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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cooking for a 19 hour road trip

We are leaving for Nova Scotia early in the morning and the drive is long. We love the drive, it doesn't bother us. In fact, it's a part of the vacation and there is a great joy over driving past endless trees in northern Maine and New Brunswick. Joe and I don't eat fast food. We used to, but that was years ago and eating it now is impossible when we think about where the meat comes from and all of the food is genetically modified. When we plan for a long road trip, we cook everything we are going to need the day before. This saves money, ensures that we are eating healthy while we sit on our butts without movement for more than a day, and saves time. I try to make things that will still taste good if they are cold. Here is the menu for tomorrow's trip:

Roasted chicken drumsticks with baked garnet yams, gluten-free pasta with soft boiled duck eggs, sun gold tomatoes and pesto, balsamic roasted carrots and beets, eggplant and olive tapenade, celery sticks and fruit. 

It looks like a lot but only took about 1 hour total to make including prep time.  We will also be eating fruit as a snack during the ride.  I will pack some unsweetened applesauce too. The yams were still cooking when I took this shot. We usually find a nice little picnic spot to pull over at in Maine or NB and eat there. We bring our picnic bag with us which contains dishes, silverware and glasses. We are good to go and this is going to be yummy! 
The pesto and tapenade I usually cover with plastic wrap so that there is no oxidation, particularly with the pesto.  It is still fine if it turns brown, but is just visually unappealing to me. You can either cover with an inch of olive oil or do it this way.  The plastic wrap must touch the top of the pesto. I don't add the pesto to the pasta until we are about to eat it, because then I will have not way of preventing oxidation. So you will not see it on the pasta in the photos.
This all stacks up well in our large tote cooler back that I bought from Marshall's.  We throw a few ice packs in there and it stays nice and cold. Here is everything in it's final packing stage. Not bad!

GlGluten-free spiral pasta salad with sun gold tomatoes, duck eggs and pesto


1 package of fresh ( if you can find it) rice pasta.
1 bunch of some kind of cherry or grape tomato. 
2 duck, goose or chicken eggs soft boiled
1 cup of pesto ( see pesto recipe)

Boil 2 duck eggs and set aside to cool, then peel and halve. 

Boil salted water and add pasta.  Cook as per instructions. Strain and rinse with cold water, set aside. 

Mix pasta with tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with pesto, mix well. Serve cold or skip the cold water rinse and serve hot. 


2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1 oz. chopped raw milk cheese ( you can omit if you don't consume dairy)
1/4 cup of pine nuts
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 clove raw garlic
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Blend all of the above in a food processor until mostly smooth and use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots and Beets

5 Carrots
5 Beets
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Cut veggies to size you like. Preheat over to 375 degrees and place peeled vegetables on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle oil and vinegar over veggies. Add salt and pepper. Cook for 45 minutes. 

Eggplant and Olive Tapenade

2 of the long and small eggplant varieties
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp capers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 pitted green olives
Salt and pepper
Juice of half a lemon

In a 360 degree preheated oven, roast the eggplants and garlic cloves on a foil lined baking dish for 35 minutes. Drizzle with oil and some salt first. 

Once eggplant and garlic is done, mix with all other ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

It's that easy! This is great with bread, crackers, veggies, you name it! I especially love it with falafel.


  1. This is also a nice make ahead bunch of food for lunches. I'm jealous of your central AC right now. There is no roasting going on in my oven today. It's hot in that kitchen. Have fun on your road trip! Kiss Nova Scotia for me. Tell her I will see her next year.


    1. Yes! You can make lunches for the whole week on Sunday and save yourself the worry of preparing every night. Instead you can have a glass of wine :-)
      The only other option for us would have been highway rest stops or weird roadside restaurants that could all potentially be on the next episode of " Restaurant Impossible".