Quick And Easy Vegetarian Camping Meals

Camping is a popular recreation among vacationers of all ages. Most adults have fond memories of toasting marshmallows over campfires. Unfortunately, vegetarians find themselves at a loss when preparing camping meals for under the stars. There are now plenty of options for vegetarian camping meals, making meal planning easy.

Where Can I Buy Vegetarian Camping Meals?

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The simplest option is to go to a sporting goods store for dehydrated camping meals. Drying meat is expensive, so there are many vegetarian choices. These single serving or family sized packages of food are lightweight and easily mixed with water and heated on Coleman grills.

Another option is to shop online at disaster preparation web sites. They generally sell food in #10 sized cans, making it necessary to repackage the food into small resealable bags. Having these extra bags is always helpful, either for portioning out food to eat during the day or for collecting trash as you go.The third choice for purchasing dried meals is to go to the bulk section of a health food store. Several brands of dehydrated meals are now available. Unlike the foods shipped in giant #10 cans, you can purchase as much or as little as you need. Some options sold in this way include instant refried beans, chili and soup.

What Can Vegetarians Eat While Camping?

Any camping trip is likely to involve plenty of exercise, so plan your camping meals accordingly.  Between setting up camp, hiking and swimming, keeping your body fueled with plenty of complex carbohydrates, fat and protein is important. Fresh produce can be eaten on the first day, leaving dried fruit and vegetables for later in the trip. Powdered dairy or soy milk and coca mix can be prepared as needed. Of course, it’s crucial to always have plenty of fresh drinking water.

Rice And Beans

Camping Meals: Rice and beans
In nearly every culture, there is some combination of legumes and grains. Rice and beans are the combination that most Americans are familiar with. However, there’s no need for vegetarians to be limited to plain grains and beans. Here are some ideas for how to dress up this classic combination for delicious camping meals:
● Quick cooking brown rice and dehydrated beans can be mixed with powdered vegetable soup and spices at home. Outdoor grills can be used like stoves to quickly make a filling hot soup.

● Mujadarah is an exotic sounding name for a very simple dish made from quick cooking coarse bulghur wheat and green lentils. Season this pilaf with sea salt, allspice, cumin, garlic, dried chopped onions and plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

● Couscous is possibly one of the easiest meals a vegetarian camper can make. These tiny pearls of precooked semolina wheat are mixed with boiling water, covered and fluffed after five minutes of steaming. It is available in whole wheat and refined versions. It is especially good when served with instant black bean chili.

Pasta
Camping Meals: Pasta
Instant pasta is available, but the superior flavor and texture of traditionally cooked pasta will amply reward you for your patience. Dried whole wheat, semolina wheat and gluten free pasta are available at most supermarkets. Some suggestions for vegetarian pasta dishes:
● Boxed microwavable macaroni and cheese cooks quickly over Coleman grills. Amy’s Organics is a good quality brand without artificial flavors or colors. Transferring the contents of the packets to resealable bags before you leave home will make cleaning up the campsite easier later on.

● Gnocchi, potato and flour based Italian dumplings are available in vacuum sealed packages. Cook by simmering in water, draining and then tossing with olive oil and freshly grated cheese.

Tex Mex Food
Burritos and tacos aren’t always easy to eat neatly at the dining room table, but nobody cares about a little mess when you’re camping. If you have this meal on your first night, you can have grilled fresh vegetables with your meal without worrying about them spoiling.
You will need:
● Cornmeal, whole wheat or white flour tortillas and/or crispy taco shells
● Quick cooking brown or white rice
● Instant refried beans or chili
● Green cabbage — shred just before supper to replace lettuce
● Bell peppers, mild chillies and summer squash — grill until lightly charred and tender
● Shelf stable, vinegar based hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula.

With a little bit of creative thinking, campers can enjoy delicious vegetarian meals. You can even find vegetarian marshmallows at health food stores to make s’mores.

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