Vegetarian and Vegan recipe thread

Discussion in 'Meals and Menu Planning' started by designer, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. designer

    designer Paddler

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    One of my paddling partners is Vegan. I'm vegetarian. Somehow we make it work. I checked the WCP topics and didn't see any specific to vegetarian or vegan preferences. It's can be tough because many commercial trips provide meals - but they are for carnivores (not that there is anything wrong with that). I remember one guided outing where the others had a nice chicken salad for lunch and all we got was a slice of bread with some peanut butter.

    Amazing but true, when burgers were served at the end of the event, the meat eaters were selecting the veggie burgers over the hamburgers so we had to get in there quickly. I've seen that happen at "office" events too - four meat pizzas and one vegetarian pizza and every one goes for the vegetarian pizza. I've learned to be quick.

    So this tread - I'm hoping there will be posts of ideas for vegetarian or vegan meals, food prep, and storage. I get by with instant mash potatoes and those toppings you boil in a foil bag for 5 minutes. I use the hot water for the mash potatoes and add the topping. Only boiled water in the pot - easy clean up. But that's me and my "it's just fuel" take on camping/adventure meals. I've found others prefer something more ... civilized. I do try to add wine and chocolates afterward - sort of to erase one memory with another.

    But I'm open to new ideas. For example, I used to just have energy bars (Cliff, Balance, Lara) and water for lunch. Now I've branched out to bagel with cream cheese - do I know how to live on the edge or what! I've found the tub of cream cheese will "keep" for several days. I'm guessing the individual packaged serving would last a bit longer.

    One new idea I've tried is bringing a plastic container with a lid (like the kind that might have held protein power) for a trash can. I was forever hoisting up the food before clean up was complete. Now I can just put those last minute items in the container. I still put it where the food is hung - away from camp. Haven't had a problem yet. Also (note: trash is cleaned, foil bags washed out, etc.) I need to start moving toiletries (toothpaste, etc.) away from camp as part of the "odors/food smells not where we sleep" ideal. Some people brush their teeth as a "before sleep" ritual and I don't want to lower the food bags (again) at night. Putting such things in the sealed container away from the tents/hammocks is easy to do and easy to retrieve.

    However, I have never adventured into areas were I was not at the top of the food chain.

    For those who are reading this and eat meat - that's fine. I've had my share of McDonald's, A good beef stroganoff with wine is wonderful (for you) etc. I get all that. No argument. And I understand humor - like when vegetarians/vegans were protesting KFC and a local radio station was serving chicken sandwiches on PETA bread.

    So this thread is not intended to be a podium for vegetarian vs meat. It's just, "If you are vegetarian/vegan, how do you deal with meals?"
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    A good start. We are low-meat eaters, maybe about 80 to 90 per cent vegetarian if we were to compare caloric content. But we prefer vegetarian meals on longer trips, partly to conserve space and weight, and partly because bears are often attracted to the residues of meat containing meals. But we lack imagination when it comes to appetizing vegetaruan fare.

    How about some menu suggestions ... favorite dishes, etc.? We stir fry quite a bit ... seeking some caramelizing action in lieu of steaming vegetables. What else do others do?
     
  3. tmgr

    tmgr Paddler

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    Have you got a dehydrator? How about a vegan chili, made with black beans, sweet potato, etc. etc. Topped with some chopped fresh onion, a squeeze of lime, and some avocado. Or a tomato pasta sauce with lentils instead of meat. Or curry. Check out the "Oh She Glows" cookbook, also Pinterest is a good source of ideas.
     
  4. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Years ago I had one. But I only dried banana slices. Then after they dried, I had to test one out, then another, then another. I don't think a batch of dried bananas lasted more than a day or two (or was it 15 minutes). Considering the fuss, power consumption, and frequency of use, we'd rather buy dehydrated food when necessary. I've been told that the Mountain House dried peas are a welcome addition to my mash potatoes and topping. I'll have to find a place that puts them on sale. I can find "full meals" in Mountain House - like at REI - but haven't seen just the peas for a while.
     
  5. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

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    Food dehydrators are a great addition to the food prep for me and my family. The dehydrator allows you to turn practically any stew and many other meals that you make at home into a backcountry meal, and it usually tastes even better after a few days on a trip. Dehydrating meals for a vegetarian should be easier than for the carnivore since you don't have to worry as much about animal fats going rancid. I agree, not everyone needs to own one and a person can often borrow one.

    For purchasing dehydrated and freeze dried ingredients, I've become a big fan of Thrive Life foods. https://canada.thrivelife.com/ The sauces are great and make a good starter, and pair them with some of their freeze-dried veggies and it seems like that dehydrator isn't so important any more. ;) I find the cost is pretty reasonable.

    Laurie Ann March has written a couple of cookbooks for camping, including Another Fork In The Trail which is full of vegetarian and vegan recipes. I have her first book, A Fork In The Trail, and it is quite good. I expect the vegetarian book to be of a similar high quality with food ranging from simple to elaborate. http://www.aforkinthetrail.com/aboutthebooks.htm

    For me, food is an important part of the experience and while I can subsist on more meager menus, I don't want to. And if someone served me just bread and PB, I would be rather annoyed, especially if they were serving others something more elaborate. I like to prepare meals that taste great and consider it part of the challenge to make great food in adverse conditions.

