This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bubbies Pickles. Sponsorship means that I may have received products or compensation for inclusion in a post. Please note that Nitty Gritty Life only partners with brands that I trust and value, and can benefit my readers. All opinions are my own.
I am not asking for pity – but I hadn’t had a proper vacation (save short overnight trips and such) since 2004 until last week. The ties of parenthood, farm, employment, and the finances stood in the way. Top those factors off with our extra large, combined family of 10, and our options for a getaway are very limited. This year, in a “hell or high water” scenario, my husband and I decided that we were going to make it happen and set our site on America’s First National Park: Yellowstone.
Let me just tell you now, there were more planning and list making in preparation for this camping adventure than I can convey in this post. I am still finding random lists spread throughout the house, nearly a week after our return. My biggest worry (aside from going massively over budget), was how I would feed our big family in a relatively healthy manner. The prospect of canned chili and wieners makes my stomach churn. I wanted to real meals – the kind with nutrient value. Serendipitously, I had been chatting with the folks at Bubbies Pickles and my idea for our camping meal plan was born.
Knowing full well that we would be packing in the site seeing from dawn to dusk, I wanted to plan and prepare evening meals that would be fast and satisfying. Our favorite evening meals from the trip – pulled pork (slow braised and packed for reheating) with Bubbies Bread & Butter pickles (pasteurized but ridiculous tasty), all natural smoked beef bratwurst with Dill Pickle Relish, and the hands down favorite, without a doubt winner, still longing for more balsamic tri tip roast with Sauerkraut on rustic bread with smoked provolone cheese.
I mean, the camp neighbors were staring. It smelled THAT good and the praise being sung by my family was enough to stroke my ego for daaaaays…
I dedicated days preceding our departure to preparing meals in advance (as well as packing and incessant list making). At one point, I simultaneously had two slow cookers going and three sheet pans of bacon rotating through the oven. The goal was to advance prepare the main meals, package them, and store in a cooler (fresh ice daily).
The previously mentioned tri tip roast simmered for a few hours in a blend of spices and balsamic vinegar. Before packaging, I cooled the roast, sliced it thinly, and packaged the meat and cooking juices in quart freezer bags. When mealtime arrived, the meat was easily reheated in my trusty cast iron skillet (x-large, clearly) over a camp stove. I layered the tri tip roast over smoked provolone cheese on rustic bread, topped with loads of crunchy Bubbies sauerkraut. Tasty and full of good for the gut probiotics!
Yellowstone? It was amazing. I think this PNW native might have left her heart in the Mountain West. The breathtaking mountains, eruptive geysers, jaw dropping waterfalls, and glorious hot springs and mineral pools were incredible. The sage prairies and wildflower meadows made my herbalist’s heart swell. And the wildlife? We saw a moose cow and calf, countless elk, bison (with calves!!!), deer, and antelope – and even spotted a couple brown bears. Perhaps the highlight of the trip for me was hiking down from an Old Faithful viewpoint (on the mountain side above the standard tourist viewpoint). We found ourselves in a meadow surrounded by gentle elk cows grazing in the tall, lush green grass. (For a few photos of the Yellowstone scenery scroll to the bottom of this post or check out my Instagram feed.
My only regret is how short our trip was. I long to acquaint myself better with the scents of pine and sage in the warmth of the mountain air while taking in the vistas of this tremendous place. May my next trip not me 14 years in the making…
Need more healthy foods for camping — Check out my slow cooker ketchup recipe!
Balsamic Tri Tip Roast with Bubbies Sauerkraut
Balsamic Tri Tip Roast with Bubbies Sauerkraut
A trip to Yellowstone gave me a challenge: healthily feeding a family of 10 for a few days. This balsamic tri tip roast with Bubbies sauerkraut was perfect!
- 2.5-3 lb tri tip roast
- 1.5 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon hickory smoked sea salt
- 1.5 teaspoons cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion flakes
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- rustic bread sliced
- smoked provolone cheese
- Bubbies brand Sauerkraut
Place tri tip, seasonings, spices, and balsamic vinegar in a slow cooker set to low-medium heat. Cook for 6-8 hours, until the roast is relatively tender. If you don't have a slow cooker, place in a Dutch oven and cook in your oven at 200 degrees for 4-6 hours.
When roast is cooked, remove from pot and place on a cutting board (RESERVE the cooking liquid, DO NOT discard. Cool the roast for approximately 30 minutes then slice thinly. Pack meat and reserved juices in a freezer bag and chill. Keep chilled until use.
To reheat at the campsite, simply add to a pot or skillet and cook until hot and bubbly. Layer a piece of toast bread with provolone cheese, tri tip roast and mounds of Bubbies sauerkraut. Enjoy.