I frequently get asked, in a skeptical tone, "what did you eat?"
That is an excellent question. Ryan and I are both vegetarians. So while we don't eat meat, we eat everything else! And a lot of it. Being on the road for six months posed an exciting culinary challenge; for example, we were without proper refrigeration (we had a cooler). Armed with a cast-iron skillet, a wooden spoon, and a Coleman stove, I joyfully whipped up meal after meal doing my best to balance nutritional needs with flavors and variety, all while on a tight (like really tight) budget. I think I succeeded - neither of us starved! So, here are our top FIVE favorite camp eats and treats, and the short answer.
1. Nachos: Obviously. Camp nachos were a special treat for us during the trip, and even though we only ate them a handful of times, we were always satiated beyond belief. Here's how its done:
Gather your ingredients: chips, shredded cheese, avocado, tomato, chile verde, and beans (black or pinto)
- Line cast-iron skillet with tinfoil, shiny side up, put on Coleman stove over a high flame to warm up
- Layer chips, cheese and beans in the skillet, on top of the foil. No more than two layers (this is important because the middle layer gets soggy if you try for three)
- Cover with tinfoil, shiny side down, turn heat down and let cheese melt for 15 - 20 minutes
- Chop tomato and mash avocado
- When cheese is melted, turn off stove, remove skillet from heat and remove tinfoil cover
- Top with tomatoes, avocado and chile verde
- Pair with a lighter, citrus-y beer. Enjoy life!
Gather your ingredients: potatoes, zucchini, tomato, onion, avocado, cheese, tortillas, spice and chile verde
- Build a campfire
- Cut veggies into thin strips or small pieces
- Place veggies on tin foil, shiny side in, drizzle with olive oil, spice to taste (I LOVE cumin, adobo and paprika!)
- Wrap veggies in foil, shake, and place foil pouch on campfire grill, directly over flame for 20 minutes, rotate
- Place cast iron on grill, over flame to warm up. Once hot, put tortillas into skillet to toast
- Mix avocado with chile verde; cut/crumble cheese
- Remove pouch, open carefully; make tacos with warm tortillas, fire-roasted veggies, guac and cheese
- Pair with a summer ale or mild IPA. Enjoy life!
Gather your ingredients: boxed mac n' cheese, broccoli, cheddar, olive oil, powdered milk
- Prepare as directed, over the Coleman stove
- Chop broccoli and add to the last minutes of the noodle boil
- Drain and retain approximately 1/4 C pasta water
- Mix in powdered milk, olive oil and cut cheddar. Stir until it all blends into a creamy, sticky-sounding bowl full of deliciousness. You'll know when you get there.
- Pair with whatever you want, really. I prefer something middle-of-the-road like Fat Tire. Enjoy life!
Gather your ingredients: Pancake mix (the "just add water" kind), blueberries, olive oil
- Prepare pancake mix as directed, add lots of blueberries.
- Turn Coleman stove on high, place cast-iron skillet on flame to warm up
- Reduce heat, drizzle in olive oil (so pancakes won't stick)
- Pour pancakes into skillet, flip when ready, flip again and serve. Top with syrup, jam, peanut butter, nutella etc.
- Pair with an oatmeal, chocolate, or coffee stout. Its 5 o'clock somewhere! Enjoy life!
Gather your ingredients: Peanut butter, honey, oatmeal, peanuts, chocolate (or butterscotch or whatever) chips, coconut flakes
- Mix equal parts honey and peanut butter in a bowl or sauce pan. I used the latter.
- Add oatmeal, nuts and chocolate chips in small amounts, until the portions look right, stir. Use your hands, if necessary.
- Roll into balls, then roll in shredded coconut.
- Eat while on the trail! Pair with something local, seasonal and enjoy your very own Hiker's Happy Hour!