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It is not always easy to maintain good eating habits while traveling. You rarely have the time or utensils to cook at home. At the campsite, or between two hotels, the priority is rarely to make good food, so we end up improvising and giving in to the ease of ordering pizzas. And yet, there are solutions to eat well on a trip and without spending too much!

Easy Travel Recipes for Road Trips

Here are some tips and ideas on how to make travel recipes easy and quick to prepare healthy make ahead meals for road trips.

1. Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Cream Cheese


Sunday road trip sandwiches with smoked salmon and fromage frais. This Sunday evening sandwich recipe could perfectly well be done on holiday for the good reason that it is only the assembly kitchen and that it does not require any material or preliminary preparation. Just choose a smoked salmon of good quality (Red or organic label is much better). You can serve it for an aperitif or prepare several for a quick lunch.

2. Peach and Tomato Salad


The tomato salad is the most practical salad when you are on a trip, and if it is also the tomato season it is one of the best recipes for travelling. It is ideal because it is basically simple and is one of those easy recipes when travelling. With tomatoes cut into quarters, a bit of salt and seasoning, a drizzle of oil, the one that falls under the hand, vinegar and the toughest stains are now behind us.

After all, everything is about pleasure and opportunities! Here, some peaches and herbs are not far away. Besides many other associations are possible. Fruits like vegetables can be married perfectly with the tomato! In addition, the beautiful red is present almost in all countries, so do not hesitate!

3. Hummus Crostini


This gourmet road trip food is a delicious and original starter, for lunch and dinner! You just need black olives, hummus, bread and green pepper. Spread the hummus over the bread then add the green pepper and olives previously pitted. Dare a pinch of thyme on the urge you said.

4. Stuffed Aubergine Ratatouille


This picnic food for the car can be enjoyed as a starter, but also as a meal on the run. You will only need three ingredients: canned tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. You cook everything together and you end up with this succulent dish!

5. Pan-Seared Chicken


Marinate the chicken with mustard, honey, green chilly, salt, pepper and garlic. Keep the marinated chicken aside for 5 to 7 minutes. Heat oil in a pan, add the marinated chicken and throw in some vegetables of your choice and let it cook for 4–5 minutes. Add herbs of your choice at the time of serving.

6. Pear-Walnut Sandwich


Not your usual sandwiches, this one packs a fruity and crunchy zest to your choice of bread sandwich. Spread some cream cheese (or a hung-curd spread) on your choice of bread. Top with some crunchy chopped walnuts and pear slices. You could add some sprouts or arugula for a bit of texture! A healthy, fruity and green lunch on your hands in a jiffy!

7. Muskmelon salad


Scoop the muskmelon into a round shape and put them into a mixing bowl. Add some mint leaves with some ginger. Squeeze a lemon on it. Add some salt to taste. Put this in the fridge for a little bit (depends on how cold you want it) the cooler the better.

8. Burger


Hamburger isn’t steak. If you’re using the right beef, 80/20 ground chuck, dryness shouldn’t be an issue, unless you’re really well done-ing it. Seriously, get 80/20 ground beef. That’s 80% lean to fat. 20% fat is a significant amount, more than a steak. You don’t need your burger to be rare or mid rare and still be juicy.

Technique plays a big part in cooking a burger properly. Start with a 7oz patty. They cook up nicely. A burger ring helps you to make perfectly proportioned patties, which cook evenly. Once you’ve got your patties, drop them on the grill and season them generously with salt and pepper, about 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp of pepper.

Now wait about 2 minutes. With your spatula, pick up the burger and give it a quarter turn, put it back on the grill and leave it alone. Wait another 2 minutes. Now pick up the burger and flip it over. Don’t touch it, let it cook for three minutes. Again, pick it up, quarter turn, put it down and wait three more minutes.

Season it again with salt and pepper, pull it off of the grill and enjoy. It should be a perfect medium. If you want less red in the center, just add a minute to each step of the cooking process.

Salt the meat. Add some black pepper if you must. Handle the meat as little as possible. Do not mash it into a pulp or knead it. Make patties of uniform thickness, a bit larger than the bun. A half-inch thick patty is a good size, but you can go thinner if you like. Heat up a well-seasoned cast iron skillet to medium-high on stovetop.

When it’s fully heated, place the patties in and do not mess with them until they are ready to flip — you are going to flip these burgers exactly once. Do not try to move them before you are ready to flip them. DO NOT SMASH THE PATTIES DOWN WITH A SPATULA! Or any other object. All you’re going to do is squeeze the juice out of your burger, drying it out, and increase the odds that the patty will stick in the pan.

