Camping Recap: Food, Fun, and Muddy Camp

Hello again!

How was your 4th of July weekend? Mine was exhausting but a lot of fun.

On Thursday morning we packed up our car (literally packed to the top), and headed up north to Grand Marais to go camping with 23 others.

The beauty of northern Minnesota is something that everyone needs to experience. The air is fresh, the lake is stunning and mystical when the fog rolls in, and the trees surround you every which way. It is truly wonderful.

I didn’t keep my phone on me this weekend hardly at all which was GREAT, and therefore didn’t get many photos. I will show you what I’ve got but also wanted to include my camping post from last year because I took way more photos last year and was in the same general area.

Dana and me at Gooseberry Falls as a pitstop on our way up north.

dana and melanie gooseberry falls

Camp

Our shared campsite. Dana and I bought a huge tent for ourselves this year (ours is on the right). It sleeps nine people and we had two air mattresses set up in there. Don’t judge. I call it glamping; glamorous camping. We shared our site with Adam and Stacy, our travel buddies.

campsite

glamping camping tent

The Weather

The weather was beautiful on Thursday and Friday, but made a turn for the worse starting on Friday night after the fireworks. It rained all night on Friday, cleared up in the morning on Saturday and then started raining midday again and didn’t stop. We decided to pack up one night early and start our trek back home. So, just like nearly every year, we packed up a muddy wet campsite in the rain, amidst the hungry mosquitos. That my friends, is not something I wish upon anyone.

The Fun

BUT…..besides that last clean up mess, the weekend was so much fun!

We walked down by the water and watched the kids throw rocks into the lake; something they could have done for hours on end. We walked into town and enjoyed some beverages at a rooftop restaurant and bar and soaked up the sun and the view of the lake. We watched a super cheesy parade. We sat right underneath the firework show and were in walking distance back to our campsite afterwards (this was amazing because I was seriously sleep deprived that day. I was in bed within 20 minutes of the last firework going off). We relaxed by the campfire. We ate doughnuts from World’s Best Doughnuts. We went to Sven and Ole’s. We laughed a lot. We ate a lot.  We made the most of the rain. It was really a great weekend.

Camping Food

I put myself in charge of camping food for Dana and myself. Here is the menu I came up with:

Breakfast

Homemade peanut butter granola for breakfast every morning was SO good. The only ingredients were peanut butter, honey, granola, cinnamon and vanilla!

granola breakfast

Dinners:

Boy scout dinners on night one. For this one I started with two sheets of aluminum foil per packet, then added 1-2 teaspoons of butter followed by onions, potatoes, hamburger patty, carrots, worcestershire, garlic powder, salt and pepper. We tossed them on top of the fire for a while and let them do their thing. These babies were really good.

boy scout dinner

boy scout dinner camping

On night two we had the option of either veggie quesadillas or burgers but since I hadn’t realized that we were going to be going out for dinner one night, I had one packed extra meal. I thought it would be better to eat the burgers and bring the veg quesadillas home because they don’t have any meat and would last longer. So on night two we had burgers on the grill over the fire with cucumber salad!

Dinner #3 was fresh fish and chips at a cafe down the road from our campsite. They were so fresh and tasty! We grabbed this dinner after we had packed up our site and before we started our journey home.

Lunch:

For lunch we had peanut butter, apple and colby jack cheese sandwiches. Sounds totally random, right? That’s because they are, but honestly they were really good!

Snacks I brought:

  • Homemade Chex mix
  • Watermelon
  • Havarti cheese slices
  • Potato Chips
  • Pistachios
  • Gummies
  • Carrots
  • Apples

Snacks I ate that other people brought:

  • M & M bars
  • Special K bars
  • Jelly beans
  • etc.

My gut was insanely mad at me by the end of the weekend from the excessive sugar, but I sure had some delicious treats!

It feels good to be back to my normal routine again and I’m loading myself with healthy goodies.

That is my camping weekend in a nutshell. Now I am off to tackle at least three more loads of laundry (we’ve already done four).

What were some highlights of your weekend?!

Did you watch fireworks?

Did you enjoy any delicious food or fun beverages?

4th of July Photo Recap

Happy day my friends! I’m still unwinding from what was one incredible 4th of July weekend. Dana, Moose, and I went camping in beautiful Northern Minnesota. We ate great food thanks to loads of food prep, did quite a bit of hiking, saw some spectacular views, relaxed at the campfire, watched local fireworks, and savored the fresh air. Here’s a photo recap of our weekend!

