This last weekend was Farm Princess’ 4th Birthday, and we went on a little road trip to celebrate her. Since we can’t count on dining out to be totally safe (and it’s expensive for a big family), I packed a cooler full of food. This is what I packed:
Pepperoni sticks from New Seasons. 2 lbs = 2 lunches worth for us, if we serve them with fruits & veggies. We wrap them up in havarti, and again, 2 lbs = 2 meals. Getting havarti sliced from the deli is cheaper per pound than getting it pre-packaged, so I always get it this way (it’s also fresher tasting & softer! Yum!!).
Grapes & snap peas, washed and ready to go.
Plums & strawberries. Just make sure these don’t go at the bottom of the cooler.
Celery, carrots (peeled & sliced) and grape tomatoes.
Organic applesauce with a box of spoons. A nut & cranberry bar for my husband (no refined sugars, only honey. Not ideal because the nuts are not soaked, but ok in a pinch). Strawberry fruit leather for everyone (also not ideal because they are not organic and ton of pesticides are used on conventional strawberries).
Sliced turkey breast (clean, from Applegate Farms) and colby jack cheese sticks. The cheese sticks are not ideal–raw cheese is best. These are better than mozzarella cheese sticks though, because mozzarella is not aged & has more lactose (and is not GAPS legal).
Cheese! Our family loves cheese! I found a cheese at Trader Joes that had rosemary all over the edges. YUM. It was sooo good! This was not quiet enough cheese for us. Next time I will pack more!
Chicken! I sprinkle homemade seasoning salt over it & top with 1/4 cup of butter and bake at 350 for about an hour. I cooked 46 chicken legs. I’m not crazy about cooking only chicken legs, or thighs, or whatever–I think our country has gotten out of the habit of eating whole chickens and we demand what we want, when we want it. We are chicken farmers, and I see tremendous value in cooking an entire bird…But alas, a whole, baked bird does not travel well in a cooler. The Farmer bought free range chicken legs from New Seasons, and I prepared this very inexpensive meal (it was less than $30 for 46 chicken legs). These actually lasted us through THREE MEALS.
If I would have had time, I would have baked these. I simply slice up cheddar cheese & bake it (on parchment paper) at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes, or until nice and crispy. I cool it on paper towels & then bring it along in a glass container with a lid. These are yummy!!
Salad dressing. Extra virgin olive oil, clean balsamic vinegar (the expensive kind–no caramel coloring, etc.–the good stuff), salt and pepper. You never know when you’ll need this. Salad dressings are one of the worst foods, I have found, at most restaurants. If they don’t make their own (or sometimes, even if they do), the base is soy oil, there is added sugar, tons of man-made corn based ingredients, etc. Yuck! Make your own!
These boxes are handy!! I purchased them from Cash & Carry (a restaurant supply store).
Lots of water!! We love our glass water bottles, but we’re not crazy about our kids’ Sigg bottles. Sorry Sigg–we didn’t like being lied to about the BPA liners for a whole year.
These are our cheats. We let our kids, every once in a while, have 100% juice (which is from concentrates…and probably contains Citric Acid (corn), etc.). Not ideal. It’s once in a while. And once in a while, The Farmer and I will drink an Izze or a Spritzer . Both are made purely from fruit juice and sparkling water or carbonated water. Ideally, we would only be drinking juices that cleanse (like carrot juice, cabbage juice, etc.) or juices with pulp (to slow the blood sugar response). Like I said, these are our cheats. No added sugar.Â
And of course, I made chocolate cupcakes for the Birthday!
Breakfast: Zucchini Egg Bake, Banana
Snack: Cheese slices, a coffee for The Farmer (black, no sweetener)
Lunch: Chicken, snap peas, grapes
Snack: Cupcakes and fresh, unpasteurized local apple cider with family
Dinner: Farm Princess & I went out with “the girls.” I had salmon over spinach. I let Farm Princess order a gluten free pizza, which was too big for her and her brothers finished it off for breakfast at the hotel room.
The guys had a piece of chicken & a banana, and rushed off to a movie.
Dessert: Farm Princess had fruit kebabs that came with a bowl of strawberry yogurt. She looked at the yogurt and said “that got sugar in it” and pushed it aside. She is smart! The Farmer and I each ate a cupcake before bed. Farm Princess saw the wrapper the next morning and said “HEY! You ate my muppins!” (muffins)Â
Breakfast: The hotel had a continental breakfast with sausage patties, fake looking eggs, fruit, and a ton of bread products. The Farmer and the kids wanted to try the sausage & eggs. I had a stick of pepperoni & a slice of havarti. There were enough chocolate cupcakes left for our family to each eat one for breakfast. I figured, back in the day, we’d eat Costco chocolate or poppy seed muffins for breakfast, so why not? These are WAY healthier! We also ate strawberries & drank fresh apple cider.
The Farmer had “foggy brain” after breakfast and didn’t feel normal for 2 days after that. The kids had digestive issues. Sunday we had far more mood issues with Farm Boy 3 than we had any of the other days that week & he ended up vomiting. Some people argue, “well, that’s just because you’re not used to that food.” Alright, I guess you could say that–and people who are new to binge drinking will puke and feel terrible–but once they numb their body to it, they can become a “functioning alcoholic,” but it’s still destroying their system.
Lunch: Chicken @ a picnic, tomatoes, snap peas, applesauce
Dinner: Pepperoni & cheese, leftover veggies and strawberries
Leftovers after the trip: 2 chicken legs, lunch meat, some cheese sticks, pepperoni, havarti.
We ate well!!