Beat the heat this summer by eating small meals that will keep your engine revved up and your body ready to roll down the road. Truckers who provide their bodies with smart fuel make the most of every mile. Avoid eating out of truck stops as this can be very expensive and not as healthy. This summer take advantage of the seasonal produce you’ll find at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and roadside stands from Boston to Bakersfield. To get you started, here are three summer-inspired mini meal recipes that will get you set for success when it comes mealtime.
Breakfast: Summertime in a Cup
What is faster than drinking your meal? What if this drink was nutritionally balanced, sure to make you full ’til snack time, and good for your waistline? This smoothie hits all the high notes, and I promise you will not even taste the greens. All you need is a blender, and yes, a $20 blender will do in a pinch.
- For your smoothie, buy fresh fruit and greens that are available in your neck of the woods, making them cheapest and tastiest.
- For the options, choose whichever you like to eat, i.e. the fruits, the greens and the liquids.
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
- 1/2 banana frozen *Buy a bunch of ripe bananas, peel them, cut them in half, and put them in a Ziplock freezer bag. Use within 2 months.
- 1 packed cup fresh greens, such as spinach, kale, carrot tops, radish tops, or romaine lettuce
- 1 cup of water, coconut water, almond milk or dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, plain
Add the cup of liquid, Greek yogurt and fresh greens to your blender. Blend until the greens are completely broken down. Add the frozen banana and fresh berries and blend for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Drink immediately, or store in your fridge for up to 24 hours.
You can experiment with this recipe throughout the summertime. Try different fresh fruits, such as pitted cherries, sliced peaches or mangoes. For the greens, spinach and romaine are the least flavorful, but still as nutritious as any other greens. However, if you want to switch things up, replace the greens with parsley, bok choy, cilantro or mint. Experimenting is fun and you won’t get bored with your breakfast!
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwich
This is one of those summertime meals you expect to see at family reunions and picnics. But who said that egg salad had to be unhealthy? Here’s a belly-friendly version that will satisfy that hunger tooth.
- To save the remaining half of the avocado, after you cut the avocado in half, keep the seed in one half and cover that half tightly with plastic wrap. Remove any air bubbles, as the air will cause it to turn brown. Store in the fridge, and use within 24 hours.
- 1 hard boiled egg
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 teaspoon Greek yogurt, plain
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 wedge of lemon
- Black pepper
- Chili powder, optional
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
Peel the boiled egg, if necessary, and smash apart using a fork. Add the avocado and keep smashing to mash the two ingredients together. Add the Greek yogurt and Dijon mustard, and squeeze the lemon wedge over the mixture. Add salt and pepper, to taste. If you want a little spice, add a sprinkle of chili powder. Spoon the mixture between two slices of whole wheat bread, and eat up.
Dinner: Rotisserie Chicken and Steamed Veggies
Everything doesn’t have to be made from scratch. Everyone from stay-at-home moms to truck driver dads want a break from the proverbial kitchen time from time. Here is a meal that is super healthy but easy as 1-2-3 to prepare. All you need is a microwave and the ingredients.
- Whole rotisserie chicken, purchase from a grocery store, Costco, Wal-Mart, etc. *Do not buy a bucket of fried chicken as that is not a healthy choice
- Fresh vegetables, i.e. broccoli, carrots, snap peas, cauliflower, etc.; cut into bite sized pieces if necessary
- Seasonings of your choice, i.e. chili powder, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, lemon pepper seasoning, DIY taco seasoning, turmeric, etc.
- Cut off half of a chicken breast, or choose between a leg or a thigh. Heat if the chicken has been sitting in your fridge.
- Take 1 cup of vegetables and place in a shallow microwavable dish with a secure lid. Add enough water to cover the vegetables. Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove the dish and stir to redistribute the ingredients in the hot water. Continuing heating at 1 minute increments until the veggies are hot. Drain off the water and add your choice of seasoning. Stir and serve alongside your chicken.
Remember the point of mini-meals is to eat small portions every three hours during the day. By eating small meals frequently you keep your metabolism revved up without getting that mid-afternoon slump from too big of a lunch.