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Camping time!

Hi all!

So, I completely changed my diet about a year ago, and now eat vegan and also no refined sugar, refined flour, or tofu/meat substitutes. (Maybe I should've posted this on the special diets board, haha!)

I'm about to go camping for four days next weekend and everybody is bringing their own food to be stored in the cooler. We won't have any way to heat up food or prep food there, basically just grabbing things out of the cooler to eat. I'm fine with things that require a lot of prep work before leaving. I'm proficient in the kitchen but eat almost all hot food at home so I'm blanking on ideas here.

Any creative ideas of things I could bring, so I don't just subsist on carrot sticks, fruit, nuts, and PBJ sandwiches?


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  1. Hummus, or another bean puree, would travel well and could be eaten with veggies and/or bread/crackers.

    I also love this granola recipe from the NYTimes for a very low sugar, vegan granola (I sub half of the coconut with flax meal):

    1. Pasta or couscous salad with roasted or grilled veg and balsamic vinaigrette. Or similar idea with a sandwich. Grilled portabella mushrooms. Salsas: Corn & black bean; mango and hot pepper.

      1. Just some thoughts swirling around in my head:

        Edamame- in a salad or just by itself.

        You can get a lot of mileage out of hummus.

        Apple slices (left whole until you want them) smeared with a nut butter then dipped/rolled in a container of granola, trail mix, or toasted almonds to bulk it up.

        For something truly grab and go you could prep some spring rolls and a dipping sauce. Traditional fillings are great but you can wrap almost anything in rice paper- all types of marinated or grilled vegetables + a smear of something pureed + a grain if you want it. In the back of my mind I have a vague thought about grilled eggplant, a roasted red pepper spread, and quinoa rolled up in rice paper.

        Veggie sushi? All prep, no assembly, heat, or utensils required. And if you take a few sheets of nori you can shove anything in them later.

        If you don't mind that it's not hot I think a baked sweet potato might be nice. Especially if you made a black bean and corn salsa type thing in a separate container and poured it on top of the potato when you're ready to eat it. Along those lines...corn tortilla chips with more of that black bean salsa.

        Falafel patties and something to dip them in?

        1. Camping with no way to heat anything? No campfire?

          5 Replies
          1. re: ferret

            I'm curious too...maybe an area with a burn ban. I think little propane camping stoves are great fun but not everyone shares my love of tinkering.

            Unthinkable to me but maybe none of them are pyromaniacs? Or a really physical trip (kayaks?) where everyone is too wiped out to gather wood and wait for nice coals for dinner and lunch is whatever you can reach in your pack behind you.

            Also, even if there is a campfire I still can't think of as many things that would be good if veggie dogs/smores/grilled cheese aren't on the menu- I'd definitely be trying to pack more cold, ready to eat dishes.

            1. re: PinkLynx

              One of my camping faves (as an avowed omnivore), is chili on a slab of grilled polenta. Easy to do it up vegan-style. Any veggie-bean stew will work.

              1. re: ferret

                But it's going to be eaten cold, or at ambient temp if the OP can hold out that long to let it reach air temp. Call me crazy but room temp chili doesn't sound appetizing.

                1. re: ferret

                  I was responding to PinkLynx's speculation on what would be good with a campfire.

                2. re: PinkLynx

                  Oh I am indeed a bit of a pyro, haha, but I won't be able to indulge it on this particular weekend. It's not quite as cool as a kayak trip, but rather a sort of outdoor convention of 1,000 people where everybody brings their own tent and for safety reasons there are no fires/burners/grills allowed since there are so many tents so close together. (Well, fire is allowed in one small designated area that gets very crowded, plus there are classes and activities that keep us too busy to spend time cooking, so we would rather just skip that part altogether.)

                  Thanks for all the great ideas! I'm definitely going to put some of them to use, especially the hummus, black bean corn salsa, spring rolls, and a couscous or maybe barley salad! Also seeing these suggestions helped spur my creativity a bit, and I am also considering making some granola bars, an interesting trail mix, a broccoli salad that should stay crisp well, maybe some coconut milk rice pudding...

