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Anyone Can Do This

By on September 1, 2016
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Traveler’s Cookbook Makes Hot Meals Easy

cookbook2Traveler’s Cookbook Makes Hot Meals Easy

Men, listen up! Ladies, you can learn some things, too. First-time author Patricia Churchey wants to share some cooking tips and recipes from her 20 years of cooking on the road, while professional truck driving. Early on after looking in the mirror one day, she lost 50 pounds—and has kept the weight off. Churchey concentrated on avoiding white flour and refined sugar, and started looking at ingredient labels more carefully. As the July-August RoadKing StayFit® article discussed, it’s all about limiting the carbs and focusing on protein.

With a little creativity and the right onboard cookware, even a beginner can use Churchey’s Traveler’s Cookbook to prepare a healthy, piping-hot meal while driving, and enjoy it when the time is right. The Florida native and over-the road driver for Dartco, Inc., owned by Dart Transit,  has compiled 25 of her favorite recipes that are focused on a variety of lunch and dinner suggestions, and provide great-tasting leftovers, too. Nutritious, hot meals on the go are easier than you might think.

Start with the Basics

No cooking classes or high-end investments are required to eat healthy and inexpensively. For starters, you need a reliable power inverter (150 watts or more), a small crock-pot or a lunch box stove. These items are typically available in Travel Stores at TA and Petro locations. Recommended utensils include a knife, fork and spoon, a slotted spoon, spatula, ladle, and a couple of sharp, short-bladed knives. To spice basics—salt, pepper, garlic powder and cloves—you can add meat tenderizer and other spices that suit your taste buds.

Churchey also packs a handheld can opener, aluminum foil, aluminum loaf pans and some large-size oven bags. An appropriately sized piece of wood covered by aluminum foil serves as a cutting board. An optional refrigerator-freezer combo is a plus for storing meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, beverages and any leftovers you might have. Any supplemental items will be dictated by your food choices and cooking preferences.

Shop for Quality

“Onboard cooking helps me eat healthy and economically,” says Churchey. “You can always stock up on some of your favorite entrees at a grocery store along the way, and you can’t beat TA-Petro locations for a wide range of healthy foods, snacks and beverages that you typically don’t find at other truckstops.

“The salad bars at Iron Skillet and Country Pride restaurants are awesome! The variety of fresh ingredients and dressings enables you to build a tasty salad your size, your way. Sometimes I add sliced meat and save any extra slices for sandwiches, preferably on rye bread. When I want a sit-down meal—breakfast, lunch or dinner—nothing on the Interstate tops Iron Skillet and Country Pride.

“One last thing, I’ve also become a huge fan of Reserve-It!® parking. Although not needed every day; when I do, knowing I have a safe, reserved spot at the end of my day eliminates the wasted time and stress of searching for a parking spot and worrying about my personal safety.”

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