FearlessFoods Goes Camping Part 2

Camping should be a relaxing way to unwind from the hustle of the city. I love to go camping but I am a bit “indoorsy” so I do like to bring the luxury of my indoor kitchen with me to the woods.

A trick for me when I go camping is to make a great meal plan for the duration of the trip and precook at home. Not only does this help me not forget small miscellaneous items (like a can opener or cheese grater) but it helps me create a meal that is exciting, healthy and hits all dietary restrictions.  Long gone is a meal plan that includes tuna salad sandwiches for lunch, peanut butter on toast and boxed convenience foods.

I found with thirty minutes of advanced kitchen time at my house I am able to make quick, delicious and scrumptious snacks. It also cuts down the amount of preparation time of meats if you choose to cook raw products at a campsite.

Some ideas of what to make in advance before a trip to make cooking a breeze:

–          Boil local nugget or baby potatoes for hash browns in the morning (there has been so many times I have been unable to roast potatoes on the fire the night because of a fire ban!)

–          Pancake mix ( the dry ingredients  in a bag and the wet ingredients in a litre mason jar)

–          Cut up vegetables for dinners and fruits for snacks

–          Fresh dips for veggies or a spread for sandwiches

–          Pre marinated meats for barbequing

–          Fresh seasoned ground meat for hamburgers

–          Yummy allergy friendly baked goods to curb any cravings for something sweet so everyone can enjoy a treat no matter what restrictions.

Some ideas of what to pack to take on a camping trip when travelling in a group if you have allergies or anaphylaxis:

–          Salt and pepper from a safe source (I bring my pepper grinder and salt in a mason jar) for no chance of cross contamination

–          Personal plates, serving utensils and cutlery

–          Your own cutting board

–          Knife

–          Dish cloth and dish towels

–          Easy and food-safe snacks for the road

–          Personal frozen water bottles to double as ice packs so there is no sharing of water bottles

–          Fresh herbs from the garden to make dull dinners or sandwiches delicious

Homemade roasted garlic tzaziki made in a peanut and fish free kitchen in Vancouver because I have anaphylaxis. Served on top a marble slab and stored in mason jars.Roasted Garlic Tzatziki

When working with a long English cucumber, cutting the cucumber lengthwise and removing the seeds give the dip a thicker consistency. For an even drier consistency, place the grated cucumber into a towel or cheesecloth and wring out any juice. I find when working with baby cucumbers there is no need to peel or seed when making this dip.

500 ml Greek yogurt

1 tbsp olive oil

½ cup grated cucumber

2 tbsp chopped mint

1 head roasted garlic, pureed

Juice and zest of ½ a lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and mint in a bowl until well combined. Add yogurt and cucumber and mix thoroughly. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and store in the fridge and let sit one hour before serving. For a stronger flavour, let sit overnight.

Homemade roasted garlic tzaziki made in a peanut and fish free kitchen in Vancouver because I have anaphylaxis. Served on top a marble slab and stored in mason jars top left and bottom right. Mint leaves from the garden.

Weekends Away From Home

Travelling short distances from home should be easy and relaxing. As I grow older, travelling safely in the company of my parents and siblings has grown into friends with our family to weekends away with my husband and our friends. Travelling in a group has its challenges, but when it is well planned out it can be a joyful and restful time. Having anaphylaxis, my mind never is at ease. Instead, my mind is whirling around about what I am going to eat for the next meal, who is eating what and the safety of my access to my next meal.

I have written out how I organize myself and bring awareness to others when I am travelling away from home with a group of people.

  • Email the whole group to remind them about your allergies in advance. Sometimes just a quick reminder will jog their memory about what not to eat. Good friends will always care about your health! Email is great because if there is a member of the group you do not know is going they will have all the information about you going into the trip. Also, a written message can make certain there are no misunderstandings.
  • Ask the group to check any labels of any store bought food. There could be a hidden ingredient inside of a product (i.e. Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies)
  • Travel to a destination with a kitchen or kitchenette. From camping to a hotel room or staying in a condo, having a fridge and cooking appliance saves money and stress. Being able to travel with ready-made food or “foodsafe” products can be a convenient way to store and heat food, especially in a time of hunger.
  • Meal planning. Whether it is “family style” meals or “bring your own meals”, ensuring that no one is cooking and/or eating an allergen is important for safety.  Letting the group know what you feel comfortable being in contact with can ease everyone’s mind. Cross contamination is a leading cause of allergic reactions. Friends and family understanding this type of food safety is an essential element of sharing food.
  • Clean all surfaces with soap and water, the best buddy I could ask for. Make sure you or someone in your group wipes down all surfaces where food preparation and eating occurs.
  • Snacks, snacks, snacks. From a day trip to a week-long vacation, I like to be prepared for hunger attacks. Bringing more food than you think you might need is important. There could be delay before a next meal or an unplanned circumstance.

At all times, I carry my Epi-Pen which is always in my nearby purse. My husband, J, always knows where it is and if I am not travelling with him I give the location to a close friend. Understanding the severity is key when dealing with your personal health and safety. I have learned over the years to not be embarrassed about my condition and to not be shy about voicing my concerns about if I feel uncomfortable in a situation.