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Overnight trips are always a great opportunity to discover, interact, and create everlasting memories. Yet, while on the road, with all the excitement, the experiences, the thrill, meals tend to be festive or fast. The overlooking of the energetic, nutritional value of the meals is also an important part of the trip – it can be as educative as any other item in the itinerary. And tasty enough to be replicated at home!
Here are some tips and ideas of colorful, tasty and fun food to carry along when traveling.


  Quinoa Salad

The intriguing quinoa - not a grain, not a seed – but a plant originated in the Andean Region of South America. First used for human consumption around 4,000 years ago, it is called a "superfood" because of the rich quantities of protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals. Quinoa, "the gold of the Incas" can be easily prepared and used in several dishes. You can find it in different colors: white, red, and black. Rinse it before cooking!

You can use either the regular, stovetop pan or the rice cooker for your batch. For each cup of quinoa, add 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups of water. Season it with salt, pepper and whatever adds taste and color to your dish: turmeric, curry powder, allspice, oregano.

Once ready, move it to a large bowl and, again, the sky is the limit! You can add canned tuna (from responsible sources, check the can!), chicken breast as the complementing protein. Otherwise, our vegan favorites are sundried tomatoes, juicy olives, sliced hearts of palm (also from responsible sources!) and even sultana raisins.

If you want to complement your breakfast or have a quick meal in between attractions, carry along with your quinoa salad container with you!


  Hummus sandwich

Hummus means chickpeas. It is an inherent part of all the Levantine diets (the historic name of the Middle East). From Damascus through Jerusalem to Cairo, Hummus is ubiquitous in every snack break or meal. Chickpeas have a considerable amount of several nutrients, as of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B6, and manganese.

Even though you can find it in most grocery stores in North America, it is very easy and satisfying preparing your hummus. All you need is canned chickpeas, strained and skins removed. Tahini – a paste made of ground sesame seeds can be added too. The other basic ingredients are garlic, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil.

On a food processor, add tahini and lemon juice first and blend it until creating a soft paste. Then add the chickpeas, the garlic, salt to taste, each one separately, and give it another minute to each ingredient to swirl in the processor. Add cold water to make it rich and creamy.

You can enjoy it as a dip it with some toasted pita bread on the road or make a sandwich, adding olive oil, smoked paprika, pickles slices, tomatoes, and cracked black pepper, over a tortilla or a pita bread... A true vegan, nutritious, middle eastern accent to any quick meal!


  Granola bars

The sweet tooth doesn't take vacations. And a good source of natural sugars is important to give your body enough energy to keep you on the pace during a school trip. Even though industrialized granola bars look attractive and nutritious, their amount of processed sugar and other not-so-healthy ingredients is too high.

Use oats and your favorite nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashew) to prepare your own granola bars. Combine them and put it in the oven for around 15 minutes, to toast. Use syrup – organic maple or homemade, combining sugar unsalted butter, honey, and salt. Melt them together until sugar is dissolved, then combine it with the toasted oats and nuts in a big bowl, stir everything together. At this point, any other solids like dried fruits, seeds can be added. If you want chocolate chips, add it after the mixture reached room temperature. If chocolate melts, your bar will become a runny mess.

Cover a rectangular pan with parchment paper and distribute the mixture evenly. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. Cut it with a large knife into evenly sized slices, wrap it individually with wax or parchment paper. It can last a week at room temperature. Excellent for long overnight trips in the early morning or late evening guilt-free indulgence!



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