When you have severe or multiple dietary restrictions, traveling can be frustrating, depressing ... or a lot of fun, especially if you do some advance planning. Here are a few things I've learned from personal experience on the road and in the air.
Do you love horchata? This sweet, creamy, rice-and-almond-based drink is not to be missed, especially now that summer is here and a cool, refreshing drink is always appreciated. While traditional horchata contains milk and sugar, it can also be made without dairy and lends itself well to sugar alternatives such as agave or dates. Read on for our classic Mexican horchata recipe with some extra ideas for non-dairy and sugar-free alternatives.
Lately I've been spending weekends in a house upstate that I'm sharing with my friends Hilary and Al. Deciding to share the house with them was a no-brainer: lovely people, great style, a kind and gentle son for Ursula to hang out with, fabulous British accents, and a killer house. What I didn't know until arriving for our first weekend was that Al makes bread every Friday night for toast on Saturday morning. I totally scored.
For better or worse, rice cakes have become one of my gluten-free travel staples. They're easy to find, are surprisingly sturdy, and make a decent alternative to sandwich bread when staying with non-GF friends and family. Yet rice cakes are boring and not especially nutritious (possibly even bad for you). I plan to replace them with this Super Power Chia Bread from Oh She Glows.
I love taking the flavors and ingredients from foods I've eaten while traveling and pulling them into my weekly meals. This veggie burger takes inspiration from around the world — green curry paste, fresh cilantro, creamy black beans, and crunchy walnuts — and puts them into traditional patty form. This burger with its spicy kick is perfect for your next picnic or backyard barbecue.
Last week my husband and I packed up the car and drove nearly 500 miles to Atlanta to celebrate my sister's wedding. I love a good road trip. It gives you time to think and to talk, and to watch the landscape of mountains and fields roll by.
While free of the discomforts of plane travel, car travel does carry its own pitfalls, like the lure of fast food and gas station Slurpees. My strategy is to be prepared with something delicious and easy, like this couscous salad — a refreshing lunch at any time, but especially on a long summer road trip.
I long to be one of those people who packs a healthy, well-balanced meal when they travel. I have friends who pack lunches for their plane journeys — thinking out which foods will complement others and how it will affect the way they feel mid-flight. I don't do this. Usually I can barely manage to eat a decent breakfast before I get out the door. But what I can do is throw together a trail mix for those flights — one that's been put to the test during quick camping trips, day hikes or longer car rides. And I'm always thankful that I took the few minutes to do so.
When I had to adopt a restricted diet last year, I also got a crash course in planning ahead for snacks. Grabbing an impromptu bite to eat became a lot more complicated, and even store-bought energy bars were off-limits due to various food allergies and intolerances. I quickly developed the habit of always — always! — carrying something edible and energy-boosting in my bag. Packed with fruit and seeds, these oat bars are like a thick, cakey granola bar, and so much more exciting than a bag of GORP.
These peanut butter bites are just the thing when you're looking for a tasty, easy-to-make travel snack that'll satisfy your sweet tooth (without going overboard!). The sweetness comes from dates, and the whole recipe takes only about 10 minutes to make — great when you're running late and need travel munchies pronto!
This might sound shocking, but I have to say it: potstickers might be my favorite food. They are my go-to meal when I'm home alone for dinner and my favorite crowd-pleasing appetizer. I even eat them cold for airplane meals. On top of this, you can fill them with anything under the sun and freeze them for handy weeknight meals. This particular combination of rich shiitake mushrooms, chewy baked tofu, and silky cabbage is like an old and very dear friend, one that I never tire of seeing.