I was recently asked to take part in the EcoEats challenge as part of NBC’s Green is Universal campaign. I was so happy to be asked to join in, because sustainable eating is something that is so important to me.
As I scanned through their list of mini-challenges, one in particular, hit me. It was “Choose a Healthier Option For a Meal on the Go.” And Boy Howdy, have we been on the go lately! At least someone in the family has karate 3-4 nights a week (we all participate, but every single family member is a different rank!) on top of that we now have various other homeschooling and social engagements to get to. All that driving around can make eating a healthy, home cooked meal a real challenge!
We have another challenge we are currently working on too. I don’t write about it much, but Eric actually has type 1 diabetes and we are trying hard to get his blood sugar under better control so he can take less insulin with his meals. High protein, lower carb, nutrient dense, real food meals are the name of the game for him.
So how do I plan on-the-go meals for Eric that are healthy for him and don’t leave him feeling deprived? Well, the general idea is to pack them so full of his favorites that he doesn’t notice the foods that are absent! Hey, if it works for kids, it can work for husbands, right?
So that is the inspiration for these grab-and-go meals!
So what’s on the menu for our healthy meal on the go?
First up, we have a lovely salad in a jar.
I’ve warned you about my love of Mason jars, right? My daughter takes one of these salads every week to her homeschool co-op! There are many ways to make these salads. For example, if you are using a creamy dressing, you can actually place it on the bottom of the jar and add the salad in layers so that it doesn’t become soggy. We usually take our dressing in a separate container like this, though because my 10 year old, Erica, makes the best vinaigrette dressing for us and it really needs a good shake before being added to the jar.
When it’s time to eat, we just unscrew the jar lid (I like these plastic ones *affiliate link*) dump in the dressing, screw the lid back on and give the jar a good shake to coat everything in the dressing! A wide mouth pint jar works very well for this and my mom bought me these cool silicone dressing containers *affiliate link*. You could use a pint and a half or quart jar, but honestly, unless you dump it into a bowl or have an unusually long fork, it is rather difficult to eat the salad at the bottom of the jar. (Who knew there we so many considerations when it comes to salad?!?)
Next on the menu is the Italian Trio.
That sounds like a cheesy band doesn’t it?
Anyway. It’s pretty simple.
– I roll up a selection of Italian meats usually prosciutto, and two types of salami. I buy a pack about once a month at Sam’s for Eric to enjoy. I’m not a huge fan, but he really likes it and that’s what really matters.
– Next to that, I have some homemade marinated mozzarella balls. I make mozzarella here frequently, so it isn’t a stretch to marinate some for snacking. I used this recipe as a basic guide for my marinade. Of course many stores sell these as well, or you could just substitute another cheese option. When you have a cow in the backyard, however, this is how you roll.
– Finally, we have some nice salty olives to finish things off. I try not to add ones with pits for on the go eating. I topped them with a tiny sprinkle of Italian herb seasoning and a little drizzle of olive oil, because yum.
And finally we have the Protein Pack.
This is inspired by a television commercial I saw recently for pre-packaged meat, cheese and nuts. I just thought to myself,
“Duh! I could make this for myself cheaper and with higher quality ingredients!”
So I did.
– What we have here is homegrown pastured chicken, seasoned, roasted and cut into chunks. (Read: Leftovers)
– Next to that I have some good ‘ol store bought cheddar. Why yes, I would preferred to use some of this amazing homemade farmhouse cheddar from Reformation Acres, but my family eats it faster than I can make it and mama was out when she needed to take the pictures.
– Finally, I added some raw almonds. I love almonds even if they do make my jaw hurt, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
These options work great together or separately, depending on what meal you are missing!
Are you loving these glass containers too?
Can you believe I got them at Wal-Mart? They are Snapware Pyrex dishes that have tight-fitting snap-on lids. Awesome. I am thinking these would be great for individual portions of lasagna and things like that too! Here is a link to the product on Amazon. *affiliate link* They even have a spot to write the contents on the lid. Genius!
So there you have it folks. These are my picks for a healthy meal on the go.
Let’s face it, it takes some work to pack options like these, but life is busy. Like, crazy busy. Sometimes we just have to do what we have to do to stay out of the drive-thru line and take care of our health. For more great meal ideas, check out my book, The Homestead Kitchen!
As an added bonus, you can download a free chapter called “Frugal Kitchen Tips” as a thank-you gift for signing up for Beulah’s mooooosletter! You’ll get all the news from the cow’s point of view, and a link to download the chapter too!
***This post contains affiliate links. That means that a small percentage of the purchase price of items bought through my links goes toward keeping this blog up and running and food in Beulah’s bowl, so thanks!***