The Cycling Chef

July 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

A few long weekends ago, the boyfriend and I packed up our bikes with the basics and headed to Galiano Island for some bike camping.


Yup, we had everything that we needed packed onto those bikes! Sleeping bag, sleeping mat, stove and pot each, tent, tools, 1 change of clothes, first aid/toiletries and a book each. And lots of gluten free, vegan food. I’d like to take this moment to just let you all know that Galiano has some pretty epic hills. Especially when you’re weighed down with that much gear.

We arrived at the campsite and started setting up.


The first night was so cold and windy that we had to burn my book to make a fire! I know, right?! I felt like I was slowly torturing some poor creature to death. Rip. Rip. Rip. Rip. Sigh. It was that or freeze. But it still hurt.

So what kind of food do I bring on these sorts of camping trips? Well, the key here is portability, ease of preparation and few liquids. Yes, canned goods make a lot of sense when you’re camping with a vehicle, but liquids take up a lot of room and are really, really heavy. Not so bike friendly. I made a fruit and nut loaf which we ate with peanut butter, some very healthy chocolate energy bites, a cereal mix and a curried lentil quinoa mix. The only liquid that I toted was some individually sized tetra packs of soy milk for cereal and for my morning tea.


This is the curried quinoa and lentil mix that I made. This is not really a recipe, so much as a guideline.

Curried Lentils with Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • handful of slivered almonds
  • spoonful of curry powder
  • powdered garlic
  • powdered onion
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chilli flakes

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a container (I used freezer Ziploc bags).

2. When ready to cook, place amount desired in pot. Using a 2:1 ratio of water to mix, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer until cooked through (this would usually be about 15 minutes on a stove top but took closer to 20 outside in the wind).

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And this is the chia cereal that I made up. We were in this awesome little health food store and the boyfriend discovered this very yummy sounding cereal, albeit a little out of our price range. He asked if I could make something similar for our trip and this is what I came up with. Again, more of a guideline.

Cinnamon Chia Flax Cereal with Hemp Hearts

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • pinch of cardamon
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • salt to taste

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a container (I used freezer Ziploc bags).

2. When ready to eat, place desired amount in bowl and pour over roughly twice as much milk. Let it sit for a good 10-15 minutes (it will at least double in size and the excess milk will be absorbed, making it more like a pudding).

There you go! Nothing too fancy and no real recipes, but I hope it’s helpful to see a little of the thought process that goes into eating well while roughing it. Both of the dishes above are incredibly nutrient rich and calorie dense. I didn’t have to bring a whole lot for four days, as a half cup here and there was all that I needed (and that was while doing some serious riding everyday!).

We also came across a few of those fist pumping, happy dance meals I was telling you about.


This little place was just a short walk up from the campsite and both of the owners don’t eat gluten. They easily accommodated my needs and I feasted on local fish tacos and washed it down with a gluten free cider.

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This little gem of a place (Wild Thyme) is on another island, Saturna, and is run by a great group of girls. They were also happy to make me a gluten free sandwich. Those greens that you see there? They’re foraged from the wild! And I even ate my flower!

Saddle sores and burned books aside, it was a great trip! Sometimes I forget just how beautiful the southern coast of BC is.




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