I remember the first time I begrudgingly agreed to go tent camping about 7 or 8 years ago. Some great friends of ours camped and asked us to camp with them. I had never camped a day in my life and operating out of a tent with three young kids for four days was a bit daunting. It did speak to my adventurous spirit though -- as long as I had a thick camping mattress. :)
I have to admit one of my first thoughts was 'what the heck are we going to eat while we're living out of this tent?' That camping trip was my first real test of using Chef Jackie's 'prep like a chef' strategies full out and the good news is they worked brilliantly. We prepped a bunch of food ahead of time (and when I say we, I pretty much mean I...I prepped a bunch of food ahead of time, but I digress...). We ate out of a cooler during that trip and I was surprised that it wasn't too hard.
A few years later, I felt pretty accomplished when we drove out to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and tent camped with those same friends for 7 days, only eating out of coolers. I'm not going to say it was easy-peasy or that we didn't have a few moments when we wondered why not find the closest restaurant, but we stuck to our plan. Fortunately the plan also included us spending the 2nd week of our trip eating our way through some amazing fresh food restaurants in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
When our 7-day camping trip this summer came around, just a day after coming home from a week up north with extended family, I found myself feeling the need to scramble to plan, shop and prep. However by the time I did laundry, grocery shopped and packed up camping stuff, it was way too late and I was way too tired to do much prepping at all. I decided to let it go and instead set the intention to still eat out of our cooler as planned even without having a bunch of food prepped ahead of time. We were going to keep it simple. And I'm happy to share that we did. Again, it wasn't always easy and by the end, if I would have heard "I'm hungry." or "What can I eat?" one more time that week from my bottomless pit boys who are on a clean eating, weight lifting program right now, well let's just say, it wouldn't have been pretty!
I want to share with you some of our food from this trip with the intention is to inspire you, not overwhelm you. Know that whether you're on the road, in a tent, on an airplane or at home, you have to start with the intention to nourish yourself well. Make it a bottom-line; a non-negotiable. That's the first thing. And then experiment. Try one new idea or recipe. Or try them all if you're a jump all in type of gal. Have fun with it. Play and know that it might be messy or it may not go as planned but that's okay. No failure only feedback.
So, here are some of our camping food pics and ideas. Make sure to snag the pdf recipe below for the Really Good Pancakes. They're grain-free and lots of people have told me they live up to their name!
First meal after we set up camp!
I knew the lettuce and spinach wouldn't last a long time in the cooler so our first meal after setting up the tent was an easy salad with some Applegate Farms turkey, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, olives and a dressing I made up in a mason jar at the campsite.
My three teens are always ready for breakfast and they always love the Really Good Pancakes topped with Kerrygold butter (great prices at Costco & Meijer BTW), organic creamy peanut butter and blueberries.
(Click here to snag the printable recipe: Really Good Pancakes.pdf.)
The tuna or salmon salad stuffed avocados are one of our favorite easy go-to meals and snacks right now. We mix either canned or left-over baked salmon or tuna with Chosen Foods or Primal Kitchen avocado oil mayo, season with Redmond Real Salt and enjoy it with a few sides of fresh veggies and/or fruit. (Please do not use soy, canola, grape seed or vegetable oil mayo! They are really bad for you and your family. This is one place to spend a little more money on your food or skip mayo all together!)
And, if you know me at all, you can guess that there was some Taco Salad. I actually cooked the meat right at the campsite using Chef Jackie's Taco Seasoning recipe and the next morning we warmed it up with some spinach threw eggs and avocado on top for breakfast.
And one evening we made up delicious foil packets with uncooked chicken and tons of veggies and pineapple (canned). You add a spoonful of butter or coconut oil to the packet with seasonings of your choice or you can use any marinade you love in the packet, but if you have Chef Jackie's 12-Week Summer Menu Plan, this is the Grilled Chicken Foil Packets and the marinade makes these outstanding!
