoints: (84,691)
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4/22/13 11:51 A

Well, if you have a cooler with ice or ice packs to keep it:
you could do greek yogurts - I love the dannon oikos key lime and caffe latte (tastes just like a expresso cheesecake) flavors.
veggies (sugar peas are my fav), broccolli, cauliflower I have seen others use sliced peppers and dip
baked tortilla strips (cut into size, bake at 400 for 7-10 min) with salsa (jarred or homemade)
roasted chicken - could be bought earlier in the week and just eaten cold. I love that.
chicken salad (just canned chicken with little light mayo, onion if you like it) you can either spread on tortillas, with cheese and roll up, or on rye bread.
String cheese



LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,334
4/22/13 12:28 A

Look for picnic food ideas or recipes. Look for bento box ideas.

rice balls
hard boiled eggs... deviled eggs
pasta with peanut sauce
stuffed bread or buns
7 layer bean dip
hummus with veggies or pita chips
salad- can add meat, beans, cheese, egg, vegetables, fruit
pasta salad- can add cheese, beans and various vegetables
soup in a thermos
fruit- fresh or dried
cold vegetable pizza
vegetables- broccoli, cauliflower, zuchini, celery, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, edamame, carrots
yogurt or cottage cheese in a cooler
trail mix
granola bars
lettuce wraps
sandwiches made with whole grain pita, tortillas, or crackers

If you cook food in a slow cooker and take it with you it will actually stay warm for quite awhile without being plugged in. I transported bean soup in a slow cooker with an insulated case once and did not plug it in at all after we left the house and it stayed warm for hours outdoors on a cool fall night.

KIMG52 SparkPoints: (10,567)
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Posts: 58
4/21/13 7:31 P

I am allergic to tuna. I like the idea of the plug in heater/cooler. I will look into that.

Kim G

4/21/13 4:13 P

I would make a quinoa salad with vegetables and beans or nuts. I might also bring along one of those flavoured canned tunas (without oil). I also like rice cakes with humus for road trips. Best of luck!

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (11,719)
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4/21/13 3:26 P

I would freeze the bag ahead of time and wrap the cold items in aluminum foil.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,081
4/21/13 3:11 P

the only way to really know what temperature your insulated bag will keep things is to try it out. get a thermometer and leave it in there and periodically check to see what happens.
they do make a cooler/heater that plugs in to the a/c adapter of your car though. so as long as the car is on, it's actively keeping food hot or cold.
when i make russian salad [vegetables and such in mayo, so kinda like potato salad] for lunch and i know i will be eating later than usual, i put frozen peas in it to keep it cooler longer. and i do something similar with yogurt: i will add a cup of frozen berries to my yogurt before i pop it in my lunchbox. then it doesn't even thaw enough to eat for about six hours. without knowing exactly what you are making, it's hard to say if you would be able to do this. but if it is possible to add frozen in, it can really extend the safe time of the rest of your food.

KIMG52 SparkPoints: (10,567)
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4/21/13 2:55 P

I was actually thinking about pizza. maybe even a taco salad.

Thanks for all the ideas! IT is so hard to think about what to fix sometimes and I get into a rut.

Kim G

NIRERIN Posts: 14,081
4/21/13 2:49 P

what about a grain or veggie salads? just about every vegetarian cookbook has a few variants, but the idea is that you take some grains and/or beans, add some veggies, then some sort of oil, vinegar and herb combination. three bean salad is the best known of them, but you could have couscous, roasted vegetables with curry powder and olive oil too. or barley, cannelini beans, kale, and mushrooms with herbs de provence and a little olive oil.
and i don't know if it sounds appealing to you, but i think that pizza and burritos are quite tasty cold.
cold noodles with cabbage and other vegetables in peanut sauce should also do well. and you could also add whatever cooked and chilled meat you like. and it would be easy to add extra chopped peanuts to the portions for those in your family who need a few more calories in their meals.

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (22,882)
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4/21/13 2:41 P

They do actually sell adapters to turn your cigarette lighter into a regular two-prong electrical outlet. So you could technically take a crock pot. My crock pot even has a snap-and-go lid, so it seals pretty tightly for safe travels.

One of my favorite cold meals is a home-made pasta salad with lots of veggies. I cook whole-grain rotini and blanch broccoli and zucchini in the pasta water for the last two minutes of cooking time (they'll start to turn super green, but still crunchy). Then I toss with a whole can of drained/rinsed kidney beans, a couple of tomatoes and thinly sliced purple onion and dress it with homemade balsamic vinegarette (I like to control the amount of oil, but you could used bottled). There's no dairy, so it won't spoil. You also could add pre-cooked chicken, although we like it vegetarian. It's easy to serve up in solo-cups with plastic forks so you could even eat it in the car. I cook a big tub at a time and it keeps for days in the fridge. Makes an easy summer-time one-dish lunch.

KIMG52 SparkPoints: (10,567)
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4/21/13 2:37 P

Will an insulated bag keep the food at a safe temp? I actually found a crock pot that plugs into the car...some good reviews and some really bad reviews. I have until Wednesday's double header to figure this out.

Kim G

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (11,719)
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4/21/13 2:32 P

In insulated bag to hold you all over until you get home:

salmon, tuna, or chicken packet (tear open when ready)
fresh fruit (with natural nut butter if necessary)
raw veggies (w/ ranch packet if necessary)
canned veggies (green beans straight out of the can as fingerfood or with a fork)

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 4/21/2013 (14:43)
KIMG52 SparkPoints: (10,567)
Fitness Minutes: (46,775)
Posts: 58
4/21/13 2:22 P

We do plan for them. But when the game is 4 hours from home it makes for a full day. I personally am sick of sandwhiches. Sometimes, if it is a double header my son hasn't gotten to eat since lunch and the games finish usually around 7 or a little later, which means getting home at close to midnight. That is the big problem with the next week. 2 nights the games are so far from home. I don't know why the school schedules these games on week nights.

I am thinking maybe fake fried chicken, which wouldn't be bad cold. and as always lots of veggies. I hate using lunch meat. My son has slimmed down a lot just getting rid of it and giving him pbj sandwhiches instead, even though peanut butter has more fat. I wish there was a way to plug a crock pot into the car! To be honest I am sick of eating out.

WHOLENEWME79 Posts: 949
4/21/13 2:11 P

My best suggestion would be to plan for it. You know it's going to happen, so have a snack in the car to tide them over until you get home. Have a few meals prepared that you just need to pop in the microwave or oven to reheat.

Try things like hummus or penut butter and veggies or crackers, or a tortilla rolled with ham and cheese, or trailmix. Nothng fancy or huge, just enough to get you past the dange zone.

If you want an actual meal, sandwichs are great- have options for breads and toppings, and have a salad or veggie platters as well.

Best of luck.

KIMG52 SparkPoints: (10,567)
Fitness Minutes: (46,775)
Posts: 58
4/21/13 1:58 P

In our home our kids are into sports. 2 to 3 nights a week we are sitting at sporting events. Soccer and baseball this time of year. Basebal usally goes into the dinner hour. We have waited to eat in the past, but then that tends to lead to unhealthy snacking.

I pack lettuce wedges, carrots, nuts, light air popped popcorn, cheese sticks, and jerky. My problem is that after the game my son is starving and we just fall off the wagon and hit a fast food restruant showing no restraint.

I want to pack a meal that will travel well and be filling for all of us. Sandwiches are ok once in a while, but I really am not a big sandwich eater. Any healthy ideas would be great.

Kim G

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