Travel Meals

Travel Meals

Great entrees to take with you on your journeys, and practical tips for traveling with food.

I love to travel to a variety of destinations and most often need to travel with food for my family. First, it makes the trip more affordable and nutritious, and second gives me options to travel to locations that do not have kosher restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to Israel, Florida and the wonderful other communities that have kosher options, but with a little planning, other exciting destinations can still be a relaxing vacation.

I prepare meals ahead of time, freeze them properly and take something out to defrost and enjoy the day without worrying about what’s for dinner. Additionally, I bring two kitchen items that help. First, a Panini maker for sandwich making, pizza warming, bagel toasting, and even scrambling eggs. Grilled sandwiches are filling and delicious.

Second, I recommend an electric pot. This is a large pan/pot that plugs into the wall. It warms anything in about 5 minutes. I use it to warm chickens with a little sauce, meatballs, Chinese food and all the recipes below. It also boils water for pasta and rice making. I bought one from Costco made by WestBend for about $30. It’s a great item to have especially if you are in a hotel without an oven.

A few other tips for traveling with food include:

  • Speak to friends about what they have done and what worked for them
  • Make sure that you are traveling to a destination that allows food to be brought in, meaning be careful about bringing prepared foods to other countries, some have strict regulations about what can be brought in.
  • Freeze food in double aluminum, air tight. Do not freeze anything until it is completely at room temperature. Wrap two layers of aluminum around the entire tray in case it leaks out the sides. Defrost in the refrigerator, this takes about 24 hours but prevents condensation and extra moisture from ruining your meals. Freezer strength zip-lock bags work well too, again airtight. Freeze flat to reserve space in travel bags.
  • I put the aluminum trays in a plastic bag before putting them in boxes or suitcases.
  • Most items will remain frozen through a flight because the cargo area is freezing.

Happy travels!

Farfalle Pasta, Chicken, with Wine Sauce

photo: bittersweetcatering.com

Serves 6-8

  • 16 ounces farfalle (bow tie pasta)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy creamer, soymilk, or almond milk

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil to medium-high and briefly sauté garlic. Add chicken strips, basil and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until chicken is browned, about 5-8 minutes. Add broth, sun-dried tomatoes with oil and wine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Stir in nondairy creamer/soymilk, simmer briefly, and mix with pasta. Serve immediately.

Chicken Marsala

Photo: www.saveur.com

Serves 8

  • 8 pieces of chicken cutlet, pounded flat
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 onions, sliced in rings
  • 2 pounds of mushrooms, sliced thin
  • ¼ pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste

Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off the excess flour.

Heat the olive oil and the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the chicken on both sides and then take out chicken (you may have to do this in batches, so save a little oil and margarine for the second batch). Set chicken aside.

To the same skillet, add the onions and mushrooms to the skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for about 6 minutes or until all accumulated cooking liquid has evaporated. Add Marsala wine and sauté until most of the liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and tomato paste and stir. Return the chicken to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter and top with all the onions, mushrooms and reduced sauce.

Soda Meatballs

Photo: www.toriavey.com

Serves 8-10

  • 12 ounces ketchup
  • 24 ounces ginger ale
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds chopped meat
  • ½ cup uncooked white rice
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 bag chopped green cabbage
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven or 8-quart pot, bring ketchup, ginger ale, honey and brown sugar to a gentle boil. In a bowl combine onions, salt, pepper, meat, rice and raisins. Mix gently with your handles, do not over mix. Make into 1-inch meatballs. Drop the meatballs into the boiling liquid. Add the bag of cabbage. Bring it back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 90 minutes. Serve meatballs with sauce and cabbage.

Quinoa, Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Photo by: Good Life Eats

Makes 15 patties

Most veggie burgers in supermarkets either contain gluten, are solely made of vegetables and don’t have enough protein, or are soy based. As I like to minimize the soy in my diet, I wanted to create a high protein veggie burger that is also gluten free, hardy and delicious! This recipe is packed with multiple sources of protein, fiber, fresh vegetables, spices and herbs. So delicious that you can enjoy without a bun!

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Place quinoa and 2 cups water or stock in small saucepan, and sprinkle with salt a little salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

Mix together the black beans and chickpeas in a bowl and set aside. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (with a little oil is okay) and cook over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, or until onion has softened. Stir in 1 ½ cups of the black beans/chickpea mixture, 1 ¼ cups cooked quinoa, cilantro, cumin and salt. Stir all ingredients together for 2 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups water and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

Transfer mixture to food processor or with an immersion blender, process until smooth. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining ¾ cup quinoa and remaining 1.5 cups black bean/chickpea mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and set in the fridge to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop with lever, shape bean mixture into 15 patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top. Flip patties with spatula, and bake 10 minutes more, or until both sides are crisp and brown.