We served it all over cauliflower rice that we picked up in the freezer at Walmart while we were there. I warmed it in a pan on the little stove top we had and seasoned it before topping with the chicken and veg.
My 15-year old boys are into a major summer workout program and asked me to help them eat really clean and get in lots of nutrient-dense calories so I gave them a 'Super Human Smoothie' recipe that includes full-fat grass-fed milk, Ancient Nutrition bone broth protein powder, raw organic eggs, melted coconut oil, bananas and organic peanut butter. They love the smoothie and the idea of powering up after their workouts so we decided to take our Vitamix with us. I've done it before camping and figure it's not any different than Mike bringing his coffee grinder and maker. :) So here we are making our smoothies after doing their crazy morning workout!
These eggs were over some cut-up Applegate Breakfast Sausages and frozen green beans that were cooked with butter and seasoned with salt.
One of my favorite things to enjoy while camping is grilled apples. We cut them up into bite-sized pieces, put them in foil with plenty of butter (or coconut oil) and cinnamon and fold them up with a small opening for some steam to come out and put them over the grill or campfire. Yum!
When the friends we camp with arrived, we got a bit spoiled and enjoyed Fiesta Bowls (or in our case Fiesta Plates) that they had prepped most everything for ahead of time. They just pulled it out of the cooler and voila!
And when our last day turned out to be really rainy, we drove about 45 minutes to a cozy cabin that belonged to one of the families we were camping with. We all brought our own meat to grill and a few sides, along with any leftovers we had in our coolers and had this awesome spread.
We also snacked on lots and lots of blueberries, some organic and some not; more than our share of Boulder Canyon Avocado Oil Potato Chips; Lara Bars; Epic Bison Bars; Organic Valley Strong Cheese; olives; guacamole and miscellaneous fruit and veggies.
When we drove home on Sunday evening, the last thing we wanted to do was go home and then head back out to grocery shop but we didn't have much of anything in the fridge and nothing prepared so we made the call to stop at Meijer on the way home. I went in to shop and took way longer than Mike expected, which was understandably annoying to him because he was tired and sitting in the filled-to-the-roof van with our smelly dog and no phone to text me to see what the heck was taking so long. I had made an executive decision once I was in Meijer to grab stuff to get us through the next day too because I knew how busy we were going to be on Monday. I guess I thought he'd 'read' my mind and know what I was doing. ;) It was a bit tense when I made it back to the car with a bunch of groceries that barely fit but I think he let it go after I made him a hamburger with sides of asparagus and sauteed mushrooms and onions for his first meal back.
And the next day, we had one of our favorite easy-peasy meals for lunch because I had everything on hand after my Meijer trip: sliced cucumber and avocado rolled up in Applegate Farms turkey slices with avocado oil mayo and sides of blueberries and more cucumbers. (This makes an awesome snack, breakfast, lunch or dinner btw!)
Whew! So there you have it. Lots of simple, easy and real meal ideas plus a great breakfast recipes. I'd love to hear if what you think, especially if you try any of these ideas. You can reply to this email or post on our Facebook page - we always love pictures!
OH, and for a few BONUS ideas here's the 'emergency' snack pack Natalie took when she flew to California last week. There are so many REAL food options these days - I actually found a bunch of great things at Marshalls! @ancientnutr bone broth protein, @vega_team shake, @lilys_sweets_chocolate stevia sweeter chocolate, @laughinggiraffeorganics caramel snakaroons, @epicbar bison bars, @thepurcompany gum, @redmondrealsalt purse-sized salt
All of this is really about making how we nourish ourselves a priority, knowing that it impacts every other aspect of our life. It's also a journey. Make one small manageable change at a time for yourself, adding in a more nourishing choice to crowd out a less nourishing choice. If you do that each week, imagine a year later with all the changes you made, many of them now your norm. You've got this! xo Angelle
P.S. Mark your calendar because our 14-Day Fall Reset is coming and we can't wait. Whether you've done the Reset with us before or this will be your first time, we're ready for you! Doors open on September 6th and Day One is September 17th!