I’m back! So, some of you saw my hints on Twitter and Facebook already…oh my word, do I have some stories to share. But more on that later. I feel badly that the blog has been kind of wacky lately. I would guess that, although you seem to enjoy laughing at my travel exploits, you might miss the recipes. Thus, today I will start with the food from our trip, and save the chronicles of craziness for another time. These aren’t really straight-up recipes; they are more methods that you can adapt to your needs and tastes. I just wanted to share some ideas, in case you’re overwhelmed with “What will I eat?!” camping dilemmas. Please do not assume that camping has to be rough just because you don’t eat gluten, or dairy, or meat. Even if you’re not in any of those boats, after this (egregiously long) post, you’ll know what to pack for your (high-maintenance) friends ; )
These are some “essentials” for camp cooking that I personally bring, and recommend:
– cast iron skillet (even just a small one)
– heavy duty aluminum foil
– metal utensils (fork, spoon)
– paring knife
– substantial water container (more on that tomorrow…)
– Klean Kanteen
I prefer to use a firepit with a retractable grill instead of lugging around a propane stove. All you have to do is wrap your metal skillet, pot, or food itself (see below) in heavy duty foil. Everything will be fine. Really.
(And of course, please reuse what foil you can!)
Any guesses as to what I’m stirring?
The first night we arrived, I tried something a little different than our usual camp food fare: I made curry!
This is a method, not a recipe; and I assure you, anyone can pull this off! Just trust yourself, and taste along the way. Place your (foil-laden) pot on the grill, and cover the bottom of the inside with a thin layer of curry powder, a generous sprinkling of cumin and turmeric, and a little ginger or garlic (powder, for ease). Give the spices a stir, and once they are a bit fragrant, pour some olive oil in, and stir. Add chopped onions and carrots. Stir. Add more veggies — whatever you have. We used cabbage, and precut cauliflower, broccoli, and zucchini. I also added the bag of frozen peas for protein; I love using them as “ice packs” on trips!
Add a splash (or a few) of water, and keep spicing as you go. Make the dish suit you. And don’t forget to add salt — copious amounts of salt.
Happy campers, indeed.
Save dishes, and trees: just eat right out of your pan (and lid)… Ain’t no shame in my game.
The next morning, we awoke to rain. It was not only a great excuse to snuggle into our sleeping bags a little longer, it was also the ideal setting for a hot breakfast once the sun broke through…*
And by hot, you knew I meant made with fire, right?
(Yes, I almost burned down my house as a child once. Why do you ask?)
Grilled toast (for the BFF Manfriend). Just place bread on the frame, watch, and flip. Easiest toast ever.
These (ethically-sourced) eggs were awesome, I’m not going to lie to you.
But that’s not all…
Slice. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, wrap carefully in foil, set directly in hot coals, near a flame if possible. Turn it halfway through to cook the other side. This method works with regular potatoes, as well as squash! Just keep it upright, so that oil doesn’t leak out. Remove and carefully open the foil to check for doneness. You can always reseal it and drop it back into the heat.
I also diced half the sweet potato and fried it in the cast iron until crisp — ’twas perfect!*
Can you see something hiding in the coals?
Both methods are superb. Just don’t be so adult that you leave your agave ketchup behind… Adulthood is overrated!
At this point, we embarked on our hike. Which, again, is a tale in itself, and shall be recounted in detail soon. I will share that we were utterly depleted when we reached base camp again, and I was not about to spend an hour slaving over a
hot stove burning fire. At this point in the camping day, I like meals that I can just throw into coals and walk away from. Call me lazy.
Foil-Wrapped, Fire-Cooked, Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers
2-3 green bell peppers
1 can of black beans
1 can or small jar of salsa or Ro-Tel (or a mix)
organic cheese or Daiya, if desired
1) Carefully cut tops of bell peppers, like you would a jack-o-lantern.
2) Remove seeds.
3) Pour beans (I rinsed and drained mine a couple times in the can) to cover the bottom of each pepper.
4) Add a layer of salsa/Ro-Tel.
6) Replace top, and carefully wrap in foil. Keep upright and place in hot coals/fire.
7) Turn halfway through (again, check for doneness at any point, just be careful when resealing).
8 ) Remove and top with cheese if you prefer. Eat directly out of foil with a fork.
If your significant other tries to pass off their pepper remains to you once the filling is gone, fight the urge to selfishly devour it, and hint that some salt will really bring out the flavor. Be patient with his or her skepticism. Then bask in the glow of a happy spouse and no leftovers.
Whew! That’s a serious recap. But I know that so many of you are traveling this summer, and I don’t ever want you to feel left out because of a dietary restriction. Hopefully these examples can provide some inspiration and encouragement for your own creative camp meals. And don’t be intimidated by the fire: remember, everything tastes better when cooked outdoors! : )
Featured in Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
Any other camp cooking ideas?
*Sorry for the inconsistent quality in photos… The lighting was a bit tricky to work with on this trip!