How to Eat Healthy on a Road Trip with Meals that are Tasty
By Alex McClintock (Twitter: @axmcc) & Sarah Brown
Living in a camper van doesn’t mean you have to eat chips, hot dogs and canned chili con carne for weeks. It’s quite possible to eat healthy on a road trip with meals that are balanced and tasty. Admittedly, it does take a little bit of extra effort. We ate healthy on our road trip for two weeks and this is what we learned.
Eating Healthy on a Road Trip Starts with Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
When you rent a camper van from Escape Campervans, you have a fridge built in to the back of the camper van. You can store fruit and vegetables in the fridge. Be sure to check the temperature setting and turn it down a little if you don’t want them to start to freeze.
The trick for vegetables is to choose versatile and flavorful options that you can use across several meals on the road trip. Spring onions and fresh herbs go in everything. Bell peppers and kale (sorry, but it’s true) can be used cooked or raw. And, please, show me something that is not improved by that addition of an avocado.
Choose Pre-Flavored and Pre-Cooked Foods to Eat Health on your Road Trip
In the non-camper van world, we probably wouldn’t be caught dead eating flavored easy-cook rice, but on the road, it’s a savior. Rather than carrying a whole bunch of herbs and spices, you get a little freeze-dried sachet of flavor. Sure, it’s likely a little saltier than is ideal, but you need to replenish your minerals after all that hiking, right?
Also handy are canned options. I’m not talking canned cheeseburgers or spaghetti here, but rather typical canned ingredients. Canned beans are great, and with the addition of onion, chili and spices make a delicious and nutritious meal that’s perfect for any road trip. Canned vegetables go well in salads or mixed into rice. Canned tuna is the ultimate protein add-on.
Use Compact Flavor Add-ins to Eat Healthy on Road Trips
Finally, save your sanity by bringing a few items that don’t take up much space but can really jazz up a boring meal. Don’t leave home without garlic (the OG flavor provider), chili flakes, hot sauce, which we went through two and a half bottles in two weeks, and finally, soy sauce.
Example Recipe: Eating Healthy on Road Trip – Camper Van Nachos
1 medium pack of corn chips
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tin of black beans
1 spring onion
1 clove of garlic
1 avocado (or more if you’re obsessed)
Half a fresh jalapeno
2 fresh tomatoes
Salt and pepper
All the hot sauce
- Chop the spring onion, garlic, jalapeno and coriander. You can do this finely or roughly, whatever your patience/hunger levels will accommodate
- Heat a pot on the stove and add the oil, garlic, half the chopped spring onion and jalapeno (you want to save the rest for the guac!)
- Once these are fragrant add in your tin of black beans
- Stir these bad boys up until they are thicc and creamy
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes and make the guac. If you are some kind of pleb that hasn’t made guac before, then all you need to do is cut open your avos and dump the insides into a bowl. Add the rest of the chopped spring onion, jalapeno, coriander, salt, pepper and all the juice from the lime. Mash
- Turn off the beans. DO NOT LET IT STICK — that is a van life nightmare
- Now we arrange – grab a plate and artfully arrange your corn chips for max Instagram likes. Add a big dollop of beans on top, sprinkle over your fresh tomato and the cheese, don’t forget the cheese! We love the cheese. Throw some guac on top of that. Consume this epic beast of a meal and watch the sunset while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes because who doesn’t love the great outdoors