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  1. #1
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Vegetarian touring tips and tricks?

    Hi! I'm a newbie both to touring and vegetarian foods(3 months now) and I'm a bit worried about my wild living skills. I'll be off on a 3 week tour in July, my second so far.

    If anyone has any neat ideas to make vegetarian eating easier on tours, I'd love to hear them. Bringing tins of fresh beans and such is a bit heavy, fresh stuff won't be available all the time and soaking dried food could be a bit of a problem I think.

    Boiling stuff for 1hr+ on a trangia is a bit of a mess too I think.

  2. #2
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Shuck
    Hi! I'm a newbie both to touring and vegetarian foods(3 months now) and I'm a bit worried about my wild living skills. I'll be off on a 3 week tour in July, my second so far.

    If anyone has any neat ideas to make vegetarian eating easier on tours, I'd love to hear them. Bringing tins of fresh beans and such is a bit heavy, fresh stuff won't be available all the time and soaking dried food could be a bit of a problem I think.

    Boiling stuff for 1hr+ on a trangia is a bit of a mess too I think.
    Couscous!

    Its vegetarian, add hot water add it cooks in 5 mins, it can be flavoured in lots of ways, from curry to honey.
    Also there are many dried vegetarian soups and stews in the stores. Take veg stock cubes along too. I always carry a few packets of instant oatmeal and a squeeze bottle of honey, along with chocolate. Towards the end of your cycling day buy some fresh fruit, flat bread (easy to carry) salad stuff, cheese hummus etc, but only buy as much as you can eat before you start cycling again

  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    OK, keeping in mind that I'm in the same boat and not recently camping-experienced, what I've come up with so far is.....

    oatmeal
    couscous, pasta
    small soy milk containers (e.g. http://www.edenfoods.com/store/produ...ucts_id=100250 -- 8.5 oz, won't spoil if kept at room temps)
    eat more Clif bars than you think you can stand
    powdered energy drinks (Clif makes an organic mix)
    I believe some of the Bonbel / Bel Paese cheeses do very well without refrigeration, as in 1+ week
    textured vegetable protein
    trail mix / nuts / dried fruits
    almost anything that's in the "bulk foods" section of any natural foods store
    veggie Ramen noodles
    some fruits & veggies should be fine for several days (carrots, tomatoes, onions, apples, bananas etc)

    Basically, TVP, soy beverages and cheese can handle most of your protein needs. You should be stopping at markets fairly frequently, so you should be able to pick up most of what you need along the way. It shouldn't be too difficult to do some type of stir-fry on the road.

  4. #4
    jwa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    OK, keeping in mind that I'm in the same boat and not recently camping-experienced, what I've come up with so far is.....

    oatmeal
    couscous, pasta ....

    Agree & add:
    - Small cartons of cottage cheese from convenience/general stores along the route (keep a couple plastic spoons handy - those from Wendy's Frosties work best !)
    - "Processed cheese products" e.g. Velveeta - the sliced, individually wrapped stuff will easily last a week unrefrigerated if you store it with modest insulation (backpacking, we keep such stuff wrapped in sleeping bag)
    - Hamburger Helper-type dinners are tasty & filling w/o the meat added - again, from convenience/general stores along the route - still gotta get your daily protein, though
    - There's lots of freeze-dried meals (backpacking type, again) but they're way more expensive
    - Every small-town restaurant & bar offers grilled cheese!
    - There's still no animals in PB&J unless you count the little bug parts....

    I expect you'll find your diet is not near as hard as one might imagine - my vegetarian daughter (then 15-17 y.o.) has done several 10-day, 600-mile bike camping trips with me with no problem!

    The wind? Now that's different....

  5. #5
    jwa
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    Oops - just noticed you're in Finland. Still, everything I said is true - but perhaps just not available.

    I bet your bars still sell grilled cheese sandwiches, though....

  6. #6
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I take a pound of raisins and peanuts for snacking.

    I take pasta, olive oil, parmesian cheese, and red-pepper flakes. I cook the pasta and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Note that packets of cheese and pepper flakes can be gotten from pizza parlors.

    I also buy ramen, which can be found at convenience stores everywhere, and try to get some broccoli, which I throw in while the ramen is cooking.

    I wouldn't take too much food, as I always find ways to eat at restaurants when I am tired of eating off a backpacking stove.

    Ray

  7. #7
    Macro Geek
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    As one person mentioned, cous-cous cooks up quickly. So does Bulgar wheat (i.e., cracked, partially-cooked wheat), and cornmeal (maize).