                  And I think I just may have to bring some s'mores fixins' in case we manage to scmooze our way up to somebody else's fire for a moment. Thanks for reminding me. :)

              2. Lots of random ideas here....
                - dry roasted edamame (buy it, sea point farms is one brand)
                - dates with a smear of almond butter inside
                - this cold soup is very hearty, obviously omit the feta garnish
                - this lentil nut pate is very very good and dense enough you won't be hungry in an hour
                - bring avocados, then you can fill with a beany veg salad like this kind of idea:
                - this tempeh chimmichuri is amazing, and keeps well for several days
                - bring non dairy milk, chia seeds, and oats to make overnight oats for breakfasts, add fresh berries or fruit
                - massaged kale salad hold great, you could make a big batch to bring and add different veggies/beans/whatever to switch it up some
                - for energy bars this is an awesome customizable "formula" with a few specific recipes too..

                1. Great suggestions here. Just wanted to add:

                  If you're packing any salads/greens/raw veggies, try putting them in mason jars. It really does work to keep lettuces and cut veggies fresh and crisp for up to a week.

                  1. if you like Japanese flavors, onigiri, or rice balls, are a classic Japanese travel food. The rice is mixed with vinegar to preserve it, and there's usually some pickled veg in the center, like umeboshi plum or pickled daikon. Sometimes they're coated with sesame seeds or nori flakes, but for travel, they can also be wrapped completely in nori sheets while still warm.

                    Onigiri are usually made with sushi rice, but I've made them with soft-cooked brown rice and they were great. This recipe calls for sugar in the vinegar mix, but you can leave it out: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe... .

                    If you get some packets of soy sauce from an Asian restaurant or the sushi station at Whole Foods, and some powdered wasabi, they'd be a nice, portable accompaniment.

                    Here are some other recipes:

                    I always take some single-serving green drink packets when I'm going somewhere I might not be able to get a full range of nutrients. They sell several kinds at the Vitamin Shoppe. Go Greens is a good, organic, soy-free one (about $1.25/packet). That might be something to consider so you don't get too depleted.

                    1. They expect you to live out of a cooler and disallow all cooking or prep for four days?

                      That's just nuts.

                      1. Black bean and corn salsa provided that the corn is 100 percent usda organic. You can find vegan chips, or etc that will go with it that don't contain the refined flour etc.

                        Pineapple mango salsa, Edemame and chickpea hummus.

                        Melon salad with mint, Avocado, tomatoes with a balsalmic vinegar and oil dressing.

                        Cucumber Salad, - Cucumbers, carrots, onion, with rice wine vinegar a little olive oil if needed, sesame

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                          Why do you single out corn as the only organic ingredient?

                          1. re: gourmanda

                            Non organic is likely GMO would be my guess...

                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                              That's what I guessed was the point. But what about everything else? I know corn and soy are the main commercial GMO crops but that's not to say other ingredients are not GMO.

                              1. re: gourmanda

                                I know what you're saying.... For myself and the state of my bank balance i prioritize organic soy, corn, and the dirty dozen produce to avoid as many gmos and pesticides as i can- but everyone has a different line in the sand.

                                I'd rather eat a huge non organic salad with gmo ingredients than no salad any day....

                        2. Have you scrolled through the Vegetarian&Vegan "What's For Dinner" thread?


                          I've noticed that many of the recent entries have been cold/room-temp entrees. Ahhh summer.

                          Have a great time!

                          1. I just returned from a three night trip for which I packed food to leave in a b & b refrigerator. (So the food was for lunch and dinner). I brought:

                            tabouli salad
                            a bag of chopped kale
                            a bag of chopped salad greens
                            a bag of sliced radish
                            a bag of sliced onion
                            a bag of sliced (cooked) beets
                            three peanut butter sized jars of dressings: one oil & vinegar, one nut based, and one tahini based
                            several prepared vegan "quiche" slices and vegetable pies I picked up at the Farmer's Market

                            This was for two. We had leftovers.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: alc

                              just looked at my post and realized I left out one of the most important components: a bag of collard leaves. I used them to make wraps with the grated carrots and beets and the various dips and dressings.

                            2. First thing I thought of is black bean salad - black beans, red onion, peppers of your choice, some japaleno, corn, cilantro, cumin, a drizzle of olive oil and a whole bunch of lime. Eat with a spoon or wrap in tortilla. Avocados are a good addition but get squishy if added, better added at the last minute. Have fun!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: prunefeet

                                Thanks for posting this.

                                Not camping, but I am "playing" with this classic salad this evening.

                                Unfortunately I have NO fresh cilantro nor jalapeno available (?!).

                                I am playing with using canned chipotles in adobo sauce instead. Cheeky, I know!