There are more and more people in our lives that are becoming vegetarian, vegan, or some combination lately. It seems that most meat eaters I know are having to learn to cook for more restricted diets often now. I just learned that the most carnivorous person I’ve ever met is now dating a vegan. I don’t think the thought of even what “vegan” means has ever crossed his mind. Another thing I’m starting to realize is that a lot of people are quite intimidated to cook for people with any food restrictions at all. Many are even afraid to ask about it. There seems to be a belief that vegetarian or vegan cooking is very different to cooking with meat. You have to use all different ingredients, most of which (must) taste terrible.
We cook a lot of vegetarian dishes for Dirty Gourmet, in part because we believe in that way of eating, but also because its just too difficult to deal with meat in many camping situations, due to refrigeration and handling issues. We believe that food should be easy, wonderful, and sharable. There are plenty of meat and dairy free meals that fit within this category, and would satisfy anyone regardless of diet.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Vegetarian usually means not eating meat (or anything with a mom), but vegetarians are usually ok with dairy and eggs.
- Pescatarians include fish in their diets, but not other types of meat. They usually eat dairy as well.
- Vegans do not eat or use any animal products whatsoever. There are, of course, different levels of strictness for each individual, but generally no meat, dairy, eggs, leather, down, etc. Some go as far as including things like honey or wine (which is often clarified using animal products), but
It’s best to just ask which rules the individual adheres to. Many people who take a stance with a strict diet are very willing to discuss it, especially if there aren’t a bunch of cheesy (or meaty) jokes involved in the conversation.
There are a growing number of options available to make restrictive diets easier for people to handle, such as soy cheeses and meat substitutes, but you can create a balanced and satisfying meal without these things as well. Here is one option that we ate on our backpacking trip last weekend that is as easy as it gets, and totally satisfying. If you have any questions or concerns that you haven’t been able to resolve regarding anything food related, let us know. We want to cover topics like these in more detail to dispel, any stereotypes and encourage people to try new things. We’ll cover these topics in the next few weeks along with delicious vegan recipes.
Not Your Average Ramen
Yield1 large serving
Prep Time / Cook Time/
- 2 cups water
- 1 boullion cube (or enough for one cup broth)
- 3 ounces ramen
- Small handful of crumbled toasted nori
- 1/4 cup dehydrated corn
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon butter (optional, but really good)
- A pinch of chile flakes
- Small pot
- Boil 2 cups of water. Add boullion, ramen, nori, corn, and soy sauce and simmer until noodles are cooked.
- Garnish with green onions, chile flakes and butter. Enjoy!