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Food Problem

Give me some space for cooking, and I'll easily take it over to create all my camp treats.
Give me some space for cooking, and I’ll easily take it over to create all my camp treats.

I have a bit of a food problem.

My problem is that I love food.

The bigger problem is that I love to cook.

I also love to bake, so I use my oven. A lot.

Bicycle touring isn’t exactly conducive to individuals who love to cook using hard-to-find, quality ingredients that must fit within the diameters of their 28-liter pannier. I find any available space I can and fill it with the food I love. It often results in a bit of disorganization in our panniers when the overflow spills into other bags, much to Dave’s dismay, but he never complains about the  delicious dinners or desserts I make.

At home in Portland, my kitchen is chock full of Mason jars filled with ingredients like farro, raw cacao, quinoa, and spelt flour. I use my food proccessor and blender nearly daily, sometimes multiple times per day. I make my own hummus, pesto, and pizza dough. I grind oats into flour and peauts into smooth butter. Bob’s Red Mill is my playground with bulk bins to my heart’s content.

Panzanella for lunch.

As mostly vegans, we rely solely on plant-based foods like almond or coconut milk, chia seeds, or nut butters, which can be tough to find in small towns. Going into this trip, I knew that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my passion for cooking, nor my standards for nourishing meals.

At home, I know my grocery stores nearly by heart and know exactly where to find unusual ingredients like nutritional yeast or pysillium husks. On the road, I quickly learn the words for my favorite foods and search in vain for staples like chia seeds and hummus. By the way, chia seeds, surprisingly easy to find, hummus, not so much.

With Internet at my fingertips practically everywhere I am at home, I can pull up the recipe I need in a flash, no matter where I am. I peruse my favorite food bloggers daily for food porn and pin my favorites to my Pinterest boards. Without my food bloggers’ regular dose of meal inspiration, I’m forced to rely on my own creativity and knowledge of cooking. I’ve had to learn to adjust my bulk purchasing habits and buy as needed and pare down meals that result in minimal leftovers.

Cauliflower “fried” rice requires much less cooking than typical rice.

As Dave and I created this web space, I knew that I wanted to dedicate a part of it to cooking. I want to share the delicious recipes I create while bike touring and prove that nomadic travel pursuits don’t mean that you have to sacrifice your favorite foods.

In this space, I will aim to show you how to prepare and make room for healthy foods you can make on your camp stove, with one pot and one pan, and basic cooking utensils. I’ll teach you shortcuts for making foods like lentils and steel cut oats, and prove that you can satisfy your sweet tooth on the road.

And we can't forget dessert, of course!
And we can’t forget dessert, of course!C

All you’ll need is to dedicate some space to food in your panniers, time to prepare the meals, and an open mind about camp food. I look forward to joining you in this space!

If you try any of my recipes, I’d love to know your thoughts! What works for me may not work for others, so any feedback is valuable.

Jen Sotolongo

Hello! I'm Jen. I'm a writer, photographer, dog mom, and outdoor enthusiast. When I'm not writing about awesome ways to get outside with your dog, I'm probably out for a long trail run. I also fancy myself a pretty decent vegan cook, and am always happy to whip up a batch of cookies for friends. I am based in the Pacific Northwest and I never leave home without my dogs.

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