We hope you’ve been taking advantage of the sensational spring weather by exploring the state parks! If you need a delicious snack to fuel your next hiking excursion, look no further than this easy-to-make, portable treat from our proud partner, Post Grape-Nuts Fit.
Contributed by Will Jenkins, The Will to Hunt
Over the last few years “go green” and “organic” have become buzz words associated with living a clean and sustainable lifestyle. I’m sure if you aren’t a hunter or perhaps if you are, the last thing you associated with those terms is the stereotypical gun-toting hunter. While there are plenty of folks that hunt for trophies and some just for the tradition the majority hunt to eat. I’m not sure there’s a better source of organic meat out there!
Venison (which refers to any wild game meat, though most people use it to refer to any type of deer and sometimes elk or antelope) along with most wild game is a much healthier protein source, with higher levels of protein and lower levels of fat. The difference: you have to take an active role in the food chain to get it. Modern conservation and game management techniques are used to set limits to protect the game animals. This prevents the mistakes of our past, when several species like the American Buffalo were hunted close to extinction. Thus creating the renewable part. You pay a premium for grass-fed, hormone-free or organic meat at the store. Most likely, there’s a good amount of that meat running around the woods within driving distance of your home. While there is some investment up front in the form of weapons, arrows or ammunition and gear, it’s relatively easy to get set up to procure your own meat. Plus, with apps like the Pocket Ranger®’s Fish & Wild, hunters can easily identify specific wildlife.
As hunters, we also help conserve the land animals that we take from. Hunters spend a good bit of money joining organizations like National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or Mule Deer Association. On top of that the fees from licenses fund the local conservation police and other conservation projects. There’s also a 10% federal excise tax on all firearms and ammunition. All of this goes to conservation. Annually, all of this amounts to millions towards conservation, and since the firearms tax started in 1937, it has accounted for $4.2 Billion towards conservation.
While most people who read this blog are nature lovers, consider getting even closer to nature and getting right in the middle of the food chain. Even if you don’t hunt or never plan to, if you see a hunter out on public land and your first reaction isn’t the best, remember they’re helping financially back the whole conservation system and they’re providing organic meat for their family. By hunting, they’re “going green.”
If you’re interested in starting to hunt, most states now offer an apprentice type license that lets you hunt with a licensed hunter taking a safety course. Also, a great way to meet hunters is to find a local online hunting forum or local hunting organization. Most states have some sort of private non-profit hunting organization. In my experience they can be the best resources to help teach you and sometimes lend you gear to use to ease the financial burden of starting out.
Want a real-life example of green eating? Check out this bonus recipe!
Below is the winning recipe of The Mindful Carnivore Photo Contest, available on TheWilltoHunt.com.
Pan Seared Venison with Rosemary and Cherries
- 1 1/2 tsps. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds (or 1/2 tsp. ground coriander if you can’t find the seeds)
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 1/2 tsps. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (1-lb.) venison tenderloin
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
- 3/4 cup fat-free beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp. corn starch
- 2 Tbsps. black currant jelly (or red, if you can’t find the black)
- Grind 1 tsps. of the rosemary with the coriander and garlic with a mortar and pestle to make a paste, then stir in 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil.
- Pat venison dry and put in a bowl, then rub with paste. Season well with pepper, then cover and chill 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until hot, then add remaining oil, tilting skillet to coat evenly. Season venison well with salt, then brown, turning once, about 6 minutes total.
- Transfer skillet to middle of oven and roast venison until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally into center registers 125 F, about 10 minutes (give or take). Transfer meat to a plate and cover tightly with foil.
- Add wine and cherries to skillet and deglaze by boiling over moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Stir together broth, water, cornstarch, and remaining 1/2 tsp. rosemary in a bowl and add to skillet. Simmer, stirring, until mixture is reduced and thickened (to your preference), about 5-10 minutes. Whisk in jelly and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut venison into 1/4-inch-thick slices and serve with sauce.
- Makes 4 servings. Each serving about 196 calories and 3 grams of fat.
Everyone knows the best part of Thanksgiving is the food, and spending the holiday in the great outdoors doesn’t mean you have to forgo the deliciousness of a holiday feast. These campfire recipes will let you enjoy a Thanksgiving meal to rival the best of ‘em!
