Nutritionist & Health Coach Healthy Trucker
With winter in full force, we naturally look to warm, comforting meals to satisfy us, but they often come with a cost: high amount of calories, (saturated) fat, salt, and simple carbs.
Whether you’re at home or in the truck, you can whip up healthy “comfort food” with the right ingredients, tools, and a little know how.
The tools: Most of the drivers I talk to who love to cook in the truck swear by their rice cookers to make meals quickly and all in one pot, perfect for heart food like stews, casseroles, and more. If you don’t mind smelling the food you have cooking behind you for a few hours, a slow cooker is also a great option, and your meal will be ready when you are!
Once you have your equipment, there are endless combinations of healthy ingredients you can add to it, depending on preferences and availability. If you’re pretty new to cooking, just search some recipes online for “healthy slow cooker recipes” or “healthy comfort food” to get an idea of what you can whip up.
The ingredients you use are a total preference, but some healthy options that contribute to a filling and comforting meal include rice, quinoa, sweet potato, white potato (surprisingly high in nutrients!), and any other root veggies such as squash and carrots. Grains like quinoa and rice are great to have on hand in the truck, because they take up very little space!
Next, keep other veggies and legumes on hand like beans, broccoli, and tomatoes (canned are great for these meals). Then, pick a protein: chicken and lean pork are great options, but feel free to experiment depending on what you’re cooking.
Finally, add some flavor! Dried herbs & fresh garlic are a great way to add flavor to dishes, and can be added at the beginning of cooking for more mellow taste, or near the end for more punch.
Have fun with it and be flexible! If you only have white potatoes instead of sweet, or if broccoli is on sale when the recipe calls for cauliflower, just go with it!
Jambalaya is a warm, hearty, comforting dish full of protein, complex carbs, and veggies. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and can easily be done in a truck using a slow cooker or rice cooker! This specific recipe was created for a rice cooker, as we know a lot of drivers use them in their trucks.
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can diced tomatoes
½ onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
½ red or green bell pepper, diced
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
0.5-1 lb cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped
0.5 lb cooked turkey sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
½ onion, diced
0.5 tbsp Cajun or creole seasoning
Optional: 0.5 lb cooked shrimp
- Add all ingredients to the rice cooker and stir to combine.
- Set the rice cooker to Rice/Cook depending on your device.
- Once finished, stir and allow to sit for a few minutes if there is any remaining liquid.
- Enjoy! The leftovers will keep perfectly, too.
Note: If you’re at home or have a frying pan available, fry the sausage and onions with a little butter or oil for 1-2 minutes to brown lightly. This will help to bring out the flavor, but can be skipped if you have limited supplies in the truck.