Backpacking Trip to Capitol Reef

This semester Ben is taking a nature writing class. As part of the class, they all go on a few backpacking/camping trips to get inspiration. And, since the professor is a friend of mine, he invited me along. The trip was 4 days and was in Capitol Reef National Park. We had originally planned to backpack for the first three days before arriving at the UVU Capitol Reef Field Station and staying there for the last night. However, the weather had quite a different plan for us.

Wondering what we ate? See this post.
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When we drove down on Friday it was rainy and foggy the whole drive down. It started snowing as soon as we got into the park; and not a dry snow either. A really wet, nasty snow and the clay mud was super wet and sticky. We decided not to set out that night on our backpacking adventure and camped in the Capitol Reef campground. When we woke up, we were covered with a blanket of snow and there were puddles and mud everywhere. We decided to head for the field station to warm up and dry out. The drive to the field stations is a long dirt road and it was pretty nuts in the mud.

We hung out at the field station for a day and made veggie fajitas for everyone (we brought the ingredients with us, the kitchen at the field station is really nice). The next day when we woke up there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it had warmed up a ton. So we set off for a one-nighter down Pleasant Creek and had a fantastic time. The sun was so warm I hung out in a tank top for a while—it made me want summer to come so bad!

All in all it was a great adventure. Not what I expected, but still super fun! I’m excited to get down to southern Utah a bit more this summer.

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Vegan Backpacking Food 5: Campfire Dinner and Lunch On-the-Go

To read about this trip and see photos of it, go here.
Check out all of the posts in our Vegan Backpacking Food series here.

Cooking Tofurkey Italian sausages over the fire. As long as you will be in a place with trees/shrubs you don't need to bring a stick, just cut a green branch and sharpen the end.

Cooking Tofurkey Italian sausages over the fire. As long as you will be in a place with trees/shrubs you don’t need to bring a stick, just cut a green branch and sharpen the end.

Tofurkey Italian sausages with chili in a piece of bread. It was just canned chili that we vacuum saved to save on weight.

Tofurkey Italian sausages with chili in a piece of bread. We bought canned chili then vacuum saved it to make it light and packable.

Cooking oatmeal for breakfast

Cooking oatmeal for breakfast

Instant oatmeal with powdered peanut butter and powdered soy milk

Instant oatmeal with powdered peanut butter and powdered soy milk

A new coffee alternative Ben was trying out... it was just ok

A new coffee alternative Ben was trying out… it was just ok, but if you’re a person who needs your coffee it’s definitely an option!

LOVE Luna bars. Almost every flavor is vegan!

LOVE Luna bars. Almost every flavor is vegan!

Breakfast on the second day... only had to carry the weight for a little bit :)

Breakfast on the second day… only had to carry the weight for a little bit 🙂

Snacks on the trail

Snacks on the trail… pistachios and my favorite kind of fruit leather.

Lunch on the trail: peanut butter packets and a baggie of jam on a whole wheat tortilla.

Lunch on the trail: Peanut butter packets and a baggie of jam on a whole wheat tortilla.

Just dump it on then spread it around

Just dump it on then spread it around

And fold it up! Easy to make, easy to eat.

And fold it up! Easy to make, easy to eat.

Snowshoeing Trip to the Cabin

Last weekend, we and two of our friends snowshoed into my grandparent’s cabin above Fairview (where we got married). After our first snowshoeing adventure, we decided that we loved snowshoeing but didn’t love camping in 10 degree weather. Snowshoeing into the cabin seemed like the perfect compromise! We went Saturday to Sunday and it was glorious. The weather was clear and beautiful on our hike in and it actually wasn’t too cold at all.

Wondering what we ate? See this post.

Though the cabin has electricity and plumbing, it was all shut down for the winter so we didn’t turn anything on. We just used oil lamps, the wood-burning stove, and our headlamps for light and went to the bathroom the old-fashioned way. We cooked chili and cornbread on the wood-burning stove and it was fantastic!

The whole weekend was an awesome success, and I loved it. I definitely want to do it again, maybe for a bit longer next time!

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Vegan Backpacking Food 4: Snacks and Dinner Cooked on a Wood-Burning Stove

Last weekend we went on another winter snowshoeing/backpacking trip. This post is all about the food we ate. To see pictures of the trip and to read about it, go here.

Check out all of the posts in our Vegan Backpacking Food series here.

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Leftover vegan pizza from The Pie on the drive up

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Primal vegan jerky strips (Texas BBQ flavor here). Great for a salty/protein-filled snack.

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Yes, we eat baby food when we’re camping. Sometimes you just need something that’s not dehydrated or a meal bar. They’re great for moisture and nutrition, plus they’re light and resealable.

