A road trip in autumn requires autumn road food. (I had to write that sentence or my search engine plug-in gives me a crappy score. You have to basically state your title in an artful way somehow in the first paragraph. Usually, that’s easy, but today….aw, hell with it.)
S and I pack up our Toyota this week to see some family on the western side of the state. And we like to be well-equipped gastronomically. Look, I enjoy a jolt of toxic shock courtesy of a MacDonald’s breakfast as much as the next Baby Boomer. But those occasions are rare and private, and I throw the trash away in a public garbage can so that no one knows my shame. Steve is not so big on the toxic shock thing. So we bring along some healthy organic stuff that I make the day before, which is how I spent my Monday. If you have to get on the road for Thanksgiving, it might work for you, too.
Autumn Road Food: Breakfast/Brunch
I do love me a good quiche and/or frittata. A couple of weeks ago, I bought some potatoes to riff off a Cooking Light recipe, Potato Gratin Quiche with Spinach Salad. Browned potato slices stand in for a wheat pie crust, a fine idea. But instead of serving the spinach on the side in a salad, I just chopped up some leftover arugula and tomatoes and mixed them right in with eggs and cottage cheese. Honestly, I didn’t really follow the proportions too closely. The end result’s more of a portable frittata than a quiche. But it’ll give the man and I a brunchy snack, much better than the crappy breakfast burritos we’ve been getting on the road.
Autumn Road Food: Dinner
You know that autumn greens salad I’ve been making such a fuss over lately? That’s going on the road, topped with some salmon, manchego and walnuts.
Autumn Road Food: Snack
Finally, I really dig these matcha biscotti. They’re supposed to be topped with drizzled chocolate, but I was too lazy. These are pretty much verbatim from this Cooking Light recipe. Warning: Mine are PLUG UGLY. That’s because our matcha is a weird olive color, partly because it has some turmeric, which you really don’t taste, but which is supposed to be healthy or something.
The magazine version found a MUCH prettier matcha, one closer to pistachio green than the rather ghastly color that our matcha yielded.
Guess what? They look so much worse before you give them a turn in the oven. Another note: the magazine recos 20 minutes of toasting at 300º. I achieved a more classic biscotti texture at 250º for about 45 minutes. I like my biscotti really, really crunchy, the better for dipping.
Last step was to sear that salmon on both sides, then give it a quick stint in the oven. But of course, if you’re vegan, you could use tempeh or tofu or more nuts.
So that’s it. We got our Autumn Road Food (see what I did there, search engine plug-in?). We enjoyed our quick trip safe and secure in the knowledge that I would not have to wince while Steve asks the server if the salmon is farm-raised and she looks at him like he’s got an alien bursting out of his head, and then gives me a look of, who the hell is this guy, and I sort of shrug and smile sheepishly. As for you, my muppets, just remember: sturdy salad with protein, tasty baked good that’s still somewhat healthy, and quiche goodness, and you will not have to stop someplace and get a heart attack.