Eating on the road commando style

Let us say you are facing a long road trip and must put in a lot of miles on a tight schedule. Perhaps things are just too hectic, and you are not the best planner of meals on a good day. In this case you are likely to depend on low quality fast food to sustain you. As a result, your health is likely to suffer as are your finances. Perhaps you are a long-haul truck driver and this scenario is your daily existence. If this is indeed the case, you may want to consider going commando.

Here are a few tenets of commando meal preparation to keep in mind: 1) No detailed plans of what to eat, when and where are needed. Instead you cook all the foods you normally eat ahead of time. 2) Think of it as like eating left-overs, which almost are as good as the freshly prepared food when reheated. 3) Saving money is not as important as eating good quality food. Fast food is expensive, and you can still eat good food and save money with the commando style.

The key to commando eating on the road is cooking all the usual home cooked meals ahead of time and wrapping it in aluminum foil and zip locked freezer bags for iced storage. I have kept food in this way for 10 days to 2 weeks at a time. I do not presume everyone would want to do this unless they have an  effective way of ensuring that the food stays frozen. Here I will give you an example of what a week of eating on the road could look like.

I first cook up whole packages of hot dogs, hamburgers, and sausage. Sometimes I will fry up a lot of bacon, cook some pork chops and bake some chicken (I season it to make it convenient for fajitas), all to be eaten later. In addition, I always cook some steak, being the carnivore that I am. Often, though with steak, chicken and especially fish, I cook it just before eating it, as it only takes about 20 minutes or just twice the time of reheating. I like eggs, so I hard boil a good supply which I often use for a midday snack. I also prepare some scrambled eggs which I keep on ice until breakfast time. Pasta keeps especially well this way and is a convenient food to eat out on the road. I could cook rice in a similar way, but I prefer the prepackaged cooked rice (Uncle Bens for example) that I can keep at room temperature.

I can have most any vegetable I want. I especially like asparagus that I cook in butter and garlic. This, along with any other vegetable, I wrap in foil for reheating. I take canned vegetables along and when I am ready to heat them, I empty the fluid, then wrap them likewise in foil (corn, green-beans, spinach etc.). In this way, I do not have to use cooler or refrigerator space. I also take the largest russet potatoes I can find, cook them, and cut them in half before wrapping them in foil (1/2 potato is plenty of a meal for me). Here is a picture of a meal consisting of strip steak, asparagus, corn, and pinto beans, which I will heat in the oven for 10 to 15 min.

Dinner of steak, asparagus, corn, and pinto beans.

I have several favorite meals: such as sausage, scrambled eggs, and grits for breakfast. I will reheat the sausage and eggs that are already cooked and put away. The grits are of the instant type that require hot water from a hot pot, also available in a 12-volt variety. This is also convenient for oatmeal lovers. One of my favorite dinner treats is to have a tuna filet with a variety of vegetables. With fish, I keep it uncooked in the original package before putting in the oven. It will take about 10 to 12 minutes of cooking on each side. I therefore add the vegetables wrapped in foil once I flip the fish over, as it will be well heated in this time.

With these two cooking tools, only your imagination will limit what you can eat and drink while traveling the nation’s highways:

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