Fuel Your Adventures: Vegetarian Meal Ideas for the Outdoors
Whether it is for the purpose of camping, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, or partaking in any great outdoor activity, you definitely need to plan your meals ahead. A vegetarian meal might be a better solution than traditional camping meals that rely on animal products. Giving your meal plans a vegetarian twist has many benefits – this type of food is lighter, cheaper and requires less refrigeration. With good meal planning and preparation, time spent outdoors is truly quality time.
Cook Smart, not Hard
As breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it sure is more enjoyable in nature, here is a simple recipe that’s easy to prepare and fun too.
Banana Coconut French Toast
French toast is a favorite breakfast for many campers and fishers. This one is very refreshing and delicious. Suitable for both vegetarians and vegans, this is the perfect combo for morning hot cup of coffee. Here is what you need for this mouthful pleasure:
- A loaf of bread
- A ripe banana
- A can of coconut oil
Preparation: Cut the bread into around ¾ thick slices as to ensure the ‘browned outside, soft on the inside’ effect. Mash the banana with a fork (use a ripe or slightly-ripe banana) until it turns into a liquidy puree. Then add in the can of coconut milk. Place the milk in the sun to warm up if it is cold. If you have cinnamon, vanilla extract, or similar, you can add it to the mixture. Dunk your bread slices into the batter each side and load them into the skillet. When they are brown on both sides, serve with fresh berries or other optional fruit or syrup. Delicious!
Another great recipe to be enjoyed outside is Caponeta pasta. This easy vegetarian pasta is cooked in just 20 minutes and it’s also simple to make. Cooked for lunch or dinner, either way, it is a smart choice for a healthy, time-saving vegetarian meal. The recipe is quite simple.
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 250g chargrilled Mediterranean veg
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 350g rigatoni, penne or another short pasta shape
- 1 tbsp small capers
- 1 tbs raisins
- bunch basil, leaves picked
- parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), shaved, to serve
Preparation: Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion for 8-10 mins until it begins to caramelise. Add the garlic for the final 2 mins of cooking time. After that, tip in the mixed veg, tomatoes, capers and raisins. Season well and simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins, or until you have a rich sauce.
Meanwhile, boil the water in the kettle. Pour the kettle full of water into a large pan with a little salt and bring back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Put the pasta into the sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if it needs loosening. Scatter with the basil leaves and parmesan, if you like, and serve straight from the pan.
Quick and Easy Ideas
For those who want to enjoy their escape in nature to the maximum, there is a way to go around all that cooking. Vegetarian freeze dried food are a perfect solution for eating well on the trail – quick meals that are both easy to prepare and tasteful. These easy-to-carry foods are healthy as much as fresh vegetables since they lose very little of their nutritional value when they go through the dehydration process. Dehydrated vegetables retain most of the minerals and vitamins, therefore, they have all the nutrients your body needs. Convenient for backpacking, vegetarian dehydrated meals will save you time, space and energy when it comes to food for your outdoor adventure.
You can choose from a wide range of these healthy vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten-free convenient packs, add water, wait for ten minutes and then enjoy a nice meal in nature. You can consume freeze dried veggies for lunch and vegetarian pasta meal for supper. Dehydrated vegetables are chemicals-free, pesticides-free, non-genetically modified and healthy too, which make them the perfect choice when it comes to food for outdoor adventures.
Healthy Snacks to Boost Your Energy
There is no dilemma that spending time in nature increases your appetite. Therefore, when meal-planning, do not forget about snacks. Nuts are a healthy snack option. They are usually high in fat but do not worry, the fat they contain is the healthy type. Most of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. They are also a good source of fiber and protein. In other words, nuts can benefit your body in many ways. Another snack idea is dried fruit instead of fresh fruit. It saves space and is as healthy as the fresh. If you, however, prefer fresh over dried fruit, be careful with your choice since some fruits can easily get bruised. Apples, oranges, cherries and grapes are safe to go.
Needless to say, it is important to always stay hydrated. Make sure you bring clean drinking water with you during hiking, mountain biking, or whatever adventure you have planned. Pre-hydration before physical activity is as important as hydration during activity. Plan your meals, drink your water, check the weather, and let the adventure begin.