Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Tale Of Two Dinners, Indoors and Outdoors

First, sorry for my relative quietness!  With two camping weekends in a row, girl scout cookies, and work…I am hard pressed to get any sleep this past two weeks let alone get in the kitchen for cooking and on the computer for blogging!

Last Thursday though…as I sat in the doctor’s waiting room I flipped through one of the magazines in his office and found this delicious-looking recipe for a healthy beef stew!  I looked at this recipe and thought…I can vegetarianize this…AND we pretty much have all the ingredients for it from the produce box.  And so this was born:

I subbed out a package of store bought seitan for the beef,

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When we got home from camping Sunday night we had big bowls of this for dinner.  I added some Boca Crumbles to make a little meatier tasting for FabHubs…and sprinkled some freshly-shredded parmesan on top. 

I still got the glare!  But to the rest of us it tasted so yummy! 

Friday night was back to the Everglades for us…this time with the Boy Scouts…and this time on a primitive piece of property in the middle of the Everglades. 

This is what we had  for running water:



I kid you not!  The boys (and adults) used this for drinking water and cooking and washing water.  We big city folk are definitely not used to this!

But we could get used to this….beautiful isn’t it!

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This little guy was right up next to the path.  This lady stood right over his tail while her family took, a picture of her!  I personally keep a wide berth and I have lived here my whole life!DSCF8262This this guy pulled the gator’s tail!  Mr. Gator was NOT happy.  He turned and hissed and looked at this guy…..And then we had to walk by him to continue on our way back to the car!  And I was NOT happy either!

DSCF8263 DSCF8264The sun was already setting when we started making dinner…     DSCF8269  And I thought I would show you the camping kitchens…these are the different kids’ kitchens:


DSCF8274 This is FabHubs and my personal camping kitchen…it is a bit messy as it was in use full blast all weekend!


FabHubs (and I) was the cook for the adults for the weekend, about 20 or so people.  FabHubs did the menu planning and shopping for the group, but I packed a bunch of my own food to make sure I was able to eat well…and eat healthy.  Our troop loves their meat and potatoes…and FabHubs was able to slip some healthiness into the meals, but still made it unhealthy enough for them to enjoy!

Breakfast did not get pictures taken as we were running behind and the group was hungry! 

FabHubs made his English Muffins from scratch and I worked on the eggs.  I sliced and diced red and green bell peppers, onions, and potatoes, which I cooked in a Dutch oven along with eggs and sausage.  Bulk pork sausage for the group…and a small Dutch Oven portion for me with Gimme Lean meatless sausage.  We melted cheese on top.  This along with the muffins and coffee….Divine!

After lunch I went on a small hike (see pictures above!) and we got back well after the time for lunch. Lunch was simple…fruits and sandwiches  but  I was not hungry from the big breakfast though so I never ate it!

Dinner was the major meal and FabHubs started on it right after lunch!   He wanted to make his “Better than Macaroni Grill” Italian rustic bread out there in the Dutch Ovens.  I didn’t get pictures of the process…but I managed to get some pictures of the finished product before it disappeared!  He made three loaves.   DSCF8292


It was GOOD!  I hadn’t had lunch and I ended up eating THREE slices!!!  Good thing I had only had fruit for lunch!

Our dinner menu was grilled chicken (FabHubs makes THE BEST!…even if I do not eat it anymore); green beans almandine; Caesar salad, and cowboy beans. 

My job was the green beans….I started out by getting some  help and then breaking all tips off of the beans and breaking them down into bite-sized pieces.



We got another group of adults to put the salad together:

DSCF8280 I melted some butter in the Dutch Oven and threw in a package of almonds to toast some:




Oddly enough, the green beans ended up being the last thing finished and we were waiting on them!   Here is what they looked like when cooking…there are hot coals on top of the lid and hot coals underneath to provide heat and cook what is inside!


FabHubs made the baked beans from scratch.   He had put the beans in to soak the night before.   My vegetarian version, however, got a little dried out!!!


He also grilled the chicken over the open fire.  I had tried to think ahead a little…see that silver looking thing on the top right corner of the grill?    That is my organic sweet potato I had brought from home…I wrapped it in foil and threw it on the grill so I would have something to eat…based on the looks of those beans above, it is a good thing I  did that!


 DSCF8286        We had some fun entertainment while we cooked!DSCF8303



And while our meal cooked, I walked around to see what the visiting pack was making:

Grilled eggplant and onions….I got the leftovers of this…YUMMY!

DSCF8300 Baked potatoes:




At some point around this time, someone calmly said to FabHubs, “Ummm…Mr. M**, your chicken is on fire.”  At which point FabHubs ran over to the fire pit to extinguish his chicken!

DSCF8299DSCF8294DSCF8295 DSCF8296The chicken was saved and was still good….so I hear!

This was my dinner!  The green beans were a huge hit and I was lucky to get myself a second portion!


I did sneak in a few oreos while there…but overall I managed to watch what I ate and of course the planning made a huge difference.

Monday morning the scale and I were still happy buds!


Jessie (Vegan-minded) said...

As long as I have lived in Miami, I am still totally afraid of gators! I don't know why people think it is okay to touch a wild animal, it only makes them threatened in their own territory, which is never a good thing. Either way, it looks like you had a great time and lots of good food too. :)

Meredith (Pursuing Balance) said...

I keep a wide berth of the gators too! They may look slow, but they can move fast!