Hiking & Sights

Silver Bay

silver bay

Gooseberry Falls

camping food

Eagle Mountain–the highest natural point in Minnesota at 2,301 feet! The hike was 7.2 miles. I was struggling towards the end of this one but the view was completely worth it.

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eagle mountain DSCN6741

Judge C.R. Magney State Park and Devil’s Kettle

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devil's kettle

Moose camping

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The Campsite on Lake Superior

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DSCN6753 DSCN6754 DSCN6756

Waiting for Fireworks

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Food

camping

 

Homemade clean food

camping food

Fresh whitefish dinner at Angry Trout in Grand Marais

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grand marais

It was one seriously amazing weekend.

Clean Eating Food Menu For Camping

Happy 4th of July to all of my fellow Americans! I hope your day is full of celebrating with loved ones and BBQ! In case you missed it, yesterday I compiled a list of 10 patriotic recipes that would be perfect for a picnic or BBQ today.

Kitchen Mayhem

Over the past few days I have spent many hours preparing food for our camping weekend. Typical camping food for us is usually kabobs, burgers, chex mix, and s’mores, or something close to that, but this time around we will be eating a little differently. With my hopes to keep up with the clean eating while I am away, I planned out a whole clean menu for us. I don’t even want to know how many total hours I truly spent in the kitchen. All I know is it is a lot more time than what I usually spend when preparing food for a camping trip. I knew it would be a lot of work to plan a “clean” menu, but also knew it would be so worth it! I enlisted the help of some clean eating recipes that I found online to help ease the process. In case you are interested, I thought I would share with you my clean eating food menu for camping.

On the menu for the weekend:

Breakfasts:

  • Cooked buckwheat with cinnamon, a touch of stevia, almond butter and dried fruit. I am incredibly excited for this. I taste tested it after I made it and it’s awesome! To prepare it, I cooked it per directions after letting it soak for 24 hours to aid in digestion. I then added coconut milk, cinnamon, and stevia. I let it cool and then packaged it in a canning jar to bring along with us. We can either eat it cold, or warm it up at the campsite for breakfasts.

buckwheat buckwheat

Lunches:

  • Baked Falafel with salad and homemade (dairy-free) ranch dressing. I used my falafel recipe and also added carrots, red onion, and flaxseed. I baked them at home so that they would be all ready to go when needed. I’m excited to see how they turned out! I used Healthy Blender Recipe’s recipe for the ranch dressing. It’s pretty tangy and should be really good on a salad with the falafel.
  • Lunch out somewhere
  • Leftovers

falafel

falafel

ranch dressing homemade vegan

Dinners: 

  • Asian turkey meatballs over sesame spaghetti squash. I mixed and formed the meatballs and then froze them raw. We will cook them once we get to our campsite most likely on the first night so that we can have them for leftovers for lunch the next day. I got the meatball recipe from Queen of Quinoa but also added garlic and coconut aminos. I used a recipe from Family Fresh Cooking as my inspiration for the spaghetti squash but made a couple of tweaks to it as well. I used coconut aminos instead of wheat-free tamari paste and red wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar.
  • Black bean quinoa burgers with roasted veggies. I also formed these patties and froze them uncooked. I used a recipe I found online but am not super happy with them. I taste tested one and they tasted okay but they are pretty crumbly. I like my version better but couldn’t make them this time around because they have tomatoes and eggs in the recipe which are not allowed on the clean program. *Remember this is VERY short term!* For the roasted veggies, I roasted them halfway to start the process and will finish toasting them up at the campsite.
  • Leftovers or out

Spaghetti squash…

spaghetti squash

Raw turkey meatballs…

turkey meatballs

Uncooked black bean quinoa burgers…

black bean quinoa burgers

black bean quinoa burgers

Halfway roasted veggies (zucchini, onions, garlic, kohlrabi, and turnips)…

roasted veggies

Snacks:

  • Raw veggies: snap peas, carrots
  • Raw fruit: watermelon, cherries, apples
  • Dried fruit: no-sugar added dried cranberries, mango, and pineapple
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Brown Rice Cakes
  • Rice Crackers
  • Homemade sugar-free dark chocolate (lightly sweetened with stevia)

I made insane amounts of the burgers, meatballs, and falafel which is why I am planning on having leftovers for 1-2 meals. As you can see, I was a busy, busy bee. I even have callouses on my hands to show for it. I can’t wait to go relax and enjoy all of this wonderful food now!

I hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend! Catch up with you later gators!