Skip the roasted weenies and indulge in these easy-to-make camping recipes
These dishes might look fancy, but much of the prep work can be done at home (and then frozen), and all of them can be done on a camp stove if there's a fire ban. Oh, and they can also all be made vegan!
So make your grocery list, get shopping and start prepping these delicious and nutritious camping meals...
1. Jackfruit Tacos (paired with Persephone Goddess Golden Ale)
Christine McAvoyThe jackfruit should marinate for at least a day, so you can either make everything the day before you leave (and have a quick and tasty meal as soon you get to the campground), or marinate it at the campsite the day before you want to eat it. Store-bought tortillas work well if it’s a few days in and you need the preservatives, but if you can get some fresh ones (I get mine from here), or frozen ones that you heat up/cook (like these vegan ones), your taste buds will thank you. (Plus, you can make breakfast tacos in the morning with the leftovers.)
- 1 can jackfruit (approximately 230 g)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin (ground)
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp coriander (ground)
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tbsp of chili paste (optional, add spice as you like!)
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup of chopped onion
- 2 to 3 cloves of minced garlic
- Tortillas, your choice!
- Lime wedges for garnish (optional)
CABAGE SLAW INGREDIENTS
- Half a small reg cabbage, thinly shredded
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp olive oil
AVOCADO CASHEW CREMA INGREDIENTS (OPTIONAL)
- ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight or for several hours
- 1 small avocado or half a large one
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of half of a lime
- ¼ cup cilantro
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp water
- Soak the cashews the night before or in the morning.
- Drain the jackfruit and rinse, then break apart in a bowl until it resembles pulled meat. You can also place it in a reusable (or Ziploc) bag and squish it to break it up, which makes it slightly easier.
- In a small bowl, mix together the chilli powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, salt, and brown sugar. Then stir in the chilli paste (optional) and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Add to the jackfruit, mixing until it's fully coated. Either cover or zip up baggie, and place in fridge for at least two hours (but overnight really helps let the flavours come together).
- In a larger bowl, place the cabbage slaw ingredients and mix together. I use my hands to do this, as it helps soften the cabbage a bit when it’s been massaged. And then put in the fridge, covered.
- To make the crema: drain the cashews and rinse, and then add them and the rest of the crema ingredients to a high-powered blender. Blend together until smooth and creamy. You may need to add more water to thin it out. You can also add a bit of olive oil, or more avocado to make it creamer if needed. Cover and chill.
- When you’re ready to cook, heat up a pan (I prefer cast iron, but any pan will work) and warm your tortillas, one by one, covered with a clean dish cloth or wrapped in foil). You can also do this in a foil packet over the fire, but keep an eye on them, or they will burn and stick together!
- When done, in the cast-iron pan (or frying pan), heat a tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for two more. Then you can add in the spiced jackfruit and stir.
- Add approximately half a cup of water and continue to cook, letting it evaporate while you stir the jackfruit for about 10 minutes. Test the seasoning and see if you need more salt.
- To plate, place the tortillas on a plate, then some of the avocado crema (or sour cream*), a scoop of the jackfruit, and top with the cabbage mixture and optionally drizzle with more of the crema.
- Serve with an optional lime wedge—and a cold beer (lagers, golden ales and pilsners are all good choices here.) I paired it with Persephone’s Golden Goddess Ale—light and refreshing, and it came out of an ice-cold (literally) cooler, which is hard to beat.
*NOTE: If you want to make the crema to take with you, you can, or if you want to skip it and just bring sour cream, that’s another option. A sliced avocado is also an excellent topping that you can just chop up at the campsite.
Makes 8 to 10 four-inch tacos
2. Chickpea Breakfast Hash (paired with Creek & Gully Cider, Century Pét Nat)
Christine McAvoyChickpeas are so versatile for camping because they obviously keep well, but they can also be used in so many dishes. We showed you this recipe for Curry Chickpea Sandwiches that made for an easy lunch, but now we’re incorporating chickpeas into breakfast. The best thing about this dish is you can change things up with what's in season when you head to the campground. Zucchini everywhere? Toss it in. Rolling through Chilliwack? Grab some corn. But whatever is in the vegetable crisper will do!
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ small red pepper, diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 12 small or fingerling potatoes, sliced in half
- Handful of baby spinach
- 1 or 2 twigs of fresh rosemary (stems removed)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 eggs (eliminate these to make it vegan, can sub in diced avocado)
- Salt and pepper
(NOTE: Again, you can add other vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc., just keep in mind cooking times of each, and if you might have to steam things before tossing them in.)
