[Guest blogger Jennifer Scribner is a lazy foodie and enthusiastic Burner since 2006. As a Nutritional Therapist and the founder of Body Wisdom Nutrition, she specializes in helping people learn to prepare delicious whole foods to heal illnesses by healing digestive problems first. She wows her campmates and neighbors with seemingly gourmet meals that are actually based on minimal effort in the default world.]
The only vegetables I brought to my first few Burns were small packages of baby carrots. Anything other than that seemed like too big of a hassle. Why take time to fool with veggies on the playa when I want to be out participating? Plus, won’t they just go bad in a couple of days? I’ll stick to my string cheese and goldfish crackers, thanks.
By my fourth Burn I thought, “If eating veggies in my daily life makes me feel awesome, why would I give them up for the week when my body is exposed to extreme conditions?” I became determined to figure out how I could make eating veggies at Burning Man easy and convenient. That’s when I stumbled upon the secret: chop all your veggies before you leave for the Burn, then seal them up in plastic containers or Ziploc bags and pack them in your cooler.
It really is that simple, and here’s a guide to which veggies are worth bringing based on how long they last:
Variable, but tend to go quick: avocado and freshly chopped herbs like cilantro or basil. Avocado will last 1-3 days depending on how ripe it is when you buy it. Pop it in the cooler to slow the ripening process.
Lasts up to 5 days: cucumber, chopped Roma or whole cherry tomatoes (other varieties are too soft), sweet and hot peppers, mushrooms, and green onion.
Lasts all week: yellow and red onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and cabbage. Chop your garlic and ginger, put them in small containers and pour olive oil over them to preserve them, then just spoon out a little bit as you need it.
Here are a few ideas for how to eat all these veggies you’re prepping:
Breakfast: sauté veggies and add them to scrambled eggs.
Snacks: cabbage wraps with a cold cut, mustard, tomatoes, and peppers tossed in. Carrot and celery sticks, or pepper strips with dressing, pesto, or hummus as a dip.
Lunch/dinner: Stir-fry, taco salad with shredded cabbage as lettuce, burgers and hot dogs with cabbage leaves as the bun – my favorite discovery since bread doesn’t really sound all that good in the heat. Unless it’s a grilled cheese (and broccoli) sandwich.
Plan your meals so that you’re using those veggies with the shortest “freshness-span” in your meals early in the week at the Burn. Use a well-insulated cooler and make sure you keep it well-stocked with ice for best results.
Bonus ways to make eating veggies even easier: make a stir-fry or soup in the default world, freeze it, and just reheat it on the playa. See my article How to Eat Real Rood at Burning Man for more ideas. Or bring a container of roasted veggies that can be eaten warmed or cold as a side dish (check out my blog for a delicious Roasted Ratatouille recipe).
When you eat veggies at the Burn you have more energy to participate harder and recover faster. I had no idea how much better my Burn could feel and I think you’ll love it too!