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Camping Food Recipes

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Quick and Easy Meals

Camp recipes that are tasty, easy to prepare on site, are easy to clean up, pack as light as possible,
and are filling enough to satisfy hungry active teens.

Backpacker's Cereal Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry Pita Pizzas Quesadillas Mexican Lasagne Mock Chicken Fried Rice Spaghettini and Tomato Sauce Homemade Energy Cookies Backcountry Desserts
Spasagne Rice and Veggie Casserole Mushroom Couscous Curried Lentils & Couscous Ramen Noodles Thanksgiving Dinner Easy Bannock Mix Fettucini Alfredo with Peas Sunflower Energy Balls

Backpacker's Cereal
Lemonade's take on a popular, nutritionally-dense cereal, but at a cost more of us can afford!

1 tablespoon chia seeds (dark or light)
1 1/2 teaspoons hulled hemp seeds
1- 1 1/2 teaspoons lightly roasted buckwheat (see below for details)
1 tablespoon total of finely chopped dried fruit: cranberries, raisins, apples, goji berries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
1/8 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
optional: 1/2 teaspoon lightly roasted oat flakes
optional: 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped raw nuts and/or sunflower seeds

You can find buckwheat (and the seeds) in a bulk food store or health food store. Roasted buckwheat is sometimes called Kasha. It is not a grain, but a fruit seed. It is gluten-free and a good grain substitute for those on a celiac diet.
To roast the buckwheat and/or oats: spread out raw kernels/flakes on a baking sheet. Heat at 275 F for 10 minutes. This should be enough time for the oats. For the buckwheat, toss it slightly and continue roasting for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely before packing.
To prepare: toss all ingredients together, then seal in an airtight container.

Despite the small measure, this recipe makes a hearty breakfast for one. Double, triple or quadruple it as needed. Sprinkle a teaspoon over oatmeat to boost it nutritionally, or eat it plain as is. You can bake it into muffins, add it to yogurt or applesauce, or add hot water and/or milk, stir and let sit for 5 minutes to make a hearty hot cereal.

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry
4-5 cups of cooked rice (2 packages Uncle Ben's Bistro Express, or Instant Rice)
2 tablespoons dried mushrooms (white, button, shitake, oyster, cremini, portobello etc.)
1/2 cup dehydrated green beans
2-3 green peppers, dehydrated
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
dehydrated pineapple (not candied), 3/4 cup dried (or substitute 1/4 cup of the pineapple with 1/4 cup dried mangoes)
1/2 to 2/3 of a 350 gram package of extra-firm tofu, made into teriyaki tofu crackers, cut or broken into small pieces
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-2 packages of soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger
optional: 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

In one container or freezer bag, pack the dehydrated ingredients. In another, pack the sugar, salt, garlic and ginger. Soak the dehydrated ingredients in 2 cups of water and let sit while you set up camp (an hour or so). After 20 minutes of soaking, add more water if needed.
Prepare rice. Heat the dehydrated ingredients until boiling, then stir in the powdered package. Continue heating until the ingredients are soft. Serve over a bed of rice. Add soy sauce as desired.
Optional: if you prefer a thicker sauce, add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to the powdered ingredients. Wait until the ingredients are fully rehydrated before adding the powder. Continue heating until the sauce begins to thicken.
Serves 4 average eaters or 3 hungry teens.

Pita Pizzas
1-2 whole wheat pitas per person
tomato paste or commercial or homemade reconstituted dried tomato sauce
cheese (grated)
assorted toppings

Dress your pitas as desired, then heat them over the camp stove (on low if your stove has flame control) with the lid over top until the cheese begins to melt.

soft flour or corn tortillas
grated cheese
optional: sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, mushrooms

Spread salsa thinly over one tortilla. Add any extra toppings over the salsa, then top with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Top with a second tortilla, pat it down and heat on a frying pan or skillet until the cheese is melted.

