When my family goes roaring across America in our 15-passanger van to visit relatives, it’s always good to have something to eat.
I remember one trip just after we started eating gluten-free. We had food, but nothing a nine-year old kid wants to eat. Especially a really picky one like me. I went for three days with nothing but an apple, some cheese, and a few muffins. THAT wasn’t exactly the smartest thing ever, but I really wasn’t hungry for chips and hummus (even now, years later, none of my sisters or I can bear to look at a container of hummus).
But anyway, I’ve written this with the hopes that you’ll eat something—and something you enjoy—while traveling.
There are several ways for you to travel gluten-free listed below.
Option number 1: You can go to this site, which is chock-full of reviews about numerous restaurants. Not all of these restaurants are exactly “gluten-free,” but they do have gluten-free menus.
Another thing about going to a restaurant, especially one with just a gluten-free menu: Usually the staff have no clue what “gluten-free” really means. Bring a little card with you that lists the foods you can’t eat as well as the usual problems that you have when eating in a restaurant. For example, we usually have issues with the staff cooking the gluten-free food on the same pan that they just used to cook something containing gluten. So on your card you might tell them to “please cook the food in a clean pan that has not been used to cook anything containing flour.”
Also, people sometimes have a difficult time taking you seriously if you say that you just have “food allergies.” Make it a little stronger. Maybe even say that the smallest crumb of contamination can be “life threatening.” Wake them up a little bit.
So, if you don’t want to bother with restaurants at all…
Option number 2: Make a few things ahead of time! Several gluten-free foods will still taste great after four days in a plastic container! So the day before you leave, bake a couple different things to keep you fed. Keep ‘em chilled in a cooler inside of plastic containers and they won’t rot. Here’s a few ‘suggested’ recipes that we eat when traveling. Note: Cupcakes are good for travel but they aren’t listed here because my little sisters aren’t exactly the neatest people I know and frosted cupcakes would probably make for a disaster.
Muffins: These are tasty and nicely compact in wax paper muffin casings. The banana bread can be made into muffins very easily and turns out great.
Sandwiches: Bring a loaf of Gluten-free Easy Bread Maker Bread. Make sure to put it in an airtight container—the bread keeps longest that way. Buy some deli meat and cheese at a grocery store and you’re set.
Cookies: These are great to eat on the road.
These are just a few of the recipes you could use. Basically, anything that doesn’t crumble, rot quickly, or dry out is gonna be perfect.
Option number 3: Buy gluten-free stuff at the grocery store.
Yes, I know. Chips and salsa and deli meat can get old. But we usually have some gluten-free baked goods from home and some deli meat/chips & salsa, which makes it not quite so unbearable. Also, there are gluten free baked goods available in grocery stores. “Pamela’s” stuff is especially good. The Pecan Sandies are awesome.
If you are going to buy things like deli-meat/chips & salsa that aren’t labelled gluten-free (and are much less expensive because of it!), there are a couple things you need to look for on the labels. When buying deli meat my Mom asks to see a list of the ingredients.
If you don’t know what to look for on labels, here’s a page all about label checking.