Out for adventure
This article was originally published in August 2013
Quick tips for cooking outdoors
Instant meal packets and dehydrated foods aren’t your only option when camping or cooking outdoors. In fact, with a little extra planning, you can enjoy gourmet meals that’ll taste amazing amid the trees and under the stars. Consider these basic tips for your next outdoor cooking adventure.
- Meal planning is key — make a list of everything you’ll need, including ingredients and utensils. Choose dishes you’re familiar with, then add and substitute ingredients that will keep longer and be lighter or more compact.
- Pick out key items that can be used in multiple ways. For example, tortillas can be used for breakfast burritos and then again for lunch wraps.
- Try to do as much prep as possible at home, including measuring out ingredients for each meal. This will allow for easier assemblage and quicker cooking. Wash fruits and vegetables ahead of time and dry before packing. Pre-chop sturdy veggies, such as onions, peppers and squash, then pack in zip-top bags.
- Select faster cooking starches such as couscous, orzo, polenta and quinoa. You’ll find all of these available in the bulk department at PCC — get just the amount you need and avoid extra packaging.
- Dried herbs and spices, garlic, jalepeños and bouillon cubes are light and easy to pack yet add a ton of flavor to dishes. Visit our bulk spices section for different seasoning blends.
- Freeze pasta sauces, chili and pesto in advance. They’ll help keep your other food cold and they’ll keep longer.
- Hard cheeses such as Parmesan, pecorino and Gruyere will keep for at least a week unrefrigerated. Not only do they add great flavor to dishes but they also make a tasty snack when you’re on the trail.
- Of course, there’s a reason trail mix received its moniker — it’s a great source of protein and energy when you’re out and about. Be sure to bring some along for in-between meals. You’ll find all kinds of dried fruit and nut mixes in our bulk bins.
Five PCC Deli foods that pack well
- Kaleidoscope Salad — Brilliantly colored, this flavorful salad won’t wilt thanks to golden beets, cucumbers and carrots.
- Veggie Snack Packs — Cut and ready to go, these veggies are perfect for hummus or another dip. Choose from carrots, broccoli and other seasonal, organic veggies.
- Turkish Garbanzo Salad — Organic garbanzo beans and Turkish apricots, marinated in an herbal Mediterranean dressing, provide a tasty source of protein.
- Bulk Olives — Pick up an assortment of olives from the bulk bar and incorporate into any number of meals or snack on them individually.
- Nut and Honey Clusters — These silver-dollar-sized snacks are made with organic chunky peanut butter, wildflower honey and organic rolled oats.
Essential summer survival kit
Take care of your body and you’ll be prepared for any summer fun that comes your way. Here are some tried-and-true products from our Health and Body Care team.
- Soothe and heal with arnica — This flowering herb traditionally has been used to speed healing and reduce pain caused by physical activity, including bruises, sprains, strains, sore muscles and trauma injuries.
- Keep hydrated — Hydration tabs add electrolytes and refreshing natural flavors to water to slake your thirst; replenish your energy; and help you avoid soda, juice and caffeine.
- Easy greens — Keep your vitality for summer fun: sprinkle powdered, concentrated greens into your favorite juice or smoothies.
- Keep bugs at bay — Repel irritating insects without dousing yourself in chemicals. PCC’s entire selection of bug repellent is plant-based and DEET-free to protect skin without compromising your health.
- Protein up — Get your protein even when on the run with single serve packets of protein powder you can sprinkle into your favorite beverage or meal.
- Look for locally crafted pure beeswax citronella candles whose essence naturally wards off pesky insects.
- Choose an all-natural lump hardwood charcoal gleaned from the wood left over from tree pruning and forest thinning. It’s free of coal, fillers and chemicals, so you can grill green all summer long.
- Fuel your fire pit or bonfire with a sustainable option made from recycled coffee grounds that emits fewer pollutants than cordwood fires.
Updated April 2018