We went away this last weekend, and camped, with kids! Small kids. Lots of people do this I know, but there are a few things that we did which I think made it easier. And food was a big one. Being away doesn’t mean I want to resort to eating junk, but I do want fast, easy meals that are simple to prepare…
So here was my plan! (And note we are still vegetarian and continue to be on the last few weeks of dairy free eating.)
Dinner on the first night: Vegan sausages with wine sauerkraut and raw veggies.
The sausages were amazing, and being vegan, only needed reheating over the fire, so took less time than actual meat to cook. Kids loved it! And ate most of their sauerkraut separately. The veggies were all pre-cut and ready to go, and made for great snacking while waiting for the sausages. Also made for great morning and afternoon snacks through the camping adventures. Fuel for our hike!
The next morning we started off right with pancakes and eggs. Solution for this meal was the pre-made pancake better. Put it in an old, washed, ketchup squeeze bottle and voila! No mess! And less clean up. The chocolate, coconut pancakes were a big hit and special camping treat. Get the recipe here! They were so good in fact, we ate before a picture could be taken.
We only brought a small pairing knife. The easiest way to tackle a watermelon with a small knife is to cut it in half by slicing all the way around the melon (not through it like you would with a large knife) Then cut it into quarters. Once you have smaller pieces to work with you can cut slices, or as we did for small kids, cut off the peel and dice it so it could be eaten with a fork (less mess and bear bait).
Lunch was next was pre-made and canned soup. Not real canning mind you – just enough to seal the jars so they could sit at the bottom of our waterlogged cooler and not get diluted. This type of canning lasts long enough for camping and is a healthy and economic way to eat. Soo good. I used a family recipe favourite.
Our dinner was our “cheat” night. And by that I mean we usually get treats on occasion. It used to be only on weekends but now it’s even less than that. So our treat was this meal. And consisted of walking tacos. I didn’t get a picture because I forgot. Maybe it’s because I was so excited about the chips! (I’m a savoury girl and salt fiend, as is my daughter.) This meal met all my cravings! Most people already know about it, but you don’t I’ll fill you in (because everybody should know about it!): Cut the top off a small sized nacho chip bag (think halloween size), then fill with pre-diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cheese (in our case diaya – dairy free cheese), and taco meat (ground round sautéed in the camping pan with taco seasoning) Dig a fork in and enjoy. Hardly any dishes either. Bonus!
Dessert was a camping go-to we could not go without. It needs no explanation.
If you are dairy free then you MUST buy the good chocolate with no dairy and waxy additives. I think I might be dairy free forever if it means good chocolate in my life from now on!
Finally breakfast the following morning: meet my homemade breakfast burritos. They freeze well and heat up like magic over a campfire. And are super tasty and loved by all. The making of them takes love and a bit of time ahead of the trip, but it is well worth it. First you diced up the vegetarian sausages (2 Tofurky italian sausages in this case) and dry fry (no oil) in a hot pan until sealed. Then scramble the eggs until just not moist, adding neccisary salt and pepper. Then dice the red potato up into 1/2″ cubes or smaller (think small hashbrowns!) Boil for 5-7 min until just cooked – do not over cook! Then drain off water and transfer to a hot pan and dry fry (no oil) until browned. Basically you are taking the moisture out of the food just enough that it doesn’t make the tortillas soggy that you will wrap them in. Don’t fret, we add cheese (or diaya – dairy free cheese) to reclaim the moisture and fat to enhance the flavours at the end. Put all the just made hot fillings in the fridge for 1/2hr to an hour until cold. Then wrap these babies up in tortillas adding about 2 tsp of cheese (or dairy free substitute) per burrito to the mix. Wrap in tin foil and either freeze or refrigerate until later use for campfire ready food.
So that was this weekend’s meal plan. And what great meals they were! I’m only sad that now we’re home and my magic trick of pulling meals out of a cooler, already prepared, is over.