Make the open flame your best friend when it comes time to cook at the campsite. From roasted nuts to seared steaks, campfire food can be more mouth-watering than the meals you cook at home. Here are 10 recipes to try on your next camping trip.
Don't buy roasted nuts. Instead, make them yourself. Most store-bought brands roast their nuts with a variety of oils that are far from heart healthy, but you can make a personalized batch that's both tasty and better for you.
- Spicy: Raw almonds, light canola oil, paprika, chili powder and cayenne
- Sweet: Raw pecans, canola oil, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar
- Indian: Raw peanuts, olive oil, cumin, yellow curry and turmeric
Tomatoes wrinkle beautifully over an open flame. Cooked tomatoes are better for you, too, because the heat releases lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. You don't have to eat them plain either; roasted tomatoes are delicious in a number of campfire meals, especially when smothered over pasta.
- Tomato sauce: Rub your whole tomatoes with olive oil and place them on the grate. Turn them frequently to give each side an even cook. Once finished, let cool and give them a rough chop. Add the chunks into low sodium vegetable or chicken broth. Toss in Italian seasoning, garlic and fresh basil for a light, roasted tomato sauce.
Roasted peppers cook similar to tomatoes, but have a much different flavor profile. With a little sweetness and a little bitterness, this campfire food is the perfect vehicle for a healthy and hearty dinner.
- Stuffed Peppers: Rub the peppers in light olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast each side evenly, while you warm up rice and meat to stuff inside. Let the cooked pepper sit for 2 to 3 minutes to cool, then put your ingredients inside and top the stuffed pepper with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, green onions or corn.
Steak was made for grilling, especially over an open flame. Plus, this protein can be paired with a variety of salads and sides for a complete meal.
- Campfire Steak: Marinate the steak with your favorite rub or seasonings. For steak, it's not so important what you cook it with but rather how you cook it. Steve Johnson of FineCooking.com says to avoid flipping it, which will disrupt caramelization. But, don't avoid checking it. Johnson explains, "Over a hot grill, the steaks will cook quickly, going from very soft (very rare) to somewhat soft with a bit of a spring (medium) to quite firm (well done). Get in the habit of touching the steaks often and cutting into them when you think they're done." Let sit before cutting and serving.