“Nature breeds curiosity; it helps to grow explorers rather than robots. It reminds us that we are part of something bigger. It grounds us, calms us.”
Summer is just a month away, and the outside looks prettier than ever. You’re done missing out on the good times, and it’s time to go for an outdoor adventure. Be it atop a chilly mountain, along the breezy sparkling riverbanks, or perhaps, in your beautiful fenced back garden – the best of all experiences usually come when we’re out in the open.
And for the strict vegans among you (or yourself), we've some pretty tasty recipes to try on your outdoor adventure. So put the soysages away, and read on to find out more about the perfect vegan-friendly outdoor experience.
· Breakfast: Wild blueberry pancakes
· Lunch: Chorizo, Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
· Dinner: One-Pot Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
The recipes we're recommending are all quite effortless to prepare when you’re on the go, and the ingredients aren't going to cost much either. However, these meals are going to require a quick meal prep session beforehand. If you're the type of person who wants to do all the cooking outside, don't worry, because this isn't going to take a whole lot of time.
Plus, you'll find it a lot more convenient to cook outdoors when you’ve better prepared for it.
Tools: Skillet, Frying Pan or Griddle.
· Baking powder
· Wild blueberries
· Powdered flaxseed
· Vegetable/mild olive oil
For our delicious blueberry pancakes, we’ll prepare the batter for the pancakes beforehand. Fetch a mixing bowl, and pour in a cup of flour. Then add a tsp of baking soda, two tsp of ground flaxseed, two tsp of sugar, and a touch of salt. To liquify the mix, throw in four tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil and a cup of water into the mix. Stir the bowl until the mixture thickens into a thick, viscous batter.
Next, add the diced blueberries into the batter. You'd want to retain the freshness, so I’d recommend you add the blueberries right before(15 mins) you're about to cook the pancakes.
Cooking Pancakes for Breakfast
1. Add blueberries to the batter if you haven’t already. Mix it and let it sit for fifteen minutes.
2. Then get some flames going, and put your frying pan on it. Pour some oil in there, spread it across the pan, and leave it for some time until it is hot.
3. When the pan is sufficiently hot, pour large spoonfuls of batter into the pan and keep on cooking. You don't want to rush this step; let the pan become hot first. Otherwise, your pancakes will stick to the pan.
4. Wait for the bubble to form on top of the pancake, then turn them over to cook the other side.
5. Heat the other side for a minute or two, then take the pancakes out of the pan.
6. Rinse, repeat until you run out of all the batter. Don’t forget to add more oil before you add the subsequent batch.
And that's how you prepare the wild blueberry pancakes. Add your favorite topping to the pancakes. We'd recommend you try maple syrup or icing sugar on top. Serve with some fresh, raw blueberries to score extra on presentation!
Tools: Cast Iron Skillet or Pan, Chef Knife, Shredder, and Tongs.
Ingredients(for the sauce):
· Vegan Mayo
· Chili Powder
We'll prepare the quesadilla sauce beforehand and take it with us outside. So grab another bowl, and start adding 1/3 cup of vegan mayo, together with half a tsp of chili powder, cumin, paprika each. Also, add a tsp of chopped cilantro to spice things up a bit. Then juice one lime into the mix, and add a pinch of salt to it. Then start mingling them thoroughly until it turns into a thick sauce, and that’s it for now. You’ll add the other ingredients while making the quesadillas.
· Quesadilla Sauce
· 10" flour tortillas
· Vegan cheese shreds
· Field Roast chorizo sausage
· Sweet corn
· Black beans
· Vegetable oil
*Feel free to incorporate any of your favorite veggies
1. First, take out the tortillas, and spread the Quesadilla sauce over them.
2. Then spread a mixture of black beans and corn/maize over it.
3. Add as many pieces of Chorizo Sausage and veggies as you’d like.
4. Lastly, top it all off with some freshly shredded vegan cheese before folding the quesadilla in a half-moon shape.
5. Next, heat up the cast iron skillet or pan, and let it sit for a minute before adding a drizzle of vegetable oil in it.
6. Once the oven is sufficiently hot, add a batch of two quesadillas at a time, and close the lid on top. Cook this side for 5 minutes before flipping the quesadilla to cook the other side.
