Gastro on the Go

It’s moving time here in the Mid-south and as I prepare to head north I’m thinking of food. Of course. I will be packing it in one of those insulated boxes meant to carry beer – uh, make that iced tea – to the beach.

Options I’m considering:

Foods
Soy milk mix or a Quart of Almond Breeze, Rice Dream – the fresh stuff won’t last too long if not refrigerated. Skim milk too.
Low fat mozzarella cheese.
Yogurt cartons- smaller is better for sanitation purposes

Crackers I can tolerate.
Canned potatoes
Homemade banana muffins

Peanut butter
A low-fat turkey sandwich, for the first day traveling.
An egg salad sandwich for the second day out.
Canned, packaged tuna
Boiled eggs.

Pureed greens in a jar.
Small cans of carrots
V-8 or similar, cheaper option

Spiru-Tein Unsweetened Original Vanilla
Lotsa ice for cooling.
Lotsa water.

6-8 pack juice in those kid sized cartons.
Bananas

Stevia or other alternative sweetener.
Something special from the health food store. Asher’s chocolates?
Potato chips. The lunch size bag will cut fat. Calories. Not very healthy but may be a good “I’m-not-deprived” solution.
Some mini chocolate bars

A small whisk.
A table knife.
A sharp paring knife
Can opener
Take a couple of dish towels, at least 1 dish rag, 2 plastic bags, for garbage and/or leftovers.
Small cutting board.
Napkins
Anti- bacterial dish soap

Oh! I just remembered I want to take a few, cooked shrimp too.

The idea is to eat digestible foods you like, to maintain great sanitation by using fresh proteins first,
cleaning up to prevent cross contamination and plenty of ice, make sure it’s a healthy menu ( vegetables 2-4 times per day, fruit 2-4 servings a day, protein should be 9 oz. per day, Carbs maybe 6 -10 ,15 gram
portions daily and fats, well you need them for sure, but easy does it, no more than 30 grams per day added fat daily excluding that found in proteins. If possible make them healthy fats but I know that’s difficult while traveling. Nut butters are a good option and you might want to splurge
on this pricey pick. Make sure to store your food in the car- the trunk is too hot!

Enjoy the ride.

Oatmeal and

Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins was my normal breakfast before the gastro diets told me I couldn’t eat it – any of it, but I could drink my accompanying glass of milk (8 oz.).

My new trick is too soak 2 T of raisins overnight in ½ c of water. Grind ½ c of oatmeal (dry) in my little coffee bean grinder for food and grind my walnuts (2 T) with the oats. Then pour the raisins’ soaking water into a small pan, add another ½ cup of water to that, bring to a boil, add oat mixture to that and bring to boil again and immediately take off the heat.

Chop the raisins in the coffee-bean grinder and spoon onto finished oatmeal, add your milk (I’ve used soy and almond milks without issue.

Soup

Hot or cold soup is always a perfect lunch accompaniment. Keep it in a small thermos to tote with you.

You can use canned soup, preferably low fat, by just dumping it in the blender and pulverizing it. If it’s veggie soup of any stripe. (Spinach ?) this works but no bean, lentil or any thing else that will slow your digestion down (I tried pulverizing black bean soup but the fiber hung me up). I also like pulverized canned, seasoned mustard, collard and turnip greens but caution vegetarians, if using the southern seasoned brands (standard in the US South) this isn’t vegan. It’s delicious but it has a bit of pork in it.
Or you can make your own with a strong broth (buy a can of chicken stock, slice in some mushrooms and onion powder, add greens and macerate.

For cold soups forgo the Vichyssoise, pulverize the Gazpacho.
Try this Armenian cucumber, yogurt soup

2 peeled cukes, seed if necessary
4 cups regular, plain yogurt
as much garlic as you can stand
dried onion powder , 2 t or more
pop it all in the blender
For a dip or salad dressing
Pulverize all but the yogurt in the food processor or blender
Mix with a 4 cup tub of plain, Greek yogurt.
Serve over lettuce salad or coat cooked carrots.
Creamy soups.
These soups are on the no-no lists basically due the high fat content of cream and whole milk. If you can tolerate dairy products try the fat free yogurts (plain and the Greek), Low fat to No fat sour cream and of course skim milk. Skim milk can always be thickened with about 1 T to 1 c milk, or more, if you want it thicker. ‘Temper’ it first by putting the cornstarch into a small cup and adding some hot milk T by T. Once you’ve added enough milk to make smooth paste, add a little more (say ¼ c milk) and you’ll have a slurry, a kinda shortcut poo-pooed by the more elite cuisiniers. But it works!

1. Tomato juice with low fat sour cream. Fresh dill.
2. Potato pulp (leftover mashed is fine), with onion powder , skim milk with a little cornstarch. Serve cold if you like.
3. Can of cooked clams, potato pulp- 1 cup, skim milk- 2 T onion powder.
as much garlic as you can stand
dried onion powder , 2 t or more
pop it all in the blender
For a dip or salad dressing
Pulverize all but the yogurt in the food processor or blender
Mix with a 4 cup tub of plain, Greek yogurt.
Serve over lettuce salad or coat cooked carrots.

Creamy soups.
These soups are on the no-no lists basically due to the high fat content of cream and whole milk. If you can tolerate dairy products try the fat free yogurts (plain and the Greek), Low fat to No fat sour cream and of course skim milk. Skim milk can always be thickened with about 1 T to 1 c milk, or more, if you want it thicker. ‘Temper’ it first by putting the cornstarch into a small cup and adding some hot milk T by T. Once you’ve added enough milk to make smooth paste, add a little more (say ¼ c milk) and you’ll have a slurry, a kinda shortcut poo-pooed by the more elite cuisiniers. But it works!

1. Tomato juice with lf sour cream. Fresh dill.
2. Potato pulp (leftover mashed is fine), with onion powder , skim milk with a little cornstarch. Serve cold if you like.
3. Can of cooked clams, potato pulp- 1 cup, skim milk- 2 T onion powder.

Sandwich Fillings, Lunch, Part II

Once you have a decent bread (that means one you like and can digest ) fill it up with easy fillings that are not too stringy ( alas,no corned beef) and not too fatty (goodbye cream cheese and black olives) and waddle down the middle way with deli type meats – the shaved and salty kind with God knows added to the mix. Better yet, make your own.

Sandwich fillings

You can use almost anything in a sandwich filling if you have a food processor, blender, and my favorite, a separate coffee bean grinder that I use for food only for a 1 portion size.

Tuna, mayonnaise in food processor with 2 T sweet relish, although many of you won’t need to go that far.

Cheese with a dollop of tomato sauce or paste. Add some basil too.

Chicken in the food processor with ¼ cup applesauce and celery or sweet relish.
Or add 1 or two Tablespoons BBQ sauce ( some of the original blends have less sugar than today’s blends) to the chopped chicken.
And, well chicken varieties are endless just make sure the chicken is macerated.

All of the above can be made ahead and frozen.

Have a hankering for Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato? Try fresh lettuce,
with 2 slices of cooked, crispy bacon (turkey or pork) pulverized with a T low-fat mayonnaise in your little grinder so it’s as smooth as you can make it). Or you can use some of those vegetarian bacos, soak ’em ’til they’re soft (15-30 minutes) in just a little water (to cover) then puree them with the mayo and spread on sandwich slice of bread, puree ½ fresh tomato with skin removed and some of the soft seeds if they bother you.
Spread on top of the bacon layer. Finish with your lettuce (or basil leaves?) Enjoy but no don’t freeze this one. Ditto for any other fresh ingredients.