Author Topic: Food for train trip  (Read 4358 times)

mm1970

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Food for train trip
« on: June 26, 2015, 10:27:09 AM »
Okay Mustachian friends.  My hubby and kids and I are taking a train trip this summer - just one day between families.  We usually drive but the train was a better deal than renting a car and bonus: my kid doesn't get sick on a train.

Anyway, having taken a couple of Amtrak trips before, what I *do* know is that their food SUCKS.

So, here are the parameters:
1. Spending the night before in a hotel without a fridge or microwave.  Plus no free breakfast.
2. Can take a small cooler BAG, but not really anything heavily insulated because it has to go in our luggage on the plane there and back.
3.  Reasonably healthy

I'm looking for ideas for breakfast and lunch and a morning snack - keeping in mind that I will be preparing everything the day before, and it will need to stay "good", or cold for overnight in the hotel room (we'll have access to ice for the cooler bag).

Probably won't want to have ice in the cooler bag when we are actually on the train, too messy.  May take one of those freezer packs and hope they stay cold.

I'm not averse to snacks and treats (I think we'll have some treats anyway), but I am averse to paying a huge amount for Amtrak treats.

I know I want to have fruit, veggies, maybe some cheese - but I'm also trying to think of good food that is also normal food, that doesn't require much refrigeration.  I'm just looking for more ideas I guess than the standard: apples, carrots, peppers, hummus, nuts, and cheese (which would probably be fine too).
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 11:42:03 AM by mm1970 »

Learner

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 11:31:06 AM »
We often make granola bars, they are filling and easy.  Sometimes we freeze smoothies so they are thawing/chilled midway through the trip.  Those and the staples you noted are our go-tos for the 20+ hour trips to visit family.

freedom8991

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2015, 04:03:47 PM »
Homemade trail mix is always a great snack. Freeze your beverages before u leave home. Bring along large ziplock bags for ice from the hotel. I love to pack a meal/picnic and travel. We make it an adventure. We did it to the Grand Canyon and to Missouri and also Colorado. Enjoy!

Christof

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2015, 04:13:53 PM »
boiled eggs, jam/marmelade/peanut butter sandwiches. Salami freshly sliced. Rice and noodle salad keeps well if you only use oil and vegetables, no meat, no milk, no raw eggs.

ShaneD

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2015, 04:25:00 PM »
We did a couple of loooong train trips recently, but didn't have the limitation of no fridge the night before. If it helps, though -- even though it overlaps with your thoughts already -- we carried this in a small insulated bag (lunchbox size, crushable):

* Hamburgers
* Hardboiled eggs
* Sliced salami
* Sliced cheese
* Carrots
* Celery
* Peppers
* Nuts (2 kinds)
* A couple apples

Could always cook up hamburgers or similar and freeze them, so they slowly thaw overnight instead of sitting at room temp the whole time. We also always keep jerky or a few Epic meat bars on hand. Not cheap, but really helpful in a pinch. If you can pick up small packets of peanut butter on sale, those also help make apples and celery feel less dull under the circumstances.

If you can pre-chill the insulated bag, that also helps a lot. Filling it with ice from a hotel ice machine works well (dump out before using), and even just dunking it in cold water in a sink can help keep things cooler longer.

2ndTimer

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2015, 04:52:03 PM »
My favorite travel snack is cheese and pretzels.  Generic pretzels are just as healthy as generic saltines and much more festive because they are officially a snack food.  Has the advantage it doesn't need to be kept cool for just a couple of days.  In fact, room temp cheese is tastier.

JoJo

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2015, 05:09:04 PM »
English muffins & Laughing Cow spreadable cheese.

Runrooster

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2015, 06:03:36 PM »
What about canned foods with pop top or glass bottles? Tuna (or pouches), canned beans + salsa, black bean dip (with crackers or chips).  Pickled veg in glass bottle are actually decent food.

There are a bunch of easily cooked foods like dried black beans, couscous, oatmeal, ramen that you could make with hot water out of a coffee pot the morning of (and then put on ice).  Or ask for hot water from the coffeeshop at the hotel/train.

It does help to freeze everything the day before, but then you need food that defrosts well.  Ive successfully taken frozen cooked shrimp, and put it in the center of the frozen stash in my car trunk during a hot summer day, and it was still defrosting after 10 hours, so that should get you a protein heavy breakfast.

JoJo

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 06:09:30 PM »
What about canned foods with pop top or glass bottles? Tuna (or pouches), canned beans + salsa, black bean dip (with crackers or chips).  Pickled veg in glass bottle are actually decent food.

There are a bunch of easily cooked foods like dried black beans, couscous, oatmeal, ramen that you could make with hot water out of a coffee pot the morning of (and then put on ice).  Or ask for hot water from the coffeeshop at the hotel/train.

It does help to freeze everything the day before, but then you need food that defrosts well.  Ive successfully taken frozen cooked shrimp, and put it in the center of the frozen stash in my car trunk during a hot summer day, and it was still defrosting after 10 hours, so that should get you a protein heavy breakfast.

As much as I love canned tuna and take it when I do car and camping trips, please keep your train neighbors in mind.  Try not to bring too stinky food.

Mrs.LC

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 08:03:54 PM »
Apples and celery sticks with peanut butter.
Beef sticks - Slim Jim type sticks
Mixed nuts, trail mix
Cheese and crackers.
Granola or fruit bars
Raisins or other dried fruit

LeRainDrop

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2015, 08:16:39 PM »
How about making a loaf of banana nut or cranberry nut bread before you leave home?  That could travel easily on the plane and train without any need for temperature control.

Dicey

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2015, 02:17:42 AM »
Lots of good choices, to which I'll add fruit leathers. The flat kind take virtually no space. I also like unpeeled, sliced English cucumbers. Oh, here's another: slice Fuyu persimmons into a snack size zip bag. Squeeze fresh lime into the bag and sprinkle a little salt on top. Amazingly good and firm persimmons hold up very well to travel.

myrax

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Re: Food for train trip
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2015, 11:32:21 AM »
You can make a savory cake at home and bring it in an insulated bag. They are quite popular in France and they can be quite good: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/caramelized-onion-walnut-and-spinach-savory-cake/

My favorite long distance Amtrak food is noodles with seaweed and powdered broth. You can get hot water for free on the train and bring bowls, dried seaweed, powdered broth, and a package of thin rice noodles or other quick cooking noodles. You can also make carrot or cabbage salad in the hotel room with vinegar and oil in the morning- they'll be good throughout the day, and none of the ingredients need refrigeration over night.