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This was so fun! We cooked chili and cornbread on the wood-burning stove. I’m not going to go into the details because it was mostly guesswork since it was our first time, but it turned out to be amazing! It was so delicious and actually pretty easy. Maybe when we get down to a science I will do a post about it.

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Ben and our friend Mike tending the food and the fire. (No, we didn’t have electricity, there was still some light coming in through the windows.)

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Cooking

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Dinner by candlelight! So good!

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Annie’s Chocolate Bunny Grahams for dessert

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First time trying these too… I thought they were just ok. They tasted strongly like burnt bananas and the texture was interesting. Ben didn’t eat his so this is just my opinion and we’ll probably try them again.

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This was the first trip that I had these but they are definitely going to be coming with me on another trip! They are 100% fruit and DELICIOUS!

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Snacks from the gas station on the way home. I wanted sweet and salty!

Vegan Roasted Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

tomato-basil-soup1Over the weekend my little sisters had a sleepover at our house. For lunch on Saturday, I decided to make them homemade tomato soup and grilled ‘cheese’ sandwiches—they loved it! When they got home on Sunday they had my mom make the same thing because they just couldn’t get enough 🙂

Honestly, tomato soup and grilled ‘cheese’ is one of my all-time favorite meals. My perfect grilled cheese is Daiya and Vegenaise between two slices of Dave’s Killer Bread with some coconut oil on the outside and pan-fried to perfection. Dipped in some of this homemade soup… ahhh, it’s to die for!

2 1/2 Pounds Roma tomatoes
4 Tbs Olive oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 C fresh Basil, chopped
1-15 oz can Diced tomatoes
4 C Vegetable broth
Agave or another sweetener, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and spread them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbs of olive oil and a little bit of salt and pepper, then roast for about 45 minutes.

In a large pot, heat the other 2 Tbs of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and vegetable broth. Stir in the oven roasted tomatoes. You can add the liquid from the tomatoes if you want, but if you put a lot of salt on them I wouldn’t recommend it. Cook for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat.

Using a blender, puree the soup until smooth. You can leave some tomato chunks if you prefer. To cut the acidity of the tomatoes, sweeten the soup with agave or your favorite sweetener to taste. Then compensate with a bit more salt and pepper.

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My sisters swimming at our clubhouse pool

Recipe (and picture!) thanks to:
Two Peas and Their Pod

Chinese New Year Dinner

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For Christmas, my mom had the best idea EVER and gave us a year of family dinners. She did it by wrapping a food item representing each meal for each month and I had to guess what the full present was. Cool, huh?! Last month we did a fancy dinner and this month we did a Chinese dinner to honor the Chinese New Year (Feb 10).

We had a truly fantastic menu and I ate WAY too much. Below are some photos of the meal and some links to the recipes. Even though Chinese New Year has passed, I would definitely recommend doing a Chinese-themed dinner! So much fun!

‘Egg’ drop soup
Deep fried spring rolls
Fried dumplings
Gardein orange chicken with rice
Chow mein
Mu shu veggies with Chinese pancakes (from Chloe’s Kitchen)
Fortune cookies
Almond cookies (I LOVED these. Though I would recommend a bit more almond extract.)
Tea

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Such an adorable table!

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‘Egg’ drop soup–the texture wasn’t the same, but the taste blew me away! It seriously tasted like egg drop soup!

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The spread. Everything was vegan except some vegetarian egg rolls.

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Some of my family

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Delicious cookies and tea!

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My mom making the egg drop soup… weird.

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Homemade dumpling wrappers, thanks to my mom!

Quick & Easy Vegan Monkey Bread Recipe

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On Friday nights I always feel like having dessert. I think it’s just the natural cessation to a long work week–plus it means Saturday morning I get to have dessert for breakfast. Last night we made quick and easy vegan monkey bread. I wanted something that we could just pop in the oven and I had see this recipe come across my blog reel earlier this week. It was perfect! Super easy to make, and absolutely divine. Plus it makes a great breakfast 🙂

1 can (16 oz) of Immaculate Baking Company Cinnamon Chip Scones
(Utahns: You can get these at Sprouts market in Orem in the dairy section for about $4)
1 C Sugar
2 Tbs Cinnamon
3/4 C Vegan margarine

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 12-inch round cake pan.

In a bag or large bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Open the can of scones and cut each scone into four pieces (for a total of 32 pieces). Put the scone quarters in the bag or bowl and toss/shake them until they are coated. Arrange the scone pieces in the pan.

Put the margarine in a pot over medium heat on the stove. Once it is mostly melted, add the cinnamon sugar mixture and turn up the heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often so that the bottom doesn’t burn.

Pour the mixture over the scones in the pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes until the scones are puffed and the liquid is caramelized. Remove from oven and let cool.

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Recipe thanks to:
Please Pass the Tofu