Denver to DC: Jolly Green Giant and Corn Palace

Rima (with her son) visiting the Green Giant.

Denver to DC: One RD’s quest to find good food on the road

Day 3: Murdo, SD to Rochester, MN

Not a successful “good food” day. Let’s just say “hotel breakfast” deserves its own blog entry, while even good intentions at dinner (salad, soup) can be derailed if the food is just plain bad. (Life’s too short to eat bad food.) More to come on both of those topics soon…

In the meantime, we did see some quirky food-related Americana today… the Corn Palace (Mitchell, SD) and the Jolly Green Giant statue (Blue Earth, MN).

The Corn Palace is literally a large building (or “palace”) made of corn. The facade is removed and replaced every summer with new designs. The palace was created to honor South Dakota’s corn fertility, which got me thinking about a great car-bound snack…

MYO (“Make Your Own”) microwave popcorn

Popcorn is a whole grain. So, pop a couple of cups of fat-free air-popped popcorn to enjoy while on the road.

I learned this trick from a former RD mentor in San Francisco, Allison Horton Eastwood. Place 1/4 cup whole corn in a brown paper “lunch bag.” Pop for 3 minutes or less, until kernels stop popping. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Or, top with your favorite herbs and spices. Just one cup of air-popped popcorn contains 30 calories, <1 gram of fat and 1.2 grams of fiber.

Several 100’s of square miles of corn later, we saw the  Green Giant statue. Erected in 1978, the Giant stands over 55′ tall. This, of course, got me thinking about vegetables and how eating them on the road isn’t as easy (or tasty) as it should be.

Easy tip for getting more veggies on the road: Load up on available veggies when ordering your sandwich, burger, pizza, burrito, salad, etc. Extra veggies will automatically boost the fiber and nutrient content of your meal. Fiber is important for helping to keep you feeling fuller longer, important for keeping you from mindless snacking in the car.

Have time to cook some veggies? Check out The Veggie Queen and Makeover Meal Moms for delicious veggie recipes.

Stay tuned for more daily escapades and quirky food destinations…