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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 07-28-10, 03:40 PM   #1
tieka
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What do you eat?

I love cooking and creating new recipes. I especially love coming up with portable food. Right now I am pretty much gone most of the day and evening and don't get home until late at night. Only to do it all over again, all week long. I was wondering what kind of food other bicyclists make and take with them. I don't like processed and packaged food, unless I must, and am just looking for some recipes or ideas on what I could take with me.
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Old 07-28-10, 03:47 PM   #2
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i usually just make enough for a week and then put it in plastic containers that i carry. any recipe works. i do rice with some stir fry on top or some dirty rice type recipe. very easy.
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Old 07-28-10, 06:02 PM   #3
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Lots of choices out there. For portable food I fall back on my backpacking days and use a variety of one pot recipes, many are based on rice or pasta. For snacking one of my favorites is from Cooking on the Go by Janet Groene. It is the scottish oat biscuits. They are durable and great with a bit of jam or jelly on them.

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Old 07-28-10, 07:49 PM   #4
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Left overs from the nights dinner, when the boys and I eat all the dinner I eat hummus sandwiches, when my wife doesn't go shopping I get something out, when my job gifts me with no lunch break I eat when I get home.
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Old 07-28-10, 08:24 PM   #5
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I discovered one great staple as a result of bicycle touring/camping.

I buy some whole wheat coucous and some dehydrated/curried green pea or black bean soup at the health food store. I boil water and pour over a 50-50 mixture of this seasoned with curry powder and salt.

This is a great on-the-road dish, but it is also a nearly instant and energy-free way to prepare a dish on a hot summer's evening.

Great addition to some left-overs or perhaps as a side dish with an omelette.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:41 AM   #6
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If were talking for work I usually eat left overs like most people and divvy it up into easily stackable Tupperware.

Lately I have been into “breakfast cookies/overnight oats” if you will for breakfast. Nice because you can make then the night before and in my case make a big batch for 2 or 3 days. Mine usually include oats, peanut/almond/cashew butter, hemp milk, raw nuts, quinoa, & depending on the day coconut, chocolate chips, goji berries, with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

More or less stir ingredients and let sit over night.
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Old 07-30-10, 09:53 AM   #7
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Does anybody have a good way to carry a LARGE salad in a backpack/pannier? One problem is that pre-dressing wilts the greens.
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Old 07-30-10, 11:23 AM   #8
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Does anybody have a good way to carry a LARGE salad in a backpack/pannier? One problem is that pre-dressing wilts the greens.
Put it in a gallon ziplock bag and keep the dressing in the fridge at work?
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Old 07-30-10, 12:25 PM   #9
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Does anybody have a good way to carry a LARGE salad in a backpack/pannier? One problem is that pre-dressing wilts the greens.
Big Ziplok bag and take salad dressing in small bottle. My wife uses cleaned out cough syrup bottles from the pharmacy to carry her dressings in. Me I just buy a small sized bottle at the store and take it with me.

As far as your greens, get the more durable greens like Romaine or Bibb rather than the Iceberg. Fresh Spinach works well too.

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Old 08-02-10, 09:42 PM   #10
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I know you mentioned that you don't like packaged food...

however, I eat a lot of Meal Pack Bars.

typically I order about 100
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Old 08-02-10, 11:56 PM   #11
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I should have asked this question awhile ago, since there are so many responses already.

audi666 - I love cooking and can't wait to try a recipe for overnight oats. I have heard of similar recipes and it sounds like a great way to eat breakfast on the go.

gerv - The couscous/black bean soup is a great idea. I didn't think couscous could be eaten with just water added. Is it still somewhat hard still even with the boiling water?

BianchiDave - yum hummus

wahoonc - Any recipes you would like to share?

vec - I must have been way too busy lately, because I haven't even thought of cooking stir fry... so easy. Fried rice of any kinds sounds good right now.
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Old 08-03-10, 01:15 AM   #12
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For a quick and easy portable meal, cook up some lentils, add some onions or leeks to the mix, drain, add spices, salt and pepper or hot sauce to taste and add some grated cheese. This is good hot or cold. Variations can include adding some diced ham to this or adding some chopped peppers or mushrooms either when the lentils are cooking or quickly stir fried and mixed in after the lentils are drained.

