It’s outdoor season: everyone’s packing in their weekend camping trips, river trips, mountain hikes and beach walks to this glorious month of August. Think mealtime on the move means peanut butter sandwiches and trail mix day after day?
I delight in planning meals for camping trips and day hikes. It feels so kingly to arrive at mealtime in the woods and have some fresh produce around to work into a simple meal. You can still pack your marshmallows for sentimental reasons, but check out some new ideas for mealtimes in the great outdoors.
Your fresh idea arsenal:
Cucumber Salad – Pack a large cucumber, a small knife wrapped in a cloth, a mini cutting board and a small bowl. Wrap some mint in a paper towel or in a baggie, and if you love them like me, pack a jar of pitted kalamata olives. Make a salad on the fly using the cucumber, mint, olives and a touch of sea salt. Everyone will love you for the fresh addition to classic camp or beach fare.
Lettuce Wraps – Yep. Just one head of lettuce goes a long way to freshen a meal in the woods. Use it in place of bread to make sandwich bites with whatever protein you have on hand. Your liver will thank you for something that counterbalances all the potato chips and bread (even if it’s gluten free).
Romano beans – Two weeks in a row, I am recommending these flat, meaty green beans. Yes! Eat them raw, or toss them with salt and olive oil and some raspberries for a lovely, no fuss salad. All you need is a bowl and your ingredients – just snap the beans in half for easier eating. Pack a napkin if you eat this salad by hand, like I often do.
Baby beets – if you are camping and have a stove, simply boil them until tender and season with whatever you have on site (sea salt, lemon, olive oil – the holy trinity). If you only have a campfire, pack some foil and fire-roast them: cut them into quarters, drizzle with olive oil and salt and wrap them in a foil bundle. Throw it in the fire (where you will be able to retrieve it with tongs) and cook them for 30 minutes or so. Open the packets and be thankful for this sturdy veggie chock full of magnesium that will help you sleep well (and digest well) after a fun day in the woods. (1 cup of beets contains close to 1/3 of your daily dose of magnesium).
Super proteins – hardboiled eggs, smoked salmon, cooked chicken or turkey are favorite proteins to pack in a cooler for road trips and camping trips alike. You should aim to eat protein with each meal or snack, even if it’s just a couple eggs and that delightful cucumber salad.
Pesto – homemade pesto is always a popular addition to your moveable feast. It holds up well in transport, and transforms an average sandwich or lettuce wrap into something special. Consider keeping some in your freezer ready for your next trip, so you can simply throw it in the cooler and go.
How fresh is that? Here’s to these final full weeks of summer camp and adventures in full swing! Enjoy it!