Sarah Coleman: Winner, winner, river dinner |

Sarah Coleman: Winner, winner, river dinner

Sarah Coleman brings years of personal health and fitness knowledge to the table as Explore's health and fitness contributor.
Joel Reichenberger

Happy summer! It’s here and in full force, and before you know it, it will be over. Stop thinking about it and get out in the great outdoors for a happy, healthy, fun adventure.

Packing healthy food for camping and river trips should not be difficult. In fact, here are a few simple meal ideas to get the ball rolling for your next adventure.

Most importantly, you have to prep. Healthy food takes a little thought but is well worth it. Pre-make these two items and be ready to rock and roll!

Watermelon and Shrimp Salad with Vanilla Balsamic


1 pound steamed shrimp, chilled (save time by using defrosted frozen shrimp)

sea salt, to taste

black pepper, to taste

5 ounces baby red/green leaf and/or romaine lettuce

⅓ pound feta cheese,

⅓ cup pistachios, chopped and toasted

2 to 3 scallions, white part finely chopped and green part sliced

1-¼ pound watermelon, chopped into ½” pieces

2 stalks celery, diced (or substitute 1 cup diced fennel)

crushed red pepper, optional, to taste ½ cup fresh mint, chopped

Vanilla Balsamic Vinaigrette:

lemon juice, from 1 lemon

1 teaspoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

⅛ cup vanilla balsamic vinegar (if unavailable, use red balsamic vinegar plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

2 teaspoons unsweetened/plain Greek yogurt

½ cup olive oil

sea salt, to taste

black pepper, to taste


Toss shrimp with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and minced garlic. Set aside.

In a large bowl, lightly toss greens, salt and black pepper. Excluding the vanilla balsamic vinaigrette, place the rest of the ingredients over the greens. Serve salad and allow guests to drizzle vanilla balsamic vinaigrette (whisk all ingredients together) over their portions when it is mealtime. Remember to pack dressing separately.

Roast Coriander Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Grilled Chicken Salad

For salad:


1 small head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 medium red onion, roughly chopped

Sea salt, as needed

Fresh black pepper, as needed

The juice and zest of one lemon

Coconut or olive oil, as needed

2 chicken breasts, cleaned and seasoned with olive/coconut oil, sea salt, black pepper, the juice of one lemon

About ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds

About 10 ounces mixed salad greens

For dressing:

2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses

1 small clove garlic, minced

The juice of one lime

Sea salt, as needed

Fresh black pepper, as needed

2 tablespoons red balsamic vinegar

¼ cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower, coriander, garlic, red onion, sea salt, black pepper, lemon juice and zest and coconut/olive oil. Place on baking sheet lined with foil. Roast vegetables until soft and slightly brown, about 30 to 45 minutes. Occasionally mix vegetables. When the cauliflower is done, turn off the oven and place aside, outside of the oven, to cool.

Meanwhile, preheat an indoor or outdoor grill. Place chicken breast on the racks. Cook until done. Remove and set aside to rest. When slightly cool, thinly slice chicken breasts.

For dressing: Whisk all ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Adjust seasoning. Whisk in oil. Set vinaigrette aside until the salad is served. To plate greens on a plate or lunch container: Lay greens on the plate or in the container. Layer roast coriander cauliflower and red onion over the greens. Then place chicken breasts over the green and cauliflower. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the roast vegetables and chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pack vinaigrette in a separate, small container (make sure it seals tight) to use when ready.

Don’t forget to pack other healthy (simpler) snack items such as homemade trail mix, jerky and who doesn’t love a meat and cheese plate with olives and fruit.

Breakfast ideas? Pre-made breakfast burritos to throw right in the fire.

How about lunch? Pre-wrapped almond butter and banana wraps are always a hit.

Need a little something sweet? Pack a few dark chocolate bars to share around the fire.

Happy camping friends!

Sarah Coleman brings years of personal health and fitness knowledge to the table. Currently the health and wellness director at The Foundry, Coleman is a personal trainer, “CrossFitter,” coach, outdoor enthusiast, managing partner with Inspired Live Network and owner of A Weight Lifted Fitness Camp. She provides flawless technique and a positive attitude. Taking fitness to new levels, she uses the outdoor environment, your living room or work space, as well as the gym to influence and push her clientele. Funky knee socks and outrageous colors make Sarah unique, which transfers into her training and brings a smile to everyone’s face.

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