Paddling with vegetarians

So we are paddling/camping with another couple who are vegetarians. We are omnivores. We typically alternate evening meal preparation. But since they are vegetarians that means all the evening meals are vegetarian. And having no meat gets to us after a while. Any suggestions for recipes where we could add some meat post preparation to satisfy us without grossing them out?

Gross them out
You aren’t the vegetarian and it’s not a religion – or is it?

Are they the “no fish” type of vegan?


try it
I paddle and camp with my friend who is also a veggie. Because of that I put him in charge of dinner and I cook first meal and snacks. Keep an open mind as most veg cooking can very complex and the flavors are good. By the end of the week I have to say I did feel better. Of course I drooled over a juicy cheeseburger on the way home. give it a try. It wont kill you.


– Last Updated: Apr-30-10 12:08 AM EST –

Impress your veggie friends with some whole wheat or, even better, spinach noodles. Bring a jar of Prego (mushroom or garden veggie). Add in canned or fresh veggies. Spinach, zucchini or peas are all good choices. Reserve some sauce in a separate pan, dump in a package of frozen meatballs, and warm them up. I'm a vegetarian and have used the supplemental pot of balls to please meat eaters. The meat eaters reported the balls were good.

You can always cook burgers, bringing veggie burgers for your friends. Try the Bocca Burgers, they are amazingly meat-like. I didn't believe they were veggie when I first ate them. I gave some to my cat, who wolfed it down like it was beef. But, according to the label...


Rice and beans
Takes meat fine, especially with some hot sauce.

Difficult but possible

– Last Updated: Apr-30-10 12:18 AM EST –

I have camped with folks with that sort of eating disorder before. I would not expect them to share my omnivorous diet if it was unappealing to them, and generally expect courteous reciprocity. In those cases, folks tend to fend for themselves. Most vegetarians I encounter seem to understand that's the way things work and adapt.

Cooking in common will present some problems, but adding in other items post preparation is possible. Things like canned shrimp, vac packed tuna or chicken is both light to pack and easy to add later. I like to make camp paella by adding chicken, canned shrimp, and vac packed or canned smoked oysters or crabmeat to a good rice mix. It goes very well with a spanish rice mix. Chicken goes well with Indian style rice dishes or vegetable curries. Also works well to throw some into stir fry vegetables or canned chow mein. You can get vegetarian types at health food stores or oriental markets. You can even get ready to eat vac packed bacon these days for an after meal dessert snack!

Recipe: Filet Vegitarians carefully
using a good, sharp knife. Do not worry about fat, they usually don’t have much. Rinse. Debone.

Pack tightly in drybag with salt. Cook skewered on campfire. Serve with fava beans and your favorite chianti.

Regards, Hannibal Lechter

lots of options
if you build your own diners,

I have been a veggie for 20 years and cooked on camps in that time from 2 up to 40 people.

some options:

spaggetti bolognese and chili con carne

booth can be made by frying the minced meat separate and mixed for the meat eaters.

any bbq can be done for the meateaters and the veggie people.

pro for the bbq is that it will help most carnifores to be good in a week of not eating meat.

I have done that a number of times.

preparing good veggie meals for a week and a good bbq in the middle everybody happy.

You should just cook your stuff and and let them cook theirs. Better yet, tell them a real meal wont kill them so they can stop being babies and just eat what their bodies are supposed to…MEAT. Vegetarians are denying their body of what it was meant, and designed to ingest. Most of the weirdo-veggy food they eat are so overly processed that it’s killing them and they dont even realize it. I’m all for eating my greens, but with animal protein right along side it.

Mac and Cheese!!
you can add anything to it. Unless they won’t eat cheese. I am an omnivore, but usually do not have much meat on trips since it is hard to keep, or it is canned. If you are having trouble with it, maybe the best thing to do would be ask them to help plan. If you are alternating evening meals, you could also just each cook your own food. No reason they need to suffer with bad attempts at vegatarian meals, and no reason you need to not eat meat. Best of both worlds.

One thing I have always wondered about is - Vegetarians don’t eat meat. Why do they try to make veggie burgers taste like meat? Why are tofurkeys flavored like turkey? And are all those flavorings and salt etc really better than just eating meat?

Bring some jerky along and munch on it throughout the paddling day.

I would bring what I like to eat but I would be careful with cross contamination. For example people alergic to Gluten - I would separate my cooking from theirs to help them out.

How about a stick of summer sausage
or some hard salami you can munch on after the meal?

No boca burgers for this veg!
Boca Burgers and the one veggie burgers that I can not eat. They remind me of meat.

Your options are few - add meat to your portion - canned meats work or you both cook for yourselves.


If it’s already an issue for you, maybe you should just plan for yourselves and make a little extra if you want to share? It really is the easiest for everyone. Or just try to share one meal together and ask them what they want to cook?