- In a small pot, boil some salted water. Boil the potatoes for approximately 5 minutes until just softened (you don’t want them to get mushy). Drain and set aside.
- In a large cast-iron pan (don’t be afraid to lug this camping if you have a car, as it’s so versatile) or frying pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and then add the onion, cooking for a few minutes before adding in the red pepper and softening for a few more minutes.
- Add in the chickpeas, sprinkle the cumin and paprika on, and stir to combine everything, then add in the spinach and cook until wilted. Bring everything to one side of the pan and add half a tablespoon of oil to the other side and place the potatoes, cut side down, into the pan.
- Chop the rosemary finely and sprinkle on top of the potatoes with a bit of salt and pepper. How much rosemary depends on your taste, as it’s pretty powerful. Rotate the potatoes after they brown for a minute on the one side. (Give the chickpea mix a turn here too, as you don’t want it to burn or stick).
- If you’re using the eggs, clear a space for them in the pan, and drizzle the last of the olive oil into that area, then crack both eggs, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let them cook. If you have a lid for you pan, now is a good time to put it on so the eggs cook on the top faster, or you could place some tin foil (a camper’s best friend) over the top.(Another idea would be to scramble the eggs in a bowl, and pour them over the chickpeas, and then cook to mix—great if you don’t like your eggs runny.)
- Once cooked, evenly distribute on to two plates and sprinkle with any additional salt and pepper needed.
- To complement your coffee or tea, you could go the traditional route with a breakfast/brunch drink and have a mimosa, or you can skip the sugary OJ and pair this dish with Creek & Gully Cider. I sampled a few of them on this trip, but the pairing of the Century Pét Nat, was definitely a great call for this meal.
3. Green Curry with Ginger Rice (paired with The Hatch 2019 B. Yanco)
Christine McAvoyWhile this may sound way too fancy for a camping meal, it’s essentially a one-pot production that you barely have to monitor. The second pot comes into play if you want to make your rice fresh at the site, but you could make it ahead of time at home and just mix it right into the curry. Another good thing about this dish is that if there is leftover veg from breakfast (think onion, peppers, potatoes, etc.), you can toss them right in here. No waste and you can chop everything in the morning, meaning more time on the beach. Once again, this can be made vegan by eliminating the chicken (which I diced and froze ahead of time so by night two it was ready to go and I didn’t have to handle raw chicken on site), or subbing in some tofu, as the rest of it is just veggies!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can coconut milk
- ⅔ cup water (approx.)
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 2 chicken breasts, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp (possibly more to taste) green curry paste
- About 200 g of mushrooms (your choice, but I went with shimeji and shiitake)
- ½ red pepper, cut into strips
- 1 or 2 baby bok choy, roughly chopped (spinach works too)
- About 20 snap peas, ends trimmed
- Thumb of ginger (optional), sliced
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- Basil, optional
- Cook the rice in a pot to the specifications on the package (adding in some optional ginger for flavour, removing after rice is finished) and set aside.
- In a pan, heat the olive oil on medium and then add the onion, sautéing for a few minutes, before adding the garlic and the green curry paste.
- Add in the chicken if you are using it and cook until just no longer pink.
- Add the coconut milk into the pan and stir until the paste has been dissolved. Then add in the mushrooms and red pepper. You may need to thin the sauce out more here, depending how you like your curry. If so, dissolve the bouillon cube in the two-thirds cup of water, and then add it to the pan. (You can transfer to a large pot if your pan doesn’t fit this.)
- Bring to a boil and then turn to low and let it simmer. You can taste and see if you need more curry paste (if so it may be easiest to dissolve it in a small bowl with a bit of the curry broth, and then add it in).
- After the liquid has reduced a bit, and you have the spices where you like, add in the bok choy and the snap peas and cook for a few minutes until just tender (you want a bit of crunch to them still).
- Turn off the heat, plate the rice (with the ginger discarded) and then scoop the curry mix on to it. Tear the basil and add on top (optional) and enjoy the view.
- Drinks: There’s not much you can’t pair with a spicy curry, but a cold, dry, white wine is a sure bet. I tried The Hatch Winery’s B. Yanco a few months back from the Stable House Bistro takeout window, and fell in love. I’ve paired it with so many meals since, and on the beach as the sun went down sipped on between bites of this dish was another success.