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pascoutmom

Vegetarian Scouts

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My son's patrol has two fairly new Scouts who are vegetarians. This troop camps a lot and this has made menu planning difficult -- my son says they will "be having spaghetti on every campout forever." I had a vegetarian child (in college now) so I know it is difficult to plan varied menus to accomodate both veggies and meat eaters. This is especially hard for these boys (all young Scouts) who are inexperienced cooks, have limited cooking equipment and limits on food which is easily transported, etc. If they purchase vegetarian meat substitutes that eats into a significant portion of their budget as these items are expensive.

Anyone successfully dealt with this problem? Thanks.

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There are all different types of vegetarians practicing out there. Treat it as you would any restricted diet. Have the patrol get a list of the specific things they will not eat. A number of camp dishes can be cooked with meat on the side and added afterwards, spaghetti is just one. There are a number of rice dishes, chow mein, tacos, pizzas, There are a lot of other pasta dishes besides spaghetti. Many do not require meats. There are vegetarian dishes that two scouts can bring to the attention of the patrol that would probably please everyone. You can also have the patrol cook in pairs in some outings allow each pair to plan and preepare their own meals.

 

Bob White

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This should be viewed as an opportunity to learn more about foods and methods of preparation. The two vegetarian boys should be able to provide a variety of recipes from their parents than can be adapted to camping.

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Ditto BobWhite and eisley.

 

Excellent chance for the patrol to learn how to Analyze, Adapt, and Overcome.

 

If you come up with any succesful recipes let us know.

 

YIS

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vegetarian baked beans can have hot dogs added; hot dogs can be meat, or tofu - why not bring both? baked potatoes can have cheese melted on them, assuming they eat dairy - and chili added for everyone else. indeed, you can make beans only chili, or tofu chili, when it comes to that, and even tofu's edible when it's been chili-ized!

 

if these are no animal stuff whatever vegetarians, then the issue also requires a bit of common sense caution. you won't be able to assume that, say, cookies are ok because they don't have bones - look for milk or butter, etc.

 

falafel's another filling nutritious not too hard to do at a camp-out item.

 

 

it's only going to be spaghetti forever if there's no imagination.

 

Waht's not been mentioned is if the parents are militant vegetarians, or vegetarian at all...?

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Veggie burgers!

Have the boys look for veggie recipes online or in cookbooks.

 

As others have said, you first have to find out what type of vegetarians they are.

 

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As someone who has stricter dietary requirements than most, I think you're putting a little too much of the onus on the whole patrol. I don't eat pork or most seafood. I have never expected others to go out of their way to accomodate me on this and I would certainly never expect someone not to eat something in front of me because I won't eat it. I would suggest to them that they have multiple dishes, including some that meet the vegeterians' requirements, as well as find dishes that all the boys in the patrol like. Also you might suggest to the vegetarian boys that they volunteer to do alot of the menu planning and cooking as a way to "grease the skids" with the other boys on vegetarian dishes.

 

I want to stress though that it's the patrol's job to work this out, not the adult leaders'. Otherwise, it's not really boy-led, is it?

 

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Cooking for Vegetarians...neat oportunity! Great teaching tool for the patrol and the troop. (by the way folks boy led does not mean they can't get a suggestion or two from the adults, say through the PLC). First like all diet issues you need to define the type of veggie diet that is appropriate...eggs? fish? milk? cheese? a couple of times in the past we have had new scouts say they were vegetarians and later hear from parents that that was not the case...boys just did't want to eat what was being offered...so get the facts!

 

Then offer the patrol help...perhaps the parents (of the new scouts)could come to patrol time to discuss what they usually serve, here the new scout parents can also make suggestions as to what they serve when they have 'carnivores' over as guests.

Then check out the net. I have found at least two references for veg. cooking in the wild... and remember that anything you can cook inside can be done outside!

Limited cooking equipment? Aluminum foil, tin can pots and old pots from home can be added for weekend outing alsong side the patrol cook kit.

 

Young scouts, inexperienced cooks, are only opportunities waiting for a place to happen. Encourage, offer outdoor cooking classes, get the troop to have a couple of cooking contests...motivate, educate, then stand back and watch the fur...er the potato skins fly! Let us know how it is coming.

