Healthy Food Options for Cooking on the Road
Semi-Healthy Options for Cooking on the Road
Have you gotten into the habit of eating on the go and relying on truck stops, gas stations, and fast food? We’ve all been there. Not only does this type of eating tank your budget, it can do a number on your health, too. With a little bit of planning and the right tools, you can get cooking on the road, enjoy more energy, and leave more money in your pocket.
By far, one of the most convenient appliances to have on the road is a portable stove. Also called a lunchbox stove, this little appliance heats up to 300 degrees. You can bring leftovers with you, heat up canned foods, or fully cook frozen food. Set it up before you start driving so your meal is ready when it’s time for a break.
One of our favorites is the Waring Pro. It features independent adjustable thermostats with "on" and "ready" indicator lights, heavy-duty cast iron plates and non-slip rubber feet.
If a portable stove isn’t an option for you, a microwave may be a good second choice. Trucks with power inverters can typically handle microwaves up to 800 watts. Look into smaller options to save space in your truck.
Stay-at-home moms everywhere have raved about slow cookers for years, and now truckers can benefit from their convenience! Certain crock pot models specifically suit truckers’ needs. Look for a model that runs from the cigarette lighter. A regularly-powered slow cooker is an option if you have outlets in your truck. You should also buy one with a cord for the lid. This holds the lid down and hooks it under the handles, keeping food in the slow cooker no matter how you drive. Start a meal in the morning, set it on low, and enjoy it at dinnertime.
Electric skillets with lids are a great tool to have on the road. Though there are large skillet options available, consider a small one if you’re just cooking for yourself. These devices cook fairly evenly, so you can cook meat, quesadillas, or basically anything you’d cook on a stovetop.
A hot pot is especially helpful for winter trips or trips to chilly locations. It plugs into the cigarette lighter and heats up beverages and liquid-based foods. Although ramen and soup mixes may not be the healthiest options out there, they’re quick, easy, and still better than fast food. If you’re a big coffee drinker, your hot pot can keep you awake with fresh coffee for your entire trip.
Combination refrigerators/freezers are a must-have in your truck. They take up very little space and save you from having to stop for cold drinks, fruit, and bottled water. In the freezer section, you can store frozen burritos, frozen veggies, and smoothie packs.
If you have outlet space in your truck, a blender is a must-have. There’s no better way to start the day than with a smoothie. With a freezer, you can even prepackage smoothie ingredients< before you leave for your trip and just grab a bag out each morning. To save space, get a single-serve blender with a travel mug. These options blend, twist off the base, and then serve as a travel cup—no extra dishes or cleaning required.
Whichever appliances you decide to keep in your truck, the biggest factor in your success is how much you plan ahead. If you create a rough plan for meals and snacks a few days before your trip, you can make sure you have what you need from the grocery store and pack everything securely. This minimizes the amount of money you need to spend at truck stops, where convenience items are often much more expensive. You can also package things in the most efficient way possible to make the most out of your space. The more you cook on the road, the more tips and tricks you’ll figure out for future trips.