November 24, 2009

On the Road Again

Off again on another whirlwind adventure! I decided to make the most out of my Thanksgiving holiday on the east coast and head out a week early to visit my ladies who left the warmth of sunny California for the fall chill of Boston, DC, NYC and beyond. And I have to admit, although I am a Californian to the core, the holiday spirit combined with the comfort of bundling up has my heart singing show tunes.

Three plane rides, a train, and endless house visits along the way, I knew I needed to prepare a slightly larger-than-usual snack pack to keep me full and energized throughout the trip. So I prepped a few perishables: (a) a giant pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked in ground mustard and balsamic vinegar and (b) some Heidi’s Hens no salt turkey meat (30mg per serving).  And rounded up a cornucopia of non-perishables as well: (a) dried cranberries, (b) Enjoy Life Cinnamon Crunch Granola, (c) shelled, salt free sesame seeds, (d) salt free pop corn to pop, and (e) some delicious fruit leather – remember that stuff? Like fruit roll-ups without the chemicals. As an added bonus, I found at a Bostonian Whole Foods a new brand of low sodium lavash bread that has packed nicely in my bag and remained incredibly soft and fresh for the remainder of my travels.

As for eating out, it has been a breeze. In most restaurant kitchens, fish will be left naked (cat call whistles appropriate) until preparation – sans seasoning and sans marinade – and it is a safe bet that you can order a simply grilled or sauteed, salt free fillet for dinner.

If you have reservations somewhere,  it always helps to call ahead and ask the chef to set aside some meat or fish for you as well as some fresh veggies that have not been dunked in a pot of boiling salt water.

Perfect example: Rocca Kitchen and Bar. They were incredibly accommodating and delighted me with a roasted whole Branzino (wowzer) that was steeping in a delicate broth of roasted tomato juice. Although the flavors weren’t overwhelming, I have come to truly appreciate the simple enjoyment of fresh ingredients. The potatoes also happened to be cooked perfectly.  Slightly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and thick enough to soak up the broth like a piece of fresh-out-of-the-oven bread.

It was delicious and impressive in its grand presentation.  Speaking of presentation, check out this pasta sampler.  Not sodium free, but definitely beautiful and inspiring.  Perhaps a low sodium version will grace the West Coast in the near future…

All and all, a wonderful trip filled with good eats and lots of fun diversions. Yesterday Boston, today DC, tomorrow Philly and a fantastic Thanksgiving ahead.

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