Ski season is upon us and it will certainly be one for the history books as resorts continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic. While slopes are sure to be filled with eager skiers this year, restaurants and dining halls remain more of a question mark, subject to stricter rules in many jurisdictions. That means it’s time to start planning some pack-and-go ski meals you can cart up the mountain. With that in mind, Kulkea has put together a list of seven easy lunch ideas that can be whipped up the night before and enjoyed between runs on your next ski vacation.
The Thermos Bottle Stew
One of the absolute best options for a warming mid-day meal is a hearty stew stored in a vacuum-sealed stainless-steel food thermos. Favorite recipes include chicken tortilla soup, chili con carne or spicy black bean soup, which is perfect for vegans or vegetarians. Prep the evening prior and, if you have a slow cooker, let it simmer overnight before packing it into a thermos in the morning. If not, just make sure to re-heat your preferred stew before placing it into the thermos and setting off. Come lunch, all you need to do is twist the lid and dig in (or bring spoons and bowls to share with your ski buddy!).
Credit: SK via Creative Commons
The Nourishing Camp Lunch
Another way you can take advantage of a thermos is to pack boiling hot water to rehydrate dehydrated camp meals. Most outdoor stores carry brands like Backpacker’s Pantry, Mountain House and Alpine Air (good for those with dietary restrictions), which make everything from beef stroganoff to wild quinoa or tandoori chicken. Meals typically come in a lightweight cooking pouch, serve two (or one hungry glutton!) and require up to 20 minutes and two cups of hot water to prepare.
If you’re having trouble finding camp meals, instant noodles are a good backup plan. To make it to sundown, however, consider packing some protein to add to the mix. Hard boiled eggs and a spoonful of peanut butter, for example, can turn a humdrum ramen into a faux Thai curry. Similarly, canned tuna can spice up a bowl of instant mac and cheese. Or, ditch noodles altogether and opt for couscous, a fluffy North African grain that’ll cook to perfection in a few minutes with piping hot water and a bowl with a lid. Spice-up the recipe with some raisins, pine nuts and a sachet of olive oil.
The Hangover-Style Lunch
This one is for all the lazy ski bums who have no intention of cooking or grocery shopping during their winter getaway (you know who you are!). Let’s say you plan on ordering food the night before your trip. Ask yourself: what leftovers will taste as good in the morning as they do at dinner? Everybody loves cold pizza and, when wrapped up tightly in aluminum foil, it won’t take up much space in your bag. Other popular leftover meals you can pop in a Tupperware container include burritos, pesto pasta or sushi, which, after all, is served cold anyways.
The Classic Cold Sandwich
This may be the most obvious choice on the list – and for good reason! You can’t go wrong bringing peanut butter and jelly or a cold-cut sandwich to the slopes. A few things to consider: Go light on juicy toppings like pickles or tomatoes and don’t lather up the bread with mayonnaise, mustard or any other condiments or it will get soggy by the time you eat it. Consider bringing small sachets from a fast food joint that you can tear open right on the spot. Similarly, if you make tuna, egg or chicken salad, consider bringing that in a separate container (or Ziploc) and adding it to the bread just before you eat.
The No-Frills Snack-Meal
Budgeteers hoping to avoid high-priced resort restaurants have been packing some version of the snack-meal for years. Staples of this DIY option include salami, cheese, crackers, hard fruits and nuts, which hits most corners of the iconic food pyramid. A baguette, hummus, carrot sticks, olives or salmon jerky are also great additions if you’ve got the space. Slice ingredients in advance or pack a pocket knife and portable cutting board (though a plastic container top will work in a pinch).
The Bento Box Wrap
If you want something a bit more creative, consider investing in a Japanese-style bento box. Not sure what that is? Think of it like a lunchbox for adults with separate compartments where you can pop in some tortillas (or pitas) and your choice of protein, cheese, sauce and vegetables for an easy lunch wrap put together on the slopes. The bento box can also store salads, dips, cut fruits and an array of small-portion items (including energy-packed quinoa patties), plus you can toss it in the dishwasher when you get back to the cabin.