Campfire Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Courtesy of Dirty Gourmet
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 1/2 c sour cream
- 1-2 tbsp chipotles in adobo, minced
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp butter, cut into fourths
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Wrap raw whole sweet potatoes in aluminum foil, and place them in your campfire, near the embers. Turn every 5 minutes until tender all the way through.
- In a small bowl, combine sour cream, chipotles in adobo, and brown sugar. Mix together well.
- Remove sweet potatoes from the fire and unwrap. Slice open long ways and add one of the butter quarters to each sweet potato.
- Add a quarter of the sour cream mixture to each sweet potato and mix in with the flesh. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from Backpacker.com
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 c water
- 1/4 c powered milk
- 1 c instant mashed potato mix
- salt & pepper
- Melt one tablespoon butter in a saucepan and sauté garlic until tender and translucent. Remove to a plate and wipe out saucepan.
- Heat remaining butter, water, and milk, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in potato flakes. Let stand one minute.
- Stir in garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garbage Can Turkey
Courtesy of Allrecipes.comIngredients
- 1 (12-lb) whole turkey, neck & giblets removed
- aluminum foil
- 15-inch wooden stake
- new 15-gallon metal garbage can with lid
- Lay about 3 long sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil out on the grass to make a square about 3×3 feet. Pound the wooden stake into the ground in the center of the aluminum foil.
- Fill the lid of the garbage can with a large pile of charcoal, and light. Place the whole turkey (thawed of course) onto the stake, legs down. Turn the garbage can upside down, and place over the turkey. Place piles of lighted coals on the top, and around the sides of the can.
- Cook for at least 1 1/2 hours, or keep going until coals go out. Do not lift can during cooking. Brush the charcoal off of the can, and lift off carefully as some heat may rush out when you lift the can. The internal temperature of the turkey should be at least 180 degrees F (83 degrees C) when taken in the thickest part of the thigh.
Courtesy of Simply Recipes
- 1 c sugar
- 1 c water
- 4 c (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
- Optional: pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
- In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.
- At this point you can add all number of optional ingredients.
- Remove from heat. Cool completely and keep chilled. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
Campfire Green Beans
Courtesy of Allrecipes.com
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 c slivered almonds
- 3 (14.5 ounce) cans French-style green beans, drained
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in olive oil, then mix in onion, garlic, and almonds. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in green beans and season with salt and pepper. Cover skillet with lid and cook for 3 minutes, stirring a few times so mixture doesn’t burn. Transfer mixture to a shallow dish and place in refrigerator to cool. When cool, pack into a resealable bag.
- At campsite, heat a skillet over the fire or camp stove, dump in contents of bag, and cook just until heated through.
Pumpkin Pie Cobbler
Courtesy of Scoutorama.comIngredients
- 1 29 oz. can of pumpkin
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 12 oz. cans evaporated milk
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 stick of margarine or butter
- Mix all ingredients except for cake mix and butter in large bowl with whisk.
- Line the inside of a Dutch oven with foil. Pour liquid into Dutch oven.
- Carefully sprinkle dry cake mix on top of pie filling.
- Slice stick of butter and spread slices onto top of cake mix.
- Cover Dutch oven and begin heating process.
- Cook until cake mix turns golden brown.
- Serve warm or cold.
So you’ve elected to spend your weekend in the great outdoors rather than loafing on the couch, screaming at the television with the rest of your football-loving friends. We can’t say we blame you, although the nature-vs-football weekend dilemma is one of fall’s biggest bummers. However, just because you’re choosing to forgo the excitement of watching the game doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the second best part of football season: the food! With these campfire recipes, you can still get a taste of game day even if there’s no TV in sight.
Courtesy of Dirty Gourmet
- 1/2 large bag of tortilla chips
- 1 can of black beans (16 oz)
- 1 bag of shredded cheese (8 oz)
- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 jalapeños, sliced
- 4 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- 3-4 scallions, chopped
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- Pepper to taste
- In a pot or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onions, ground beef, and half of the jalapeños.
- Cook until meat is browned and onions are translucent, about 5 min.
- Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Pour beans into skillet with the meat and heat over medium heat.
- Begin layering nachos starting with the tortilla chips.
- Add 1/3 of the cheese, scallions, cilantro, and extra jalapeños on top of the chips.
- When beans and meat begin to boil, remove from heat.
- Scoop the beans and meat mixture over the first layer of nachos.
- Repeat the layers until you run out of ingredients.
