When you’re on the road, and have dietary restrictions, one might tend to freak out about finding something to eat. I’ve started to meticulously plan all trips to make sure there will be something to eat – be it bring it myself, or research restaurants and such that would support my needs.
Chiptole is always a great option – a veggie bowl is vegan and gluten-free, so I know that’s safe. Sometimes, though, something lighter is desired. Taco del Mar has good vegan tacos, but aren’t everywhere. I did find that Starbuck’s has one thing that is ok to eat – it’s a brown rice veggie bowl. And it’s pretty darn tasty! Essentially it’s brown rice with raw kale, steamed broccoli, roasted squash and beets, peas, and a lemon tahini dressing (with gf tamari!). It’s small, so I usually get this with a side cup of fruit. And Starbuck’s are everywhere, amiright?
I don’t want to pay whatever $10 or what they charge for the tiny bowl all the time, so I went out to make one of my own. In mass quantities to last me a few lunches during the week. Prep all the veggies on a Sunday, and then it’s super easy to throw it all together for a quick and satisfying lunch. And the best part is you can adjust the vegetables you use to be whatever you want or what’s in season.
Some items to prep ahead of time:
- brown rice (or millet, or quinoa, or a mix! I like a mix of brown rice and quinoa – cook them together in the rice cooker)
- steamed broccoli or broccolini
- raw kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces (you can also quick steam this if you don’t like it raw-raw)
- roasted butternut squash (or any squash, really)
- roasted beets (cut the greens off the beets, scrub well & dry, place on a large piece of doubled-foil, drizzle with a touch of olive oil, wrap the foil around it, and bake at 375-400 degrees about an hour – depending on the size of the beets, more or less – until a fork or knife inserted into the beet glides in smoothly. Remove from oven and let cool in the foil pouch. Once cool, peel the skin from the beets and then dice)
- raw cauliflower florets
- fresh shelled sweet peas
- corn kernels
- roasted sweet potato, cubed
- artichoke hearts
- beans: garbanzos, black, cannelloni, etc.
- cabbage – chopped and quickly steamed
- anything else you see at the market that you think would be tasty!
For the lemon tahini dressing – I like to put all the ingredients in the food processor or blender. This makes enough for pretty much a whole week’s worth of salads.
- 1/2 C fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 C water
- 1/2 C tahini (if you want to use less since it is higher in fat, sub water or vegetable broth, or even more lemon juice for part of this – it’ll be a bit runnier, but still tasty)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 t honey
- 3 T tamari
- 1 T fresh chopped parsley
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t sambal (for spice; optional)
- 1/2 t sesame oil (optional)
Puree all the ingredients until smooth.
To assemble, just put everything in a large bowl, add some dressing, and toss to coat! If you’re taking this to-go – put it all in a container, then add the dressing, cover the container again, and shake-shake-shake to distribute the dressing all over everything. Once all the prep is done, this is a 5-minute meal.