Versatile Foods to Have on Hand for Simple Meals and Snacks
Load the cooler with any left-over veggies in your fridge, including greens, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, and/or any other veggies. If you have time, cut them up in advance and bring them in Ziploc baggies. They can be eaten as snacks or used in salads or cooked with other foods. Also bring along some tofu, hummus, salsa, avocados, nuts, almond butter, and marinara sauce with whole-grain pasta.
And don't forget the fruit. Apples, oranges, strawberries, and kiwifruit travel well. Bananas do well if they are not crushed. Some fruit such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and mangos can be cut up and placed into Ziploc baggies for easy access. Also, don't forget the dark chocolate!
Foods that you can prepare in advance to cook with or have on hand for snacks include brown rice, beans, cooked whole-grain pasta, portobello mushrooms with marinade, boiled small potatoes, washed and cut greens. Bring these in 1-gallon Ziploc baggies.
Bring along some non-dairy milk in cartons that do not require refrigeration before opening. That way you can save space in the cooler.
Heat source. Many campgrounds have grills and/or electricity. You can also bring your own grill as well as a portable gas stove and/or electric burner along with charcoal or propane gas.
Cookware and Utensils. It's a good idea to bring a skillet for sauteing or stir-frying and a pot for boiling water or warming up any sauces. Also a large spoon for stirring, a spatula, and tongs.
Easy Breakfast Idea
Prepare in advance a mixture of cereal, nuts, dried fruit, and seeds and bring it in a 1-gallon Ziploc baggie. Then add some fresh fruit and non-dairy milk. My favorite is a mixture of rolled oats, Kashi 7-Grain cereal, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, slivered almonds, and goji berries with fresh bananas, berries, and almond milk.
Easy Lunch & Dinner Ideas
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers. If you have access to a grill, bring some portobello mushrooms in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag with marinade (I like to use balsamic vinegar and red wine with a splash of soy sauce and maple syrup). Throw them on the grill, then serve on whole-grain bread or buns along with hummus, greens, tomato, and avocado. Yum!
Bean, Rice, & Veggie Bowl (or burrito/taco). Prepare some of the brown rice with black beans or pinto beans, avocados, salsa, and veggies. Brown some of the boiled potatoes on the grill or in a skillet and throw those in as well. Enjoy in a bowl, as tacos folded into corn tortillas, or rolled up as a burrito in a whole grain flour tortilla.
Stir Fried Tofu & Veggies. Make a quick, easy stir fry with greens and/or other veggies and tofu and enjoy over brown rice. When I was camping this past weekend I made a stir fry with bok choi, broccoli, and tofu, and it was amazing! I combined some soy sauce, ginger, garlic, maple syrup, and cornstarch into a delicious and easy sauce to cook with the stir-fried veggies and tofu!
Pasta Primavera. Warm some marinara sauce in a pot or skillet and add any desired veggies such as peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, and/or greens. Cook until veggies begin to soften, then add the pre-cooked pasta and stir until heated through.
These are just a few ideas to help you on your next outing, whether it's camping for a few days or just a picnic. Bon Appetit!