Courtesy of KOA
- 2.5 lb. chicken wings
- 1/2 c. hot sauce
- 1/3 c. melted butter
- Pan fry the wings until cooked through.
- Drain the liquid and fat from the pan.
- Add sauce and butter and simmer.
- Turn all of the wings to coat.
- Simmer uncovered over low heat for a few minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes.
- Dig in!
Pigs in a Blanket
Courtesy of Old House Kitchen
- 1 pack of hot dogs
- 1 tube of crescent roll dough
- Wrap one triangle of dough around each hot dog, stretching it so that it mostly covers the hot dog.
- Skewer it on a roasting stick.
- Roast near the coals, not in the flames.
- Enjoy with ketchup and mustard if you wish!
Courtesy of A Little Campy
- 2 lb. ground meat
- 2 cans ranch style beans
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 4 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 4 to 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 squirt ketchup
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 8 oz. water or chicken broth
- Black & red pepper (or Louisiana hot sauce) to taste
- Cooking oil
- Brown meat prior to camping and keep in an ice chest.
- At the campsite, heat the ground meat in a Dutch Oven, camping stove, or slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Mash some of the beans to thicken the chili.
- Serve with shredded cheese and saltine crackers.
Courtesy of Tasty Kitchen
- 2 lb. beef or pork ribs
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 bottle barbecue sauce
- 1/4 c. marmalade
- 2 jalapeños, minced
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. hot sauce
- Combine brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper as a rub and apply to the ribs.
- Combine remaining ingredients except for the ribs in a pan over medium heat.
- Simmer sauce for 8 minutes.
- Grill ribs on medium heat for 2 hours (beef) or 1 hour (pork).
- Apply sauce to ribs every 15 minutes.
- Serve with the rest of the sauce!
Whether backpacking a difficult trail or dealing with some rowdy kids at the campsite, sometimes we need a boost of energy. Trail mix has long been the fodder for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts because it provides a boost with just a few protein and calorie-rich ingredients, it packs lightly and compactly, and it’s pretty delicious (which could be the most important element). But sometimes trail mix just doesn’t cut it. Maybe you’re looking for something healthier, you want to avoid the germs from everyone reaching their grubby hands into the same bag, or you just want to try something a little different.
We took to our Pinterest account to find the best traditional trail mix alternatives. All are homemade; who needs to spend the extra money for unnatural additives or ingredients that you can throw together at home? All provide the energy boost that you need to get through whatever hike, bike, or adventure you’re on.
Although calories provide the necessary fuel for our bodies, sometimes a low-cal option is preferable for shorter hikes or for everyday snacking on a camping trip. We’ve rounded up a couple we think you’ll enjoy:
Trail Mix Carnival Explosion
by Hungry Girl
Yield: 4 Servings
3 cups popped Jolly Time Healthy Pop Caramel Apple Microwave Pop Corn or 94% fat-free kettle corn microwave popcorn
2 pouches Fruit Ripples or Nature Valley Fruit Crisps, Cinnamon Apple; slightly crushed
1 pouch Special K Snack Bites, Vanilla
1/4 cup dried apricots; chopped
2 tbsp. Sunkist Almond Accents, Butter Toffee Glazed or Honey Roasted
Break Snack Bites into small pieces. Place those, along with all other ingredients, in a sealable plastic bag or in an airtight container with a lid. Secure bag or container and shake thoroughly. Now go nuts!
Dried Fruit Trail Mix Recipe Ideas
Combine equal parts of:
- Dried Apricots
- Dried Apple Slices
- Dried Papaya Chunks or Cubes
- Dried Mango Chunks or Cubes
- If you enjoy crunchy snacks then just add:
- Dried Banana Chips
to balance out the sweetness and softness of the fruity recipe.
The exact proportions of each ingredient are not as important as the flavors and textures that you enjoy, so feel free to swap other ingredients in and out of the basic dried fruit mix recipe above. For example:
- Dried Cranberries
- Beef Jerkey
Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with the mess of a mix. There are some great store-bought energy bars, but why not make your own? Here’s one we thought looked particularly delicious.
Blueberry-Banana Peanut Butter Bars
originally from A Fork in the Trail, by Laurie Ann March (Wilderness Press, 2008)
reprint from Backpacker.com
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups high-energy cereal made of strong flakes, crushed
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup dried banana chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
At Home, break the banana chips into small pieces and set aside. Heat the honey and brown sugar in a large pot and simmer for 1 minute. (Boiling too long will make the bars brittle.) Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.
Coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil. Scoop the mixture into the pan and pack down evenly. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer the pan contents to a cutting board. Allow to return to room temperature and then cut into 10 bars. Wrap bars in waxed paper and store in zip-top bags. The bars will keep in the freezer for three months.
Pack your nuts, seeds, and berries into convenient packaging: bread! Logan Bread, a dense quickbread, is a traditional backpacking treat. With a namesake such as the Yukon’s Mount Logan, it would have to be!
from Section Hiker
1.5 cups of whole wheat flour
1.5 cups rye flour 1 cup quick oats
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup wild flower honey
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Mix all of the grains, powdered milk, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Next, mix all of the other ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.
Grease two 9″ x 9″ pans using Crisco. Then sprinkle extra flour onto pan bottoms and sides. This will show you if you’ve missed greasing any spots and will help with removing the bread from the pans when finished baking.
Mix the ingredients of the two bowls and mix very thoroughly.
Spoon the mixture into the two greased pans evenly.
Bake for 90 minutes at 275 degrees or until a tester comes out clean.
Let cool. Carve Logan Bread into 3″ x 3″ squares and store in plastic bags for eating on a backpacking trip or at the office.
When have you ever wanted to say “no” to a cookie? On the trail, it won’t be any different with these delicious treats:
Happy Trails Adventure Cookies
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 + 10-12 mins
Yield: 13-14 cookies
1 cup whole pecans, toasted
1 cup + 1 tbsp oat flour (make your own flour in the blender using 1 cup rolled oats; use gluten-free if necessary)
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats (use gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 scant tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground flax-seed
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp brown rice syrup
1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
3 tbsp pepita seeds
3-4 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and toast pecans for 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Remove and set aside to cool. Turn oven temp to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or grease with oil. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
3. In a mini processor (or by hand) process/chop the pecans into small crumbs, just smaller than the size of peas. Stir into the dry ingredients.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well until combined. The dough will be very sticky, but not to worry. Fold in the mix-ins.
5. With lightly wet hands, grab about 2 tbsp dough and shape into a ball, packing firmly. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat for the rest, wetting hands every 4 cookies or so.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (I baked for 11.5 mins). Cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes or the cookies could break apart. When completely cooled, store in a glass jar or freeze for maximum freshness.
Note: 1) To make these gluten-free, using certified GF oats and check all other ingredients. 2) If you eat honey, you can probably use it as a sub for brown rice syrup. I do think the cookies need either brown rice syrup or honey for the cookies to hold together and retain that nice chewy texture. I don’t recommend subbing it for more maple syrup.
For a smaller, more shapely cookie alternative, we’re dying to try some energy bites!
No-Bake Energy Bites
from Gimme Some Oven
1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Yield: about 20-25 balls.
Substitution ideas can abound for just about any of these ingredients! Feel free to substitute in your favorite nut butter (almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.) for the peanut butter. And you could also add in some wheat germ in place of some or all of the flaxseed. I would caution, though, against substituting agave nectar for the honey, as the honey’s thickness helps hold things together.
Some other fun substitutions for the chocolate chips (or an addition to them) could include:
- chopped dried fruit (apricots, dates, raisins, etc.)
- dried berries (cranberries, cherries, etc.)
- chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds
- other chips (butterscotch, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, M&Ms, etc.)
- other grains (different kinds of oatmeal, rice cereal, etc.)
We also want to try this other version of Tiffany Haugen’s Power Balls. She said that she was inspired by an edible Play-dough recipe! Let the fun begin!
What’s your favorite trail mix recipe? Leave us a comment with the recipe!
If you’re like us, you probably get so excited at the sight of seasonal summer fruits and vegetables at the Farmer’s Market that you sometimes get a tad overzealous and buy enough to last the next 10 years. If you’re combining that with the yield from a home garden that’s now bursting with ripe produce, you could have a serious amount of fruits and veggies on your hands. Unfortunately, the lifespan of fresh produce is considerably shorter than we’d like it to be, which leaves us happily yet furiously consuming our massive supply in a race against spoiling.
