Tis’ the season for camping! With the weather at it’s prime, there is nothing like sleeping under the stars, hiking, biking, canoeing and ultimately, enjoying the natural world around us. Personally, some of my best times have been camping with my closest friends on the shores of Lake Champlain in Vermont. About three years ago, the six of us decided to spend a whole week alone. The idea seemed pretty magical…until we realized we had nothing to eat something besides trail mix and s’mores (although I highly recommend bringing a surplus of those food items). Luckily, we had access to many outdoor vegetable stands alone the rolling Green Mountains so we had access to plenty of local produce. I’m also thankful I have two other foodie friends who helped me whip up some pretty amazing meals. We also brought coolers with us that we refilled with fresh ice in order to keep our meat, cheese and condiments fresh. Here are a few examples of some easy recipes that bring the comforts of home right to your tent door.
1. Caprese Salad
For this, all you need to do is slice tomatoes into thin, circular disks, layer with mozzarella cheese and basil, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. There is no easier salad on the face of the planet. Plus, basil is a natural bug repellent.
It would not be fair to my Greek heritage to not post this easy version of Souvlaki. Basically, you can create a marinade of your choice, but I usually just use lemon, garlic, oregano, basil and olive oil. Here are the bare essentials of the recipe. Feel free to mold it to you and your family and friend’s preferences.
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 lb. sirlion tips (can use beef stew cut meat)
2 bell peppers
2 large onions
3. Campfire Banana Splits
These are a great (and healthy) dessert idea! All you need is 6 large bananas unpeeled with the stems removed, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, and 1 package of mini marshmallows.
- Preheat the grill for high heat
- Spray 4 sheets of aluminum foil, large enough to wrap bananas, with cooking spray.
- Slice the peel of the banana from stem to bottom, while slicing the banana inside lengthwise. The bananas can be cut into slices instead if you like, (while still in the peel) for easier handling later.
- Carefully open the banana just wide enough to place the chocolate chips and marshmallows inside the peel with the banana. Stuff with as much of the chocolate chips and marshmallows as desired.
- Wrap the bananas with the aluminum foil and place on the grill or directly in the coals of a fire. Leave in long enough to melt the chips and the marshmallows, about 5 minutes. Unwrap bananas, open the peels wide, and eat with a spoon. Yum!
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old timers camping image via shutterstock