Eating on the Road - Brain Food

Post Date - May 22, 2024

Orange + Black has your back when it comes to dining on the road. What you eat can affect your mental well-being, brain function, mood regulation, and much more. While you’re on the road, it can be difficult to stay healthy. One simple and nutritious recipe you can make using an air fryer and microwave is a quinoa and vegetable bowl. This meal is packed with nutrients that can support your mental health while being easy to prepare on the road.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables (such as broccoli, carrots, peas)
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: salsa, avocado slices, shredded cheese


  1. Cook Quinoa:
    1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water.
    2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the rinsed quinoa and water.
    3. Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Prepare Vegetables:
    1. Place the frozen mixed vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl.
    2. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables are heated through.
    3. Drain any excess water from the vegetables.
  3. Air Fryer Black Beans:
    1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
    2. Toss the drained and rinsed black beans with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    3. Spread the beans in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
    4. Air fry for 8-10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until the beans are crispy.
  4. Assemble Bowl:
    1. In a bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, microwaved vegetables, and crispy black beans.
    2. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
    3. Top with salsa, avocado slices, shredded cheese, or any other toppings you prefer.

How It Supports Mental Health:

Nutrient-Rich: This meal provides a good balance of complex carbohydrates (from quinoa), fiber (from vegetables and beans), healthy fats (from olive oil and avocado), and protein (from quinoa and black beans). These nutrients support stable blood sugar levels, which can positively impact mood and energy levels.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: If you add avocado or use olive oil, you'll be incorporating healthy fats that are beneficial for brain health and mood regulation.

Convenience: This recipe is quick to prepare using minimal equipment, making it a convenient and satisfying option for truck drivers with limited cooking facilities. Having a balanced and nutritious meal on the road can contribute to overall mental well-being and sustained energy levels throughout the day.

Feel free to customize this recipe with your favorite vegetables and toppings to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy your meal and safe travels!

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