Hubby and I are going to the Texas Renaissance Festival this weekend, and planning on actually camping out overnight. We’ve never done this before, and I’ve heard it gets kind of crazy. We’re going to party like it’s the 14th through the 17th century!
The thing is, I don’t want to be hampered by a cooler and ice, and all the mess that entails. Maybe it’s just me, but some package of food always ends up open and floating in the slush water, getting all disgusting and damp and making all the ice water icky. I can’t handle it!! So what are non-refridgerated food options, that are not entirely terrible for you? (Meaning I will not try to survive on gummi bears)
Fruit: Oranges, apples, and pears (I almost wrote “bears” haha! Oh, the incompetence) don’t need to be refridgerated, at least for a couple days. There are also fruit cups, but I don’t feel like packing plasticware in addition to all the other junk we’ll need.
Granola bars: You could also carry pop tarts, and baggies of cereal if you want, but pop tarts aren’t very good for you, and I don’t want little loose things going every where.
Tuna: If you look around in the tuna section of the grocery store, there are several kinds of little lunch kits that come with tuna and crackers and don’t need to be in the fridge. Back in the day, when I used to hand out lunches to homeless people, these were a staple. They come with everything you need in them, and are easy to transport.
Trail mix: Any kind of nut snack, dried fruit, or trail mix is a great snack, and can be carried in your bag as you go site-seeing. If it’s going to be hot, I would avoid mixes that have chocolate.
Veggies: Carrot sticks and celery will be fine, at least for a day or so. If you don’t want to eat plain veggies, they sell individual dressing packets on the dressing aisle at the store, or you can just collect them from fast food joints, when you go.
Beef jerky: This is another good high protein food, but it can be pricey. It is easy to transport in purses and bags, though.
Protein bars: Again, these can be expensive, but waaaayyyy cheaper than a turkey leg. Let’s face it, the food at these things is generally a rip-off.
Unhealthy options: peanut butter crackers, popcorn, and pop tarts (as mentioned). There are tons of packaged foods that don’t need to be kept cool, but are basically junk food.
Okay, so those are mostly lunch/dinner/snack foods. What about breakfast, and namely WHAT ABOUT COFFEE?? The Renaissance Festival does actually have a coffee shop, but I opted for bringing my own diet cherry Pepsi, and drinking several of those over the weekend. I got twelve sodas for less than one cup of coffee would have cost. I…
Just now I accidentally ate a really hot pepper while I was typing this. I tried to drink some diet coke to tone it down, but the carbonation apparently forced the spice into my sinus cavity. Now my nose is running, my toungue is burning, and my whole face feels hot. I have no idea what I was about to write up there. I’m distracted by my upper lip sweating! Ok…more diet coke seems to have – nope nevermind. The burning has returned and now I’m coughing. Who would do this to themselves on purpose????
Ok I need milk. I’m pretty sure I covered everything. Now I tried to blow my nose, and that seems to have forced more spiciness into my sinuses! I have to go handle this crisis, so The End.
You may have noticed that I like to cook a whole bunch of food at once to I don’t have to do it every night. The other day I washed and cut up 2 heads of cauliflower, and threw them in a baking dish with olive oil and garlic salt. Since the oven was already on and the cutting board was already dirty, I decided to bake some lentils, too. They were already cooked (the night before I made pasta, and since the pot was already dirty I threw a whole bag of lentils in to boil while we were eating dinner. Noticing a pattern?).
I chopped up the remains of a white onion, 2 raw jalapenos, and some red onion, for a total of 1/2 cup of large chunks of onion.
The laready cooked, refridgerated lentils, fresh out of their tupperware:
Yes, that’s a Star Wars cup in the background. I mixed the ingredients in the pan to avoid dirtying extra dishes.
I added 3 tablespoons or so of olive oil to moisten it up, 1/4 cup good parmesan cheese, and probably 2 teaspoons or less of garlic salt. You can make it spicier by adding chili powder, or Sriracha. Once it was done cooking, we each added Sriracha to our own portions to control the level of spiciness. Hubby like things way spicier than I do. You can make it vegan by leaving out the cheese or using a vegan cheese substitute. I haven’t tried those, so I’m not sure how it would work. You can also add some cumin for additional flavor.
I baked it at 350 for 30 minutes or so, until it was bubbling and a little crispy around the edges. The veggies had cooked a little bit, but they were still fairly crunchy, which I liked. You could always saute them before mixing them into the lentils if you want them more done, but I liked the variety of textures.