Last weekend we went camping in Macedonia State Park. It was beautiful. Our campsite was nestled along a babbling brook. I had always thought that was just an expression, babbling brook, but I will admit this brook convinced me other wise. It made such a peaceful sound as it moved over the stones. Listening to that sound all night…It was great!
Our campsite was set apart from the others. One of the reasons we picked the site was that it had its own bathroom and access water. Once we arrived I realized that the “bathroom”, and I use the term loosely, was not everything I had hoped for (don’t worry I will spare you the details), but the water access was actually pretty cool. The well water was accessed by using an old fashioned water pump. I had never used one of thee before and doing so made me feel like I had been transported in time. That is actually one of the things I am really starting to like about Connecticut, everywhere I look there is history. Whether it be old houses, stone walls dating back to colonial times, or really cool old water pumps.
Before the trip I sat down and wrote out our menu for the week. I tried to think about food I could easily cook in a skillet or on the grill top I was bringing. I also wanted to make sure the food I brought would not spoil in the coolers. I decided to marinate the cut up pieces of steak for the kabobs and then freeze the meat. This would help keep things cold in the freezer and the meat would continue to marinade as it thawed. I also froze the sausage links for our breakfast on Day 2.
We arrived at the campsite around 2:00 pm. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the camp site had a grill already attached to the fire pit. I had brought my grill top from home, but having the pre-built grill made an excellent base for the one I brought. We were a little hungry when we arrived so instead of cooking, which was impossible since we had not built the fire yet, we had a quick snack of Almond Butter Protein Balls and cut up an apple. I find that preparing a few snacks ahead of time can be a real life saver!
We spent most of the afternoon setting up the campsite and gathering firewood. Once we had gathered enough wood we got the campfire started. We wanted to cook dinner over the embers and not the open fire so we built up the fire and let it burn down. This helped ensure more even heat for cooking our dinner.
Dinner: Since I knew we would likely be busy most of the first day I pre-made some burgers for us to grill up on the campfire. I brought one of the grates from my gas grill at home to cook on. I also cooked some of the squash and zucchini from my garden in a tin foil pouch with a little bit of butter.
Dessert: Roasted Homemade Marshmallows and pieces of dark chocolate. Before the trip I took the time to make some of our clean eating Homemade Marshmallows. While this may seem like a lot of extra work, I wanted to be able to enjoy this traditional camping treat without sacrificing our clean eating menu.
Breakfast: Our breakfast on the first morning was organic sausage and fried eggs with a dash of cayenne pepper. I cooked the sausage in the skillet first. This helped to season the skillet and give our fried eggs a little extra flavor. Yum!
Snack: For a snack we had s couple of Almond Butter Protein Balls that I had pre-made for the trip. I packed them in ice in the cooler and they held up perfectly!
Lunch: Since we had a big breakfast and morning snack, we didn’t really do any cooking for lunch. Instead we had some homemade hummus with veggies sticks, some bananas, and more almond butter protein balls. It was the perfect amount of food without weighing us down.
Dinner: For dinner on the second night we made Steak Kabobs, Sweet potatoes cooked in a pouch with onions, fresh rosemary and butter. I used the pieces of steak that I had marinaded before we left. I found that putting them in the cooler frozen worked out great! They were thawed and well marinaded by the time we were ready to cook them.
Dessert: For dessert we roasted some more Homemade Marshmallows. You can’t have too many marshmallows while camping right?
Breakfast: For breakfast on our last day we made scrambled eggs. We also had a couple of pieces of homemade banana bread that I made before the trip.
For me, the prep work I did ahead of time made the biggest difference in the success of my clean eating camping trip. Preparing as much food as possible ahead of time really took some of the pressure off cooking and allowed me to fully enjoy my trip!