Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Camping Menu

We'll soon be heading up to Big Sur with most of my family (parents, siblings, in-laws, a niece and friends).  We did a lot of camping growing up so there's a big element of nostalgia here.

And while my menu planning will still reflect my local/organic leanings, some of my food "rules" will be a bit more lax (like the level of acceptable cleanliness in the outdoor kitchen) as others share in food purchases and I let go of dogma and get closer to nature and interbeing...

fair trade coffee
fair trade hot chocolate
granola (made ahead of time)
backyard eggs (which do not need refrigeration if you don't wash them until you're ready to use them)
pancakes with grade B maple syrup
potatoes and fresh fruit from the bay area

assorted crackers & baguette
cheeses from the Cheese Board Collective
cheddar bunnies, yogurt covered pretzels, nuts & dried fruit
PB&J: freshly ground organic peanut butter and locally made jam on sprouted whole grain bread
fresh squeezed lemonade 

Dinner #1 – grillin' over the campfire 
hot dogs (ours will be veggie but still a very processed food)
organic sprouted whole grain buns
organic ketchup, mustard, relish
corn on cob fresh from the bay area

Dinner #2 – fajitas
sweet peppers, summer squash and red onion sliced up and sauteed in olive oil with cumin
served with salsa, avocado, sour cream, flour tortillas, refried beans and cilantro-lime rice

Dinner #3
summer vegetable stew with dumplings

Sweet Things
s'mores with fair trade chocolate & organic graham crackers 
organic popcorn with Spring Hill Butter & sea salt
chocolate chip cookies (made ahead of time)
and I'm pretty sure my spouse's mom will be making an upside-down pineapple cake in the coals in a dutch oven

mixed in with lots of hikin', river raftin', card playin' and music makin'

Make Your Own Hot Chocolate MIx

Great for camping, I make mine with a mayan flair by adding cinnamon and cayenne but you could leave them out if you prefer...

3 cup organic nonfat milk powder
1½ cup evaporated cane sugar
¾ cup organic fair trade cocoa powder
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch cayenne

Stir ingredients until combined (sift if needed to remove lumps).  Makes about 12 servings.

For each serving, scoop 1/4-1/3 cup of the mix into your mug.  Add a couple tablespoons of milk and a splash of vanilla; stir well until there are no lumps. Fill with hot water and stir until thoroughly combined.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Basically a hearty minestrone without the pasta. All veggies found from my favorite farmers at the Little Italy Mercato...

1 tblsp olive oil
½ cup yellow onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup carrot, diced or julienned or thin sliced quarters
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup zucchini, chopped or sliced
¾ cup cooked kidney or cannellini beans, (reserve cooking liquid for broth if cooked from scratch)
¾ cup green beans, fresh, chopped into 1” pieces
1½ cups tomato, diced (fresh or canned) with juice
6 cups vegetable broth
½ cup fresh spinach, packed, destemmed, rough chop
a handful of Italian parsley leaves, fresh, chopped
sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
a handful of fresh basil leaves, julienned

Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil in a pan on medium heat until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes, stirring (do not brown). Add the carrot and celery and cook until they begin to soften, about another 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until it begins to soften, another couple minutes.

Add the beans, tomato and stock and simmer briefly. Stir in spinach, parsley, basil and season to taste.

Serve with a crusty, toothsome bread.

Serves 6