Recipes for meals to keep you feeling good on the road

Recipes for meals to keep you feeling good on the road

This past week, my partner and I took our time driving up to the Bay Area, stopping along the 101 to see all the sites we normally never get to while making the same trip on the 5. As we wound our way up, we stopped — like most normal road trippers — at restaurants along the way and ate great meals. But as we have made this trip several times before, and will continue to for the next year at regular intervals, partaking in expensive restaurant spreads at every meal for days on end isn’t really feasible.

I’ve never been that person to make my own food for a road trip, but my body is yearning for something healthy and homemade after a whole day of eating out. So in anticipation of these several months of road trips, here are a few of the recipes I’m keeping stocked in my fridge so I can pop them in a cooler for the road. And the best part? The food will retain its quality until I’m ready to reach for it. If you’re hitting the road for a long trip this summer, keep these recipes in your back (seat) pocket.

My California Veggie Sandwich is made with whole-grain bread and packed with lots of sprouts and avocado. To balance all that nutrition, some white cheddar and an herby mayo dressing add lots of flavor while allowing you to still feel great about what you’re eating.

Genevieve Ko’s Jammy Egg Salad makes a fantastic sandwich. The salad is soft and luscious, not chalky from overcooked yolks, and lightened up with the right amount of mustard, dill and cayenne for heat. Packed between a couple of slices of white bread or focaccia and stored in a cooler with an ice pack, it’s the ideal road-trip sandwich to grab and enjoy with a gas station soda.

For more hearty fare, meal prep some of Dawn Perry’s Chickpea Salad Bowls With Cucumbers, Feta and Za’atar in resealable containers. The za’atar-marinated chickpeas are just as good cold as they are at room temperature and are great served alongside some jarred roasted peppers, chunks of feta and a quick cucumber-and-red-onion pickle. Pick up some pita chips on the road and you’ve got a great lunch.

And my Kale Pasta Salad With Parmesan and Smoked Almonds continues to be my go-to for keeping for hours, or days. The kale holds up well over time, and the pasta never goes soggy, so the salad’s texture is just as great on day 3 as it is on day 1. Lots of lemon and garlic give vibrancy to the salad topped with smoked almonds and a hearty handful of shaved Parmesan cheese. Pack the toppings separately to keep them fresh, so that each time you take a stab of crunchy green salad with your fork, you can feel good about what you’re eating — and your body can too.

California Veggie Sandwich

This sandwich is a celebration of all the produce that this state is known for: crisp cucumbers, creamy avocados and lively sprouts balanced with cheddar and an herby mayonnaise on whole-grain bread. Use the best of each ingredient you can get your hands on.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 10 minutes.

A vegetarian sandwich includes sprouts, cucumber, avocado and cheddar on whole-grain bread

(Katrina Frederick / For The Times)

Jammy Egg Salad

Tearing the eggs by hand gives a jammy egg salad an unexpectedly luxurious texture — the craggy edges make for a salad with organic smoothness. Bits of celery add crunch, as do pops of mustard seed.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 20 minutes.

Jammy Egg Salad on sandwiches with tomatoes displayed on wooden boards atop patterned fabric.

(Pascal Shirley / For The Times; prop styling by Kate Parisian)

Chickpea Salad Bowls With Cucumbers, Feta and Za’atar

A mix of spiced chickpeas, crunchy and tart cucumber salad and salty, cool feta, these do-it-yourself bowls are a breeze to prep and serve for a weeknight meal. They last well for road trips or picnic lunches too.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 30 minutes.

A Chickpea Salad Bowl next to a platter of sliced ​​red pepper, feta, cucumber and red onion

(Silvia Razgova / For The Times; prop styling by Sean Bradley)

Kale Pasta Salad With Parmesan and Smoked Almonds

Measure out your dressing ingredients and chop your vegetables while you’re waiting for the water to boil so you can make this salad super quick. It’s a great repository for any other leftover meat or vegetables you have chilling in the fridge.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 20 minutes.

Kale pasta salad in a white bowl

(Ben Mims/Los Angeles Times)

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