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whole 30 camping {whole 30 family camping, part 2}

we had way too many photos to share in part 1 of our whole 30 camping with kids post, so here’s what we cooked on the second half of our trip!  (i encourage you to get the book it starts with food; we’re having our older kids read it as part of a health and wellness study, and it is so eye-opening!)

 

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{**affiliate links:  there are a few links in this post that allow you to purchase an item at no additional cost to you, but will provide us with a small commission on your purchase!  many links are not affiliate links at all, but simply sites offering products and information we love and companies support for our own family!  all affiliate links are products we use ourselves and we would only recommend such products.}

 

(one parenting note: another observation about our family’s whole 30 adventure is that even though i thought my kids already took initiative when it came to meal prep, they’ve stepped up to the plate even more when it comes to choosing options that they are learning are good for them and delicious.  bonus!)

 

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dinner, day 2: sausage and potato pouches, green bean salad, warmed spiced apple cider from trader joe’s

 

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for our sausage pouches, we cut up potatoes and onions at home and tossed them with salt and pepper, garlic and olive oil in ziploc bags.  we brought aidell’s chicken-and-apple sausages (why don’t more companies make a “clean” sausage like this?!) and threw them into a foil pouch for each person with a handful of potatoes and onions.

 

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this meal was a favorite, and we plan to repeat it at home on the grill!

 

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our green bean salad was just fresh raw green beans and halved heirloom cherry tomatoes tossed at home with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, spicy mustard, garlic and salt and pepper, stored in a ziploc bag.  my girl and i really enjoyed the warm sausage dish topped with the cold green beans – the contrast of soft with crunchy, warm & buttery with tart and cold, was a perfect mix!

 

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and of course, nighttime campfires.  we warmed up hot cider for the kids and tea/coffee for the “big kids.”

 

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and because we’re a photography-loving family, some play-time with burning twigs and long exposures.  with great attention to safety, i might add.

 

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and cards, always cards by lantern-light.

 

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breakfast, day 3:

leftover egg cups and homemade turkey sausage patties (frozen after little’s birthday party), warmed over the campfire, fresh fruit (grapes and clementine oranges)

 

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enjoying the fruit of her labor…

 

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long morning hikes and geocaching, a camping tradition.

 

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for our last meal, we wanted to not have to cook.  i made chicken salad in advance with leftover roasted chicken, dried, unsweetened cranberries, some annie’s naturals dijon mustard (be sure to check labels; a surprising number of their ingredient lists are not compliant!), chopped celery and pecans, and some tessamae’s ranch dressing, of course with salt and pepper.  this was packed in ziploc along with shredded carrots, washed romaine leaves, and served with a side of trader joe’s plantain chips.  everyone nibbled on this as we packed up camp.  yum!

 

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and of course, more hiking and exploring.  we’ve been so happy to discover a wealth of gorgeous state parks in our new home in new jersey!

 

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i hope you got some great ideas from our family’s whole 30 camping adventure.  what ideas can you share for camping with kids, and for camping while maintaining a “real food” lifestyle?

 

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whole 30 camping ideas {family camping, part 1}

when we decided to give the whole 30 plan our family’s whole-hearted commitment, i wondered if we could do it.  i wondered if my kids would choose to stick with it, and if i would have the self-fortitude to help them.  i felt such a burden to be prepared, to leave them no excuses if i could help it.  (little do they know i’m already considering it our “first” whole 30…)

 

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this week we planned a family camping trip, and determined to do it while honoring our whole 30 commitment (we are right smack dab in the middle!).  i was amazed at how each family member took it in stride.  there were a couple wistful comments about s’mores and their lack, but we planned and we prepared and we ate delicious food (always part of a camping trip in our book), and honestly, i don’t think anyone felt deprived!  here are some of our preparations – i thought others might benefit from our whole 30 camping ideas, too.

 

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leading up to our trip, i asked if anyone had special requests.  because we couldn’t were choosing not to do some of our usual unhealthy treats, i wanted them to feel they really had a choice in making our meals both healthy and delicious!  then i got creative, trying to honor the principles of the whole 30 plan as well as excite our palates.  i made my meal plan and shopping list, and put a copy of the plan in our food container so i wouldn’t forget.  i also grabbed plenty of compliant snacks, most of which we actually didn’t end up eating!

 

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the day before, i got up early and shopped for our produce and any remaining proteins.  the kids helped me peel potatoes, cut up veggies, and label ziploc bags with each meal’s ingredients.  (i have to give credit where it’s due – my daughter is super organized and has a knack for keeping me on track when i get distracted with “big” projects like this.)  we packed each meal together in a labeled plastic shopping bag (which we later used to throw away garbage as we cooked/ate).  finally, we packed the meals into the cooler so that we reached for the first meal on top, and so on.  this worked really well!

