Wellness Wednesday: Eating Healthy on the Road

I’m on the road a lot for work. Eating healthy on the road is hard. Extra hard when you love food and you use food as a way to keep you entertained and/or you have a 3-4 hour drive.

Here’s what I’ve been doing lately to make it work:

  • Pack my lunch and snacks when I can. Keeping easy-to-grab stuff is good. Examples are:
  • Yogurt
  • Fruits such as apples, bananas, and clementines that are prepackaged and easy to take with you
  • Light popcorn
  • Bags or containers of easy to munch on veggies.  My favorites are carrots and sweet snap peas.
  • Boiled eggs.  See my post on cooking these in an instant pot.
  • Healthy muffins
  • Nuts.  I actually don’t do this because I don’t feel like the “juice is worth the squeeze” calories-wise but these are super healthy for you in moderation.
  • Pre-made salads or bistro boxes.  I’ve not done this yet but I know a lot of people that do.
  • I’m still scoping out the best places to eat out but my favorite go-to is Panera Bread.  There are so many healthy options there and I always get a fruit cup as my side.
  • When I eat at a place with customers, there are typically not all that many great options- even the salads are horrendously high in calories and fat.  I stick mostly to the vegetables- as long as they aren’t a casserole or in a sauce.  If I can’t find anything, I’ll go with a baked potato (sweet potato if they have it) with sour cream on the side and a side salad with extra tomatoes, no cheese, and dressing on the side.  It’s hard.  I’m not going to lie.
  • When they sit those chips and salsa down in front of me or that delicious smelling loaf of bread, its soooo tempting.  I try to think about my end goal and resist.  I drink a sip of water every time I want a bite of it.
  • If I have a customer that says they don’t want to choose or I know they like sushi or seafood, I’ll often times suggest this because it’s an easy one for me.
  • If I’m spending the night out of town, I try to stay in a place that has a mini fridge and microwave.  I can either pack something in my cooler to bring along or I’ll sometimes make a run to the grocery store for a frozen dinner and some fruit or yogurt for a sweet ending.
  • I pack a couple of drink mixes (either Crystal Light or Kroger’s brand) with me to satisfy my sweet cravings and help my water intake.  Win-win.
  • Sometimes when I’m in a hurry and don’t have time for getting a healthy meal but know I need to have something decent, I’ll run into a convenience store and grab a banana and a Muscle Milk protein shake.  Most stores now have bananas (and if I’m lucky a few other options too).

What are you’re beat healthy eating tips for the road? I could use the recommendations!!!

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

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Spicy Zucchini Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

I’ve been planning to cook zucchini spaghetti for two months and never have actually done it, despite it being on the menu. Tonight I finally did since I had plenty of zucchini in the fridge to be used.  

 I went into this not having a plan but I  knew that I had to use whatever I had at the house because it was too late for a grocery run. I also felt like whatever I cooked needed some good spice, which is why I decided not to go with a traditional Italian spaghetti sauce.   

Since I had a Pei Wei salad for lunch today, I knew tonight called for light meat. I just happened to have a Sam’s Club size bag of turkey meatballs that I figured would be a perfect addition to the zucchini spaghetti.   

Ingredients:

  • Frozen turkey meatballs, about 30
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies (Rotel)
  • 5 zucchini, make into noodles 
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt 
  • 1 tsp red crushed pepper flakes 
  • 1 tsp black pepper 
  • Parmesan cheese, about 1/4 cup

Instructions:

Put Frozen meatballs, crushed tomatoes, and drained Rotel into a big pan. Add spices and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes. While that cooks, make your zucchini noodles. After 20 minutes, add noodles and mix well so they are coated with the sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes on low. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve hot.  

It turned out pretty well. A few things worth noting:

  • It’s pretty spicy. If you don’t like things that hot I suggest using mild Rotel and omitting the red pepper flakes. 
  • The sauce will seem thick but the juices from the zucchini thin it out nicely. 
  • You could substitute another meat easily. Garen suggested Italian sausage but I’m not a fan. 
  • If you use turkey or another light meat, it should be pretty healthy, although I didn’t calculate the nutrition facts to check. 
  • I used my Veggetti noodle maker. There are different brands that do the same thing. I’ve had this a while and it works well enough. 
  • You could use this sauce for almost anything. It’s fast, easy, and flavorful. 

