When you read this title you might have visualized packing a big lunch with a cooler and all. That's what happened when I told a friend I had some 'pak and go' ideas. She said, "No way, I am not going to prepare, cook and pack a lunch. It is just not going to happen." Well, that was not exactly what I had in mind but it would not be a bad idea for those who have the time and inspiration to do so. During my foodie travels I found a few shortcuts that keep me totally from the mercy of the poor choices often available. Here just a few of my shortcuts that can make a profound difference in my meals away from home, whether just for the day, or longer trips and airports:
1. Get a small leak proof container for liquids, preferably a small glass one (1 to 2 ounces). Fill it with some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). This is the #one food item to carry with you. You can usually get a salad anywhere, but often it is accompanied with dressings full of junkie oils and often lots of sugar too. Unless it is a decent restaurant, the olive oil is usually not that good. Having a luscious EVOO on hand can made your meal yummy. I often use it on vegetables, or something like a baked potato when I am stuck somewhere less than excellent.
2. The second most valuable food to have on hand is Celtic Sea Salt or your excellent salt of choice. There is nothing worse than having to use tasteless iodized salt on your food when you are out. The <a title="Grain & Salt Society" href="http://www.chefteton.com/recommended-products" target="_blank">Grain and Salt Society</a> sells these cool little bamboo wooden purse containers about the size of a pocket lighter. Get one!
3. Oatmeal. Yup, that's right, Oatmeal. This is a great travel food. It is light, needs no refrigeration, and all you need is hot water to make it soft and yummy. You can usually get hot water and a cup anywhere. Keep stirring it after you add the hot water and it will thicken. If you need sweetener, there is usually honey around. If you have room for some raisins, and/or a banana then all the better. I recommend this for travel because it feels you up, and is very affordable.
4. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit. These are other great sources of protein, fat and carbs. I always have some in a glass jar in my car.
5. Yams and/or sweet potatoes. I sometimes bake them, let them cool and then refrigerate them whole. Take one with you the next day, wrapped in a baggie or small dish. Eat it whole (skin and all). This is another food that is really yummy when cooled down. The skin is good too and it is easy to eat. It fills you up and keeps you satisfied.
6. Hard or soft boiled eggs. This is another good food for travel as you can add them to a salad for a safe protein source. Remember to have your Celtic Sea Salt on hand.
7. When ever you know you are traveling and have time to plan, even if it is just for your lunch the next day, make a little extra the night before and use the leftover for your lunch. Make sure you have travel dishes and a small travel lunch bag. You can usually take prepared food right from the refrigerator with no need to keep it cool if you are going to eat it within a few hours.