Easy 4 Day Winter Vacation Menu

Hitting the slopes this week for some fun in the snow?  If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out the menu for your weekend away this winter, here is a yummy and simple  winter menu with recipes to get you started.


You can save a copy of this menu by clicking here.


Day 1 (arriving for dinner):
Dinner: Grilled Salmon with Asparagus and Mixed Green Salad

Day 2:
Breakfast: Egg in a Hole with Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Edamame and Soba Noodles (served hot or cold)
Dinner: Grilled Lamb and Veggie Kabobs with Couscous, Mixed Green Salad

Day 3:
Breakfast: Maple and Banana Hot Oatmeal
Lunch: Crunchy Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Fresh Fruit
Dinner: Chunky Beef and Vegetable Soup with Garlic Bread

Day 4: (depart after lunch)
Breakfast: Bagels and Cream Cheese with Chicken Apple Sausages, and Fresh Fruit
Lunch: Penne with Hidden Veggie Bolognese Sauce

Heart Warming Treats:

Hot Cocoa
Hot Apple Cider
Savory Pumpkin Muffins (great for a snack or to accompany a soup)

Looking for some general tips on planning a vacation menu, shopping and packing?  View Traveling on a Budget – Eating In While on Vacation

Got a great winter vacation menu you’d like to share?  Or simple and yummy recipes that have worked out really well on vacation?  Write a comment to this tip article.


———————– recipes————————-
Grilled Salmon with Asparagus
4 lbs of salmon
4 canned anchovies
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
3 lbs of asparagus/zucchini
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Prepare at home: Cut the salmon into half, place with the skin side down on 2 large pieces of aluminum foil (Each piece is about four times the size of the salmon fillet).  Pat dry with a paper towel.  Season with 1 tsp of kosher salt and pepper. Rub with 1 tbsp of olive oil on each piece of fish.  Place 2 anchovies and 3 lemon slices onto each piece of salmon.  Scatter 1/2 a cup of tomatoes into each packet and arrange 1/2 of the asparagus evenly around the fish.  Seal up the aluminum foil to make a sealed pouch.  Place each pouch in gallon sized ziplock bags and freeze until you’re ready to pack it into the cooler.


At the vacation rental: Fire up the grill to 400°F.  You can also bake it.  Grill the fish for about 10 minutes on each side until just cooked.
Serve with a fresh green salad.


For baby/toddler: Puree asparagus, flake the salmon with a fork and mix into the puree

Egg in a Hole
8 slices of while wheat bread for each person
8 eggs
salt and olive oil
cookie cutter

Cut a hole in each slice of bread with a cookie cutter. Heat the pan till it is hot, add about 3-4 tbsp olive oil in the pan.  Place the slice of bread in the pan and immediately crack an egg into the hole.  Cook for bout 2-3 minutes, then flip the bread and egg onto the other side.  Sprinkle with a little salt. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.  If you like your yoke cooked all the way through, break the yoke, otherwise, serve a little runny. Serve Warm with some fresh fruit


For Baby/Toddler: For Toddler cut egg in hole in small pieces for finger food.  For baby hard boil egg and give egg yolks only, mixed with favorite fruit puree.

Edamame and Soba Noodles
1 bag of frozen shelled Edamame beans
8 bunches of soba noodles
3 bags of shredded carrots
Olive oil
Soba dipping sauce
Wasabi in a tube if desired

Heat a large pot of water, bring it boil and cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package. In the last 3 minutes, add the shredded carrots. When cooked, remove and drain.  If serving cold, rinse under cold water.  If serving warm, immediately add soba dipping sauce and some hot water. In a sauce pan, heat some olive oil.  When hot, add edamame beans and stir fry for about 5-7 minutes.  Add 1/2 tsp salt. Place on top of the soba noodles and serve.  If you are serving this cold and will be bringing this somewhere with you, you can toss the Edamame into the noodles to make a salad.  Add the soba dipping sauce just before serving to loosen up the noodles and act like a dressing.  For some spice, add a touch of wasabi.


