September 15, 2015 by Katie
Have you heard about Burning Man?! If you have, awesome! If not, you should look into it because I’m not so sure I can accurately describe it. I had a friend who’s attended the burn for 15 years say to me, “Explaining Burning Man to someone who has not experienced it for themselves is like trying to describe the color purple to a blind person”. This stuck, as I couldn’t agree more. This year was my third year and completely different than my last two visits to the playa. Having three very unique years made me realize that each person has their own experience and it varies based on a ton of factors! But what I do know is Burning Man is filled with love, acceptance, creativity, amazing art, giving people, and a community that is completely different than our typical American counterpart. To say it is a bucket list must is an understatement in my opinion. Unless you’re a super closed minded twat, then Black Rock Desert is NOT the place for you. The good news is Burning Man either inspires those people to be better or it crushes them and they never come back. A win win in my opinion!
Now that you all know that I think Burning Man is awesome and something that I currently look forward to every year, it’s time to talk about the prep work! Getting ready for a week in the desert is NO JOKE! It’s stressful leading up to the event and even coming back to reality after is rough. One thing that saved my husband and I from completely losing our shit was having quality food available. Although I like to have a good time, I really hate feeling crappy and run down. My vegetable and gelatinous bone broth soups were life savers on the playa!
Although soups were a big, nourishing hit this year, I can’t discredit all the other freeze and reheat meals that I made. Below I give you a detailed meal plan of what I made and took to Burning Man. We were fortunate and received early arrival passes (my husband is a builder for our camp DiscoFish), which put us on the playa for 10 days. I packed an extra cooler with dry ice, but everything else fit in our RV which has an average sized fridge and freezer. I spaced out preparing our meals and made the freezer meals two weeks ahead of time, that way the week of I wasn’t scrambling to figure out food. Instead I was more concerned with costume fixes, LED light orders, duct tape purchases, and grabbing all the other randoms that probably are not necessary, but stress you out because once you’re on the playa, that’s it! I hope these meals help you stay healthy on the playa as well as keep your stress levels down with easy freeze ahead meals!
As you browse through the meals and food items that I packed for Burning Man, please keep in mind that this meal plan works for camping and life as well! I enjoy prepping ahead of time so that when I get to my destination or workload, all I have to do is re-heat!
*Many of the recipes I used came from Ladled, Ancestral Table, Paleo Takeout, and Paleo Comfort Foods. I’ve noted this by each recipe and done my best to find similar recipes shared online. As for the ones I created, you’ll find the simple, quick recipes right next to the items.
List of soups that I froze ahead of time:
Carrot Soup – Original recipe from Ladled. Here’s a similar online version: http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/11/04/roasted-carrot-turmeric-soup/
Butternut Squash Soup – I’m so happy Primal Palate shared this recipe online! I make it all the time it’s so good: http://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-recipe/butternut-squash-soup/
Thai Congee – Original recipe from Ladled. Here’s a similar online version: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-congee-comfort-food-for-69098. Note- Add ground chicken or pork to this recipe and cook through. When you re-heat it, be sure to customize your bowl with: fried garlic, fried shallots, ginger, cilantro, green onions, lime juice and siracha, fish, and tamari sauce!
Italian sausage, kale, and potato soup: This was my own freestyle recipe, but this online version is pretty close: http://saltandwind.com/recipes/124-roasted-tomato-kale-sausage-and-potato-soup-recipe
List of meals that I froze ahead of time:
Chili – Original recipe from Paleo Take Out. Here’s a similar recipe that Russ has shared: http://thedomesticman.com/2010/11/11/simple-and-satisfying-chili-from-scratch/. I like to put my chili over sweet potato fries and add lots of toppings like; cilantro, red onions, green onions, and grass fed cheese.
Gyro Meat – Original recipe from Paleo Take Out. Here’s a similar recipe that Russ has shared: http://thedomesticman.com/2012/04/05/gluten-free-homemade-gyro-meat-γύρος/. These freeze well and slicing them up to pan fry for re-heat is simple!
Plantain Tortillas – Original recipe from Paleo Take Out, but I’ve made these ones too and they’re bomb! http://zenbellycatering.com/2013/08/17/plantain-tortillas/. When you freeze them, place them in between pieces of parchment paper so they don’t stick to one another. You can re-heat them in the oven in a cast iron skillet too! I’ve found that this is the only way they keep their pliability…when they’re pan fried they get too crispy and can’t be folded into a taco.