Grilled Sriracha Honey Chicken

  Because I knew Garen Grillmaster was already going to be grilling Cilanro Ranch Chicken for us last night, I went ahead whipped some sauce up for him to cook some Grilled Sriracha Honey Chicken. 

Garen loves Sriracha…He puts it on an estimated 40% of his food, so when I saw the pin of Sweet Sriracha Chicken from Kacey at The Cookie Writer, I knew I had to try it. Only, I did an adapted version of it because I did these things different:

  1. I love fresh cilantro and used that rather than dried basil. 
  2. I had crushed pepper flakes instead of crushed red pepper. 
  3. I didn’t have soy sauce (shocking, but true). 
  4. I use pre-minced garlic (because I buy it at Sam’s, it stores forever in the fridge, and it saves a little time).

Warning:  This recipe packs some heat so if you don’t do well with spiciness, my friends, this recipe is not for you

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken breast, about 4-6 pieces
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha 
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted 
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp,  minced garlic

 Instructions:

Mix all ingredients well together in a bowl. Brush about half of the sauce onto the chicken. Cook on the grill around 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat, until cooked through (Garen Grillmaster handled this part).  Brush on more sauce a couple times during the cooking. 

 It was spicy, yet sweet and very tender. We will have it again. Next time probably with some grilled corn and potatoes. 

Cilantro Ranch Chicken

 This is another one of my thrown-together “using what I’ve got” recipes. I had a Sam’s club size container of sour cream. Usually, I only use sour cream with chicken in casseroles or crockpot dishes, so I was really going out on limb here deciding to grill it. 

I even broke one of my cardinal rules when having friends over: NEVER try new recipes on company. I threw the rule book out the window since I needed to use this stuff and cilantro always sounds good to me.  It’s super easy, using only 5 ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken breast (about 4-6, depending on size)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Half a package ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup sliced jalapeños (more or less, depending on preference)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (more or less, depending on preference)

 

Instructions:
Put the chicken into a ziplock bag. Put all other ingredients into the food processor to mix. You could chop everything finely and mix in a bowl if you don’t have a food processor. Once mixed, pour into ziplock bag and marinade for 1-2 hours.  

Cook on grill around 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat, until cooked through. (This is the part where Garen Grillmaster came in). It was tasty and very tender. 

I served it with a Caesar salad, garlic bread, and oven baked Parmesan crusted zucchini. For dessert, we had an Icebox Oreo Pie. While Garen had the grill going I also had him grill my version of Sriracha Honey Chicken as well. 

  
It was all pretty tasty. I think if I was going to do this again, I would cook this slowly in the oven with bacon and topped with the sour cream mixture. I think it would be just as tender but I think the bacon might add a little somethin-somethin’. Plus, it would look a little better, even if looks aren’t everything.  

What do you think? 

Repurposing Food: BBQ Pineapple Ham Sauté 

Garen’s mom is always great about sending a care package home with us when we visit. This week we got ham. Yum! 

 
I looked on Pinterest to try to find recipes of what to do with leftover ham since all of my go-to leftover ham recipes are kind of cold weather food (soups, casseroles, etc.). The closest thing I found to a summer recipe was ham kabobs but ours was sliced ham so that wasn’t optimal. 

  
So I decided to make up my own sauté version. I call it BBQ Pineapple Ham Sauté. Very original, I know. Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • About 6 slices of 1/4 inch ham (sorry I didn’t weigh it- it was leftover and you use what you’ve got)
  • 1 20 oz can pineapple chunks with juice (I used Kroger brand)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or more if you like it a lot)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

  
Instructions:

Cut up the ham into bite size pieces. Chop up the cilantro. Put the ham and cilantro into the pan. Dump in the pineapple with its juice. Add the BBQ sauce. Stir to cost everything. 

Bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce gets thick and the ham and pineapple gets some color. 

It made enough for about 4 people. 

 

As you can see, we ate it with grilled corn on the cob (also thanks to the care package from Jacquetta) and a Cilantro-Lime Fruit Salad (leftover fruit from Jacquetta’s retirement party).

Review from Garen: “Pretty good. Very strong.” Then he said it was “flavorful.” (I think that was one of those moments when he thought he might hurt my feelings. Such as gentleman). He recommended serving it on rice and said he’d order it so I guess it must be decent.