Vacation Food

It’s no secret to my family and friends that much of my thoughts revolve around food. I’m constantly thinking ahead about the next meal, and I have calendar reminders that pop up all the time to remind what I need to prep next. I know, it probably sounds crazy, but truth be told, I do not like to spend time stressing about food. I have found that if I make a plan, I let go of the worry and can focus on other things.

A few weeks ago, my family took our third annual trip to Florida during spring break. We moms know that when you travel with kids, you have to have a bag of tricks ready at your fingertips. I tend never to leave home for long without plenty of food and a plan!

We met my in-laws down in Florida, who were gracious enough to do our grocery shopping before we arrived. I planned to cook four dinners while we were there, and go out for two meals. Considering that I was on vacation, I didn’t want to be stuck inside our little beach house slaving away while the sun was busy shining!

These are just some of the things I considered when meal planning:

  • I tried to pick meals that had similar ingredients, especially seasonings. This way I only had to buy one jar of chili powder, but it would be used in more than one meal.
  • I made food that created easy lunch options to enjoy on the beach the following day.
  • I chose meals that didn’t require much prep time. The thing that took the longest was cooking brown rice. I cooked this during my daughter’s naptime while I enjoyed a good book on the deck.
  • I took advantage of convenience meals. At home, I would opt to make my own black bean burgers, but while on vacation I hit up the freezer aisle for one of my meals.

I spent about 30 minutes each night preparing meals. Here’s what I made:

Black Beans and Rice

The leftovers were an excellent addition to our salads at lunch.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with brown rice and peas

Black Bean Burritos

The last night we had black bean burgers (which I forgot to take a picture of!)

Nearly every ingredient we purchased was used by the end of the week! The only thing that really frustrated me was the dull chef’s knife at the beach house. (That thing was honestly duller than a butter knife!) Other than that, we enjoyed healthful and delicious meals while on vacation, and of course indulged in our fair share of sweet treats too!

About the Author...
Chrissy Ensign
Chrissy was born, raised, and currently resides in the Western suburbs of Chicago.
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