In the evening, instead of making a hot meal, there are plenty of good salads to consider. Skip the dressing and use a few drops of lime juice or some balsamic vinegar for flavouring. To up the protein content, crumble some tofu and mix it into the salad.

A warmer meal, but also cheap and fast, involves chopping up some cabbage and stir-frying it with some lean ground beef and chopped onion. It cooks in a matter of minutes.

If you have a bit of time in fall, can some spaghetti sauce. There are recipes available that combine everything except the meat. In winter, the cook the spaghetti and while you're doing that, brown the meat and then mix in a jar of the sauce, heating it until it is warmed through. The process takes less than 15 minutes.
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Old 08-03-10, 03:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tieka View Post
I should have asked this question awhile ago, since there are so many responses already.

audi666 - I love cooking and can't wait to try a recipe for overnight oats. I have heard of similar recipes and it sounds like a great way to eat breakfast on the go.

gerv - The couscous/black bean soup is a great idea. I didn't think couscous could be eaten with just water added. Is it still somewhat hard still even with the boiling water?

BianchiDave - yum hummus

wahoonc - Any recipes you would like to share?

vec - I must have been way too busy lately, because I haven't even thought of cooking stir fry... so easy. Fried rice of any kinds sounds good right now.
I have one in particular, but I am away from my cook books at the moment...

Aaron
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Old 08-03-10, 06:53 AM   #14
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Most of our meals are vaguely Asian. I get a lot of ideas from Maki's websites Just Hungry and Just Bento. It's pretty rare for me to go all out on genuinely Japanese bentos, but I do tend to build packed lunches around the idea that there needs to be rice + veggies + protein. Scandinavians would vote for 50% veg, Japanese would vote for 50% rice. Both would vote for the idea that many different colors of veggies are a good way to make sure you're getting a broad range of nutrients. (the USDA would peer oddly at you, because rice is for foreigners...)

If I am totally at a loss for ideas, I'll often go through Maki's list of bento menus. Odds are great she's got a couple bentos built around a veggie that I like a lot, or around something where the CSA share is swamping us in it.

Another good source of ideas is talking to my best friend or one of my adopted uncles... One's Indonesian and went to school in Singapore, the other is Malay. I owe a lot of my love for spicy, Indian, Thai and Malay food to the uncle, and my friend will walk me through how to make other traditional stuff. Again, meals will often be built around rice.
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Old 08-04-10, 11:13 AM   #15
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Pasta is a traditional "bike food". This time of year, I take a big ripe tomato, chop it roughly, and put the tomato in a pasta bowl. Then I put hot, freshly cooked pasta over the raw tomato, along with a couple spoonfuls of boiling pasta cooking water. I throw in some torn basil leaves, salt and pepper, and parmegiano cheese, and drizzle on some olive oil. Fantastic food--the flavor of the raw tomatoes shines through.

Later this month, I'll ride out to the country and buy a whole backpack of tomatoes from a farm stand. Then I'll chop them and saute for about 5 minutes in olive oil. I'll pack single servings in sandwich bags, then freeze them all in big ziplock bag. This will be the basis of fresh tomato sauce for the rest of the winter. Every time I thaw out a bag, I'll enjoy both the falavor and the memory of riding on a hot summer day to buy the tomaties.
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Old 08-04-10, 11:20 AM   #16
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quinoa works too
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Old 08-04-10, 11:42 AM   #17
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I think I've destroyed the notion that being car free means you have to limit what you can cook due to transportation restrictions. In fact I was making so much home made food I bought an old chest freezer two years back and use it for freezer cooking so nothing goes to waste. I make very large batches of stew or saag (an Indian spinach based dish) and freeze them in gallon bags. I then take a bag out, thaw it in the refrigerator and make it into lunches. I use wide mouth ball jars for storing the prepared batches in the refrigerator. Here's the Chicken Saag Aloo o' Doom in the 15 gallon pot (yes I brought that home on my bike). I make it over the course of a day, and in this case the NIN song kept going through my head:



With equal parts rice preapared after a batch is thawed, it doubles in size! Incredible number of tasty lunches out of it. Even though my apartment's stove is from the 50's and only one burner even works on it.

This is a "small" batch of my matzo ball beef stew. The matzo balls hold up better in the freezer than ordinary flour dumplings, and taste better with the beef.