Enjoy your trip!

your ignorance is showing

– Last Updated: Apr-30-10 10:15 AM EST –

As a vegetarian, I don't mind gentle teasing by meat eaters, but mjflores is way off.

mjflores, I don't know if you've ever engaged in any joint pursuits with other humans before, but your advice that Dr Disco should commence his paddling trip with vegetarians by insulting their dietary preferences is both ill-informed and destructive.

Food is not just nutritionally required, it's also a source of social bonding. Sneering at vegetarians as "babies" will simply ruin the trip and the friendship.

Anecdotally, I can report that I regularly ski and climb with guys who eat meat and who are 10 to 30 years younger than me. I do all the cooking on all our trips (and it's always vegetarian) and the guys love my meals. And they frequently complain that they can't keep up to me while travelling, so I don't think my veg diet is slowing me down. But I have no problem making meat options available for meat eaters.

It also turns out that the research shows mjflores is just wrong.

From the abstract of a 2009 position paper by the American Dietetic Association on vegetarian diets:

"It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence-based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals. The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs."

My time in the backcountry is too precious to me, and the friends that I share that time with too dear to me, to allow me to ruin a trip by needlessly criticising them.

mjflores, I think my veg diet is (slightly) healthier, more environmentally friendly, and more ethically defensible than a meat diet.

But I don't proselytize, and I don't consider myself morally superior to meat eaters. Vegetarians are not a threat to meat eaters, so please let Dr Disco have a good time.

Actually easy.
Most vegetarians rely on beans, brown rice, lentils for protein and pasta / veggies. I would ask them what they like and bring along your chicken and red meat that you can also grill for yourselves as well. I make veggie chili all the time and you can certainly add in some meat to your servings or with any other dish.

Also veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs. They probably have a huge supply of foods they could bring and share. The last thing they want to do is force you to be unhappy.

Stir fry with precooked rice, veggies, and a box of tofu (add some spices & soy sauce) is good. Hell we even make pizza at camp in our outback oven!

Here are two recipes my wife and I recently made at a camping workshop.

Berry Cobbler

At home combine 1/3 cup dried berries, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 pinch nutmeg, put in zip lock bag. Second zip lock gets 1/3 cup bisquick (or ½ your favorite biscuit recipe)

On the trail add 3 table spoons water to bag of bisquick and knead in the bag. Boil 1 cup of water and add fruit mix. Cut corner of biscuit mix bag and squeeze out spoonful size dollops onto liquid; push them down so they are immersed. Cover the pot and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked.

From Lip Smackin’ Vegeterian Backpackin’ by Christine and Tim Connors

Go buy it!!!

Spider Legs & Brains

8 ounces Udon noodles (original recipe calls for Soba)

½ cup Arame (a type of seaweed)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil (original recipe calls for sesame oil)

Carrot (original recipe calls for ½ carrot)

One onion

3 tablespoons peanut butter (original recipe calls for almond or cashew butter)

2 tablespoons Miso paste

On the trail

Rinse seaweed and soak for several minutes to rehydrate

Prepare the noodles (al dente in 8 minutes) drain the noodles, save the water, and sprinkle them with some oil (to stop them from sticking)

Prepare the veggies, cut the carrots into match sticks and dice the onion. Add oil to pan and cook the veggies first, and then add the Arame. Add a little soaking water, cover, and let steam for several minutes.

Uncover and add the noodles, cover and cook for a few minutes before adding the secret sauce.

Secret sauce is 1/3 to ½ cup hot water from noodles, peanut butter, and Miso paste

Original Recipe is from BACKPACKER Back Country Cooking by Dorcas Miller

Go buy it!!!

…this is how vegetarians always react when you point out how naturally wrong they are…they act like whiny babies by over explaining themselves, and quoting skewed research that obviously supports they’re decision to not eat meat. I totally support someone if they want to be vegetarian because they simply don’t like the taste of meat, chicken, etc…but when they act like they’re right…it’s just crazy. By being a vegetarian, you’re denying your bodies design. It’s stomach enzymes, it’s tooth design, etc. If you want to eat just veggies, that’s fine, but don’t claim to be more ethical than NORMAL people who eat NORMAL food…that’s just silly. From an ethical standpoint…we both kill organisms just walking across the floor. Why do veggies think that just because you don’t “see” micro-organisms die, or plants die, that it’s ethically “better” than eating a cow. Very narrow minded thinking. You’re human, you kill and eat stuff, get over it. Go enjoy your fake tofu with all the processed bean protein and artificial flavors and seasonings. Sounds real healthy. Tonight I’ll have an extra venison steak for ya!

How is “NORMAL” different from “normal”?

Also, what amount of non-animal protein and fat is acceptable to be considered NORMAL/normal?

I would agree with

– Last Updated: Apr-30-10 11:19 AM EST –

your concepts about sharing meals being an important aspect of bonding among friends, but obsessive vegetarianism is still a form of disruptive eating disorder that flows in one direction, directed toward those who are omnivorous. It sounds like you have found a workable solution in preparing other options for your friends.