For baby/toddler: Cut up soba noodles and carrots into small bits and serve as finger food for toddler.  The edamame can be mashed or pureed for baby.
Grilled Lamb Kabobs
3-4 lbs of lamb, beef or chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 cup Olive oil
1 tsp Cumin
Juice from 1 Lemon juice
3 springs of fresh Rosemary chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic chopped finely
2 Red Bell Peppers, cut into large chunks
3 Zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 onion, cut into large chunks
16 Skewers

At home: Mix all the seasonings together in a gallon size ziplock bag.  Add the meat, seal the bag and massage the marinade into the meal.  Freeze the marinated meal until you are ready to pack it.

At the vacation home:
Heat the grill to 400 degreeF.  Cut veggies into chunks.  Marinate with olive oil salt and pepper. Assemble Kabobs alternating the meal and veggies Grill each Kabob for about 10-15 minutes until cooked to desired doneness.  You can also broil in a hot oven if a grill is not available.
Serve with Raisin and Almond Couscous
2 boxes of couscous.
Chicken stock as required on the box
1/2 cup Toasted almonds
1.2 cup of raisins

Cook couscous according to the instructions on the package, add raisins together with the couscous into the chicken stock. Top with toasted almonds


For baby/toddler:  Puree or cut up grilled veggies and mix into the couscous for older baby and toddler.  Omit almonds and raisins for those under 2 years due to allergy and potential choking hazard.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Caramelized Bananas and Maple Syrup
1.5 cup steel cut oats
6.5 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
4 bananas
2 tbsp butter
maple syrup or brown sugar

Combine oats and water in medium saucepan. Bring water to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes, turn the heat down to medium-low. Stirring occasionally, cook for an additional 15 minutes. Once 30 minutes of total cooking time has elapsed, you need to watch the oatmeal and test it for doneness (not too firm, not too squishy). Stir it frequently. Add salt and mashed up bananas. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes, as necessary. Top with maple syrup.  Yum!


For baby/toddler:If needed, you can blend the oats before cooking and reduce cooking time until liquid is absorbed.  No need to sweeten with maple syrup for baby.
Crunchy Chicken Salad Sandwiches

1 cooked rotisserie chicken
1.5 cup of low fat mayonnaise
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup of slivered toasted almonds
3 sticks of celery, chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste
optional: ½ tsp of sesame oil
A loaf of whole grain bread, or crackers

At home: Remove all the bones and shred the chicken and place in a ziplock bag. You may freeze if you like. Season with 1/21 tsp of sesame oil if desired.


At the vacation rental: Mix all the ingredients together except the almonds.  Mix in the almonds just before you assemble the sandwiches.  If you are taking this along for a picnic, you might want to bring the bread or crackers separately and assemble the sandwiches just as you are eating.  Serve with carrot sticks and cucumbers or some fruit.

For toddler/baby:
Set aside plain skinless chicken for finger food or puree for baby.  Serve small pieces of crackers or bread with apple sauce or yogurt.  Steam carrot pieces for finger food for toddler or puree for baby.
Chunk Beef and Vegetable Soup (crockpot friendly)
4 large beef shanks, or 3lbs stewing beef (Shanks are more flavorful)
1 small head of cabbage, cut into chunks
3 large carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
32 fl oz beef or chicken broth
1 can of Guinness stout
kosher salt
1 tbsp cornstarch (optional)

In a large frying pan, heat some oil. Salt and brown the meat in large chunks.  Remove meat and place in the crockpot. Add onions and garlic to the pan.  Fry till slightly brown, add carrots and celery.  Remove and place in crockpot. Add to the crockpot, broth, Guinness,  kosher salt, pepper, and cabbage. Boil on high for 6-8 hours. (Optional: dissolve cornstarch in a little bit of cold water, then add to the crockpot and stir.  This will thicken the soup slightly). Serve with garlic bread.


