(Eating Vegan) Under the Sheltering Sky

Two Cookie-cookies

It can be challenging enough to feed Kel and me while we are on the road, but what about feeding 10 or 11 or 15? In a place with (count them) zero restaurants, convenience stores or a bright and shiny Whole Foods stocked with vegan salads, hummus and whole grain bread?  Now consider that most of those I’ll be feeding are carnivores.

To celebrate my brother’s life, a big group of us – including many camping greenhorns (I’m among that number) – are heading south into the desert of Ten Mile Wash for a few days to spend time in a place my brother loved.  And before we do that, we’re running, walking or strolling The Little Grand Canyon 10k.  An army fights on its stomach; we have to eat.  By my count we’ll have two breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner out in the boonies.  I’ve cooked in small kitchens before, but the camper kitchen is a little snug, so I’m planning on bringing everything down in a nearly-finished or finished state.  Coolers will be clearly marked with “breakfast,” “lunch” and “dinner.”  Plastic bins will have almond butter, mixed grains, trail mix, dried fruit, utensils, kitchen towels, wet wipes, foil, freezer bags, a cutting board, knives and of course, lots of dog food for Ike.  He has to eat, too.

I planned out my menu several weeks in advance and in the week before the trip, I’ve been preparing and pre-baking and -making what I can. I started with dessert first (makes sense, right?) with Cookie Cookies from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions. Along with Double Chocolate Cookies with Blueberries and Mini Dark Chocolate Cashew Cheezcakes  (based on a recipe by Somer at Good Clean Food – who toiled away in her kitchen to develop these just for me; her selfless family did the taste-testing), our sweet teeth should be well-satisfied.

Mini Chocolate Cheezcakes

Mini CheezcakesBreakfasts will consist of mixed rolled grains with dried fruit and almond milk, whole grain bread with cashew and almond butters, apples, bananas and yummy raw bars featured in a previous post; plus the amazing Cookie Bites from a recipe by Erika at Good Clean Food. My friend Sue specifically requested coffee so I’ll be bringing down a pound of Two Creek (2017 update: sadly no longer in business) which serves up a proprietary blend from Jack Mormon Coffee.

Two Creeks Coffee

Cookie Bites

BBQ Tofu in TortillaFor lunch on the first day, we’ll have BBQ Baked Tofu Sandwiches from The Real Food Daily Cookbook, by Ann Gentry, served on Ezekial sprouted (wheat-free) tortillas (these are my new favorite thing) loaded with avocado, arugula, red onion and an amazing ranch dressing also from Real Food Daily.  Black bean potato salad with arugula pesto should compliment the sandwiches nicely.  That recipe is courtesy of the Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health cookbook.  We’ve got some gluten-intolerant folks coming along and I don’t want anyone to go hungry.

Macadamia Nut Cheez

Red Lentil Soup

We’ll start dinner off with a few slabs of Macadamia Nut Cheez, another recipe from the good folks at The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions.  It can get pretty chilly in the desert as the sun sets, so I’ll employ one of the camper’s burners to heat up a big pot of Red Lentil Soup also from the first Forks Over Knives cookbook.  I use green garbanzo beans instead of green beans and add mustard seeds and fresh spinach and cilantro.  It is such a flavorful and satisfying soup and I was able to freeze a big batch several days before the trip.  I’ll serve Curried Couscous Salad with the soup as well as whole grain rolls and the aforementioned mini Chocolate Cashew Cheezecakes.

I’m trying not to stress out too much, but there’s some pressure here.  Most of the people I will be feeding are not vegan and I want their eating experience to be satisfying, surprising (in a good way) and delicious.  I’d love to change some minds about what it means to eat plant-based.  I’d also like to be prepared enough that I can focus on why we are out in the desert.  This is all about remembering and celebrating my brother.

50 thoughts on “(Eating Vegan) Under the Sheltering Sky

  1. Somer

    You sure know how to get my water works going. What time do you leave today? I’m trying arrange babysitting and convince Erika to do a last minute 10k with me at 6am tomorrow so you won’t be running entirely alone. Our hearts and the pounding of our feet will be with you.

    Everything looks absolutely freaking amazing. You WILL bowl them all over with vegan goodness.

    Millions of hugs. Xoxo

  2. infinebalance

    WOW! I love that menu. Next time I go camping I want to bring you along. Oh, wait, I don’t
    “go camping”… still I would be happy eating from your menu camping or not. Have a great weekend!

  3. Isobel Morrell

    Your planning skills are marvellous! Hope your non-vegan folks enjoy all the efforts you’ve made to satisfy their appetites, and that the objective(s) of the trip are all met to everyone’s satisfaction. Will be thinking of you (as usual).

  4. Shira

    Annie I love this post! Not only are you incredibly impressive (we knew that!) but your family & friends are in for a real treat – this all sounds amazing! They are very mucky and I hope you have a wonderful time!

  5. Pingback: One for the Road. Vegan Mini Chocolate Cashew Cheezcakes « Good Clean Food

  6. Rachel in Veganland

    Am I ever jealous of those on that camping trip with you! What a wonderful way to celebrate your brother’s life and to honor him! Best of luck with the 10K and may your camping days be filled with peace and light!

  7. annesturetucker

    What a feast – those carnivores will not miss a thing 🙂 It looks So scrumptious and delicious!
    Beautiful way to celebrate your brothers life – very special! I hope you have a wonderful time!

  8. Kristy

    What an incredible menu and what a beautiful way to celebrate your brother’s life. YOur guests are in for quite a treat!

    You are just so amazing and inspirational, Annie. Truly.

  9. hannah

    What a wonderful tribute to your brother – and what a wonderful menu. We will hold a good thought for you this weekend, that your hopes on all counts will be realized!

    We will also try those cookies, holy wow they look good.

    (And hey – for what it’s worth – my household is proof positive that plant-based “unrefined” eating can blend easily with ‘conventional’ approaches – we are not strictly vegan but have many many great meals that are, tend to use all or mostly whole grains, only whole foods (including yes, sometimes eggs meat fish butter – sorry 😉 ) and never anything refined or processed) …

  10. Brittany

    You will be great!! Your meals will be amazing, and I am sooo jealous of the people that get to eat your stuff!! Have a blast, good luck with the 10K and enjoy time with friends and family!

  11. Sizzle Food

    These look fantastic!I love the blog Good Clean Fun. I recently made a no bake cooke of hers with oatmeal and coconut and it came out fantastic.I am going to post it on my blog today.

  12. tinykitchenstories

    I’m so glad you’re catering this event to celebrate your brother. Everyone will have a very happy and stuffed tummy!! That red lentil soup looks delightful, and I’m going to have to check out those wheat free tortillas. Hope there’s no corn…
    Thinking good thoughts for you and your brother today. Hugs!

  13. Pingback: Vegan No Bake Blueberry Maple Cashew Cheezecake « Good Clean Food

  14. Barb

    That tofu wrap looks AMAZING, and I’m sure everyone will be surprised (in a GREAT way) by the vegan food you’re bringing. What a special way to remember and celebrate your brother’s life!

  15. Richgail Enriquez

    Good planning! I should be more organized like you. Instead I wait the last minute and cram for whatever vegan I could get…which sometimes are not yummy. I’m looking forward to hear more about your trip. Have a safe one!


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