A couple of things are true about me: 1. Being a mother and a partner has been one of the greatest privileges of my life; 2. I am definitely a homebody. I love the pictures and the beauty that I see on social media of all the amazing places this world has to offer and yet each summer I propose a staycation rather than the hassle of packing, leaving my kitchen, and great produce along with all the other comforts that I enjoy while living in Bellingham. I am a nester but my teenagers and husband are not.

This year we kept it cozy all the while exploring magical places. We kitted out my old Land Rover Discovery and camped: beaches, woods, lakes and city. It was phenomenal. We created a kitchen attached to the vehicle. We packed our kids, dogs, camp stove, ice chest and pour-over kettle and we hit the road! We took a road trip along the Oregon Coast to Los Angeles and back. My favorite meal and moment (not a coincidence) of the trip was created out of mere necessity — we were hungry and nowhere close to our destination. We pulled over along the side of the 101 to the waves crashing and the sun setting and summer grasses blowing in the wind. Typically, not my first choice. But wow. I would do it a million times over. The kids and dogs ran into the ocean, the dogs ate and we ate along the Oregon coast. The stop, in its entirety, was no more than 30 minutes. The vegetables were just what we needed.

Tortilla & Refried Beans

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 diced yellow onion
  • 1 sliced red pepper
  • 1 sliced yellow pepper
  • 2–4 julienne zucchini (depending on size)
  • 14 oz. refried beans
  • All the chipotle-lime marinade
  • 8 heated corn or flour tortillas
  • Toppings: cilantro, Crema, avocado

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sauté onions in chipotle lime marinade (see recipe No. 2) until caramelized over med-high heat about 6–8 minutes. Add to heat: sliced red and yellow peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Turn down temp to low and add julienne zucchini to heat. Cook for 4 minutes covered.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the beans in a saucepan. I like to add a little butter to the pan first. It gives the beans a glossy aesthetic and is so flavorful. You can make your own beans and tortillas or purchase from a local carniceria or Mexican restaurant. I chose the latter. I heat the tortilla directly on the flame but you have to be fast because can burn quickly.
  4. Add vegetables, beans, avocado, cilantro and Crema to top.

Chipotle-Lime Marinade

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp. chipotle in adobo sauce
  • Juice from 3 limes
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 1 pinch pepper

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"My favorite meal and moment (not a coincidence) of the trip was created out of mere necessity — we were hungry and nowhere close to our destination. "