For Baby/Toddler: Mash or puree a small portion of cooked veggies and meat before adding beer.  Or substitute beer with additional broth to serve all ages.
Penne with Hidden Veggie Bolognese Sauce
2 lbs of penne – cooked according to package instructions
parmesean cheese
3 lbs of lean ground beef
3 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
2 cups of slice button mushrooms
3 carrots, diced
1 onion diced
3 cloves or garlic, chopped
2 32 oz can of chopped stewed tomatoes
1 4 oz can tomato puree
4 Bay leaf
3/4 cup tomato ketchup
salt and pepper
Olive oil

This sauce can be prepared at home, frozen and heated up.  Heat about 4 tbsp of olive oil.  Saute the onions and garlic until tender.  Add ground beef and brown.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add carrots, saute for another 5 minutes.  Add canned tomatoes and tomato puree, bay leaf and ketchup.  Bring a boil and lower heat.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add chopped spinach and mushrooms.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread.
For baby/toddler:  For toddler, cut penne into small pea size pieces for finger food, add a small amount of sauce.  For baby, puree pasta with cheese and carrots.

The following recipes are from the Lisa Barnes’ new cookbook The Petit Appetit: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Easy, Organic Snacks, Beverages, and Party Foods for Kids of All Ages.  Author and popular chef Lisa Barnes inspires moms and dads to cook healthy foods for their little ones with her easy, organic and delicious recipes.
Hot Cocoa
From the The Petit Appetit Cookbook
There really is a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. Because cocoa powder is made by removing most of the cocoa butter and grinding the nibs, it is lower in fat than bar chocolate. This version is made with cocoa and evaporated cane juice. It’s similar to the sweetness of the processed packaged powder versions but without the additives and preservatives.

Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsweetened organic cocoa powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon evaporated cane juice
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup organic nonfat milk

Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Heat until hot and bubbles form around edge of pot, but do not boil, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or wait to cool for younger, sensitive mouths.


From the The Petit Appetit Cookbook

Calientito means little hot one and this drink is a spiced cider made with spices and fruit. You can use just about any fruit and fruit juice combination here. This is good for the kids at a party when serving adults mulled wine. The name sounds appropriate for some feisty children.

Makes 5 cups; 5 servings

2 cups organic unfiltered apple juice
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup orange segments
½ cup chopped pear
1 tablespoon organic raisins
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Serve hot or wait to cool for younger, sensitive mouths. If serving to younger children, strain before serving to prevent choking.

Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins
From the The Petit Appetit Cookbook

Because of the use of pumpkin, this recipe makes a perfect autumn treat for large and small hands alike. These muffins are both sweet and savory, which makes them a good accompaniment for soups and salads as well as alone for breakfast or a snack.

Makes 10 muffins

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 large cage-free organic egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup organic whole milk
½ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup expeller-pressed canola oil
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Topping (optional)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon evaporated cane juice

Make this head of time at home.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, combine flours, evaporated cane juice, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center. In a medium bowl, combine egg, milk, pumpkin, oil, and ginger until smooth. Add wet ingredients to well in dry ingredients. Stir just until combined and moistened. Fill prepared muffin cups half to two-thirds full.
In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar for topping (if using). Sprinkle each muffin with topping. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove muffins from pan and serve warm.

I can?
Pumpkin is one of the few ingredients that is better from a can. There is actually more flavor and nutrients in the canned version than fresh, and certainly less work is required. Be sure to buy canned pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie filling. The filling is loaded with sugars and spice.


You can save a copy of this menu by clicking here.



at 08/14/2009 01:29PM Amanda_Lisk wrote:

Awesome recipes for away or home- thanks!

at 12/28/2009 04:12PM LiLing Pang wrote:

Thanks Amanda! My other love besides traveling is cooking. Hope you enjoyed the recipes.
About the author

LiLing Pang is Co-founder and CEO of Trekaroo . She is a mom to two boys and a girl (13, 11, and 3) currently traveling through Central America. Together with her husband, Brennan Pang, they hatched the idea of Trekaroo one summer day along the California coast while searching for the best kid-friendly tide pool near La Jolla with their curious 2.5 year old.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.