Posts tagged camping
The S'more You Know
VeganMoFo-Banner.jpg

Nothing quite captures an outdoor adventure like the camp classic s’mores. These things will turn the most crotchety adult into an excited, wide-eyed kid in mere moments. I don’t know if it’s my love of The Sandlot, or the connection to campfires and outdoors but s’mores instantly put a smile on my face. Although it’s not always easy finding vegan options, Ryan and I have done handfuls of trips and brought s’mores along. The best advice I can give is to plan ahead.

Joshua Tree January 2017

Joshua Tree January 2017

When we go on a trip, I make sure to grab a bag of Dandies and the only readily available vegan graham cracker I can find, Nabisco. I usually grab a couple of chocolate bars from work. You can pack them into a meal prep box and throw them with your camping supplies or take them on a flight. Most of the time I forget I even packed it until we are at our campsite, so it makes for extra magical nights.

Colossal Cave Mountain Park in Arizona

Colossal Cave Mountain Park in Arizona

For even more magic, I try switching things up with new cookie/chocolate combos. Here are some tasty combinations that may make your starry nights even more spectacular. As always, the instructions are simple: graham, chocolate, flaming ‘mallow, graham. Then, you scarf.

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP

Enjoy Life Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Divine Dark Chocolate w/ Hazelnut Truffle

Dandies Marshmallow

CHOCOLATE COVERED RASPBERRIES

Nabisco Grahams

Divine Dark Chocolate w/ Raspberries

Dandies Marshmallow

Chocolate covered raspberry s’more

Chocolate covered raspberry s’more

PEANUTTY BUTTER CUP

Back to Nature Peanut Butter Creme Cookies

Theo’s Peanut Butter Cup

Dandies Marshmallow

NOCCIOLATA & STRAWBERRY

Nabisco Grahams

Nocciolata Dairy Free Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread

Sliced Strawberry

Dandies Marshmallow

Nocciolata and strawberries are a match made in s’more heaven

Nocciolata and strawberries are a match made in s’more heaven

Always remember that adventure doesn’t stop when the hiking boots are kicked off for the day. Little changes to your campfire traditions can make wonderful and extraordinary memories. The possibilities for this are truly endless. Remember to plan ahead and thank yourself later.

Thank you so much for checking out Vegan Backpacker week! See you tomorrow for the beginning of my local spotlight.

Outdoor Herbivore Review
VeganMoFo-Banner.jpg

Today’s blog is all about Outdoor Herbivore*. I dunno how most people do Vegan MoFo, but I am all about the research. I knew I wanted to dedicate a week to camp food, but I was interested in new and exciting vegan finds. I happened upon this Ultimate Guide to Vegan Backpacking and noticed there was a tofu scramble. Hell yeah! Breakfast tacos!

A little bit about Outdoor Herbivore. The company was started in 2010 with several goals in mind: local ingredients, vegetarian options, less sodium, easy prep and less waste. All of their food is vegetarian with a ton of vegan options. All of the meals are also no cook, just requiring boiling water or cold water.

Pricing is pretty inexpensive compared to a lot of the stuff I’ve found in outdoor stores while on road trips. They also offer single or double sizes, which is fantastic! But how does the flavor stack up? I tried the sunrise tofu scramble and Pacific Crest vinaigrette salad. The scramble was delicious! I added nutritional yeast to it and made breakfast tacos with Cholula. The salad was…okay. I think I would have loved it had it not been so onion-forward. If you like onions, though, it is a very refreshing change from dry, heavy camping/hiking food.

Definitely check out and support this company if you are a vegan outdoor enthusiast like myself. So many great options that won’t leave you bored in the backcountry!

Pacific Crest vinaigrette

Pacific Crest vinaigrette

DAY 3 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks)

Cinnamon raisin oatmeal…great start to the day

Cinnamon raisin oatmeal…great start to the day

Come back tomorrow for the last day of our 4 day vegan backpacking adventure! More recipes to follow.

*All opinions above are my own. I have no affiliation with Outdoor Herbivore.