You’ll know the burgers are ready to flip when the juices rise along the outer edge of the top of the patty. There will be a ring of still-murky juices that forms all the way around the burger’s edge. When you see that, it’s time to flip! Cook until the juice runs clear. All you have to do is give the patties a little pressure with the corner of the spatula and the juice will rise up and run off, just a bit.

If it’s red or cloudy, not ready yet. When it’s clear, your burger is done! Add a slice of American cheese to each burger just before you’re ready to remove them from the skillet. The momentary heat from the pan will drop the edges of the slice down around the patty, and the heat from the burger will melt it nicely.

Bread is a very personal choice. Find a bun you really like, or one that’s just like your favorite diner, and use that. Toast, grill, or not, depending on preference. As for condiments, the classic American burger have ketchup and dill pickle chips on the lower bun, mustard on the top bun, and raw onion slices, lettuce, and sliced tomatoes on top of the burger. But you can mix it up however you want.

9. Pizza


The bread base (what you call the crust) should be made with a very simple and well-hydrated bread dough, made with only a mixture of durum and regular wheat flours, neither too thin nor bleached. This kind of flour has more proteins and fibers (even though it’s not whole wheat) than all-purpose flour.

The bread should also include water, yeast or sourdough, and a pinch of salt, and should be fermented for 24 hours for a perfect raise, with good flavor and to make it easy to digest. It should be topped with excellent quality crushed tomatoes, a little fresh mozzarella, or better, fiordilatte, and a light drizzle of extravirgin olive oil, and baked for just a few minutes at the highest temperature possible.

This creates a light, tasty and not greasy pizza. For an even healthier meal you may consider swapping the tomato sauce for a mixture of bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and fresh tomatoes, all diced or cut in thin slices and sautéed with extravirgin olive oil and a garlic clove. Distribute this mixture on the pizza, topping with a few bits of fresh mozzarella, and bake.

Par bake your crust. Moisture is the enemy of a crispy crust. Baking a pizza in a pizza pan traps moisture between the pan and crust. The top of the crust will be crispy but the bottom will be bready, like a focaccia. To make it more pizza parlor like, you’ve got to par bake the crust. First, preheat your oven at its highest temperature.

Spin your crust and fit it into a pizza pan or a cookie sheet. Square pizzas are the trend right now, so don’t run out and buy a round pizza pan if you’ve already got a good square baking pan. Make sure to brush some oil onto the pan as well as the top crust. Now dock the dough with a fork. Docking means to poke it all over the center with a fork to prevent the center of the crust from rising.

You want the edges to rise but the center to stay flat, otherwise your toppings will slide to the edges. Now bake the crust until it has set. When I mean set, I mean for about five to eight minutes, or until it has cooked, but before it turns brown. You’re looking for something like those par-baked crusts you buy in the grocery store.

Pull it from the oven and let it cool until you can handle it comfortably. Now build your pizza on the par baked crust. Use whatever sauce, cheese and toppings you like. Once your pizza is topped, put it into the oven directly on the oven rack. You don’t want to bake it on the pan. The pan traps moisture, remember, and won’t give you a crispy crust.

Baking it directly on the rack will allow the bottom of the crust to get brown and crispy, like pizza baked in a real pizza oven. It shouldn’t take more than eight to ten minutes to get the crust nicely browned and the toppings heated through. You will probably need to spin it half way through as well.

Pancetta is essentially a really well cured ham, and it’s almost a lot like bacon. When put onto the pizza from the start, all that lovely fat would liquify and the meat itself would caramelize and crisp. That crispy sweet and salty taste is absolutely delicious. That meat plus the high temps are just going to make your pizza sing!

10. Sherry Trifle


There is no single, definitive, way to make one, each is crafted differently, but the basic principle is: Line the bottom of the bowl with cheap cake (there are things called trifle sponges but sliced fruit cake does just as well). Saturate with sweet sherry. Top with jelly. Perhaps one to compliment the trifle taste, but it doesn’t really matter. You can add tinned fruit salad, or fresh fruit, to the jelly.

Or you can wait until it is set, and then add a layer of fruit salad. if you do this, add some more sherry. Carry on adding layers. The top layer should be whipped fresh cream. This can sometimes be decorated with halved cherries or hundreds and thousands. People whip sherry or even Irish cream into the whipped cream.