Mexican Lasagne
Soft flour tortillas
1/2 cup dry ground tvp, reconstituted, with 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp dried cilantro, and 1/2 tsp cumin added OR 1 package of instant refried bean mix
cheese (grated)
Optional layers: reconstituted dried corn, reconsitituted mashed yam or sweet potato leather, sliced avacado or guacamole

If you don't have simmer control on your stove, you are best off to use an outback oven for this dish.
Placing a tortilla on the bottom, add layers of fillings separated by ingredients until your lasagne is "built". Heat slowly just until the cheese starts to melt.

Mock Chicken Fried Rice
2 packages of Uncle Ben's Bistro Express brown or basmati rice (or 2 cups of cooked rice)
1 tablespoon vegetarian chicken soup mix (available at The Bulk Barn)
1/2 tsp each garlic and onion powder
1 tablespoon of your favourite cooking oil
6-8 chunks of so soya tvp slices
3 tablespoons vegetable flakes, or an equivalent amount of dried or fresh veggies (carrots, celery, onions, peas and string beans work well)
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or 2-3 soy sauce packets
optional: 1 tsp powdered eggs, reconstituted according to package directions

In a small pot or bowl, add 1/2 the soup mix, 1/2 cup of hot water, and the tvp. Stir well and cover for 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil and add the garlic and onion powder and 1/2 of the dry soup mix. Stir well, then add the rice. Stir well and heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir the vegetable flakes and reconstituted powdered egg with the tvp, then add to the rice mixture and stir well then turn off heat. Add extra water if needed. Season with soy sauce to taste.

Spaghettini and Tomato Sauce
1 package spaghettini
enough spaghetti sauce leather to reconstitute to 2 cups of sauce OR equivalent powdered tomato sauce OR sauce from tomato paste
To make mock meat sauce: add 3 tablespoons each dry ground TVP and hot water, and garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
optional additions: 2-3 tablespoons vegetable flakes, 1/3 cup dried vegetables (peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots and garlic work well), basil and oregano to taste, a quick dribble of olive oil
optional: sprinkle with parmesan cheese
Serve with garlic pita wedges.

Boil pasta according to the package instructions. When draining, reserve enough water to use to reconstitute the sauce and mix well. Add the sauce to the spaghettini and mix well.

This happy accident has no layers.

your favourite pasta
one of the tomato sauce options listed in the spaghettini recipe
dried mushrooms, zucchini, onions and/or sweet peppers
Optional: reconstituted ground tvp with 1/4 tsp each of salt, pepper, basil and oregano
grated mozzerella cheese
parmesan cheese

Add the veggies to 5 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cook the pasta, reserving some of the water as needed to make the tomato sauce. Add the tvp and stir well. Add the grated cheeses and stir until melted in (the heat of the pasta should do this as long as you move fairly quickly).

Curried Rice and Vegetable Casserole
1 package Uncle Ben's Bistro Express rice or mixed grains (your favourite variety that includes vegetables)
2 teaspoons oil
6-8 So Soy tvp chunks
3 tablespoons veggie flakes and/or 1/3 cup total of your choice of dried peas, green beans, sweet peppers, carrots and/or corn
1/2 cup reconstituted vegetable or mushroom boullion or soup base
1 handful of dried fruit (dried raisins, currants, peaches and/or mangoes)
1-2 tablespoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the dried ingredients (So Soy, vegetable flakes, dried fruit and vegetables) in the boullion or soup base for 10 minutes. Heat the oil and add the rice, curry powder and cumin, and then sitr in the rice. Add the soaking ingredients and stir over medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed. This recipe feeds 2 hungry campers and can be easily doubled.