    In the legume family, red lentils (which are more orange than red) will cook very fast. Also look for cracked beans, which, with a little pre-soaking, won't take too long to cook.

    To give flavour to grain and legume-based stews, the most important ingredient is salt. You can also use vegetarian bullion powder, but most kinds are mostly salt anyway. Here is my recipe for a homemade bullion powder that gives a lot of flavour to whatever you cook it in:

    4 parts salt
    4 parts paprika
    1 part turmeric
    2 parts dried mushrooms
    1 part dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano and/or basil)
    cayenne and/or black pepper to taste

    Add the powder to water. Add grains and legumes to flavoured water, and cook as usual.

  8. #8
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    www.VWVagabonds.com
    Mexico, Central America, South America & Africa in a Volkswagen

    By bicycle West Coast of the U.S., Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia

    India by Royal Enfield

  9. #9
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all the tips, very helpful and reassuring information. Some parts of my route takes me a day or more from the nerarest town, and shop. Also shops out north/rural areas don't cater much to vegetarians so a few bags of dried cracked beans and lentils will probably come in handy. Fresh veggies are nice but transporting them might be a bit messy but I'll figure something out.

  10. #10
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    if you need to soak things have a plastic container/bag or drinks bottle and soak in there while you are riding.
    saves time at night.

    Enjoy

    george
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  11. #11
    eternalvoyage
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    Some good tips have been posted here.

    Something I have found very useful is having a large, lightweight, leak-proof, widemouth container. It's good for many things. One is soaked oats. Quick oats can be very good if soaked for an hour or longer (I often soak them overnight, as long as the nighttime temperatures are reasonably cool), along with some added ingredients (like light brown sugar or honey, raisins, currants, other fruits or dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, etc. -- there are many possibilities).

    The lightweight, clear containers that peanut butter is often packaged in work well. There are other similar ones out there.

    Larger is better. You need a lot of calories and nutrients on tour. Most people don't get enough. Quart-sized containers or larger are good.

    A couple of tablespoons or so of canola oil is good in the muesli, and it adds some calories.

    ***
    Another tip: Fresh fruit and vegetables can often be carried without weight penalty if you carry less water. They contain the water. Why carry dried fruit plus extra water, when you can carry fresh fruit plus a little less water....

    ***
    Nuts and seeds are good. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and others.

    ***
    Learning to use oats in savory dishes is worth doing. Quick oats cook as quickly (or more quickly -- in fact, they've already been cooked, and can be eaten as is) as couscous, angel hair pasta, and other quick-cooking grains.

    Oats have more protein and are often substantially less expensive than these other grains.

    They are very good cooked like rice. Keep the water-to-oats ratio low -- about 1:1 or so (you can experiment to find what works best for you). The oats can be flavored with dry soup mixes, or a variety of other spices. You can also add vegetables and a variety of other things -- and come up with dishes similar to fried rice or rice pilaffs, but with a lot more protein, and shorter cooking times.

    You can even make pizza this way, and it can be very good.

    The bed of oats can be topped with tomato paste, cheese, and pizza toppings (dried or fresh). If you do it right, it is excellent.

    Dried sweet basil is good here. So are dried onion granules, garlic granules, and other Italian seasonings.

  12. #12
    Life is short Ride hard
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    Lipton Rice Mix
    Raman
    TVP added to those rices
    Nuts
    Granola
    couscous
    tortilla
    bagels
    oatmeal
    dried organic fruits are tasty bananas cranberries
    sometimes spaghetti and olive oil and some black pepper is a good snack to keep me going for an hour usually
    instant plain rice and honey is good as breakfast/snack
    I try to pack as much nuts and TVP in as possible
    If you are not a strict veggie head you can always get salmon packets

    if your in town you can always hit up the market for fresh veggies one thing I will do is buy red peppers and EVOO and Mozzarella I will lightly toast the red peppers then add cheese then drizzle EVOO on top and fire up the stove and melt the cheese. It is great treat when you got some downtime and some extra ching.
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  13. #13
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    Ummm, isn't it harder to have non-vegetarian meals? Most vegetarian stuff lasts longer than meat.

    Unfortunately I haven't camped/toured recently, but used to hike and camp in the Drakensberg in South Africa. We tended to become vegetarian because of the soya meat. That and instant mashed potatoes and then into the sleeping bag with the sherry :-)

  14. #14
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspar_s
    Ummm, isn't it harder to have non-vegetarian meals? Most vegetarian stuff lasts longer than meat.

