Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quinoa Salad with Tuna and Green Beans ... and a little bit of camping

I am addicted to Well, actually, it’s more like I’m addicted to cookbooks, and is my enabler. I recently received a batch of three new cookbooks, two of which are paleo (naturally grain free) and the third is called “The New Trailside Cook Book: 100 delicious recipes for the camp chef.” This camping cookbook is not specifically allergy friendly, in fact it’s loaded with gluten and dairy. However, I figure most recipes can be converted and I love camping so I bought it any ways.

I’ve read through the non-recipe sections and found them to be useful. To the novice camper, it would be perfect. To me, who has been camping for years, most of it was refresher; however, there were a few gems in there that I wasn’t aware of.  For example a fun camping cook off that encourages gourmet cooking while camping with your friends, or the looser has to wash the dishes for the rest of the trip, and which types of meats are best for dehydrating.

Part of the book goes into meal planning and encourages you to shoot for the stars. The quality of your food while camping can make or break the trip, although sometimes the weather has something to do with it too.

My boyfriend and I decided to try and get one last camping trip in this season, this past weekend. It’s been a very lame camping season for me, as my health is not great and I’m very limited on what I can do. Which is also part of the reason that I’m lagging behind in my blog posts. I just don’t have the energy to make dinner some days, never mind take pictures of it and write about it too.  Any ways, I’m sucked it up for this trip and spent one evening prep.

It was actually a very quick turn around for planning. I had mentioned the idea of camping to the bf and Friday morning he texted me to ask if I still wanted to go. So I said yes and that I would go grocery shopping for the trip. We decided to leave early Saturday morning and just spend the one night, so I had two breakfasts, two lunches, one dinner and snacks to pick up. Again, during my healthier days this evening of prep would be nothing, but it was exhausting and totally worth it. I think I made the best food this car camping trip!

For breakfast I made a lemon blueberry scone (in advance) from one of the other cookbooks mentioned above, “Gather: The Art of Paleo Entertaining.” This scone is super filling because it’s made of almond flour and I modified it from this recipe: I needed extra cooking time because I had added moisture to the recipe with the blueberries. But they were yummy. This recipe worked for both days.

For lunch I made (in advance) a Quinoa Salad with beans and tuna. The recipe is inspired from the back of the truRoots bag and from a meal that is served on many Batstar Guided Kayaking trips. I was trying to guess at their recipe really and made a delicious version myself. That recipe is posted below. Again I made enough that it used it both days, with the addition of mini cheeses, nectarines and Udi’s gluten free chocolate chip cookies. Yum.

For snacks I boiled up some eggs and included chips and dip.

Finally, for dinner I marinated steaks in Cattleboyz BBQ sauce. Then once we were camping I sliced up some potatoes and onions and added small pats of garlic butter to them, wrapped them in foil and put them on the grill. Once the potatoes were done (they cook quickly when thinly sliced), we grilled up the steak and then ate it all up with some coleslaw that I had also made in advance.

Having most of the food prepped, made the time it took to get eating much faster and allowed me to enjoy more time in the out of doors, instead of trying to prep something for a meal. I really enjoyed it.

Quinoa Salad with Tuna and Green Beans
-based on recipe on truRoots bag


1 cup truRoots quinoa
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews
1 handful of fresh green beans, chopped into 1" pieces
1 can of flaked white tuna
1 handful of fresh pea shoots, chopped
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
6 tablespoons lemon juice (or orange juice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
rind of one lemon, grated (or orange)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt


Cook quinoa first by adding 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa in a pot and bring pot to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Just like rice. In this case I actually used home made bone broth to cook the quinoa instead of water. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients, stir and serve.  

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