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The Cupboard-to-Campfire Challenge

The Cupboard-to-Campfire Challenge

Road Trip!

We had a five-day camping trip ahead of us and although I couldn’t wait for the adventures to begin, I was stressing about what we were going to eat. We love to be creative and cook our own meals when we're traveling. They're delicious, healthy, and camp cooking is fun. This time around, however, none of my typical go-to recipes were inspiring me. I wanted to mix it up, but I didn’t have time (or patience) to look up recipes. Nor did I want to hunt down fancy new grocery items.

Looking quickly into my pantry and freezer, I also noticed a good amount of food that had been sitting around, just taking up space, for too long.

Light bulb.

I would apply the capsule wardrobe idea to my dinner planning! This would solve my creative cooking block, reduce my grocery shopping list, and clean out my cupboards from potentially wasted food. Here’s how.

The Cupboard-to-Campfire Dinner Challenge

The Goal:

Create menus based on three [main] categories*: STARCH, PROTEIN, VEGETABLE [and CHOCOLATE]

The Method:

  1. Go through cupboards and freezer and pick out items from each category: one item per category per day.
  2. Build our recipes based on what we find.
  3. Bring a spice kit to inspire creativity (and make sure food tastes good).
  4. Grocery shop only to fill in gaps in the categories.

The Findings:



brown rice

lots of sweet potatoes


1 lb frozen grass fed ground beef

1 can salmon

frozen pesto

Italian dry salami


frozen broccoli

frozen peas

frozen green beans from the garden last summer

lots of onions and a little garlic


1 large can of hearty chicken/pasta/veggie soup

frozen chicken broth


2 dark chocolate bars

fixings for s’mores... from last summer. Mmm.


curry powder

chile lime spice mix


Valentina hot sauce


The Results:

How did it work out? Well, what do you think? :) Is this the magic mix for a decadent glamping experience or a recipe for disaster? 

Clearly we lived to tell about it.

I’ll share the results of our Cupboard-to-Campfire experiment and the recipe for our favorite concoction in my next post. (p.s. I was really looking forward to s'mores because we almost never remember to bring them!)


Do you have a simple camp food tip you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments or let us know on FB/IG @redbudsuds #thoughtfullyclean.

Feel the Flow - Thoughtfully Clean Blog for REDBUDSUDS

It's #MotivationMonday! Enjoy this week's reflection on becoming an everyday activist to protect our precious planet at home, in our community, and beyond. This month, the theme is thoughtful food choices.

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Thoughtfully yours,


filed under: #MotivationMonday | ecochallenges | Thoughtfully Clean Field Notes

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