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

MrsJTW Dec 9, 2013 05:13 PM

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. rmarisco RE: MrsJTW Dec 9, 2013 05:47 PM

    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
      MrsJTW RE: rmarisco Dec 9, 2013 06:12 PM

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

      1. re: MrsJTW
        s
        sr44 RE: MrsJTW Dec 12, 2013 04:22 PM

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

        1. re: sr44
          MrsJTW RE: sr44 Dec 19, 2013 02:35 PM

          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. Ttrockwood RE: MrsJTW Dec 9, 2013 07:00 PM

      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
        MrsJTW RE: Ttrockwood Dec 9, 2013 07:54 PM

        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
          Ttrockwood RE: MrsJTW Dec 10, 2013 06:51 PM

          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
            MrsJTW RE: Ttrockwood Dec 11, 2013 03:31 AM

            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
              m
              magiesmom RE: MrsJTW Dec 11, 2013 05:29 PM

              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
                MrsJTW RE: magiesmom Dec 11, 2013 06:41 PM

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

              2. re: MrsJTW
                Ttrockwood RE: MrsJTW Dec 11, 2013 09:54 PM

                Similar is this lentil walnut pate- you can swap the pricey cashews for raw sunflower seeds:
                http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2013/0...

                Or these lentil olive veg burgers are really hearty- i cooked and froze some with great results too
                http://www.theppk.com/2010/12/olive-l...

                1. re: Ttrockwood
                  MrsJTW RE: Ttrockwood Dec 11, 2013 10:34 PM

                  Thank you for those! They both sound tasty!

        2. f
          Funkalicious RE: MrsJTW Dec 11, 2013 04:29 AM

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

          here's the recipe.
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/reci...

          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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw_ho...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Funkalicious
            MrsJTW RE: Funkalicious Dec 11, 2013 06:44 PM

            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. s
            sr44 RE: MrsJTW Dec 11, 2013 06:23 PM

            Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks is a vegetarian who travels with food. Here is a collection of some of her ideas. http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
            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
              MrsJTW RE: sr44 Dec 11, 2013 06:44 PM

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

            2. b
              blinknoodle RE: MrsJTW Dec 11, 2013 07:29 PM

              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.

              __
              http://tastespace.wordpress.com

              3 Replies
              1. re: blinknoodle
                MrsJTW RE: blinknoodle Dec 11, 2013 10:37 PM

                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
                  Ttrockwood RE: MrsJTW Dec 12, 2013 06:50 PM

                  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
                    MrsJTW RE: Ttrockwood Dec 19, 2013 02:36 PM

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

              2. c
                Chatsworth RE: MrsJTW Dec 12, 2013 03:43 PM

                Could you offer to take the ingredients for a vegan soup that everyone would like and that would be substantial enough for you with bread and salad to keep you going over the weekend? Curried squash and apple, lentil, minestrone, etc, etc. If your in-laws are at all sensitive to your dietary needs they might really appreciate the offer, and may well feel stress about what they're cooking, not knowing if you can eat it. Perhaps your family would appreciate the opportunity to help you cook and start to understand the craziness!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chatsworth
                  MrsJTW RE: Chatsworth Dec 19, 2013 02:39 PM

                  I had thought of that, too. It does not appear that we will be going now, but I can always use help for future visits. I don't know how sensitive they are though. I'm always being offered fish or cheese...

                2. f
                  femmevox RE: MrsJTW Dec 12, 2013 04:35 PM

                  I suggest stuffed grape leaves. You can buy them packaged (maybe not where you are) or make them. Or make a big load of vegan stuffed cabbage.

                  Also when I cooked for a vegetarian stage crew, they loved a big casserole of vegan mac and "cheese" (made with nutritional yeast)

                  You can also make a wonderful Moroccan vegetable stew (recipe is somewhere at Chowhound, just saw it recently) with tomatoes, chickpeas etc.

                  Finally, how about stuffed squash (acorn squash with bread crumb, nut, dried fruit stuffing--could also involve fake sausage)? These can be pre-baked or baked at the site.
                  Non vegans will also enjoy them.

                  Stuffed artichokes (bread crumbs, etc), stuffed mushrooms, stuffed tomatoes and peppers--all pretty and you can enjoy them, but non vegans will, too.

                  A vegan dip (bean, hummus, tahini based, whatever) with crudities (raw veggies) and some partially steamed veggies will work, too.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: femmevox
                    MrsJTW RE: femmevox Dec 19, 2013 02:46 PM

                    I love the idea of grape leaves, but, yes, a little hard to find ingredients around here. Same goes for stuffed cabbage.

                    I have a couple of great stuffed cabbage recipes. I used to use a vegan ground "sausage" that has always been difficult to find & now that I know it is made with GMO soy, I have no idea what to use. I can't even find the GMO one here.

                    I love vegan mac & cheese, but, again, it's hard to find nutritional yeast unless I buy it online & I honestly can't afford it right now.

                    All good ideas! I really appreciate it. If nothing else I need to rethink some recipes just to have something more interesting in my weekly repertoire. And we aren't going to be traveling now, but it will ease my mind to have some ideas for the future.

                    1. re: MrsJTW
                      m
                      magiesmom RE: MrsJTW Dec 19, 2013 06:06 PM

                      You can make stuffed cabbage with rice and walnuts; cheap and delicious.

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