Last, (my opinion) if the patrol food cost is inflated by special requirements...this should be an expense charged through to the two new scouts and not charged to the patrol. It should also be a fact that occaisionally if the patrol wants a meat dish the other guys can accomodate the patrol...fair is the word here.

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Hi PAscoutmom:

 

Perhaps the boys that are vegetarian can bring menu suggestions that the other boys will enjoy. I know that it is not a favorite to get boys to eat salads, but this is a healthier alternative.

 

Worried about protein? More people in the world get protein from lentils like garbonzo beans (AKA chick-peas) than meat. Lentils cook fairly quickly, and they don't produce the gas that is associated with other beans. To reduce the gas produced, eliminate the meat portion from the food. You can also soak beans overnight to help eliminate the gas. pour off the soak water, and cook in new water.

 

I'm not a "Militant Vegetarian," or a strict one at that. I do like the taste of a well-grilled steak, but from what I've read, and personally experienced, it takes less vegetable matter to provide the nutrients for your body than red meat. Red meat is more difficult for the body to assimilate, and this is some of the reason you get logy or sleepy after a big meal. Pork is very difficult for the body to digest. This may be a reason it is forbidden from Kosher diets.

 

Fresh fruit is difficult to transport and store, but a cool apple or orange is welcome both on a hot or cold day. Nut meats are a great snack, too. Most nuts have more useable calcium than milk. Try to get the nuts raw, and whole. They will keep longer. Pumpkin seeds also have a high ratio of protein to carbohydrates. The boys should like sprinkling these on salads, or eating as a snack. A nutritious and fun trail food can be made from nut meats, shaved coconut, and seeds. Try to use raw ingredients.

 

Would the boys pass up pizza? Place tomatoes, green peppers, onion, olives, and etc. on French bread and toast in a Dutch oven. The boys can even make their own combos. If you have boys that have to have greasy nitrate filled meats, they can put them on their own slice of bread.

 

Have a contest to see who can find the most exotic vegetable and prepare it for the patrol. Have they ever eaten cactus?

 

Many people despise vegetables because they are poorly prepared and presented. No one wants to consume overcooked slimy vegetables. Instead, gently steam or eat raw. They should be firm, and not limp. Summer squash, zucchini, carrots, celery presented thinly sliced and served with a dipping sauce such as ranch dressing will get the boys to try.

 

As an all-around cooking spice, I mix spices like oregano, dill, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and paprika in a bag, pour some into a shaker, and use this as my "green spice." It really perks up anything in which it is included, cooked or uncooked.

 

I dont eat eggs, as they give me digestive problems, so a favorite meal of mine is to take the shelf-stable tofu and scramble it with curry powder, green spice, and onion. Serve with whole wheat toast and green tea. One box of the shelf-stable tofu can feed four boys, or one hungry Scout. The nice thing about the stuff is that you don't need to refrigerate, but the drawback is the packaging. You will have to pack out the materials.

 

If the boys can eat fish, you can try soups or pasta. Try to find whole-grain pasta, or pasta made with quinoa. The boys may not notice the difference in taste or texture, but their bodies will.

 

Try brown rice with wild rice mixed in. Start with the wild rice. place 3x the amount of water as rice. add a dash of green spice, pinch of salt, and a spoonful of olive oil. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, Cook for 20 min. Add brown rice, with 2x as much water as rice. cover and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat, and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed by the rice. Avoid stirring. Wild rice goes great with poached or steamed salmon.

 

What about nut butter and jelly sandwiches? Oatmeal?

 

Try to get the boys to look at situations like this as hurdles to overcome, rather than as a wall. There is an excellent book by Shelley Null, Healthy Cooking for Kids: Building Blocks for a Lifetime of Good Nutrition. It can be found on amazon.com. It has many recipies that are meat-free, and can be prepared by children.

 

You can also tell the boys that cleanup without animal fat stuck to the cookwear is much easier :)

 

I'll never figure out why boys want to go the woods, set up tents, and spend 12 of the 36 hours on a trip preparing, eating, and cleaning up meals. I prefer to spend my time walking in the woods, looking for wildlife, or skipping stones on a pond. Wasting 3 hours preparing a meal that will be eaten in five minutes is for someone else.

 

Keep on Scoutin ora

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