 

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while we are at camp, we expect everyone to pitch in.  when there’s fire and dead-wood-collecting to be done, no one really complains.

 

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first night:

dinner: burgers over campfire, grilled zucchini, marinated mushrooms, foil baked apples, coffee/tea

 

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we made our grass-fed beef burgers in advance, seasoned with trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute.  we bought local zucchini and seasoned it with olive oil and salt and pepper before traveling, so all we had to do was throw it on the grill!  our mushrooms were marinated in half/half red wine vinegar and olive oil, with minced garlic, salt and pepper.  we sauteed this in our iron skillet on the camp stove while the burgers and zucchini grilled.

 

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i’m not sure if this would technically be considered a “remake of a dessert,” in which case it wouldn’t be compliant, but we made baked apples over the fire.  at home in preparations, i cored apples and stuffed them with unsweetened dried cranberries, lots of cinnamon, and crushed walnuts.  before we baked them over the fire, we drizzled in some apple cider and ghee and then closed them tightly into little pouches.  (i did notice my tummy hurt after dinner, and i think i probably could have skipped the fruit.)

 

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breakfast the first morning:

 

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breakfast: bacon wrapped sweet potatoes (we made a variation of this recipe from fast paleo; we peeled and quartered our sweet potatoes lengthwise and roasted for 10 minutes with olive oil at home, and wrapped each quarter with one slice of bacon before grilling), sauteed apples and bananas (simply sliced apples and bananas from home along with a few we found on our hike, then cooked in the iron skillet with ghee and tons of cinnamon, sprinkling with almonds at the end).

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lunch: grilled applegate hot dogs, home made refrigerator pickles (try these!), and fruit (clementines, bananas, dried mango)

 

littlest whittled his own stick for grilling his ‘dog.

 

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i’m noticing that participating in a whole 30 challenge has made us all more contemplative, more intentional about our choices, and it’s made the kids more creative, as well!  there are days when i don’t get something made, and i’m noticing they are taking initiative and making themselves something new that honors the healthy eating ideals!  so cool…

 

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on one of our hikes, we found a fresh herb garden and nibbled on mint, chives, and basil.

 

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what choices are you making as a family to take better care of your bodies?  do you have any helpful tips to share?

 

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gluten-free chicken salad sandwiches

the kids all laughed at me when i shared my name for these: little pillows.  it’s silly, but it’s the best way i know how to describe the grain-free “bread” we served with our gluten-free chicken salad sandwiches at a recent sunset beach picnic.  that, or you could refer to them as little clouds, because they are heavenly (yes, i know, i am cheesy).

 

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i will tell you, this bread is super-light and fluffy, really more suited for an open-face sandwich or perfect for serving alongside a main dish.  still, i think they looked pretty cute in the white paper bags with washi-tape, don’t you?

 

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here’s the recipe for you!

Gluten-free Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1 fresh mango, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1/4 cup organic mayonnaise
  • 1 heaping tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • For Dressing:
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon orange or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tomatillos, quartered
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 3 green onions, whites and stems, roots removed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • For bread:
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Place chicken and mango in a mixing bowl.
  2. Lightly toss with mayo, mustard, lime juice, sea salt, and pepper.
  3. For dressing:
  4. Combine dressing ingredients in a high-speed blender in order listed; blend for 30 seconds.
  5. For bread:
  6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  7. Using a hand mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks.
  8. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks with cream cheese, pepper, and garlic salt.
  9. Gently fold yolks into whites, being careful not to deflate whites.
  10. Scoop batter (it will be very wet and loose) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  11. Bake for 20-30 minutes (begin checking at 20 minutes), and remove from oven when golden and no longer wet on top.
  12. Let bread "pillows" cool on cookie sheet for at least ten minutes before removing to serve.
  13. To serve, scoop a generous portion of chicken salad on each bread "pillow."
  14. Drizzle with dressing.
  15. Serve open-faced, or top with an additional bread "pillow."
http://dancingwithmyfather.net/gluten-free-chicken-salad-sandwiches/

 

for the cooked chicken, we used this recipe.  because, really, it makes chicken taste amazing.

 

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my a-girl made her own version of chicken-salad by serving this in lettuce wraps.  our friend lauren also whipped up a wonderful chicken salad served on Udi’s Gluten-Free bread.  which version would be your favorite?  (the “little pillows” were inspired by a recipe from live fabuless, which i can no longer find!)

 

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