Traveling is always challenging for me as it relates to food given my many limitations, Paleo, AIP, low histamine, low oxalate and lectin and lately back to keto low carb. The histamine issue creates the biggest obstacle for travel foods as leftovers or foods prepped ahead by restaurants are a big no no. Add to it that we are in the midst of a global pandemic and I decided to avoid eating out altogether. My plan you ask? I prepped and packed all of my meals, froze them ahead and brought them in a cooler on dry ice. MAJOR warning. Dry ice can be very dangerous, so if you want to try this out you must read about proper handling before you attempt it. My son actually got severe burns from not handling it properly earlier in his college career, so the risk is real! I brought insulated gloves with me and I lined my cooler with insulating material, as I am not sure the cooler would have been happy having dry ice right up against it’s walls. Dry ice can be a bit pricey, so there is that consideration too. Regular ice is an alternative but doesn’t keep things nearly as cold and often gets items soggy which can ruin a meal. My husband paid around $40 for each batch and we ended up needing 2 total for the trip. They were 3 bricks a piece and needed replenishing after about 2 days. I think we could have gotten by with 2 bricks twice, so I will experiment with that in the future and also look for a less expensive source as online the prices listed appear lower. We used our local Publix and a Publix on the road for the refill batch. Everything stayed ROCK SOLID frozen the entire time. In fact I had to allow more time than usual for my meals to defrost in my HotLogic mini due to their deep freeze state! I didn’t take pics of the actual packed cooler, but here is what the prep, meals and reheating looked like. It all worked out GREAT and I would for sure do it again for a future car road trip. Bonus points for the fact that I have been skip breakfast fasting, so there were fewer meals to prep and carry. If you don’t know what a HotLogic mini is then hold on to your hat! It is a lunch box that plugs in to reheat your meal to just the right temperature. It is amazing. Use my link and the code Paleogirl99 to save 20%! You will thank me for introducing this amazing portable “oven” in to your life. You can use a power inverter that fits in to your car charger to heat meals on the go like I did.
Salmon was a bit of a risky protein pick but it ended up being delicious. I cooked and then packed this meal. The one item I would not do over was the store bought frozen broccoli. It got hot but never soft. If I use broccoli in the future I would steam it myself, freeze it and then add it to the meals. It also tended to make the meals a bit more watery than the other veggies did. This salmon was from Sizzlefish where I buy all of my seafood as they freeze it on the boat which reduces histamine buildup. If you use my link you will get 10% off of your first order. I have their subscription and absolutely love it! Ask for their eco friendly packing option to avoid styrofoam!
The cauliflower and broccoli rice combo was yummy. Ginger scallion sauce drizzled on top of most of the meals added great flavor. I added extra olive oil to all of the meals to get in enough calories and fat to stay full. Next time I would add even more fat. Most of the meals were packed in Pyrex 3 cup ultimate containers which I love because the lid is made of food grade silicone and pyrex glass!!!
Ground turkey, cauli rice, and ginger scallion sauce are a usual favorite combo of mine. This was the first time I attempted to freeze avocado and it was ANOTHER pleasant surprise. It would not work well for a cold meal, but in the context of a hot meal mashed together before eating it made it all taste creamier and richer. Delish. It did brown a bit when reheated but it did not affect the taste at all.
Frozen asparagus held up nicely. I prefer the shoots and tips to the stalks as they are easier to eat on the go. These stalks were tricky to cut with a fork and although I packed a knife, I never seemed to be able to find it at meal time.
Pulled Instant Pot chicken, cauli rice, asparagus shoots and tips and frozen ginger scallion sauce cubes were a yummy combo. You could sub green beans if you tolerate them. I used to use frozen broccoli raab a lot in these meals, but I have not been able to get it lately from Whole Foods.
My rainy day stew paired with cauli rice was totally delish. These Pyrex containers were deeper so they took a bit longer to reheat.
2 more meals made it in to the cooler that were both turkey meatloaf, cauli rice, broccoli and ginger scallion sauce. Next time I would mix up the sauces a little more, but this was just quick and easy and I tolerate repetition more than the average bear.
Here is what it looked like on the go. I would grab a meal a few hours before I wanted to eat. As I said these meals took longer to reheat than usual because they were so deeply frozen by the dry ice. I would plug in my HotLogic mini with the car adapter I bought on amazon. The beauty is that even if you turn the car off the HotLogic will continue to heat. I used my Ove Gloves to handle the containers for safety sake. I tucked the HotLogic under the passenger seat of the car where it did it’s magic reheating my meal. Boom. Then I would enjoy it with a nice sprinkle of Redmond real salt and some extra olive oil if I needed the extra calories. I took 9 meals with me and it covered dinner Thursday until our return Monday afternoon since I was skipping breakfast. I did pack some Fast Bars for “just in case” moments and I ended up eating one to break a fast when my lunch meal wasn’t hot enough yet but I was getting a bit hungry. Since we got home Monday afternoon I ended up having 1 extra meal and I put that back in to my #freezerstash for future use. Love having these prepped meals around.
Below is how I planned it all out using one of my Swipies sheets, which are reusable wet erase sheets that I adore! What’s not to love about reusable “paper”?! Use my code Paleogirl99 to get 10% off of orders of $25 or over. Trust me, you will love these! I was gifted the starter pack and have since needed to buy many more because my family SWIPED all of my swipies! They love them too!
I appreciate when you use affiliate links, which help support this blog. Most things I share about here I purchase myself, but I do occasionally receive sample items from vendors to be able to test out new things. I also have affiliate accounts with a few brands that I truly believe in. Rest assured I will not share about anything I don’t use myself and totally love!