Ingredients are primarily from the local farmers market and the costco.

I use a bread machine to make a 1/3 rye 2/3 wheat mix that tastes great and travels well in sandwich form for food on longer bike rides. I use potato water which gives the yeast extra power.

I've been getting good deals on eye of round steak, which is easy to make into a budget gourmet dinner:



OK, the Laphroiag is not budget. But what the heck. I save ten times that price in no car payments every month.

My latest was a very tasty pacific cod chowder. I get these fillets on sale from the fish store next door and have them sealed in vacuum packs, then freeze them. Combined with some basic evaporated milk, local spuds and green onions plus some cooking onions and bacon and you have paradise on a rainy day:


Last edited by Cosmoline; 08-04-10 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 08-04-10, 03:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
For a quick and easy portable meal, cook up some lentils, add some onions or leeks to the mix, drain, add spices, salt and pepper or hot sauce to taste and add some grated cheese. This is good hot or cold. Variations can include adding some diced ham to this or adding some chopped peppers or mushrooms either when the lentils are cooking or quickly stir fried and mixed in after the lentils are drained.

In the evening, instead of making a hot meal, there are plenty of good salads to consider. Skip the dressing and use a few drops of lime juice or some balsamic vinegar for flavouring. To up the protein content, crumble some tofu and mix it into the salad.

A warmer meal, but also cheap and fast, involves chopping up some cabbage and stir-frying it with some lean ground beef and chopped onion. It cooks in a matter of minutes.

If you have a bit of time in fall, can some spaghetti sauce. There are recipes available that combine everything except the meat. In winter, the cook the spaghetti and while you're doing that, brown the meat and then mix in a jar of the sauce, heating it until it is warmed through. The process takes less than 15 minutes.
Lentils= Majadra I eat a fair bit of this with a variety of spicing and added things like scraps of lamb. Supposedly this is the dish that Esau sold his birthright for...

Aaron
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Old 08-04-10, 05:30 PM   #19
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Lentils= Majadra I eat a fair bit of this with a variety of spicing and added things like scraps of lamb. Supposedly this is the dish that Esau sold his birthright for...

Aaron
I usually call it lentils and rice... so good no matter how plain or fancy you make it.
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Old 08-04-10, 06:14 PM   #20
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I usually call it lentils and rice... so good no matter how plain or fancy you make it.
I come from a family that embraced international culture. My dad was a college professor and mom was a high school English teacher. We always seemed to have a few extra people at the dinner table, quite often students from other countries. At the time mom was a stay at home mom, she was always trying recipes to make the foreign students feel a bit more at home. Met lots of interesting people that way over the years, some we are still in contact with even 35+ years later.

Another favorite of mine is a Cuban meat pies; Pastelitos we had a Cuban neighbor when we lived in Tallahassee, FL back in the late 60's, she and mom swapped all sorts of recipes that still survive in our kitchen today.

I love to eat and love to cook, but my job keeps me from doing much cooking (spend around 250-270 days a year on the road) but I make do.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 08-04-10, 08:44 PM   #21
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gerv - The couscous/black bean soup is a great idea. I didn't think couscous could be eaten with just water added. Is it still somewhat hard still even with the boiling water?
Add a tad more boiling water to the mix and let it sit at least 5 minutes.

Quote:
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For a quick and easy portable meal, cook up some lentils, add some onions or leeks to the mix, drain, add spices, salt and pepper or hot sauce to taste and add some grated cheese.
If cooking whole grain rice, add tiny French lentils. These should cook in 45 minutes, as should the rice.
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Does anybody have a good way to carry a LARGE salad in a backpack/pannier? One problem is that pre-dressing wilts the greens.
I take a large salad in a solid Rubbermaid container (I don't wash it in a dishwasher though...). It's a bit bulky in a pannier, but there are several that should easily fit. I put a little olive oil and some pepper on it... I don't have a bit problem with wilting.

This time of year, I forgo lettuce though. Basically, I'm sick of it and my garden lettuce patch has been decimated by the monsoons anyway. Since I do have lots of zucchini from the garden, I cut these up very thinly... so they have about the same consistency as lettuce. So no wilting problem on hot days.
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Old 08-06-10, 11:11 AM   #22
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I usually call it lentils and rice... so good no matter how plain or fancy you make it.
Also dal or dhal in Indian cuisine---mmmmm!--often mixed with kidney beans or garbanzos.

