Ugghhh…the dreaded veggie wrap tray. Cold, moist, bland, barely edible. Crudites. The shittiest hummus you’ve ever bothered to eat. Cookies that definitely aren’t vegan but you might sneak a bite because you just want something that might taste OK, but then they taste like nothing.
I made that kind of stuff, but not so shitty that you don’t know how you’ll make it through the rest of this very long, very boring day.
First up, hummus. Instead of regular chickpea-based hummus, I went with white beans (cannellini, specifically, because it’s what I had on hand) and roasted a whole little head of garlic to throw in the blender with it. The remaining ingredients–olive oil, juice of half a lemon, tahini, salt and pepper–are pretty basic, because I really wanted that sweet, roasted garlic to sing. Served with fresh veggies for color and crunch. Easy-peasy.
Next, the veggie wrap. No mere crudites wrapped in a fucking tortilla, no sir. I started with baked tofu, seasoned simply with soy sauce and a dash of liquid smoke. Then I whipped up a quick massaged lacinato kale salad with a thick, creamy dressing made with herbed cashew cheese, nooch, more nuts, and red wine vinegar. I also wanted avocado, but I didn’t end up using much because they were not great when I cut into them. The big whole wheat tortillas I bought got a quick warm-up on a griddle pan before filling them with tofu and kale. Simple, but full of flavor and texture.
And you know I already had cookies from yesterday’s junk food post. Mmmm, cookies.
A few months ago my mom came down to California and we took a three-day trip up to Mendocino in my 1999 Honda Civic. It’s about a 3 ½-hour drive from my house, definitely long enough to warrant car snacks, much like what I’m writing about here.
It was also the last road trip I’ll take in the car–I gave it back to my mom (it was her old car, anyway, I was just using it for the last 10 years or so) because my boyfriend and I decided to share one car–a Kia Soul EV (on a three-year lease). We love driving an electric car, but it doesn’t lend itself to road trips. You’d definitely need good snacks, because it takes at least two hours to get a charge that takes you 80 miles, so that’s a lot of sitting around. To drive to Mendocino, we’d need to do that at least twice, and that’s heavily dependent on finding charging stations where we need them, that aren’t otherwise in use or broken, along the way.
Anyway, here’s what I aim for when packing road snacks: easily accessible, non-messy options are key. You need a sweet, you need a protein, you need a crunchy, you need a fresh, you need a drink.
Drink is usually just water. Boring, but important. Maybe the car is hot and you don’t have a big cooler.
Peanut butter or trail mix cookies (homemade or store-bought)
Carrots, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, or your other favorite crudites (chips or pieces of pita bread would also do, but let’s pretend we are healthy)
Hummus or another bean dip
Freshly blended hummus, green from parsley, with carrot wedges and cherry tomatoes, ready to skedaddle
Your favorite nuts or protein bars (I’d bring almonds and chocolate-peanut butter Pure bars)
For a really long trip, you better have a bigger cooler, and then you can bring more veggies and things to make a quick meal, like tortillas or lavash bread, sliced cherry tomatoes, spinach, salad greens, cooked tempeh strips, etc. A prepared lentil/bean salad will also do–anything you can eat with a spoon and then wipe off and stow. A container of iced tea might be welcome for a little caffeine boost. Nothing spillable, nothing that will melt (that means you, chocolate), nothing that will wilt and spoil in less-than-pristine cooling conditions.
If we go on a road trip any time soon, it’ll probably be to Yosemite or nearby. Not a terribly long drive, but definitely the kind of trip where these snacks will be welcome. Just gotta figure out which car to take…
Occasionally we like to go to my boyfriend’s mom’s house and cook a meal together, taking advantage of her lovely garden and bountiful lemon tree. Today I suggested we take on a kinda-Greek theme–hummus, falafel, all that. I like having an excuse to plan a menu outside the usual weeknight dinner.
To keep it simple, we went with the falafel salad from Salad Samurai, hummus with beets, chopped fresh veggies to fill in the gaps, and some store-bought whole wheat pita.
It was pretty good.
The hummus was of my own devising. What we threw in the food processor:
Can of chickpeas
Dollop of tahini
Splash of olive oil
Juice of one meyer lemon
Half of a small beet, precooked a little so it’s tender
A few sprigs of dill, chopped
Several cloves of garlic
All in all, a successful meal.
Later, we went to the beach and made a sand castle, just for the hell of it. And we saw dolphins (maybe).