For many years, my family enjoyed a yearly Labor Day camping trip with three families we were friends with. Sadly, the tradition came to an end when high school sports took over the late August/early September calendar of each family.
It was a good run while it lasted.
But this year, after a lengthy hiatus, the tradition was resuscitated!
I mean it wasn’t actually Labor Day.
And instead of tents and popup campers, there were travel trailers and a 5th wheel.
And sadly, instead of eight parents, we had only seven, as one dad passed away last December.
And instead of 11 kids, there were only seven in attendance (we did have an addition of 2 spouses, however).
And instead of sending the kids off on scavenger hunts (with items near impossible to find…a penny from 1993, a tire, a hard boiled egg), we invited them along on hikes (as you can see, everyone didn’t accept the challenge).
And instead of the kids finding, painting, and then selling rocks, they played corn hole and beer pong.
And instead of the camp ranger telling us to quiet down at night, we talked quietly around the campfire and were in bed by 11:00.
And instead of Kraft jet puffed marshmallows and Hershey’s milk chocolate, it was Dandies marshmallows and Endangered Species dark chocolate.
And instead of having chicken, I had hummus.
So, yeah. Kind of the same.
Anyway, on Saturday night, as I was watching the master chef expertly grill chicken breasts over the campfire, he thoughtfully looked over and asked, “So…what do you miss (eating)?”
After a respectable pause, I responded, “Nothing.”
It was a hard sell. But it was the truth.
Choosing to abstain from meat and dairy may be limiting at times, but just look through my Instagram feed. I eat well. I’m hardly deprived.
I easily gave up meat (never was a fan), but I know for others, the thought of a meatless diet is inconceivable. But if you’re interested, it’s totally doable. It’s incredible how plants can be used. The secret is in the preparation. Or in this case, the sauce.
The BBQ sauce.
Here is an easy recipe for you to try, should you care to give Meatless Monday a try! Just use your favorite BBQ sauce, or better yet, make your own.
Saute diced onions and garlic in a little water.
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, dijon mustard, molasses, maple syrup, tamari and apple cider vinegar.
Stir. Seems obvious, but I thought I’d better include that instruction.
Then add chili powder, paprika, salt, and a smidge of cayenne, (if you so desire).
Stir and let bubble away.
While the sauce is a simmering, get out 2 cans of hearts of palm.
Drain. Interesting looking, aren’t they?
Toss in a food processor.
And process into shreds.
Add shreds to BBQ sauce.
Stir and heat until warm.
Place on a bun!
2 cans (14 oz. each) heart of palms, drained and processed into shreds
2 cups prepared BBQ sauce-your choice…if you have the time and ingredients, I recommend the following:
A slightly modified version of a recipe by Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. onion, diced
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
2 T. tomato paste
3 T. maple syrup
1 T. molasses
1 1/2 t. apple cider vinegar
1 t. tamari
1 t. dijon mustard
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. paprika
Saute garlic and onions (I used water to prevent sticking). Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, and tamari. Stir. Turn down heat. Simmer. Add salt, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne. Stir. Simmer 20 minutes.
Add heart of palm shreds to sauce. Stir. Heat until warm. Serve on buns.
So…what do I miss?
I can assure you, nothing food related.
But I definitely have missed weekend camping trips with friends.