Couscous with Mushrooms, Nuts and Currants in Mushroom Broth
1 cup whole wheat couscous
2 tablespoons dried mushrooms (white, button, shitake, oyster, cremini, portobello etc.)
2 cups of reconstituted mushroom boullion
1/4 cup of mixed nuts and seeds (pistachios, pine nuts, cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
2 tablespoons dried currants, cranberries and/or raisins
optional: a quick drizzle of olive oil
optional: a pinch of dried roasted garlic

Lightly toast the nuts and seeds and set aside. Prepare the mushroom broth by boiling the water and adding the bouillion and stir well. In a medium or large pot, add the dry ingredients, then add the hot broth. Stir the mixture and cover for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the oil and garlic if desired and serve.

Curried Lentils and Couscous
1 1/4 cups whole wheat couscous
1 1/4 cups orange lentils
2-3 tablespoons curry powder
1-2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 cup dehydrated peas and/or carrots
1/3-1/2 cup chopped dehydrated fruit (peaches, mangoes, apricots and/or currants)
2 tablespoons dried chopped onion
1/3 cup seeds and/or chopped nuts (pumpkin or sunflower seeds, chopped pecans, cashews or pistachios work nicely--for a treat, toast them lightly before adding)
5 cups water
sea salt to taste

Pack the couscous separately from the other ingredients. Add the lentils, fruit, vegetables, nuts/seeds & spices to the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add the couscous and turn off the heat. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork and serve. This recipe feeds 3 hungry campers, or 4 average eaters when eaten as a meal in itself. You can adjust the amounts for larger groups. This is a recipe that lends itself to creativity! Play with the combinations until you find your favourite.

About Ramen Noodles
Ramen noodles make great backpacking food as they pack well and rehydrate quickly. The seasoning packs tend to be full of MSG, but can be substituted with your own powdered soup base, spices and dried vegetables to improve it. Dried mushrooms, garlic & onion work especially well. A little tvp can boost the protein and turn it into a heartier meal.
We tend to shy away from using these because we prefer locally sourced food (surely we can make Ramen noodles closer than Asia!), but in a pinch they can be a good option for a quick hot meal.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Teriyaki tofu crackers
Dried cranberries
Instant mashed potatoes (commercial, or dehydrate your own)
Instant mushroom or mock chicken gravy
Toasted pecans
Pumpkin pie from fruit leather

To make the gravy, measure enough mushroom or mock chicken powder, dry soup mix or boullion as instructed to make up 2 cups, add to the powder 2 teaspoons of corn starch, 1 tablespoon of either dried onions or dried mushrooms, and a pinch each of pepper and powdered garlic, add 1 1/2 cups of cold water, bring to a boil and thicken.

To toast pecans, set them in a frying pan, and toss gently over a low flame until heated through (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle with salt and/or powdered cinnamon as desired.

To make the pie, add 1 heaping tablespoon of powdered milk to 1/2 cup of water and stir well. Add one half of the finished recipe of pumpkin pie leather and let soak for 10-20 minutes. Heat the leather mixture and stir until well blended, adding extra water and/or pumpkin leather as needed to reach desired consistency.
In the bottom of another pot, crumble a thin layer of cookie crumbs (we like the President's Choice Funshine cookies, but graham cookies or similar kinds also work well). Spread the pumpkin leather mixture over the crumbs and let set for a few minutes, then serve.

Fettucini Alfredo with Peas
2 packages of your favourite Alfredo side dish (our favourite is Lipton's whole wheat version)
1 tablespoon powdered milk
4 cups of water (or as needed to make up the milk and water to cook the pasta)
optional: 2 tsp olive or sunflower oil
1/2 cup of dehydrated peas

Add the peas, pasta mixes and, substituting powdered milk and water for fresh milk, cook the pasta as indicated on the package.

Sunflower Energy Balls
2 tablespoons sunflower butter
1 tablespoon raw natural honey
1 teaspoon powdered milk
enough quick oats to reach desired consistency
optional: lady finger crumbs and/or sesame seeds and/or shredded coconut for toppings
Combine ingredients and form into balls. Roll balls in topping if desired. Optional variations: use blackstrap molasses instead of honey, or substitute natural peanut butter or cashew butter for the sunflower butter.

More great recipes for backpacking can be found here.