When my family and I go on road trips we pretty much have a set road trip snack menu: sliced cantaloupe, granola bars, grape tomatoes and of course, a stash of candy bars (for “energy” my mother says).
While these munchies are delicious and generally nutritious, they are becoming quite banal. If you too are experiencing snack boredom on your road trips, it’s time to mix things up. Although candy and chips are an easy fix, there is a multitude of fun and easy recipes that can liven up your petite meals on the go.
Using recipes from Robert Zollweg’s Just Tasting: Quick and Easy Recipes Mini Appetizers, Soups and Salads (R.R. Donnelley and Co., 2011, $14.99) I have complied a list of tasty and road trip friendly goodies. These snacks can be prepared ahead of time, stored in a Tupperware or a small cooler and served on the road in the car. However, if you have time for a small break, why not stop for a picnic, to enjoy the food and get some fresh air? Here is a list of my favorite recipes from the book.
Salami and cheese roll ups for the sandwich adherents
1 lb salami or deli ham
1 lb Swiss or Cheddar cheese
¼ cup spicy mustard
Take a piece of salami, place a slice of cheese on top and layer with mustard. Roll up and use toothpick to secure.
Hawaiian sweet and sour meatballs: hearty, with an Asian kick
1 lb frozen meatballs, thawed
1 large can of pineapple chunks, drained, save juice
2 green peppers cut into 1” pieces
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup vinegar
Bake meatballs at 350 º F for about 30 minutes until browned. On a toothpick, place pineapple, then green pepper and finally the meatball. The recipe only calls for one of each on a toothpick, but you could certainly make larger skewers.
In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, pineapple juice and vinegar. Mix well. Dip each skewer into the sauce. Place the meatballs in a container for the road. They can be eaten cooled or heated in a microwave or small stove.
Feta cheese toast: an alternative to grilled cheese
1 loaf French of Italian bread, sliced and toasted, or plain crackers
8 oz feta crumbled cheese
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
Handful of olives (optional)
Combine feta cheese, cream cheese, and green onion until well blended. Spread about 1 tablespoon of mixture on bread. Garnish with olives if desired (or red peppers, tomatoes, etc) and parsley flakes. When you’re on the road, it would be best to make the spread, keep it cooled in a container and assemble the toast when you are ready to eat. That way, it will be cool and the bread won’t get soggy.
Deviled egg spread: classic and versatile dish
6 hard boiled eggs
3 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp spicy mustard
½ tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley or thyme to garnish (optional)
Combine eggs, sour cream, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well blended. Place on toasted bread, crackers or use as a spread for sandwiches. As with the feta toast, the spread and bread should be kept separate and can be put together when you are ready to eat.
When packing snacks for road trips, we want something that is quick and easy, so we default to unhealthy options or the same foods over and over. With these fresh and unique options, road trip snacks can be delicious and a welcome change.
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