List of meals that I stocked the fridge with for travel and quick eats:
Fried Chicken – Original recipe from Ancestral Table. Here’s a similar recipe that Russ has shared: http://thedomesticman.com/2012/05/15/gluten-free-southern-fried-chicken/
Chicken Enchilada Bake – This one is a fan favorite! Super duper easy and I doubled the batch for Burning Man. It was one of the first dishes to go!
Egg Salad – Here’s my recipe: Boil 12 eggs. Slice/chop eggs and add them to bowl. Mix with mustard, paleo mayo, a little white vinegar and worcestershire sauce until you get the consistency you like. Then add some chopped pickles and red onions. Finish by flavoring with spices; smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
Chicken Broth– Click the link for my crock-pot broth recipe. Broth is rich in nutrients and easy to heat up. We drank a cup of it almost every night after we got in to help replenish and fill our bellies. I also use the broth to make egg drop soup for breakfast. I heat up about 4 cups of broth and swirl in a 4 egg and 3/4 cup parmesan cheese mixture. I stir it up a bit until the eggs are cooked through, then top it with nutmeg, black pepper, and salt to taste.
Pesto sauce – I like to sub pumpkin seeds for the pine nuts. I use this dip for my veggies and to top my pizza with.
Salad Greens – I prep my greens and store them in a breathable plastic bag for easy grabbing. Click the salad greens link to read about how to prep and store your greens so they last longer in the fridge and remain crispy!
Chopped Veggies – bell peppers, carrots, jicama, green onions, and radishes. Prepping a few vegetables can make grabbing them even easier. You can add them to salads, eat them raw, or even dip them in pesto or hummus (not Paleo, but not the worst thing ever if you can tolerate the chickpeas). I can and love the brands that use quality olive oil in their ingredient list.
Kale Shakes – Here’s my husbands recipe and seriously the ONLY way I can drink Kale shakes. The frozen bananas and half a lemon make ALL the difference! Using a Vitamix or high powered blender mix together: 1-2 frozen bananas, 1 cup frozen mango, 2-3 large handfuls of kale, and 1/2 of a lemon keeping the rind in tact (just make sure to cut the lemon in half, then cut off the butt, exposing the yellow flesh- the bulbous end can be thrown away). Add enough water to make the consistency a drinkable one and blend until there are absolutely no chunks left!
List of store-bought items:
Almond Milk – Typically I make my own and use Juli Bauer’s recipe, but if you’re short on time or sick of prepping do yourself a favor and buy the almond milk. This brand is a good one: The New Barn – I like that it’s sweetened with maple syrup and is made without carrageenan.
Cereal – Lately I’ve been buying this brand: Freedom Foods Cereal. Not super Paleo, but delicious and not filled with too much crap.
Chicken Apple Sausages – You can find these at most grocery stores as well as Costco. Super good with mustard and kraut or I like to chop and fry them up, mix with eggs, and top plantain tortillas with the mix! They make the perfect breakfast taco!
Sandwich Items – GF bread- Canyon Bakehouse is my favorite. When you search for deli meat look for free range, organic meat that doesn’t include a whole bunch of preservatives, wheat, or milk by-products. The same rules apply for pepperoni and salami, only it’s harder to find free-range options. As for cheese, look for the aged, organic, grass fed stuff!
Pizza Items – This is the BEST pizza recipe and I bring the ingredients with me, so I can make them on the go: http://thedomesticman.com/2012/12/13/cast-iron-skillet-grain-and-gluten-free-pizza/
Aloe Water – This brand has a bit of sugar, but I just sip on it and it lasts a few days in the fridge. I also mix it with unsweetened tea to cut the sugar. I like that this brand has real aloe chunks in it and nothing is from concentrate. Aloe has some amazing health benefits as well as being a gelatinous food that helps pull things through the digestive tract, which is great for gut health!
Nuun Tablets – While on the playa biking around in the heat, you need a recovery drink or at least electrolytes to add to your water. These Nuun tablets are my fave and they go a long way. One tablet in a gallon of water works great and gives just enough flavor, making water drinking a breeze!
So, there you have it! My shopping/prepping list for Burning Man 2015! I hope these recipes give you ideas and help make your life a little easier. Enjoy my photos from Burning Man below!