Best Backcountry Meals and Adventuring for Dreamers
VeganMoFo-Banner.jpg

Part of the fun of hanging out in nature is the communal eating. Fire, warm food, and community is where our ancestors connected, so it is fantastic to revel in the history. Most people like to think inside the box when it comes to camping food, but with a little planning you can have some great meals out there. Here are my top five favorite meals I’ve had out in backcountry, in no particular order.

PANCAKES

This is a perfect way to start the day. Pancakes are comforting, filling, and really easy to make. Just get a premade mix or make your own and add water or shelf stable non-dairy milk. I brought pancakes along when we did our first backcountry camp at Big Bend. It was perfect for the chilly October morning.

Ryan cooking vegan pancakes

Ryan cooking vegan pancakes

HERBED MUSHROOM RISOTTO

Most of the time I find prepackaged backpacking food to be a bust. It’s either too watery or bland and, occasionally, foul-tasting. This risotto from Good To-Go is an exception. Perfectly spiced. Filling. Ultra creamy. This was a pleasant surprise when we were camping in Arizona.

GRILLED CHEESE AND TOMATO SOUP

Most of the camping I do is done in the late fall, early winter because Texas is too hot in the summer. Cold sandwiches just don’t cut it when you are dealing with cold or wet conditions. This is one of our favorite no fuss meals when we want comfort and something warming for the body. All it takes is bread, cheese (I use Daiya cheddar slices), non-dairy margarine or oil, and Pacific Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. I love it!

TACOS

If you want to feel super fancy, why not try out some tacos on the trail? All you need is some tvp, taco seasoning, and tortillas. Or if you want to get really fancy, grab yourself some dehydrated tofu scramble and have some breakfast tacos like a true Texan.

Dehydrated tofu scramble from Outdoor Herbivore

Dehydrated tofu scramble from Outdoor Herbivore

GRILLED VEGGIES AND SAUSAGE

This may seem super pedestrian, but you can really create some great things with this. We’ve done grilled corn with all the fixings. I’ve done sausage and pepper packets. I’ve done sausage, veggies, and lentil rice. The possibilities are endless and there are so many vegan sausages out there right now to fit your needs or make your own!

Big Bend October 2017

Big Bend October 2017

Now, let’s talk menu for day 2 of our vegan backpacking trip. There are some new things that I’ve tried. Both the scramble and cous cous are definite winners! The chia pudding was delightful. Recipe coming later this week.

DAY 2 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks)

January 2018

January 2018

Part of the reason I chose this theme for the week is the joy I feel when I’m out on the road or camping in nature. There is a sense of calm and wonderment that takes over me. I find that I start to appreciate my life and all obstacles that led to me becoming the person I am today. There is no way your problems stay looming over you when you are sitting under a giant Ponderosa pine in Montana or staring at the vast desert of Death Valley.

Ryan and I have a tradition of taking a photo right before we hit the road on our trips. Every time I see one of these photos, it puts a smile on my face. I remember all the planning and anticipation leading up to that moment, and I see it as the starting point for us getting lost in all of those tiny moments on a trip. What about you? How do you make magic out of your adventures? Leave a comment and share some of your favorite camping meals! Happy MoFoing!

Warm Food and Unexpected Adventures

There are times when no amount of preparation can save you from unexpected bad weather on a camping/hiking trip. You can read about my first time camping at Joshua Tree here if you want to understand why I fall in love with the unexpected.

There is something so wonderfully powerful about experiencing something in a new and unique way. Ryan and I endured something most people do not while camping in the desert. I will never forget the smell of that soaked sand or how cold the air felt that morning. We were the only people in the campground that night, and it felt like the park belonged to us.

Since Ryan and I got together, we’ve had the privilege of taking at least two trips together a year. We usually take a huge road trip at the beginning of January, so we’ve seen a lot of unusual weather. The first year, we hit snow in New Mexico and Arizona. We got rained out in Southern California. We shivered the night away while camping in Southern Arizona. At the beginning of this year we happened to arrive at the Grand Canyon in the transition from snow to thunderstorm.

