Kayak Trip Cuisine

Outdoor Odysseys finally has a cookbook!

After years of requests from guests and friends Outdoor Odysseys has put together a cookbook featuring the highlights from trip meals created using input from all our guides! You can look through a selection of pages or order a copy by clicking here.

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“Our guides, Peter and Eli, were really outstanding. The food in particular couldn’t be beat. I can’t stress that enough -  those guys should open a restaurant!”

Sunsets, Camaraderie and “Food, Glorious Food…”

Sea kayaking touring in the San Juan islands is a fun, active way to experience amazing wildlife such as orca whales and bald eagles. After an invigorating day of paddling you can look forward to an evening of good company and superbly prepared cuisine. At Outdoor Odysseys (OO), we go to great lengths to provide tastefully prepared meals that will enhance your enjoyment of the wilderness experience.

What could be better in life than watching the sunset from your campsite while savoring a glass of wine and enjoying delicious Northwest cuisine from your waterfront campsite? You get to relax over a glass of chardonnay or ‘cab’ and nosh on appetizers consisting of herbed goat cheese, crackers and garden fresh vegetables. Meanwhile, your industrious OO guides are busy firing up the Dutch oven, slicing and dicing vegetables and preparing dinner.

What’s on the menu tonight, you inquire? We’re having smoked salmon pesto linguine and a salad of mixed organic greens –some grown from our own island garden – tossed with a light vinaigrette dressing. Dessert – Freshly baked gingerbread topped with whipped cream & sun ripened blueberries.

The “Gentle Art” of Dutch Oven Cookery

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3rd Year Guide, Tony with one of his "DO" masterpieces...

Speaking of Dutch Ovens or the “D.O.”  as we call them, we are the only outfitter in the islands to utilize these on our tours. None of our guests are thrilled with the prospect of lugging a weighty “D.O.” around in their kayak – until they see what great tasting food these ‘puppies’ are capable of producing!

We use Dutch ovens for savory main dishes such as our triple cheese lasagna and our herbed, goat cheese breakfast frittata. They also work great for creating delicious desserts such as our famous apple/pear crisps and double fudge brownies. If you are unfamiliar with “D.O.” cookery, you’ll become a believer after this trip!

With the exception of some seafood or deli turkey, our meals tend to lean towards healthy, fresh vegetarian fare. We place a premium on using fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, use butter (as opposed to margarine), premium chocolates, bottled wines, and of course,  real maple syrup.

Our Organic Vegetable Garden & Sustainability…

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Staff harvesting our organic salad greens and Rainier cherries.

We are the only outfitter in the San Juans that, for the last 9 years, grows organic vegetables for our guests from our carefully nurtured island garden. This allows us to produce many of our own herbs as well as organic salad greens, tomatoes and zukes. From a sustainability standpoint, growing some of our own food also enables us to compost all our vegetable and food scraps from tours – providing us with with rich, loamy compost or “black gold” which we then feed back into the garden…and the cycle continues…

We are also the largest customer during the summer of the San Juan Island Food Coop which allows access to a huge variety of organic, sustainably grown foods. Some examples of healthy, organic foods we routinely buy at the co-op include rice, dried fruits, tortilla chips, canned goods such as beans and Newman’s cookie. We also buy from local islanders. Last summer we were buying delicious, fresh, homemade salsa from Pablito’s, a gourmet Mexican restaurant in Friday Harbor.

“My husband is a vegetarian, I am not. Rarely do our diets converge. How amazing, then, that both of us found the food absolutely delicious! It was fresh, hot, abundant and imaginative. I especially liked the variety—so many different kinds of fruits and vegetables.”

Have Special Dietary Needs?

No Worries! We pride ourselves in our ability to provide special dietary options for guests that may have particular dietary concerns. If you are vegan or have specific food allergies we will gladly work with you to accommodate your specific needs or concerns. If you are gluten intolerant, we are easily able to come up with good, delicious alternatives for you! In fact we put together a spreadsheet containing gluten free food items that our guides use when shopping that works in tandem with our regular menu. So, for example, if French toast is on the menu for breakfast we’ll make sure we have some good gluten-free bread available for making your own french toast.

Lunches Provided, or Not?

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Kaitlin, our guide, preparing lunch...

This seems like a ‘no-brainer’, but surprise!, not every outfitter on San Juan Island includes lunches as part of their overnight trip price. I assume to cut costs? What does that mean for you, the consumer? When you arrive in Friday Harbor you have to go to Kings (our local grocery store) and figure out what to buy for lunch – as well as what will stay fresh for  the duration of your three or four day  tour. And, I can guarantee that given the high cost at Kings (everything comes over on a ferry) -  if you buy a deli sandwich, fruit, maybe some chips and a drink – it will easily set you back $10.00 plus change. Here is the math for a 3 day tour: 3 x 10.00 = $30, plus your time and effort.
At OO we’ve tried to make things as easy as possible. Lunches are an integral (and included in the price) part of all our tours - including our day trips. We’ve made sure our lunches are healthy and filling giving you energy to complete your day on the water: Deli-type sandwiches with fresh sliced meats, cheeses garnished with a selection of veggies, condiments and locally baked breads. Some of our other lunches: Goat cheese, cashew, strawberry and fresh spinach wrap with clementine vinaigrette, or:  Greek salad with roasted peppers, capers, onion and served with humus and freshly baked French bread. In addition, while you are on the water kayaking against the occasional headwind or current your guides carry high energy snacks such as GORP to give you that extra needed, OOMPH!

Bottled Wines (and Beer) Paired with Delicious Cuisine

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Happy Campers!

Part of the fun of a well-organized kayak tour is enjoying tastefully prepared food in an scenic outdoor setting. Our well maintained fleet of roomy,  fiberglass boats (all less than 5 years old) allows us to bring lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and – BOTTLED WINES. We are the only outfitter that goes to such great lengths to pair good food with our wines. Check out our Wine tasting and, (new this year!) “Brew and Boat” tours. On our ‘beer’ tour we have teamed up with Full Sail Brewery an Oregon micro-brewery that makes some great tasting brews.

Did We Mention our Commitment to ‘Great’ Tasting Coffee?

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Our "DO" breakfast goat cheese frittatta

With our roots here in the great Pacific Northwest, home of iconic brands such as Starbucks and Seattle Best Coffee and, seemingly a coffee stand on every corner in Seattle, we understand the need for a great tasting cup o’ joe!  We’re proud to serve our very own “Orca Blend” coffee which is organic, artisan roasted and shade grown. A portion of the proceeds goes to support the Whale Museum. Supping on a great tasting cup of brew from your waterfront campsite as you power through our tasty goat cheese frittata or fresh blueberry walnut pancakes is a great way to start the day.