11. Shepherd’s pie


A good shepherd's pie starts with good mashed potatoes. Take 2–3 lbs of russet potatoes, peel them and cut them into 1″ cubes, cover with water in a pot, add a tbsp of salt and bring them to boil, turn it down to medium and let them boil until soft, about 10 mins. Melt 4 tbsp unsalted butter, set it aside, add an egg to 1/2 cup of milk, whisk it up.

Drain the potatoes and put them back in the pot. Mash them up with a potato masher, add the egg/milk mixture, the melted butter, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Cover them and set them aside. Chop an onion nice and fine, peel and chop 2–3 carrots

Set aside 2 tbsp of tomato paste, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp minced fresh thyme (1/2 tsp if you’re using dried thyme) 2 tbsp flour, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and a cup of frozen peas. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in the skillet, add the onion and carrots with 3/4 tsp of salt and cook until softened, about 5 mins.

Add 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef. Break up the ground beef. Cook until it’s brown, 8–10 mins. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about a min. Stir in the flour and cook for another min. Drop the Worcestershire in the broth, slowly stir that in, scraping up any browned bits, bring it up to a nice simmer. Stirring occasionally, simmer it for about 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened, take it off the heat and stir in the frozen peas.

Take the mashed potatoes, put them in a gallon size zip lock bag and cut off a corner of the bag, squeeze the potatoes in a spiral pattern on top of the mixture, nice and even, then flatten with a spoon. Take a fork and make a pattern of ridges on the top of the potatoes. Put an oven rack on the top shelf of the oven so you’ll have about 6″ from the top element, turn the broiler on high.

Put the skillet under the broiler until the top is nice and browned and crusty, about 5-10 mins.

12. Tabbouleh


Finely chop coriander or parsley, tomatoes, onion, mint leaves and a cucumber. Boil water, add wheat dalia (bulgur) to the boiling water and stir. Turn heat off, cover and let stand 25 minutes. Fluff bulgur with a fork and then allow to cool to room temperature. Mix all these ingredients and add a pinch of salt, lemon juice and pepper powder. Pour olive oil. Mix again lightly. Eat this alone or with bread.

13. Biscuits and Gravy


For Biscuits:

Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix 250 g soft flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder and 5 g salt. Grate 90 g unsalted butter into the flour mixture and cut with a fork or pastry cutter until the butter is in pieces like small peas.
Pour in 200 g buttermilk and mix with a fork until all flour is wetted. You want a tacky dough but if it sticks to your fingers add a little flour.

Add liquid if the dough is stiff. There’s a wide range that will work well. Don’t over mix and don’t knead. Tip dough on to a floured counter and pat flat to 1/2 inch thickness. Fold in half and flatten again. Fold and flatten 2 more times and cut out round biscuits from 1.5” to 2” in diameter. Press all the way to the counter and only twist the cutter then.

Arrange the biscuits spaced 1/2” apart on a cookie sheet and bake for 16 to 18 minutes turning half way. They should be lightly browned and 210 F internally.

For Gravy:

Make a roux with 30 g butter and 20 g flour and cook on medium heat whisking continuously until a very light brown or blond color shows. Pour 230 g cold milk in while whisking and whisk continuously until thickened. Add milk if too thick or reduce if too thin.

14. Petto di pollo al latte


A faster meat dish is petto di pollo al latte e limone. This also require a bit more skill in my opinion just because the preparation is so fast that it does not allow for mistakes. Get some thinly sliced skinless and boneless chicken breast (it works with turkey as well). Lightly dust them with flour. Heat a large pan, melt some butter, add a couple sage leaves, and lightly brown the chicken on both sides.

Now pour in enough milk to cover the chicken halfway (the slices should be a bit crowded in the pan) and the juice of one lemon or of a couple of limes. Add salt and pepper and simmer until the milk has turned into a dense sauce (even denser than in the pic) that looks a bit coagulated, it’s not creamy and silky. Serve sprinkled with some chopped parsley if you want, with a couple vegetable sides.

15. Zucchini Fritters


It's fast and tasty and is one of the best meals for traveling in the car! This dish requires few utensils and preparation time. In other words, it is perfect when your priority is not to cook, when you are traveling for example? You will need a large zucchini, an egg, 1/2 tablespoon of flour, two cloves of garlic, a little parsley and dill.

Chop garlic and herbs and mix them with the egg in a bowl. Stir everything gently. Grate the zucchini and add the result to the mixture. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Preheat a saucepan, add a little vegetable oil and add a tablespoon of the zucchini mixture. Fry everything until it is golden brown. You have your first donut! Repeat until the bowl is empty.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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