The Indians also discovered how good potatoes taste in rice dishes and bean dishes. Carbo for carfree!
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Old 08-06-10, 12:53 PM   #23
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I bought these tiny Pyrex bowls a while back that are great. They're about the size of a fist, and have a rubber lid. They're great for transporting food, and make perfect single portion sizes. On days where I'm out of the house for 12+ hours, I usually have 5 or 6 of these bowls filled with food, and I transport them in a canvas bag bungeed in my bike basket.

Lentils and brown rice (staple of my diet)
Mixed greens w/cucumber, black olives, tomatoes, baby carrots (staple of my diet)
Sauteed or steamed veggies (another staple)
Zuchini, squash, cucumber, and/or carrot sticks (staple, and a good snack)
Cooked steel cut oats/oatmeal (usually for bussier days where I don't have time to eat)
Washed berries (another staple when they're in season)



I usually have 2 or 3 of the items listed above each day. Since these items provide a foundation for my diet, I'll add in some kind of protien or condiment to make things interesting. Also, I find that they're quite filling, taste better than processed food, and a super cheap when purchasing at a farmer's market or at Whole Foods/Trader Joes (SoCal grocery stores).

**I'll add in some kind of sauteed poultry/beef/pork into the lentil and rice dish, and maybe some kind of greens (like broccoli, asparagus, greenbeans). This is a pretty filling meal, so I'll have something like this mid-day in order to fuel the bike ride home.

**I really enjoy eating salads, so I usually carry a mixture of olive oil, flax seed oil, a no salt organic herb seasoning, lemon, and vinegar. These items are stored in tiny containers/jars and ziploc bags (for the herb seasoning)...after, I'll just shake them into the salad when I'm ready to eat. I never really have to worry about wilted lettuce and my "homemade" salad dressing is pretty healthy.

**The steamed veggies are a great side dish....very helpful when you're starving after biking. Also, you can get away with not having them refigerated all day long. Boiled greenbeans are great for this.

**Zuchini/squash/ect are great to peel and cut into little sticks. You can dip them in hummus or tahini if you like. I just like using them as finger food because they're low in carbs and are filled with nutrients. Also, they don't make you feel heavy and lethargic after eating a bag full of them.

**I like to cook a big batch of steel cut oats in a crock pot. I also mix in spices like cinnamon....mmm, so delicious. This one is a bit high on the carbs, so I'll usually have it during the winter (when I typically consume less food). But it's cheap, stores easily, and is a great filler when you've forgotten to go to the grocery store and you need meals that will not leave you hungry.

**Berries....probably my favorite part of the spring/summer. I like to mix in a tiny handful of raw nuts for protien.



My weekends are great because I can get creative with cooking. But when I have a lot of commuting to do, I find that the items listed above are great ways to keep you fueled, and away from junk food. They're also super easy to make, store, and transport. I really liked Cosmoline's post--I'm going to look into making soups more often. Those pics look great!
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Old 08-06-10, 11:20 PM   #24
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I go rather low-carb for most of my meals, so when I pack bike food, it's often carrot sticks, cheese sticks, celery, almonds/pecans. I often make a batch of "chuck salad" or coleslaw. I keep a block of cheese and bottle of mustard, olive oil, vinegar and garlic salt/pepper at work. When I don't have time to make a 1/2gal of chunk salad for the week, I can just lug a can of olives, celery and radishes/salad turnips/kholrabi/celeriac and chop it up as I need it.
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Old 08-07-10, 08:18 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by memnoch_proxy View Post
I go rather low-carb for most of my meals, so when I pack bike food, it's often carrot sticks, cheese sticks, celery, almonds/pecans. I often make a batch of "chuck salad" or coleslaw. I keep a block of cheese and bottle of mustard, olive oil, vinegar and garlic salt/pepper at work. When I don't have time to make a 1/2gal of chunk salad for the week, I can just lug a can of olives, celery and radishes/salad turnips/kholrabi/celeriac and chop it up as I need it.
Oh man... if you are doing a lot of bicycle travel, you might want to visit the Training and Nutrition forum. They have some good posts about low-carb diets.
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