If you are going camping this weekend or sometime soon and you happen to be near a Trader Joe’s, as I happily happen to find myself again, then you might like to discover, as I have, that you can get several days’ worth of relatively easy and healthy camping meals in one quick stop.
Cooking on a camp stove is of course different from being in my kitchen, which I love and miss, but I think I have finally settled into sort of a happy compromise between what I am used to and what is possible for an entire summer of camping.
Still, Trader Joe’s has made some of those compromises much easier. For example, letting the children roast hot dogs over the fire once a week is much easier to do when I am buying all beef nitrate free Trader Joe’s hot dogs, Trader Joe’s whole wheat hot dog buns and Trader Joe’s organic ketchup.
So the routine is that I usually roll up to a Trader Joe’s after we’ve set up in a new town and have pretty much used up all our groceries. It seems like it is usually in the afternoon. And the kids have to help or wait in the car. For their trouble, we usually get a box of dark chocolate ice cream bars or ice cream sandwiches made with two chocolate chip cookies. Both of these novelties come in boxes of four and are a deal at $1.99 when you consider that everyone is begging to go to the Cold Stone next door which would cost us our dinner.
So after the ice cream, we have…
2 packages frozen gyoza (they come in pork, chicken, shrimp and vegetable)
1 bottle gyoza dipping sauce
2 packages prepared sushi
1 box organic ginger snaps
I fry the gyoza in a couple of tablespoons of oil in my cast iron skillet on the camp stove. Dinner is served.
1 package whole wheat bagels, sliced and toasted on the griddle
Organic cream cheese
Angelcots (a rare apricot in season right now that my kids are gobbling)
Apple Cereal Bars
Greek Style Yogurt (We LOVE this stuff. It is so creamy. And we love all the flavors, which include honey, fig, strawberry, apricot-mango, pomegranate and blueberry.)
Cheese (goat cheese brie and sharp cheddar)
Sesame Pita Chips and Dip (We alternate between hummus and cilantro-yogurt dip)
Organic animal crackers
Whole Wheat Organic Penne Pasta
Organic Marinara Pasta Sauce
1 package fully cooked meatballs
Packaged Caesar Salad or Spinach Salad
Charles Shaw Shiraz
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Chocolate Chips
Whole Wheat Crackers
Blueberries and Cherries
Whole wheat pita pockets with Tuna Salad (made with white chunk tuna, organic mayonnaise and hard boiled eggs)
Flax seed tortilla chips and salsa
Any number of trail mixes
Various Canned Soups for the kids: the boys pick chicken noodle, Mary Polly picks an Udon Noodle bowl
Instant Indian Food (curried lentils) and whole wheat tandoori for Taido and me
Hot Dogs for the kids and Cilantro Chicken Sausages for Taido and me, which I save half of for my eggs in the morning.
Random red table wine
Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon Graham Crackers and Homemade Style Marshmallows
Eggs, Bacon (nitrate free) and Skillet Potatoes
Eat lunch out (Baja Fresh, anyone?) and then go back to Trader Joe’s again….everything listed is Trader Joe’s own brand right down to the marshmallows.