IMG_1184.jpg

We drove into Grand Canyon Village overnight and felt like we had stepped into the past. Even though it was two weeks into January, Christmas lights decorated the entire street. A thin layer of snow covered the ground, only adding to the magic of the night. The next morning did not have weather looking any better. It was less than 60 degrees and drizzling all day. Ryan was a bit bummed, but I really loved it.

The gray sky didn’t wash out the brilliant earth tones and layering like a bright sun would. Every single color looked vibrant and bold. I have never felt so small in all my life. We walked the park with barely any company, and we stood at one of the highest points as the rain picked up and started to steadily fall again. I sent Ryan a postcard that day, one he wouldn’t see for at least two weeks. It said “Here’s a pic of the sunny Grand Canyon! So glad we got to experience the fog and rain and clouds. Thank you for pushing and coaching me towards the edge. I’ve seen things I never would have seen. Love, Mo”

Ain’t it the truth. Sometimes, you have to experience the unexpected to make an adventure truly extraordinary.

IMG_1210.jpg

If you didn’t check out my post yesterday, please do! I did a little video about a 4 Day backpacking adventure. Here’s the recipe from Day 1 for the pb choc chip banana oatmeal I posted about.

Chocolately, peanutty, nanner goodness.

Chocolately, peanutty, nanner goodness.

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA OATMEAL

Serves 1-2

Prep Time: 2 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes

  • 1 cup instant oatmeal

  • 2 Tbsp dehydrated peanut butter like PB2

  • 2 Tbsp dehydrated non-dairy milk

  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1/4 cup freeze-dried bananas (get these from any health food store)

  • 2-3 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water

Mix everything except for the water together in a quart size ziploc bag. When ready to make in the backcountry, boil water. Pour over oatmeal. Stir until combined and let sit for about 5 minutes.

Such high hopes, but I’d say to definitely hold out for Just Mayo to bring back mayo packets

Such high hopes, but I’d say to definitely hold out for Just Mayo to bring back mayo packets

The oatmeal was delightfully good and filling. I’m definitely taking this with me out on the trail. I also used that Loma Linda lemon pepper fishless tuna with some Chosen Foods vegan mayo packets. I…was not a fan of the mayo. It completely ruined it for me. I do not want sweet in my pickles and I do not want sweet in my mayo. Um…no.

DAY 1 MENU (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack)

Tomorrow we’ll be taking a look at elevating your camp meal game and the menu for Day 2 of vegan backpacker week. Thanks for reading!

Wild 'n Outdoors
VeganMoFo-Banner.jpg

Welcome to Vegan Backpacker Week! I'm going to spend this week sharing my passion for outdoors and camping. Look for recipes, vlogs, and cool tips for the next 7 days.  Let's begin with preparation. No travel adventure is complete without at least a little bit of forethought. I like to get a feeling for where I'm going and how much access to vegan food I would have. For instance, Joshua Tree has tons of options like restaurants, outdoor shops, and grocery stores. Oh the other hand, you better do a little research if you want to eat past 10p at the Grand Canyon.

Today, I'm talking about meals for a 4 day vegan outdoor adventure. All items not purchased from a grocery store came from Amazon, Outdoor Herbivore, and Vegan Essentials. All of these ideas can be scaled down a lot by finding inexpensive alternatives at bargain stores or your neighborhood grocery. Check out the video below for a 4 day trip with vegan goodies.

CHEAPER ALTERNATIVES

Rico's Vegan Pork Rinds: Check out Sabritones for a much lower price point.

Breakfast Tacos w/ Sunrise Tofu Scramble: Try making some bean tacos with Santa Fe vegetarian beans.

Island Hopper Trail Mix: Try making GORP instead...raisins and peanuts. Throw in some vegan chococolate chips if you're feeling fancy.

Daiya Bac'n and Cheddar Macaroni: Switch gears and hit up some Indian flavors with Tasty Bite entrees like Spinach Dal.

IMG_1586.jpg

Stay tuned for the rest of the week, as I work my way through these backpacker meals. Recipes, reviews and so much more!