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Dec 9, 2013 05:13 PM

Any ideas for packing own vegan food to take for holidays or travel in general?

I will probably have to make an appearance at the in-laws' for Christmas. There is never enough food for me to eat, let alone for the hubby who is not vegan. This is a problem even when it is not a holiday. I feel kind of rude taking food just for myself, but if I have enough money to make something where there's enough for everybody if they so desire, that would be fine. I hate just packing sandwiches or pasta salad. It's even worse taking nothing with me or trying to shop at a store near our destination where I usually end up with a frozen Amy's dinner or something similar that is definitely not enough. Any ideas for vegan food I can make & pack for going to see family for Christmas or just travel in general? The more simple & inexpensive the better. Thank you!!

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  1. i always travel with nuts. (the kind you eat)

    TJs is your friend: hummus in different varieties, salsas, and fresh veg to cut up can make a quick, large plate and no one need notice it's vegan!

    3 Replies
    1. re: rmarisco

      LOL about the nuts. All good ideas! Thank you! I so wish we had a Trader Joe's near by. =(

      1. re: MrsJTW

        Do you have an Aldi's? They have great nuts.

        1. re: sr44

          There is an Aldi in a nearby town. That is a good idea. I have only been to an Aldi once in my life that was pretty ghetto, but I have heard they have changed.

    2. For that particular meal i would eat a large snack beforehand, smile and keep the peace, and then enjoy a generous dessert.....

      For travel in general i have too much experience there......(!) some tried and true basics:
      - individual baggies of quick oatmeal with chia seeds or protein powder and dried fruit, just add hot water
      - homemade granola
      - nut butter packets for carry on and/or jar for checked luggage
      - roasted chickpeas, corn nuts, or those fried fava beans
      - clif bars (whole foods gives a 10%discount per box, came out to about $1/bar), great with a smear of nut butter too
      - the cups of instant soups with noodles, cant remember the brand....
      - homemade larabar balls
      - dried fruits
      - dk chocolate bars or dk choco nuts
      - primal strips vegan jerkey (amazon has it for a good price)
      - crackers/pretzels/cereal

      Its hard to tell if you're traveling far to the in-laws, if not a gracious solve could be to volunteer to contribute a dish to share and bring a lasagna, veggie/potato pot pie (with phyllo top) or shepards pie, a bean/quinoa/veggie salad, or brownies/cookies/dessert.
      But use your judgement on the politics of the situation.... They could be offended vs appreciative.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Ttrockwood

        Thank you for all of the suggestions! We will have to drive about two hours away. Their house is pretty secluded though & we are usually there from morning until late at night if we don't end up staying the night so in any case it'll be more than one meal time.

        1. re: MrsJTW

          If they seem resistant to the idea of you bringing a dish then you can always pretend you "just made too much" of your favorite quick bread/cookies/spiced nuts/ snack mix/granola etc that you bring with so there is something nibble worthy in the house. Otherwise you may have to get by with clif bars and nuts stashed in your handbag..... Which sucks, but probably not as much as family drama can.

          1. re: Ttrockwood

            They aren't resistant or anything. If they acted like that I honestly wouldn't go at all. I don't want to commit any etiquette faux pas, but I mostly need ideas on what travels well. Money has been tight & I live in a rural area so many more exotic ingredients are out. I'd like to take something relatively nice to share in case there is a sit-down dinner, but need sustenance for the rest of the trip, too. I usually end up doing Clif Bars, peanut butter sandwiches and have packed a pasta salad I made before. It just doesn't seem substantial enough & I always feel hungry & weak. I was just sort of looking to see if anyone else had any different things they might pack when in the same situation. I think if I have a plan it will ease some of the anxiety I already feel during holidays. Thank you for your input! =)

            1. re: MrsJTW

              How about a mushroom almond pâté , hummus, baba ganouj and some bean dip, or similar. All are cheap to make. And a loaf of great multi grain bread.

              1. re: magiesmom

                Thank you! The mushroom pate is a great idea! Something I have never had before, but sounds good. I LOVE mushrooms!

              2. re: MrsJTW

                Similar is this lentil walnut pate- you can swap the pricey cashews for raw sunflower seeds:

                Or these lentil olive veg burgers are really hearty- i cooked and froze some with great results too

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  Thank you for those! They both sound tasty!

        2. Sweet potato pate would be great holiday appetizer that everybody would like and the ingredients is not too expensive.

          here's the recipe.

          Tate's zesty Italian meatballs, cook them in favorite marinara sauce, add little extra garlic powder until they're warm. Put toothpicks in them to serve. I sprinkle Redstar nutritional yeast on mine, so yummy

          For the road trip, you want something different, how about fakn bacon tempeh sandwiches. It's cheaper to make the tempeh yourself than buy pre-made fakn bacon. Here's the how too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Funkalicious

            Thank you for those ideas! The meatballs sound especially good to me! I don't think I'll try the tempeh for this particular trip, but I would love to try my hand at making it. Thanks for the video! I tried making seitan once so far & it was a complete disaster & inedible. Would be great to master both!

          2. Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks is a vegetarian who travels with food. Here is a collection of some of her ideas.
            Some involve dairy, so need further thought. She travels pretty frequently, so if you hunt around her website, you'll find more.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sr44

              Thank you for that! I'll check it out! =)

            2. My go-to meals involve lots of beans... they are filling and cheap. They travel well. Use them in a dip like hummus, or a bean salad (I have a lentil, apple and currant salad everyone loves) or try something like a soup or stew, if they will break out the bowls for you. Raw kale salads also travel really well but aren't filling unless you add a protein source.


              3 Replies
              1. re: blinknoodle

                Thank you! I have been making a lot of bean soups lately & making my own bread. It certainly might be an option to pack. The salads are good ideas, too. Maybe add chick peas to the raw kale salad? I do have a hard time finding kale where we live, but I will keep that in mind.

                1. re: MrsJTW

                  Chard or even green cabbage can sub for kale in salads, both also hold up really well and IMO are even better the next day

                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    That is an excellent idea. I have only had chard once, but it was pretty good. I will have to look for some.