Camp and Road Trip Food

The idea was relatively simple in concept, not so simple in execution. There were highs and lows: new cooler malfunction, forgotten French press, soggy Quebecois cheese curds and menu planning derailed due to shifts in the weather (remind me never to trust the forecasts ever again) but on the plus side, cheap local strawberries, surprisingly yummy dinners and herbs from my garden on everything.

I wrote about my lofty cooking goals HERE last week. Some things worked, some things didn’t work. C’est la vie.

So let’s go through the successes and less than successful meal planning for my 4 day road trip to Quebec. I am going to group it by type of meal….

SNACKS

By far, the most successful (no bumps or need to recalibrate after disasters here). I packed almonds, walnuts, cherries, blueberries, tangerines, apples, Veggie Straws, cucumber, radishes and picked up whole wheat morning glory style muffins on route.

tangerines

Next time, I would plan on making my own muffins and try to bring along some homemade energy bars or balls of some sort. Also  -maybe something like homemade hummus and cut veggies… Otherwise, all items did the trick and stopped us from picking up food while driving.

cherries

BREAKFAST: 

Breakfast was another easy one. Large oats were pre-measured out for meals and just had to be thrown on the stove along with chia seeds. Added items depending on the day: maple syrup, coconut, banana, strawberries, cherries and blueberries. I had intended to put nuts on my oatmeal as well  but forgot. Major breakfast fail? I forgot to pack a coffee making apparatus. That’s right. The coffee fiend forgot both my camp coffee maker (single brewer – I use this GSI one that I got at Mountain Equipment Co-op a few years ago) and my French press. The plan was to bring the French press. But it just completely slipped out of my mind the day we left. Coffee making without these was interesting. Paper towels (oh yes we did), bamboo coffee filters picked up at Canadian Tire, using a strainer. All were… weird. I didn’t die but I most definitely will never ever ever ever forget my coffee making stuff ever again.

oatmeal

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LUNCHES:

I wanted to keep lunches simple: fresh bread, organic meats and cheese. Throw in some fresh veggies (greens from my garden, tomato and avocado). Easy. Can be packed and brought with us. Sided with fruit and veg borrowed from the snack and dinner menus. Easy. Easy until your new cooler doesn’t work and ice turns to water and water entered every bag and container you have in that bag. Water logged everything. Soggy cheese, weird sticky ham… I couldn’t salvage much other than a well sealed package of kielbasa. The sandwiches on the way down to Quebec were yummy though…..

homemade sandwiches

On the way home to Toronto, we ended up eating bread with peanut butter so I guess those are sort of a lunch?

DINNERS: 

Want to know what sucks? When you check the forecast for rural, small town Quebec for 3 days leading up to your departure and all signs shout HOT WEATHER/SUN/SWELTERING HEAT and you arrive and its wet and grey and damp. Well that changes things. I love camping. But I get easily derailed and grumpy when I am wet or being eat alive by mosquitoes. Our first night in Soreal-Tracy, Quebec was basically a big old mosquito fest sprinkled with some rain and a shitty campground. The mosquitoes held off for about one minute so I couldn’t make this super good, easy, pre-made meal of marinated tofu, ginger, garlic and snow peas with rice. Simple and oh so yummy. I marinated the tofu for 24 hours before hand – and just had to sauté it quickly with the snow peas.

tofu with snow peas

As a side note, my stove is messed up. It only has one temperature right now: extremely hot. I need to have it looked at. It made making most food difficult. Anyone know a good propane stove mechanic?

We also made salads daily to go with dinners – throwing in whatever we had. Cuke, tomato, radishes, fresh herbs. Bringing the fresh herbs was a win. I would recommend that to anyone. They make for a nice addition to meals (in sauces,marinades or on top) or spice up a salad. I used all of them except for some chives. Lettuce greens obviously formed the base to the salad and doubled for use in sandwiches.
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It’s hard for me to write a post without mentioning Nan. She was SUCH a good camp dog. She loved her kibble.

Nan camping

Dinners were sort of weird. I ended up not being happy with my meal planning. I had planned on it being sweltering hot and thinking we would want tons of salads (which I like anyways) and not much warm stuff. As soon as I saw the rain, I had to change the plan. We made a pit stop and picked up pasta noodles and some basic red sauce. Also some more brown rice… I forgot to photograph Saturday’s meal but here is Friday nights meal which turned out nicely…

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I pre-BBQed chicken breast and spicy sausage. I added both to plan tomato sauce and simmered for about 45 minutes. Topped with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese, it worked out super well. Saturday nights meal ended up being an odd mash up of quinoa, chicken, spicy salsa and roasted vegetables. It was weird. I forgot to take a picture. It did the job but I won’t be bragging about that one.

So all in all, I packed too much food. We have tons of non-perishables left over. As well as lots of fruit (no biggie). I had to throw out some meat and cheese thanks to the cooler mishap (ruined likely $20-$30 worth of food). Next time I will pack more ‘warm’ meals instead of planning the menu around the forecast. Eating healthy was nice and cooking while camping is always fun – but we did end up cracking on the way home. We had to. It is Quebec for God sakes.

Lemire Quebec poutine

I spent around $150 on food total. Probably consumed around 90$ worth. We also bought an ice cream treat on Saturday night and a bag of chips. Other than that, we stuck to the plan. I plan to invest in a good cooler that I don’t hate (I hate those big white and blue Coleman ones!). My ideal for my next trip is to bring less and have more meals that are flexible. Could be hot or cold etc. I need to be a little more prepared (I ended up not baking for the trip). Anyways, this is a work in progress and I have lots of time to fine tune.

I made a Pinterest board for pins related to camp recipes and ideas for when you are on the road.

If you have any favourite recipes or sources for ideas/recipes, please send them my way! I want more information. I would love to create a camp cookbook.

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