RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Road Food: Articles by Dennis Weaver
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The Greens Along the Road


We pulled into a truck stop near the Utah-Idaho border. It was a late spring evening, a perfect temperature. With an unusually wet spring, the hills were unbelievably green. We expected to see deer feeding alongside the mountain roads this evening.

Three college-aged guys in a nondescript car pulled in next to us. They climbed out and popped the trunk. Inside was a big blue cooler. They dug out a loaf of bread, one of those airy, doughy types without any substance. Then came out a plastic-packaged stack of bologna. The bologna went on the bread; I didn't see any condiments. The three leaned back against the car, took in the cooling air, and enjoyed their dinner on the road.

There was a time, I thought, when I would eat like that -- but not any more. Even on the road, I'm going to eat better than that!

If I were going to eat out of the trunk instead of at the drive-through, what would I eat? The answer that evening was easy -- salads. Maybe I would have a chicken salad with Italian dressing or maybe a Waldorf salad. The choices are myriad and most of them can be adapted to the road. I won't feel like I have to let my belt out a notch, and I won't get drowsy from the metabolic yoyo brought on by junk food or sweets.

Here are two recipes for salads I've adapted for the road. Consider these prototypes -- principles of what you can build for the road -- more than recipes. Use these principles to build salads that fit your palate. And maybe the best part -- you can get these salads ready to go on the road in about fifteen minutes!

Turkey, Spinach, and Feta Cheese Salad>
Chicken, Bacon, and Tomato Salad>

Dennis WeaverDennis Weaver -- having burnt food from Miami, Florida to Point Barrow, Alaska -- is RTA's road food expert. He has logged thousands of hours on the roads, trails, and waterways of America including many of Alaska's wilderness rivers and has consistently been elected the trips' "chief cook and bottle washer." Dennis is currently general manager at The Prepared Pantry, a company in Rigby, Idaho, that produces ready-to-eat meals and baking mixes packaged in Mylar. Weatherproof, bug-proof, and critter resistant, they're ideal for both roadtrips and back woods camping. Dennis may be reached at


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