How to maintain a Vegan Diet while traveling

 

How to maintain a Vegan diet while traveling

If you’re traveling on a plane, in a car or even  just down the block it does not always seem like it will be easy to maintain a Vegan diet. I traveled extensivly for work, from one coast to the other, and some times it can be a challenge. But I am here to tell you Eating healthy food while traveling from location to location can be easy peasy with a little planning. Whether you are a road warrior as I was or just taking a family trip, it can be done! Here some of my tips to maintain a Vegan diet while on the road.

1. Eat the Sides

The side dishes are often the most flavorful and best part of the menu, and that’s where you will find the complex carbs and vegetables will power you through your day. Vegetables, sweet potatoes and beans are often available separately, but together they make a powerful, healthy meal. During the time I spent out n the road for work I had to attend numerous team meetings at Steakhouses, some where I wouldn’t normally choose to go. But now I love putting together a great meal from the sides at a steakhouse. Seriously, Some of my healthiest dinners have been at a steakhouse, believe it or not, they normally put the most thought into the sides and have some of the freshest vegetables. It was pretty normal for me to hear “what are you having over there, or can I have some of that? from my Carnivorous co workers.

2. Start with a healthy choice.

It’s easier to find something healthy at an Asian restaurant or a Middle Eastern Restaurant than a dedicated burger stand or a hoagie shop. Set yourself up for success by choosing a diner that has at least a few good options on the menu, so you aren’t required to make your waitress write a short story in order to take your order. Indian Restaurants are my favorite on the road, you can easily find a few with buffets in every city, and the options are endless.

3. Make the Best Choice.

Choose wine and peanuts on the plane instead of a diet Coke and cookies. Grab a veggie burger at Burger King or veggie sub from Subway, if these are your only options work with what you have. My best suggestion is find a Whole foods. You can get tons of ready made meals, fruits vegetables  and snacks that you can eat in the dining area or take with you on the go.

Eating Out

Choose the right foods at these restaurants:

Asian: Miso soup: soy reduces risk of certain cancers and is linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Choose brown rice and vegetables in a spicy brown sauce will not only fill you up, but is a low-inflammatory food.

Italian: Whole grain pasta and marinara sauce with a generous side salad topped with a little olive oil-based Italian dressing. I mean even your meat eating friends would love this meal.

Steakhouse: Top a baked potato with mushrooms and veggies and enjoy a side of asparagus or carrots. Usually the wine lists are amazing at steak houses, so don’t miss your chance to indulge!

Breakfast: Eat oatmeal with non-dairy milk or water, dried fruit (excellent for bone health) and nuts (protect against heart disease and some cancers). Just a little brown sugar on top makes it perfectly delicious. Choose whole grain bread with peanut butter and jam if the oatmeal isn’t available.

Coffee House: Endless varieties of teas and coffee with non-dairy milk are available. Many coffee houses have oatmeal too.

Gas Stations: Choose nuts and fruit.

 

Cheat the System: Bring a favorite shake to enjoy when you’re on the go, so that food choices don’t take up too much of your time. Traveling with a blender or bullet makes fruit smoothies easy to prepare anywhere there’s a grocery store and a electrical outlet.

Kale Chips, Nice and Spicy!

Kale Chips

Every one love Kale chips! They have been a favorite in our house for a while. Normally, my go to recipe is to just add a little Olive Oil and some Himalayan Pink Salt, bake and yum!

Of course I have seen many recipes online. I make sure I save them and swear I will give them a try. But when it comes to making a batch, I always think, if its not broken, don’t fix it and make my old stand by recipe.  That was until now.

A few weeks ago I dragged my hubby to Las Vegas to see Elton John. (He was AH-MAZ-ING!) I seem to be in Vegas all the time work, and since its a quick flight, the hubby goes with a lot. Las Vegas is unbelievably easy to eat Vegan in. We have become pros on the best places at eat and drink in Sin City. This trip we went to the Canyon Ranch Spa in The Palazzo. The spa is the best, and they also have a small restaurant and bar offering some amazing healthy options. We had just stopped by for a quick bite, and chose the Spicy Kale chips to tide us over till dinner. Which is what inspired this recipe.

The Canyon Ranch chips, were dehydrated,  my normal go to chips are baked, but I loved how crunchy they were, with out all the extra oil. They added a chili powder mix of seasonings which gave it a great kick! It came with a ranch dip, which I avoided. Once home I set out to re create these spicy little numbers, and dug out my dehydrator. Here is my home version, I like it spicy, so I added a little extra heat, use less seasoning if you don’t!


