If you were to look at my text messages, emails or the nicknames assigned to people in GChat, you might think that half the people I know don’t have actual names. Or that I have friends who fancy themselves celebrities on a mission to have the cleverest of names. Maybe you would think I was a secret agent (actually, it would be pretty cool if you thought that). Read more
You might have had a mild inkling that I am not an outdoorsy girl. Particularly if you have seen my instagram feed. Or my shoe collection.
When I was invited to this camping trip, a good friend asked if I even was going to have to buy new shoes so that I had appropriate footwear. (Clearly I own appropriate shoes – this first picture is proof…)
I was very much undecided about a weekend filled with nature. I hadn’t been camping since Girl Scout Camp when I was 10. My idea of visiting nature is a mile or two hike through the forest preserve. Not spending 3 days away from civilization.
Somehow, I let them talk me into going. I am still unsure how that happened.
It started with crazy Chicago traffic, a third person I didn’t know, a broken down car and an emergency car rental. That first car ride is what made our trip. My friend Helen and I bonded with an acquaintance who needed a ride to the camping trip. (This was greatly aided by the Sour Patch watermelon candies that I grabbed on impulse at the grocery store…)
There was a lot of laughter. A little bit of singing. A lot of games. I spent time with acquaintances that I rarely get to see in real life. I bonded with some of the girls over our lack of outdoorsy-ness. We all got a little silly. We even got to watch lanterns released in lieu of holiday weekend fireworks.
So, if I ignore the fact that there were bugs and dirt, it was a pretty ok time. And the food was pretty spectacular.
It had to be the best – people expect things when you blog about food. Plain old burgers and dogs wouldn’t cut it if I was going to live up to my reputation. But I also had to be careful. There were 30 people on this trip, and I had to make sure that I didn’t end up coming in contact with food that would trigger an allergic reaction and necessitate an emergency room trip.
My solution to a crowded grill filled with gluten was a foil packet dinner. Packing up veggies and meat with something to add flavor makes for jealous camping buddies when your food is better than their burgers. This type of cooking is also great for cookouts where there is a shared grill, or for nights when you want to put together a fast and easy dinner using the grill so you don’t heat up your kitchen.
- 1 lb chicken tenders (about 12 tenders)
- 8-12 small sweet peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1/2 cup honey mustard
- Salt & Pepper
- Start your grill or fire and let it get hot – it should be hot enough to cook a burger.
- Set out 4, 12″ long pieces of foil.
- Divide the chicken and peppers evenly and center them on the pieces of foil.
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of the mustard on top of each group of ingredients.
- Bring the short ends together and roll them down together, then roll up the open sides to create a packet.
- Place on the grill or over the fire, but off to the side so it isn’t directly over the flame, and cook for 20-25 minutes. You want the chicken to get golden brown on the bottom and the honey in the honey mustard to start to caramelize.
Summer is almost over. Major bummer.
There are only 3 weeks left until Labor day weekend and the unofficial end of summer.
This post is part of the Food Matters Project, a cooking collaboration from a wide range of food bloggers. Each week, I will cook a recipe from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, which places an emphasis on mindful and sustainable eating. Follow along with us! My posts for this project can be found here.
Food really does matter. For millions of people in this country, it matters in a different way. Some foods are poison for them. In my case gluten and shellfish are my poisons. For some, like Blondie when he listens to his body, it is dairy. For others it is peanuts. And hundreds more types of foods can be poison to people.
I spent the weekend with people with all different sorts of food allergies or sensitivities or moral oppositions. I hung out with the girls who run Crave Bakeshop in Portland (the only gluten-free bakeshop to win Cupcake Wars). I met Mrs. Alaska, Brandy Wendler and stole her crown for a minute. I got to see old friends like Amy & the Bronskis. I got to eat with Silvana and Cybele. I barely got to talk to one of my favorites, Laura Russell (if you like asian food, you need her cookbook).
But all of these people have something in common – they all have food that they can’t eat. Yet, you won’t find a more joyful group of people anywhere. We get together and it is like no time has passed at all. Then everyone goes home and it is like Kyra from Crave tweeted this morning, it feels like the end of summer camp and all your friends are a thousand miles away.
Our combined inability to different foods has spurred all of us on to write cook books and blogs, Cybele is even launching a cookie line (I threatened to follow her around in hopes that some cookies would fall out of her bag they were that good). Food matters to all of these people in a different way than just making sure we eat better. We all need to nourish our bodies and keep them free of a different kind of poison.
In honor of my friends (new and old), I am sharing a pizza with you. One packed full of flavor and topped with (mostly) good for you ingredients.
This week’s recipe was Whole Wheat Pizza and topping the pizza the food matters way. I steered clear of the crust recipe for obvious reasons, but used the toppings list as a guide to make this delicious gluten-free variety. You can view the original recipe at Nikki’s site and you can see how everyone else interpreted the recipe in the comments of the link up post on the Food Matters Project.
This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.
|Food Matters Project | Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Gluten-Free Pizza||
- 1 recipe pizza crust (choose your favorite, or use my favorite from [url href=”http://www.easyeats.com/recipes/1111-pear-pizza”] Easy Eats Magazine[/url] you have to be a subscriber to see the recipe)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Williams-Sonoma Pizza Seasoning
- 2 heads of garlic, roasted and squeezed from the cloves
- 1/2 cup diced sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 1 12oz jar of roasted red peppers, cut into strips
- 6 ounces of chèvre frays (or any goat cheese or whatever your diet allows)
- 1 adult handful of shredded mozzarella (or any non-dairy substitute you prefer)
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (if you have a pizza stone, put it in a cold oven and let it heat up with the oven. Mix the pizza seasoning into your pizza crust and let rise (if your crust needs to).
- Divide the crust into four and roll out the individual portions. on a flat cookie sheet or pizza peel, sprinkle corn meal and place the crusts on top.
- Brush the crusts with the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and then spread with the roasted garlic.
- Divide the peppers and the sun dried tomatoes evenly between the pizzas.
- Sprinkle the cheeses over the pizzas and smash the toppings down a little if you feel like you have mounds of toppings.
- Transfer the pizzas to the pizza stone and bake for 15-20 minutes. (I had to bake my pizzas 2 at a time because of the size of my pizza stone). let the pizzas cool a few minutes before you cut them or eat them because they will be HOT!)