The last thing most people want to do after an adventurous day of camping is spend hours preparing a gourmet meal. However, delicious food need not go by the wayside when camping either. There are a multitude of simple yet popular meals to prepare at the end of the day while camping.
A few tips first:
1. To speed cooking and preparation time in camp, consider precutting any vegetables at home beforehand. Having this step done for you dramatically reduces the time necessary to prepare meals containing chopped veggies.
2. Bring a large container of salad mix to complete any of these meals, along with one or two of your favorite salad dressings.
3. Don't forget to bring along some empty plastic containers. It often happens while camping that you have delicious leftovers, and nothing to store them in. Prepare ahead of time by packing some containers solely for this purpose.
The best thing about this meal is that it can be served any time of day, and you can use most anything you have on hand. There are no hard or fast rules here. The main ingredient is potatoes. You choose the kind you like: red, white, yellow, baking. They will all work. You can peel the potatoes or leave the peels on; the meal goes even faster if you leave the skins on, plus the added fiber is good for you! You can choose to pre-boil the potatoes, or throw them directly into the frying pan. Pre-boiling them will make them cook faster in the pan. Toss them in a decent amount of vegetable oil in a large cast iron fry pan. When they start turning brown, begin adding ingredients. Onions and garlic are a must, with sweet peppers closely following. After that, throw in any other vegetables you enjoy: zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes….the list is endless. Add some salt & pepper, to taste. When everything is the consistency you like, top it with some of your favorite cheese-cheddar, Swiss, American, or even gorgonzola. Let the cheese melt, and serve it up to your hungry diners!
This is always a popular one. Choose one or two different pasta types that your family likes, such as regular spaghetti, penne, or bowties. Purchase some pre-made pasta sauces. There are many delicious ones to choose from. Pesto and butter require no cooking. In addition, you could choose a basic meat marinara sauce, a creamy Alfredo, or something exotic like a roasted red pepper sauce. Consider the number of pots you will have on your trip. Based on pot availability, choose one or two sauces that need to be heated up, and some that only need to be tossed with hot pasta. Lay everything out for your family to mix and match. Don't forget to pass the parmesan cheese. Leftovers can be reheated and eaten for lunch the next day, but chances are, there won't be much left over!
Mixed Sausage Grill:
There's nothing kids like better than roasting a hot dog over an open fire, many adults too! Still, there are times when you feel like something just a bit more sophisticated. Consider a mixed sausage grill. There is a fantastic variety of different kinds of sausages available in the market. You can find chicken, turkey, pork, or vegetarian sausages. Each type of sausage comes with many different flavors. There is sun-dried tomato, spinach and garlic, or spicy Italian, to name a few. A nice bonus for camping trips is the sausages that are pre-cooked. Pre-cooked sausages avoid the worry of eating under cooked meat. The package will clearly state if the sausages are precooked. Purchase a variety of sausages, a few bun choices, and some toppings like mustards and relish. Your family will enjoy the smell of the cooking sausages, and voila, another easy but delicious meal has been prepared, right in your campsite!