Thursday, July 11, 2013

Eating Well {& Cheap} on Vacation–Part 2

If you are just joining us, we are in part 2 of our series about eating well {& cheap} on vacation.  In part 1 we talked about planning ahead, asking 5 questions that will help us determine our food needs for the trip. 


Today, we’re starting to think about meals that work well on the road.  After determining answers to the first 5 questions, it’s time to think about your menu plan.  Here are the top three things to consider when choosing recipes:

  1. Recipes should fit well together.  Choose recipes that use a similar set of ingredients in different ways, allowing you to maximize and stretch your ingredients.  This includes planning to use leftovers well!
  2. Recipes should be easy to prepare & clean up. This is not the time for elaborate ingredient lists, complicated preparation instructions or trying something new.  Stick to recipes that you can almost make without a recipe. 
  3. Recipes should include in-season ingredients. This will help you be able to purchase ingredients at your destination and keep costs low. 

Easy Breakfast Ideas

For the cook to have a lazy morning, you’ll want easy breakfasts.  Crockpot ones work really well, as do those that you can make up ahead of time and just add fresh ingredients.  Egg bakes are particularly wonderful because they make great use of leftovers from dinner the night before!


Simple Eat In or Out Lunches

When it comes to lunches, simple is key.  You’ll want to spend your time with family and/or friends, and not in the kitchen!  A few ideas for eat in or for a picnic lunch include:


Fast & Filling Dinners

Some vacation days involve being busy outdoors all day long.  Your crew comes back hungry and tired, so dinners need to be quick to prepare and filling to replenish all that energy expended all day. 

  • Crockpot Baked Potato Bar – Nothing beats coming back to dinner waiting for you!
  • Fajitas – Grab some tortillas, grill up your favorite meat, sauté onions and peppers, top with avocado, tomato and your favorite salsa.  Serve with chips.   
  • Crockpot Chicken Cheesesteaks Serve on your favorite bun. 
  • Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken Legs – Serves a bunch and chicken legs are cheap! Leftovers go well in wraps for lunch, or will be used as a topping for baked potatoes.
  • Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches – Heck, you’re on vacation.  Grab a bottle of BBQ sauce and pour it over a pork roast that has been cooking in your crockpot.  If you want, you can make your own BBQ – or better yet, find a locally made BBQ to try. 
  • BBQ - Toss your favorite meat or fish onto the BBQ, boil up some corn and sauté up or roast up some veggies. Or, use potato packets
  • Build your own pasta or rice bar – Top some whole wheat pasta (or brown rice), with grilled meat (leftovers from BBQ night work well), beans, cheese, leftover roasted or cooked veggies, tomatoes, etc.  Great for a clean-out-the-fridge night. 
  • Spaghetti – Quick, filling and a family favorite.  Use leftover tortillas topped with cheese for an easy cheesy flatbread. 


Fun Desserts & Snacks

Desserts and snacks make vacation fun, right? 

  • S’mores – Make a campfire and enjoy!  You can also easily make these in the oven if you don’t have a campfire.  Try the blonde version for fun. 
  • ShortcakeSome pound cake topped with a berry sauce of your choosing and whipped cream. 
  • Ice Cream – Find a good local source, or buy a flavor or two from your local grocery store.  Keep it in the freezer at your rental and enjoy. 
  • Granola Bars – Chewy or crunchy, take your pick. 
  • Chex-Mix Easy snack for game playing!
  • Cookies – Choose your favorite; we love this Great Harvest Bakery Oatmeal Cookie Recipe and Frog Prince’s Excellent Cookies
  • Parfaits – Yogurt or ice cream with fruit and granola
  • Smoothies – If you have a blender!  Use that yogurt & fruit in a fun treat.


Our Vacation Menu

On our last trip, this was our menu:

Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes with Berry Sauce
Breakfast Casserole using leftover fajita fillings
Berry Baked Oatmeal
Clean Out the Fridge Egg Bake using leftover potato bar fixings

Sandwich Bar with fresh fruit & veggies

Smokehouse Maple Chicken Fajitas, Chips & Salsa
BBQ – Burgers, Corn on the Cob, Grilled Veggies (carrots, peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, etc)
Crockpot Baked Potato Bar 
Wild Rice Stuffed Peppers, Grilled Chicken or Fish

S’mores, Ice Cream & Shortcake

What are your favorite vacation meals? 

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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