Quick and healthy Labor Day meals on the go

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- If you're planning a Labor Day getaway, you can still eat well on the road.

On Tuesday's Good Morning Arizona, we found some ideas for quick and easy recipes that can be made at home or on the go. Chef Kay Carreon from Extended Stay America says these meals can help you stay on your healthy eating plan, even if you're traveling for the Labor Day weekend.

She says eating well on the road can help you avoid packing on those extra pounds often acquired on vacation! After all, the average traveler will typically gain some weight while on vacation. "86 percent of the travelers who go out and eat out gain three pounds," she says.

Chef's Carreon's recipes and other great on-the-go ideas are all featured in a cookbook available at Extended Stay America locations or online.

BLACK BEAN BURGERS
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 packet (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn, do not thaw
1 packet instant original oatmeal
1 egg*, beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 multi-grain wheat buns, toasted
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
Shredded lettuce
Prepared salsa
*Egg substitute equivalent can be used.

Mash beans in large bowl or plastic bag, leaving a few chunks. Stir in taco seasoning, salt and pepper as desired. Stir in corn, oats and egg. Refrigerate mixture 10 minutes to hydrate the oats.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. When oil begins to swirl, scoop one-fourth of the bean mixture and drop onto pan, slightly smoothing it into a circle. Cook on one side until golden and a bit crisp, about 8 minutes; flip and cook on the other side 8 minutes more.
3. Spread bottom of each bun with thin layer of mayonnaise. Top with lettuce, patties, salsa and bun top.

TIME SAVING THAI WRAPS
1 package (3 ounces) chicken-flavored ramen noodles*
2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups packaged shredded coleslaw mix
1/2 cup chopped rotisserie chicken
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Soy sauce (optional)
*Discard seasoning packet.

Cook noodles according to package directions; do not drain. Add peanut butter, 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring until melted. Stir in coleslaw mix and chicken; cover and set aside 2 minutes.
2. Spoon noodle mixture onto tortillas. Sprinkle with soy sauce, if desired. Wrap and serve immediately.

SUNNY'S LOADED OATMEAL:
Loaded Oatmeal
4 packets original instant oatmeal
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped apple
1 banana, sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
Candied Pecans
1 cup pecan halves
4 teaspoons Grade A maple syrup or pancake syrup
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
Kosher salt

Combine oatmeal packets and correct amount of water for 4 packets, dried cranberries and brown sugar in large saucepan. Prepare oatmeal as instructed. Remove from heat; stir in the apple. Set aside.
2. Toast pecans in large skillet over medium-high heat, while constantly stirring to prevent burning, until soft, chewy and warm, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to low; stir in syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cook, stirring constantly until most of brown sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
4. Serve oatmeal topped with several slices of banana, bacon and sprinkle of pecans

EASY CURRY CHICKEN SALAD PITA
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon mild yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian or hot paprika
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken breast
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
6 strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
2 pitas, each cut in half to make 2 pockets
1 cup loosely packed mixed lettuce

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder and paprika in large bowl or saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
2. Fold chicken, celery and walnuts into dressing. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
3. Line strawberries in two layers inside pita pocket. Pack lettuce into each of the 4 pockets over the strawberries. Scoop chicken salad on top to serve.