Off White Summer Holidays

raw key lime pie

Now that I’m cozy in the (air conditioned) comforts of my own home after a very warm holiday weekend, I got to thinking about how easy it was to eat off-white this weekend, despite being away for 3 days, not eating on my terms per se, and celebrating a holiday with familiar friends and some folks I met for the first time.

Usually when I go away for a weekend I like to bring my own food, or at least plan ahead.  It’s not just because I’m picky or anal, but because what I eat has a HUGE bearing on how I feel.  In summer this is especially true.  After having a heat stroke in 2004, I’m now pretty suceptable to heat headaches and eating well can help me stave them off.

Summertime eating just lends itself to being offwhite without much effort.  There’s fresh fruits galore, grilled veggies and meats, and there just isn’t as much drive to turn on the oven and bake a big ol’ cake or cookies.    Nonetheless, you don’t want to feel like the outcast when you bring the quinoa pudding to the camping trip when everybody else is eating sugar cookies decorated with 4th of July sprinkles.  Dang can those sugar cookies talk to me if I’m not prepared with something equally competitive.  (Glad to report no sugar cookies suffered by my hand this4th of  July.)

So, here are a couple of recipes that are good for summer holidays, including camping trips and places where not everybody is not so excited about the fact that the “off white girl” is coming to the potluck 🙂

Raw Keylime Pie – sooo easy to make and soo tasty.  It’s the only time you’ll probably ever say ‘gee, I can’t even taste the avocado’.  Recipe adapted from the book Raw Food, Real World:

Crust:
2 cups almonds
1 cup coconut, shredded
1 tbsp lime zest
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup dates

Mix on med-high in a food processor until the ‘dough’ clumps.  You may need to scrape the sides a few times.  Press evenly into a standard pie tin and refrigerate.

Filling:

3 lrg avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup key lime juice
1/4 cup lime zest (6-8 keylimes)
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp shredded coconut OR 2 tbsp of the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt

Process all ingredients in a food processor.  Add a little more agave or some stevia if you want a sweeter taste.

Place in the chilled pie tin and chill overnight.  I’ve frozen it after it’s been chilled and cut and made Key lime pie ‘popsicles’, which are divine!

yes, you can have salad when you camp

The next little trick is to always be the one who bring a salad when you are doing the summer holiday cookout or camping trip.  And for goodness sakes, make it interesting.    Salad is often a forgotten entity at the bbq, unless you count macaroni salad, which I don’t.  I pre-chop all my salads before camping and will store the various chopped veggies in individual tupperware or plastic bags (that I wash and reuse to be green!) to put on the salad when it’s time to eat.  Believe me, it feels GOOD to eat a crisp salad after a day in the sun, and that bbq’d  tri-tip is mighty tasty a top a salad instead of on a big white bun, at least in my opinion.  Things like roasted nuts, goat cheese, fresh avocado, yellow/orange bell peppers, figs, and microgreens can make the allure much stronger for you and your friends.

Also, veggies and hummus are an easy, inexpensive treat to bring to the summer picnic.  Recently, my favorite dipping veggie is jicima.  I think it’s good with almond butter, peanut butter, and hummus.  It’s inexpensive and quite refreshing.  Bonus: jicima contains the fiber inulin, which may help maintain good digestion.

Okay, this last bit is really someting that only applies to camping trips.  It’s so easy but wow’s everybody: whole grain pecan pancakes with banana ‘flambay’ (did I spell that correctly??)

3/4 cup Bob’s Redmill Multigrain OR Gluten-Free pancake mix
1/4 cup oatbran
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp turbinado sugar
mix all the dry ingredients before you go camping.  Bring your skillet, butter, 1 egg, water, and 2 bananas with you.

At the campsite: Mix the dry ingredients with the egg and about 1/2 cup water – determine the thickness you like.  Cook the pancakes in a buttered pan over the stove.  Meanwhile, have a friend chopped the bananas.  When the pancakes are done (or in a separate pan if you want to wash 2 pans – I don’t!), sautee the bananas with a bit of butter for about 3 minutes.  Serve over the pancakes.  Add a touch of plain yogurt to round out the taste experience.  SOOOOO good!  Makes buttermilk pancakes look like chopped liver 🙂 Wish I had pics, but I gobbled them up too fast!

Would love to hear about your summer cookout and camping treats that make offwhite eating easy!!  I could always use more good ideas, so send them my way.

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