Monday’s Menu

We’ve added a new concept to the blog and plan on sharing our meal plans for our adventures; whether it be an on-the-road camping meal or a hearty feast at a well-equipped base camp, we have to eat.

Today’s menu item will be a make-ahead Italian noodle salad with sides of fire roasted tomatoes and French bread.

Packed for travel.

The best part about this meal is that when you arrive at your destination, you can pull this meal quickly from the cooler, gather the plates and be enjoying your meal in mere moments. When we do a power weekend and drive four to six hours on a Friday evening to a campsite and the crew is in full “hangery” mode, Gear Dad needs to serve up a hearty meal…fast!

This Italian noodle salad is made at home prior to departure day. The amount of ingredients you use will be based on your personal taste and the number in your crew.

Here are the necessary ingredients:

Elbow Macaroni, Red Pepper, Green Pepper, Black Olives, Green Olives, Onion, Pickles, Pepperoni and Italian dressing. (All vegetables were diced.)

While still at home, the noodles are on the stove boiling until they reach the desired texture and Gear Dad works on dicing all the veggies, slicing the pepperoni, and placing all ingredients in a bowl. The Italian dressing is not added until the meal is served due to the crew having different preferences on the amount of dressing placed on the finished salad. Once the noodles are done and rinsed with cold water, they are added to the mixture and placed in a one gallon freezer bag. Pop the bag in the fridge and you are set until it is time to load the cooler.

Time to make the fire roasted tomatoes.

Gear Dad enjoys making the noodle salad portion as he always try to become more efficient at chopping and dicing the veggies, but he is still not quite ready for the Food Network competitions! The next part Gear Dad enjoys equally well as he gets to take the show outside and fire-up his little charcoal picnic grille. For the tomato portion of the meal, cherry tomatoes are slide sideways onto bamboo skewers. (As you can see in the above photo, on two of the skewers there are intervals of tomatoes and onion. However, Gear Dad instead now recommends putting the onions and tomatoes on separate skewers as the onions need more cooking time than the tomatoes.) Once the ingredients are on the skewers, they can be brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with Italian seasonings.

Ready for the smokey grille.
Place on grille, close the lid, and let the smoke do the magic.
Cook to your personal perfection!
Gear Mom thought they had nice flavor and were delicious!

So the tomatoes can be served as a side or they can be mixed into the noodle salad. Be careful how long you cook them as you want a nice soft texture with just a slightly smokey flavor not a charred overbearing taste. Cut some slices of your favorite bread, butter to your taste and enjoy!

Plated!

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