And how DO vegetarians find good sources of protein when traveling? Because vegetarian road food can be a real challenge if you want to eat something besides cheese sandwiches, pizzas, omelets, and/or nutrition bars. Tasty though these may be, few of us want to consume them every single day while we're traveling.
So yes, hungry vegetarian traveler, good "sources" of protein do exist for you. For example, after years of frustration and not infrequent hunger pangs, I've begun carrying a stash of dehydrated travel food in addition to the ubiquitous commercial protein bars.
Ummm, dehydrated road food? Does that seem like a stretch? It's actually quite practical. Just as an example, dehydrated kale chips can provide a serious energy kick despite having relatively little protein—although lots of other good stuff. For travel protein, dehydrated seitan can fill in very well, as apparently can dehydrated cottage cheese (more about that one later).
Among the good sources of protein for the vegetarian traveler (if you're not gluten-intolerant!) would be dehydrated seitan, which is something you can actually make at home. Here's how: simply sliver the seitan chunks/slices the best way you can, which will depend upon the type you have. Place the slivers onto drying trays, slide the trays into your dehydrator, and process until thoroughly dry.
Although the dehydration time required will depend upon your dehydrator's capacity and the size of your slivers, the process probably won't take more than a few hours. Still, for the first time around it would be good to watch fairly closely. If possible, don't begin this process in the evening, as you'd need to turn off the dehydrator before you go to bed, refrigerate the slivers, and then finish dehydrating the next day.
BTW, you could probably dehydrate seitan slivers in your oven, although it would be a little trickier to manage than in a dehydrator.
Eating Dried Seitan
The great thing about drying seitan slivers is that you'll often be able to eat them later without pre-soaking. So great for "walk-around" snacks, these slivers can provide a quick shot of protein at a moment's notice. In fact, I carry them myself routinely when I'm out and about.
For trips, you can package the slivers with dried cranberries, cashews and/or peanuts, sunflower/pumpkin seeds (also good sources of protein), and maybe even a few M&Ms in a container. Combined, they make a nifty trail mix and substitute quite nicely for yet another cheese sub. Perhaps you might try something like this yourself if you have access to a dehydrator.
You can dehydrate cottage cheese? Apparently you can, although (disclosure note!) I have not done this myself as yet. It sure would make a wonderful vegetarian road food, though. Some use cottage cheese in fruit or veggie “leathers,” for example, combining it with fruit or such veggies as tomatoes or kale. Here's one recipe to try...
[To see how they dehydrate cottage cheese at the Watkins Ranch, click here. They are, however, drying cottage cheese itself, as opposed to wafers.]
Please note: when taking dehydrated cottage cheese on the road or even for at-home use, I strongly suggest keeping it in a cooler of some kind. Just in case...
And there you have it, itchy-footed vegetarian: road food just for you. Happy trails, rivers, and skies!
Living Vegetarian the Easy Way
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