Road Trip to Baja, Vegan Meals
The vegan diet challenge continues in Baja. We drove for three days to our home in Mexico. I brought instant oatmeal with flax seed, sprouted whole grain bread, peanut butter, fruit spread, hummus, cut up apples, carrot sticks and bags of cooked quinoa, edamame, rice, roasted chic peas and a prepared Korean dipping sauce.
Finding vegan food on the road is difficult to impossible.
I have a mini travel Keurig so I packed ground coffee, reusable cups and a carton of almond milk for my morning caffeine fix. PB&J sandwiches were welcome and easy to make and pack. Hummus on bread or with carrots were good snacks. Nuts and dried fruit are an easy snack to eat on the road.
We ate tofu and vegetables at a Thai restaurant in Southern California which was fine as long as you ignore the fish and oyster sauces. The legumes and grains were tolerable for a cold dinner but we caved in on the last night and ate cheese enchiladas at the hotel restaurant. It was the best of the bad choices. The bottom line for a long road trip is to bring easy foods you like and be prepared to eat the same meal more than once. When you’re tired from travel you really might want a hot meal so be flexible.
Ugh, we are so spoiled in Nevada where we have access to a huge variety of fresh organic produce 24/7. The first day in Baja we went grocery shopping. I found 4 varieties of dried beans; pinto, black beans, broad beans, chic peas and navy beans. Canned beans are scarce so I’ll be soaking and cooking beans most days. White rice is abundant but brown rice was more difficult to find. We have quinoa but I haven’t found other seeds or grains yet. Brown lentils are ubiquitous but I didn’t find red lentils or my favorite puy lentils. I will have to batch cook lentils and brown rice which can be made into taco meat, meatballs, meatloaf or stuffed into peppers and baked. I also add lentils to pasta sauces. Chic peas can be made into falafel and hummus or added to salads.
I brought shelf stable tofu with me from the States and I’m glad I did because I didn’t find any to buy.
The available produce here is very basic. I found carrots, potatoes, romaine lettuce, cabbage, onions, avocados, apples, bananas, pineapple, blueberries, limes, cucumbers, cabbage, spinach and wilted broccoli. My organic CSA doesn’t start for another month and I couldn’t find any organic produce. I know that we won’t starve but I’ll need to use the freshest ingredients that I can find and be conscious of our nutritional needs.
Mushroom Walnut Chorizo tacos with pico de Gallo, guacamole and shredded cabbage.
Lentil Loaf and mashed potatoes.
Chili I did not find a spaghetti squash but chili and squash is a great combination. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Roast it in a 375 F oven for 40 minutes. Fill with chili and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Top with tortilla chips crushed, vegan cheese or nothing. Serve in the squash bowls.
Stay tuned for more trials and tribulations in Baja vegan eating.