We also sometimes crave new ways to eat our beloved produce, as chomping on an apple or corn cob day after day can get a bit boring (and leave us with an unfortunate amount of food stuck in our teeth). If you don’t have kids young enough to convince to set up an embarrassing food stand at the end of the driveway in a desperate attempt to sell your cucumber surplus, you’ll appreciate these recipes, which can just as easily be enjoyed at a campsite as they can at home.
Summer Fruit Salsa
courtesy of Dirty Gourmet
This delicious fruit salsa from Dirty Gourmet can easily be adapted to include your favorite summer fruits.
3 cups diced summer fruit, such as peaches, plums, and/or nectarines
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt, to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Season to taste with salt and more jalapeno, if desired.
3. Enjoy as you would any salsa!
Cucumber, Red Onion, and Dill Salad
courtesy of Martha Stewart
When it comes to summer vegetables, cucumber is the undisputed king, and this simple salad is an excellent way to enjoy them. Another flexible recipe, this salad is just as delicious with apple cider vinegar in place of white. If you’re not a fan of dill, you’ll be happy to hear the salad is still fresh and tasty without it.
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut in half lengthwise, sliced into half moons
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1. In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and salt.
2. Toss in the cucumbers, red onions, and fresh dill.
3. Cover and chill for at least 15 minutes.
Green Bean Potato Salad
courtesy of Dirty Gourmet
Mai-yan at Dirty Gourmet adapted this salad from a recipe found in Peter Berley’s cookbook, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. If you’re envisioning a typical thick, creamy, artery-clogging potato salad, guess again. The genius substitution of waxy potatoes for starchy ones make this salad more like a tossed veggie salad than a traditional potato salad. In addition to being delicious, it’s a perfect dish to make ahead.
4 lb. Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes, quartered
2 cups green bean
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
For the Vinaigrette
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. whole grain dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
1. Put a big pot of very salty (3 tbsp) water on to boil.
2. Add the green beans and cook until just tender (about 2-3 mins). Then put them directly into the ice bath.
3. Take 1 cup of boiling water and pour it over the onions in a small bowl, and cover that with a plate for 15 minutes.
4. Add the potatoes to the boiling water after the green beans are out, and cook till tender, about 12 minutes.
5. Drain the onions and toss them with the vinegar, salt and pepper.
6. Whisk the ingredients for the vinaigrette together in a large bowl. Then add all the veggies, and toss to coat.
7. Eat straight from the bowl (warm or cold).
Campfire Corn on the Cob
from Practically Camping
If summer came with a soundtrack, we’d expect that at least one of the songs would consist solely of the sound of teeth crunching into a piece of corn on the cob. This easy recipe can be made right over the campfire, but cooking over medium heat on the grill works just as well.
Husked corn on the cob
Heavy Duty aluminum foil
2 ice cubes
1. Place each cob on an individual sheet of aluminum foil that is cut large enough to wrap all the way around.
2. Add butter, salt, and garlic powder in desired proportions. (I use 1tbsp of butter and just a pinch of the salt and garlic powder)
3. Top with ice cubes.
4. Fold foil and secure tightly.
5. Cook on hot coals for about 15 minutes.
6. Turn and rotate often.
For spicy corn on the cob, throw in some black pepper, fine red pepper and fine chili powder.
Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats
adapted from a submission by user GotGarlic on Discuss Cooking
We were delighted to find this wonderful recipe in the forums at Discuss Cooking. It’s the perfect way to use not just garden vegetables, but delectable fresh herbs as well.
2 large zucchinis
4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise.
2. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each half with a sharp knife so that the zucchini will sit flat.
3. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-inch shells.
4. Brush insides of shells with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
5. Combine bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts in small bowl; set aside.
6. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan.
7. Add the pulp from the zucchini, the peppers, onions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir.
8. Saute over medium high heat until all of the liquid has evaporated, 3-4 minutes.
9. Add tomato and 1/2 the parsley and oregano and cook for a couple more minutes.
10. Remove from heat.
11. Add the bread crumb mixture and mix well.
12. Fill the shells with the filling.
13. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and remaining parsley and oregano evenly over each zucchini boat.
14. Preheat the grill to medium. Grill the zucchini boats with the lid closed over medium heat until the shells are tender, about 10 minutes.