    Unfortunately I haven't camped/toured recently, but used to hike and camp in the Drakensberg in South Africa. We tended to become vegetarian because of the soya meat. That and instant mashed potatoes and then into the sleeping bag with the sherry :-)
    Most of the dehydrated "camping food" and tinned soups and such seems to contain some form of meat or the other. One good thing about going veggie for me is that i've drastically reduced the amount of pre-made and highly processed foods I eat. Bit unpractical on the road though wich is why I started this thread.

  15. #15
    eternalvoyage
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    Some interesting ideas here (scroll down a bit and click on 'Food'):

    http://www.mountainbike-expedition-team.de/

    They have a lot of experience and some great approaches.

    (There is more good stuff on their website as well.)

  16. #16
    Senior Member velo2000's Avatar
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    This thread reminded me I need to start experimenting with simple vegetarian recipes before my tour this summer.

    I bought some TVP, red lentils and vegetable bouillon powder at Whole Foods. Mixed about 4 cups water, 1 cup TVP, 1 cup lentils and 1 tablespoon bouillon in a pot and cooked for about 20 minutes. It turned out pretty dang tasty (mostly due to the bouillon).

    I don't know if I'll be able to find TVP while on tour for 3 months, but I'll keep this recipe in mind for future backpacking trips rather than buying expensive dehydrated meals.

  17. #17
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    I rode with some vegetarians who would put alfalfa seeds in a wet water bottle, shake it to make the seeds stick to the side, cover it and have alfalfa sprouts (or bean sprouts) a few days later.

    I generally have meat only with my evening meal, anyway. Breakfast is cereal and grain based; lunch is peanut butter sandwich and snack based. Regular doses of coffee along the way help too.

    roughstuff
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    Ive been veggie for 15 yrs now toured extensively and never had a problem i do carry a bit of weight though but to me its worth it, last tour i was sprouting my own beans they are about twice as good for you that way and very easy to do, just soak them in water for 1 hour, empty water but dont rinse put them somewhere dark and leave for a day or so, rinse and tuck in they are good food for on the road and very easy to do

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by velo2000
    I don't know if I'll be able to find TVP while on tour for 3 months, but I'll keep this recipe in mind for future backpacking trips rather than buying expensive dehydrated meals.
    Rice and lentils (or really just about any grain and bean combination) will give you a complete protein, so no need for TVP. Quinoa is a complete protein by itself, but is probably almost as hard to find as TVP.

  20. #20
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    I had to travel "food light", since I had a sleeping bag, and a tent. I didn't bring anything to cook or cook with... So I carried a small plastic container with ice, that doubled as a cooler. On top of this container I usually stored some Yves or Lightlife Deli Ham, along with some carrot sticks, and fresh spinach or baby greens mix. I carried light hoagie rolls in my bag, for the sandwich. Usually I also had a bag of peanuts, and some granola bars.

    When the "cooler" food was gone, I would sometimes drink the melted ice for water, especially if I was in the middle of nowhere, as happened a few times.
    Jim
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  21. #21
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    I'm also a vegetarian, and have been considering this more my tour next year. Yaaaaay veggie!

    Take along some dried fruit. It's a quick enerfy boost when there's nothing else available. Actually, make some trail mix. Dried fruit, pretzels, nuts.
    Rice, lentils, couscous, oats (jnstant oatmeal! good stuff!) Ramen noodles are vegetarian if you don't use the little spice packet. (even the Oriental flavour has meat by-product.) They take up a little space, but they hardly weigh anything, they're easy to cook, and super cheap. Great if you're in a pinch.

    A small jar of peanut butter is another good thing to have. Or get one of those squeeze tubes. Again, just a little bit will give you the calories to boost the engery and blood sugar until you can find something suitable to eat.

    Good luck!

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    I don't see how eating vegetarian on the road is at all complicated....
    It's eating MEAT and carrying MEAT that would be.

  23. #23
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    Ramen noodles. Dried Fruit. Nuts. Plus just go shopping a lot and buy fresh food in small amounts.

  24. #24
    Senior Member garagegirl's Avatar
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    I'm planning on touring asia this summer, and I've picked this tip up for international tours-
    Memorize how to say vegetarian, no meat, no lard, no egg etc. in the native language, and also have it written down on flash cards to show people.


    For the OP I recommend getting a few good no fuss vegetarian cookbooks (like "how it all vegan!") and looking through them for inspiration

    Also- Avocados or almond butter on whole grain bread is a quick fatty high carb snack
    Last edited by garagegirl; 04-25-07 at 09:16 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awc380
    I don't see how eating vegetarian on the road is at all complicated....
    It's eating MEAT and carrying MEAT that would be.
    Excellent point!
    Jim
    Make a BOLD Statement While Cycling!

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