7. Rinse, and repeat until you’ve cooked all the quesadillas.
8. Cut each quesadilla into fourths, and serve with fresh salsa.
Our one-pot spinach & artichoke pasta doesn’t require a prep session. So just pack the following ingredients, and you're all good to go.
Tools: Sauté pan
· 8 oz Spaghetti
· Minced garlic
· Quartered Artichoke Hearts
· Nutritional Yeast
· Black Pepper
· Garlic Powder
· Onion Powder
· Vegetable Broth
· Red Chili Flakes (optional)
· Cashew Butter
· Baby Spinach
· Cherry Tomatoes
1. Start by adding three cloves of minced garlic to an oiled and heated sauté pan, sauté for about 2-4 minutes until it loses color.
2. Add one and a half cup of Artichoke Hearts and Cherry Tomatoes to the pan along with one tsp of Nutritional Yeast. Then add a touch of salt (to taste), black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and Chili Flakes. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
3. Next, add al dente pasta noodles (not fully cooked) and carefully place them on the bottom of the pan. Make it so that most of the noodles are touching the bottom of the pan (to absorb the flavors).
4. Add and mix four cups of Vegetable Broth to the contents of the pan. Bring the mixture just below the boiling point.
5. Once it comes near boiling, try to reduce the heat and cook the pasta until it’s soft. It should take some ten minutes. Don't let the noodles stick together or stick to the pan by stirring every now and then and even adding a bit of oil, if needed.
6. Once properly tender, juice half a lemon into the pan, and add two tsp of Cashew Butter (or Vegan cream cheese) with two ounces of Baby Spinach. Mix the contents for a minute or so.
And that's how you make a creamy and delicious One-Pot Spinach and Artichoke Pasta. Serve topped with red chili flakes to give it an extra savory taste, and of course a side of garlic bread!
Tips for your Outdoor Adventure
Now, of course, you can try out our full-day meal plan right outside your house on your lawn, or in your backyard. Adding a projector for an outdoor movie day/night would be lovely! But in case you're planning a camping trip, we’ve got some further recommendations to really elevate your dining experience.
Alright, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I bringing people with me? This is extremely important; since solo camping and group camping can be vastly different experiences.
If yes, how many? How many people are you taking with you? Also, camping with family tends to be more tame and formal compared to camping with friends. You’re going to want to plan your trip accordingly.
What am I going to do there once I’m there? And that in part depends upon where you’re going. Maybe there’s a central activity that is the basis of your trip: like hiking or boating. Or perhaps you're going to hang out with your friends and family. If that's so, you should definitely bring some things to kill time; like games such as monopoly, cards or chess, or volleyball if you're into sports.
Should I rent an RV? Again, that depends. Camping can fun with and without an RV. If you have an RV, it's definitely worth bringing since an RV can be very, very convenient with its bathroom and power facilities. In some cases, however, you're better off without renting an RV. You don't want to spend too much on an RV, especially for a trip that's going to last less than a week.
Camping Essentials: Must-Haves for a Perfect Camping trip
Here’s a list of some things that'll probably come in handy once you're out there camping in the great outdoors.
Hygiene Products: Which would include everything from toothbrushes to sanitizers. Keep some extra towels and napkins on the side as well, and definitely don’t forget to bring a bug spray!
Kitchenware: Although the recipes we've recommended don't require anything more than bare essentials (apart from the Dutch oven), you're probably going to need a whole bunch of other stuff. We'd recommend you bring the following with you just in case.
· Chopping board
· Portable Stove (and also coal or whatever fuel you’ll need with it)
· Plates, cups, and mugs.
· Liquid soap
· Picnic Blanket
And other knick-knacks, like bottle openers. Honestly, it's better to over-prepare, just to be on the safe side.
Extra Clothing: Where ever you're heading off for your trip, always carry protective footwear and separate clothes to sleep in with you. Also, protective sunglasses and other sun wear prove very useful in most situations. If you're heading to a rainy and wet place, don't forget to bring some umbrellas and raincoats.
So these are our recommendations for a full day of outdoor dining. Hope you'll enjoy!