I just returned from four days and three nights of camping in rural Manchester, Tennessee for the 13th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. I cover the fest every year for the alt-weekly I write for, and it's tons of fun. This year, I saw Against Me!, Deadmau5, Bassnectar, Tears for Fears, Alabama Shakes, and so much more. And I found lots of vegan food for sale within the festival grounds (you can read more about the food I bought at Bonnaroo here).
But festival prices are expensive, and eating out for every meal just isn't feasible. So when I go to Bonnaroo, I always pack some easy instant meals for breakfasts and lunches. I do have a portable gas stove, which I use for heating water for coffee and instant noodles. But I'm not one of those folks who cooks full, hot meals at the campsite, mainly because I'm not sure how one washes the dishes after that without easy access to running water. So I keep it simple. Here are a few meals I packed this year that made camping simple and affordable.
I recently discovered these Go Picnic meals, and a couple of them are vegan. Each meal has some sort of dip or nut butter, maybe a trail mix, and some fruit and/or fruit strips. I had this Sunbutter & Crackers meals in the car on the way to Bonnaroo since we drove through lunch.
Here's what was inside — multigrain crackers with sunbutter, applesauce, a tropical fruit strip, and two Lucy's vegan chocolate chip cookies! It was so much fun to eat! Plus, vegan cookies!!
The next day at the campsite, this Black Bean Dip & Plantain Chips meal made for a healthy and convenient lunch.
Here's what was inside —black bean dip with plantain chips; ginger trail mix with peanuts, banana chips, and cranberries; edamame & pepita trail mix; apricot fruit strip.
This one was definitely my fave of the two because black bean dip! And that Ginger Zip trail mix was amazing. I was pretty sad when I got to the last bite of my bean dip.
For snacks, I brought some apple-mango fruit pouches. You know, the squeezy ones that look like baby food? I failed to take a picture, but these came in handy to fulfilling our fruit needs. I also packed a few Go Macro mini bars. Loved this Sesame Butter + Dates bar even if it was a little soft and melty from the heat. Full review of these bars coming soon.
Breakfast is my favorite meal to eat at the Bonnaroo campsite because I typically wake earlier than everyone else. So I can eat my little instant breakfast in solitude, enjoying the sounds of folks around me waking up, tents unzipping, the birds chirping, even the RV generators humming in the nearby RV lot.
My very favorite Roo breakfast every year are cup o' noodles! I buy these vegan instant ramen bowls in the kosher section at Kroger. THEY ARE SO GOOD!
And of course, you gotta have coffee. Fancy soy lattes are for sale inside Centeroo, the main festival grounds. But it's easier to just go with a little instant Cuban coffee at the campsite.
One morning, before my Yogaroo class, I switched it up and had oats instead of noodles. These Straw Propeller brand oat bowls are filling and delicious. This Strawberry Jungle one came with dried strawberries and evaporated cane juice. Sure, it says "kids," but whatever. I'm kind of a big kid.
And I added a whole squeeze pack of Earth Balance Coconut & Peanut Spread for protein!
I loved my instant meals! But I am glad to be back at home with access to my full kitchen and lots of produce. I've been eating the hell out of some salad since I've been back.