The Camping Celiac Returns

I had great response to the last Camping Celiac post that I wrote, that I decided to put together another one. Last weekend, my husband had holidays from work and we had decided to go camping for 5 nights. That would be our longest trip to date. We don’t usually for longer trips, just because we have kids, and camping with small kids is not usually a relaxing experience for the parent. You’ve got a lot of time that you are required to entertain them and keep them busy. But, at the end of last summer’s August camping trip, we realized that we were ready for a longer stay. Unfortunately, our favorite campground in Manitoba is closed due to serious spring flooding, that flooded the campground. Still makes me sad. I sure hope that they will be up and running next year.

I am giving you this background so that you understand. We went to a new campground. One that was about 2 1/2 hours from home. One we had never been to before. And we still intended to stay for the 5 nights. So, I worked on the Friday & Saturday before heading out, preparing our food for the entire week.

Well, to make a long story shorter, we were back home in about 26 hours (with driving time). We were extremely disappointed with the campground. The playground stunk (figuratively and literally, like rotting fish). It was about 35 degrees F with high humidity (no A/C in the camper, but there is at home!). Only one (poorly marked) hiking trail in the area. A bear had been caught just up the road the one night we were there (there are bear problems this year, apparently. Not enough berries in the woods for them…but I did spot a nice blueberry bush by the (out of order) washroom). Yeah. Seriously. All these things. So we figure, we’ll let the kids play at the beach for a few days, and head home. The beach was full of green algae and long, slimy, 6″ leaches. We’re Going Home NOW!!

But, I had all of my food ready to go, so we continued to eat the assigned camping food, and I didn’t have to cook all week while splashing in the kids backyard pool and sleeping in my comfortably air conditioned house. :)

So, here we go! Here are some great camping food ideas for you, I hope you enjoy!

Day 1

Supper – I made up some pasta salad at home, using corn penne noodles, and it is filled with veggies and cheese cubes. We really like having a ready to eat meal on our first day there, so it is ready when we are finished setting up the campsite.

Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Day 2

Breakfast – My favorite, easy-to-make pancakes topped with cottage cheese and syrup, with a side of locally made cheese curds and a coffee. Yum! I have the dry ingredients for the pancakes in a zipper seal bag, and the buttermilk pre-measured in a small canning jar. Then all I need to add is 2 eggs and a few Tbsp of  oil and we’re ready to cook them up!

Lunch – Well, honestly, lunch didn’t happen on Day 2. We were too busy cleaning up our campsite to get back to our nice, cool, comfortable (bear free, leach free) home. So, we ate some popcorn twists and sesame snaps (I love taking sesame snaps along camping, they are small, compact, naturally gluten-free, and cheap enough for everyone to enjoy them).

Supper – Well, we were home by supper, and unpacked too, I believe. So, for supper we had taco salad. I washed and cut up spinach and put it in a large zipper seal bag. Brought along shredded cheese, 1 Tbsp taco seasoning, cheese flavoured corn chips, and a tomato. Mix all of those items together when ready to serve, top with some Catalina salad dressing and sour cream. My daughter insisted we bring this along this camping trip, but she was happy to eat it at home too.

Day 3

Breakfast – Breakfast was Enviro Kids Leapin’ Lemurs cereal. I had never had this cereal before, but it was really good, I enjoyed it with some yogurt and a cup of coffee.

Lunch – For lunch we had left over pasta salad and watermelon. I bought a small, seedless watermelon and took it along on the trip. Love it, doesn’t require refrigeration until it’s cut, so we usually cut into it once we’ve emptied up some fridge space.

Supper – We had calzones. Oh my goodness! I used Linda’s recipe at Gluten Free Homemaker for the dough, and it works amazingly well. The dough is so easy to handle, bakes up beautifully. And after they were fully cooled, I stored them in large zipper seal bags as well. Then to reheat them, I put them on a small cookie sheet (foil pan would work too), and heated them up on the BBQ. I brought along a tin of pizza sauce for dipping, and we all really enjoyed our supper that night. By the way, I made a filling out of fried onion, garlic, frozen chopped spinach (squeezed out), and then threw in some feta cheese and mozzarella cheese. YUM! Definitely give that recipe a try, whether you’re camping or staying home.

Day 4

Breakfast – For breakfast we had scrambled eggs, cheese curds and fresh pineapple. Another fruit I like to take camping, because it is nicely packaged up the way nature intended it, and we eat the whole thing in one meal, so there is nothing to refrigerate after.

Lunch – For lunch we made pizza again, the same we we did the last time we went camping. This time, I had some red and green pepper that I chopped before leaving, and we sprinkled that on top of the cheese. Everyone LOVES these personal size pizzas!

Supper –  Supper was beef stew. I cooked up some beef stew in the slow-cooker before we left, and while it was still hot & bubbly, I put it into canning jars, and let the lids seal themselves when they cooled off. Doing this, your food will stay fresh longer than if it was just in a plastic container (or zipper seal bag, for that matter). I did not get a picture of the stew, but it was just a basic stew with beef, potatoes, carrots and peas. Nothing fancy, but filling and tasty!

What is your favorite gluten free food to take camping or on a hike or day trip?


  1. Jennifer says

    Thanks for sharing your meal plans for camping! It certainly helps seeing how others are managing traveling and camping. Makes it easier for all of us :)

    On a related note, have you seen the summer camp programs for Celiac kids? My kids just came back from spending a week at one and LOVE it! There are 5 throughout the US. My kids went to Camp Celiac / Camp Arroyo in California. I'm so glad they got to experience a summer camp like "normal" kids do and they said the food was awesome!

  2. Cindy says

    I love the way you stored the beef stew Jeanine! That's such a great idea. Sounds like you had great camping food, even if it was at home, LOL. Sorry the new campground was so rotten!

  3. Jeanine - The Baking Beauties says

    @Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee, Maria, cheese curds are really yummy! We have a company about 20 minutes from here that makes cheese, and the cheese curds (that we call 'squeaky cheese') is one of our favorites from them. They are sort of like really fresh cheese that isn't pressed together. And they squeak in between your teeth when you eat them. The local company actually calls theirs "Squeakers". :)

  4. Jeanine - The Baking Beauties says

    @Jennifer, Jennifer, I haven't kept up with the summer camp programs, but I've heard of them. I think that is so awesome!! Last year my daughter went to camp for the first time, and I thought…if she were celiac, how on earth would she cope here? So glad that camps are catering to the kids, so they don't have to miss out over a dietary restriction.

  5. says

    Hi Jeanie, camping Celiac’s here! I must be missing something and I hope you can help. We have been GF for about a year and a half now and I have yet to be able to serve cold pasta salad. We use mostly Tinky and in the fridge it basically hardens back up. I have read on the internet on various places that GF pasta is actually mushy in the fridge but that is a complete mystery to me. Can you enlighten me and tell me what I’m doing wrong?

    • says

      Hi Lisa!
      I know all too well what you’re talking about. I had the same problem for the first few years of eating gluten-free too. Then, I switched pastas. Now, instead of brown rice pasta, I use a corn pasta, and don’t cook it until al dente, cook it until it is done (not mushy, but done). Rise it with cold water, and you should be good to go! With corn pasta, if it is still slightly undercooked, it will go back to hard, just like the rice pasta. Hope that helps you out a bit. :)

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