 

Nice and Spicy kale Chips

1 bunch Kale ( I prefer curly for chips, all those nooks and crannies really hold on to the seasoning) I have used dinosaur kale before and it turned out well.

2 Tbsp Saint Lucifer seasoning (Thank you Hubby for introducing this to me!)

2 Tbsp  Olive oil ( I love Calivirgin. It is simply my favorite EVOO. It’s local to me, but they have a great Olive oil club you can join even if you live far away)

That’s it!!

I am using a dehydrator for this recipe,- if you don’t have a dehydrator, bake at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes until crispy, and add a little more oil.  Check on it from time to time since oven temps vary.

1)Rip apart and wash kale very well! Leaving out the hard stalks and veins. Its really important that you take the time to wash thoroughly! I use a fruit and veg wash to make sure I get every thing off and always buy organic.

2) Dry kale, if you want it crispy this is a MUST. I use a salad spinner, if you do not have one just pat between paper towels until dry.

3) In a large bowl add kale, and oil and use hands to mix it through, making sure oil is evenly disbursed.

4) if using a dehydrator, lay out kale on trays evenly, not letting ends touch. you do not  have to leave that much room, they will shrink. I am currently using a round dehydrator, and  I use about 5 trays for 1 bunch.

If you are baking lay out your kale evenly with out touching on a cookie sheet. When baking not letting the sides touch is even more important for crispy chips.

5) Sprinkle with Lucifer seasoning, using more or less based on how hot you like it!

6) Sit back and let your dehydrator do its thing! Although you can eat them any time, and I do, as I check them, I like mine to be as crispy as possible, which equals about 4 hours in the dehydrator.

Enjoy!

♥Pamela

 

I am Grateful – Cook Book Review

Cook book review – I Am Grateful Recipes and lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude
After my amazing food filled trip to Santa Cruz I was excited to get home, and get cooking in my own kitchen, with my Cafe Gratitude Cook Book. or should I say Un Cook Book.

So far I have made four recipes from the book. If you are unfamiliar with Cafe Gratitude, let me get you up to speed as quickly as I can.

Cafe Gratitude is a Raw Vegan restaurant, and so delish! I am lucky enough to have the location in Santa Cruz, with in driving distance from me.  Cafe Gratitude has this amazing vibe. The menu selections are all named affirmations, so when you order instead of “I will have the macrobiotic bowl”, you say “I am Whole”, and the waitress always says it back. When I visited the San Francisco locations they would always have a question of the day they would ask as well, but I have not had that experience in Santa Cruz.

There is great documentary called May I be Frank, The star, Frank stumbles into Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco, and meets Ryland, the cafe’s manager. Ryland asks Frank, the question of the day, what is one thing you’d like to do before you die? Frank answers ‘I want to fall in love one more time, but with a body like this, no one will love me, because i don’t love myself.’ What follows is 42 days of Frank, with the help of the staff at Cafe Gratitude, take on his weight, health, relationships and loving himself in just 42 days. Definitely worth a watch!

 

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Back to the Cook Book!

I am having a little love affair with Kale right now, who isn’t? so the first recipe I tried out was I Am Giving, a marinated Kale salad. It was put together in almost no time, and tasted amazing! I left out the hijiki seaweed it called for, due to an allergy of mine, and didn’t add any thing in its place. In the book it has you put it all together and serve right away, but I prefer my kale ( I used curly) a little softer, so i made it about a half hour to 45 minutes ahead of time, to let it get a little less firm. The kale was perfect for me. I loved it, and Hubby loved it! We had quite a bit left over which I ate in a wrap the next day for lunch with a bit of brown rice and that was great too, the kale really holds up well in the fridge.
Next I whipped up  I Am Attentive, a spicy tahini sauce. Again, due to it being raw food, it was a cinch to prepare, I just put all my ingredients in my VitaMix V(Thank you Hubby!) and whirled it around for a few seconds. Done! I used the sauce on a rice bowl I threw together using a brown rice and quinoa mix, kale, avocado, cucumber, scallions, basil, and some cilantro. The sauce was hearty and just the perfect amount of spicy. I had left overs of this as well, which was surprising considering every one went back for more, so I put it in a dressing bottle and the fam has been using it on sandwiches and lots more rice bowls.

In short every thing I have made from this book has been great, some of the recipes can be a little complicated, but from what I have tasted so far I am sure they are worth it, if you have a lazy Sunday afternoon to spare. Next I think I will try some of the yummy desserts, or maybe some of the raw crackers!

I am Grateful Cook Book – 4 out of 5 carrots!