One of the joys and challenges of traveling is eating well. This recipe page will be used to share food ideas that make traveling easier and more delicious.
Despite a blood pressure reading consistently under 120/80, a resting heart rate of 60 and gym workouts five days a week, I recently found out I have sky high bad cholesterol levels. Apparently, it runs in my family. I would like to avoid taking a statin for this problem so I am working to modify my diet. This means cutting out one of my favorite foods- eggs. However, after experimenting a bit, I’ve found that egg whites (with 0 cholesterol) work beautifully when frying foods. I’m listing easy directions below for fried fish but these flour, oil and egg substitutes can also work for the fried green tomatoes recipe further down the chain.
Fried Fish (for people with high cholesterol)
Buy a good white fish filet (one per person, I like tilapia). Cut the fish into finger sized pieces.
Set out three shallow bowls-
Bowl #1- spread out a tablespoon of rice flour (I’m also trying to limit gluten)
Bowl #2- pour in 2-3 tablespoons of egg whites
Bowl #3- spread out Japanese style Panko
Pour an inch of olive oil in a fry pan. Heat until a drop of Panko crumb sizzles.
Roll your fish piece in the flour so that it is very lightly covered. Dip the floured piece in the egg whites making sure the piece is completely coated. Roll the fish piece in the Panko making a light but even coating. Drop in the oil. For a regular sized fry pan you should be able to fry all the pieces from one filet. I keep a second fry pan in the oven at 250 so that I can transfer pieces to this warming pan as I continue to fry the filets.
Serve these fish sticks with fresh grapefruit pieces and you’ll have a delicious yet low cholesterol meal.
Thalassa Pancakes (named for the Cape Cod Dune Shack)
When you say pancakes everyone usually thinks of the fluffy, bread-like cakes but this recipe is for an egg pancake that can be sweet or savory (Note: this recipe is adapted from one I saw in the NYTimes Sunday Magazine a few years ago).
Start with the egg- one egg will make about 3-4 small pancakes. This is more than enough for one person. However, these egg pancakes make great snacks while on the road, at the beach or in any picnic situation so, while the griddle is hot, you may want to make a batch.
The Batter- this is for one egg. Just double or triple as needed.
– Beat one egg in a bowl.
– Add 1 teaspoon of milk- cow, soy or (my choice) almond will all work.
– Add 1 tablespoon of flour (to save space, I suggest you bring a pancake mix with you and just use that. This way you have two pancake possibilities from one food item).
– Beat with a fork, making sure to work out the lumps of mix/flour.
– Add your extras to the batter. If you want sweet egg pancakes add things like sliced almonds, berries, or dried banana bits. If you want savory (my favorite) add things like finely chopped onion, olives and capers. A small handful of extras is what you want.
– Add in additional mix/flour a teaspoon at a time until the batter is thick but not stiff, pourable but not liquid.
Heat your skillet-
– Coat with olive oil and test with a drop of batter to be sure it is hot enough.
– Spoon in 3 or 4 dollops of batter with space between. Brown on each side and remove.
Now its time for toppings
I like to slather the savory cakes with olive tapenade, hummus or tzatziki. The sweet cakes are great with peanut butter, honey or syrup but they are also delicious without any toppings.
Tomatoes- come late summer and early fall I am always inundated by tomatoes. One plant in the backyard already yields more than a family of two can consume but we always have two or three volunteer plants grow in the strangest places (thanks, I’m sure, to our religious composting). So, what to do with so many tomatoes? They are actually perfect things to take traveling and camping. Here are two different recipes that translate well to the road.
Fried Green Tomatoes
The 1991 movie got it right- fried green tomatoes are delicious and easy to make. You can make up a batch at home and take them on your travels in a cooler, then just reheat on a skillet when you’re ready. But you can also make them from scratch over a campfire. After a few hits and misses, this is the recipe that works for me.
Pick a green tomato from the vine, wash and slice it into fairly thick slices (4-5 slices from one large tomato). Line up three shallow bowls- add flour to the first, whip an egg in the second and have panko (Japanese style bread crumbs) in the third. The secret seems to be the panko step as it makes for a very crispy outer layer. Heat up a skillet with about an inch of canola oil. You will know the skillet is hot enough when you drop a kernel of panko in the pan and it sizzles.
Dip the tomato slice in the flour, covering it completely on both sides, then dip the slice in the egg and cover both sides. Finally, dip the slice in the panko, covering both sides, and place it in the skillet. Add 2-3 more slices and fry for about 2-3 minutes (or until light brown). Flip the slices and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Place on a plate with paper towels to collect the excess oil. Eat while they are hot!
I always serve fried green tomatoes with a side of grapefruit.
Pico de Gallo
The perfect way to use a bunch of ripe tomatoes is to make a large bowl of pico. If you’re using your home grown tomatoes the taste is always exquisite but the skin of home grown tomatoes is usually tough. I start by cutting away the tough skin, then deseed and finely chop the meat of the tomato. With that in mind, here is a great recipe with something for everyone.
Peel, seed and chop 4-5 tomatoes.
Finely chop a 1/2 cup of each of the following: white onion, celery, and cucumber (if you like).
Finely chop a spicy pepper, include the seeds- Jalapeno is good for a hotter salsa but I like Cubanelle for a milder kick. If you like more taste, use two peppers.
Finely chop a garlic clove.
Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or lime juice (or to taste).
This salsa can be made before you leave on a trip and can be used with any meal and snack on the road.