    What you describe with the disappearing bananas seems to be a common problem with food dehydrators. It is quite easy to eat an entire bunch of bananas, or an entire watermelon (yes, watermelon dehydrates nicely), or a 4L can of pineapple slices, in very short order. Especially when my kids get into the supplies.

    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
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  6. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    One can also dehydrate in a regular oven, on lowest setting, with the door propped slightly open. I've done corn, peas, tomato sauce... Of course it helps if you choose a day when some central heating is required anyway.
     
  7. Rachel_M

    Rachel_M Paddler

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    + 1 for the dehydrator. I'm also veggie and have dried pretty much everything in it, from full meals such as stews, chili, pasta sauce etc to onions, mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn, carrots, blah, blah....

    +1 for Another Fork in the Trail by Laurie March

    To add some interest to lunch, hummus dries really well - either crush by hand or whizz in a blender to form a powder. Takes no time to rehydrate and is still good at the end of a 2 week trip when cheese might be getting a bit worse for wear! strawberries are amazing.

    If you really want store bought dehydrated meals, Alpine Aire from MEC have a good range of veggie meals and I think are the best of the shop bought type. Not cheap though!
     
  8. bigbear

    bigbear Paddler

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    I'm all for making your own dehydrated food. In my past when doing month long trips the dehydrated food was outstanding, as most anything can be dehydrated. My favourite, make your 'best' pasta sauce (a huge pot) and dehydrate. Comes out in a wafer sheet. Crack up and put in a blender, comes out as a powder. A large stock pot of sauce will only take a small ziplock baggy to contain. A few tablespoons of powder, add a little bit of water and presto...pasta sauce. Spaghetti lasts forever and takes no space, grated parmesan cheeze lasts forever, add some clams/mussels from your beach foraging. Was always one of my best meals.

    Also made my own 'power bars'. Just looked at all the ingredients in power bars and mimicked it. Essentially I through in everything. Bananas, chocolate, coconut, honey, nuts, maple syrup, berries and anything you can think of. They came out looking like a big 'turd'. On long crossings one bar would fuel me (buzz me) for a good part of a day, and of course last forever.

    Highly recommend the pasta sauce!

    Also, dehydrating takes very little work and FAR cheaper and better than any dehydrated food you buy in the stores........
     
  9. tiagosantos

    tiagosantos Paddler

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    Vegan here, but extremely, extremely lazy. We've usually resorted to the packaged commercial meals and high calorie stuff for snacks between meals - trail mix or mixed nuts in general, peanut butter.. We grabbed an interesting book a while ago about "portables" - easy to eat, high calorie meals that cyclists came up with to carry on their long rides. A lot of the recipes in the book were vegetarian and vegan! The rice cakes are an awesome idea. This is more stuff for long day trips than multi day camping food, though - https://www.amazon.ca/Feed-Zone-Portabl ... 1937715000
     
  10. joeyholmes

    joeyholmes New Member

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    I need to get on to dehydrating. It seems to solve a whole world of issues when it comes to eating clean on the trail. I'm not vegetarian but eat a lot of veggie food in everyday life. And I love it on the trail as it lasts so much longer than meat. I put together a couple of vegetarian camping recipes that are super easy to make: https://coolofthewild.com/camping/one-pot-camping-meals

    Always looking for other ideas, so keep the recipes coming!
     
  11. WGalbraith

    WGalbraith Paddler

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    I had a look at the cool of the wild site and they have a lot of good ideas. I like the equipment reviews, the imaginative recipes and food ideas. There are links to some pretty nice kayak trip logs that are entertaining and inspiring also.
    Not a bad web site to keep as a favorite.
     
  12. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    I'm vegan. I eat pretty simply at home, so do the same when camping. My last 2 night trip I had:

    - oatmeal with raisins for breakfast. I have a huge bowl of that.
    - canned veg baked beans and brown rice for dinner #1 (I take Success brand brown rice, which comes in a handy mesh bag, which you submerge in boiling water and it cooks in 5 min!); soup (comes in one of those vacuum boxes so no refrigeration needed), with Success rice added for dinner #2. May not sound like much, but I eat at least 2 servings.
    - corn on the cob, wrapped in foil and cooked in the campfire's coals--had this for dinner #1. I brought extra to share with my friend. He was amazed how yummy it was with just a little salt. When not boiled, it's super flavorful!
    - small box o' wine! Also shared that.
    - lunch the first day was leftover pasta. Second and third days, it was leftovers from dinner the night before. I always do that-- make a ton and then I have plenty for lunch the next day.
    - dessert and snacks: Kind bars (the pressed fruit kind); fresh fruit: dried apricots and raisins.

    Other things I sometimes do:

    -take salsa and make a beans/ brown rice/salsa mixture, which is yummy.
    - hummus travels well and is great in sandwiches, on raw veggies, on potatoes, etc.
    - I nuke taters at home and take them along cold, but next time I'm gonna try cooking some in the coals in foil.

    :)
     
  13. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    It's funny that you call the one-pot meals "boy meals," because that's how I eat all the time, and I'm a girl! :) My ex used to call how I cook "Bess throws things in a pot."
     
  14. waterjay

    waterjay New Member

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    Nice list. I can also substitute the dessert/snacks with sugar-free oatmeal cookies since Kind bars contains as much as 12g of sugar.