The smell of hot dogs is in the air, which can only mean one thing: Independence Day is right around the corner! We like to take advantage of July 4th’s warm temperatures and patriotic spirit by combining two of our favorite American pastimes, camping and eating. While there are many reasons we’re proud to be an American, the delicious regional cuisines found throughout the country is pretty high on our list. If, like us, you plan to spend the holiday weekend camping in the great outdoors, why not honor your American heritage by making these simple and tasty recipes taken from various corners of the USA? We promise, they’re so delicious your taste buds will want to put on their very own fireworks show!
Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
courtesy of Dirty Gourmet
What screams, “New England!” more than chowder? The culinary mavens at Dirty Gourmet say this recipe is very forgiving, so feel free to put your own spin on it.
Prep/Total Time: 20 min
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 tablespoon butter or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 pound frozen or canned corn
1 Serrano chile, chopped, seeds removed
1 Anaheim chile, roasted and chopped, skins removed
3 cups vegetable stock, or equivalent bouillon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste
toppings, such as tortilla chips, avocado and green onions
1. Char the skin on all sides of the Anaheim chile by holding it over the flame of a camp stove or fire. Scrape off skin with a spoon. If too tough, cover the hot chile with plastic wrap for 5 minutes to steam and try again.
2. In a large pot, add butter or oil and sauté onion and garlic until translucent.
3. Add the potatoes and sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add the chiles, corn, and spices, and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the stock and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Stir in the sour cream.
7. Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, and green onions.
Chicago-Style Hot Dogs
adapted from Martha Stewart
A few twists on the old classic makes a Chicago-style hot dog even more delicious than the original (believe it or not!).
Yield: 6 servings
6 poppy-seed hot dog buns
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
6 all-beef hot dogs
6 dill pickle spears
12 tomato wedges
1 small white onion, finely chopped
6 sport peppers or peperoncini
1. Warm hot dogs in boiling water for 5 minutes; transfer to buns.
2. Arrange a dill pickle spear on 1 side of each hot dog and 2 tomato wedges on the other side.
3. Squirt yellow mustard over each in a zigzag; top with a dollop of sweet relish.
4. Divide onion among hot dogs.
5. Top each with a sport pepper or a peperoncino. Sprinkle with celery salt.
Black & Tan BBQ Ribs
courtesy of Chef Ron at CampsideChef
The genius and oh-so-generous Chef Ron at CampsideChef was kind enough to share this recipe for succulent BBQ ribs with us – delicious and perfect for honoring America’s heartland! While these juicy ribs certainly don’t need even a smidge of BBQ sauce, feel free to add your own if you so desire.
Hickory Mesquite wood chips 50/50 mix soaked in water for a few hours
Newspaper to light the briquettes
Lighter or matches to light the newspaper
Metal or heat resistant tongs
Container to hold ribs while marinating
1. Rinse and place ribs into a container.
2. Cover ribs with equal amounts of Bass Ale and Guinness Draught
3. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning them over halfway through.
4. Remove from marinade and add dry rub to entire surface area of the ribs.
5. Empty and dry the container.
6. Place ribs in the container and refrigerate for 6 hours.
7. Light the charcoal until the briquettes are mostly gray.
8. Strain out the wood chips and place evenly over coals.
9. Add the ribs and cook low and slow at between 275-300° F (make sure ribs are not burning from flare-ups!)
10. After 3-4 hours the ribs should be tender and ready to devour!
Black Eyed Peas
courtesy of Dirty Gourmet
We long for the days when a mention of black-eyed peas brought to mind southern comfort food rather than Fergie. This version is so mouth-watering, you’ll forget “Let’s Get it Started” even exists.
Prep/cook time: 10 min/1 hr
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste or enough tomato powder and water to make 1 tablespoon
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
a big handful of cilantro, chopped
1. Cover the peas by 2 inches of water and soak them overnight. If you’re short on time, you can skip the soaking step, but they may take longer to cook.
2. Drain the peas and add about 4 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the peas are cooked through.
3. Heat the oil in a separate large skillet and cook the onion until the edges just turn golden. Add the tomato paste and garlic, stirring to break up the tomato paste, and cook another minute. Stir in the tomatoes (with their juices), salt, cayenne, cumin, paprika, and pepper. Cook for a few minutes more, until the oil starts to separate from the tomatoes.
4. Add the tomato mixture to the peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Mix in the chopped cilantro.
courtesy of Mark Stephens at Adventure Parents
Easy to make and fun to eat, these chicken fajitas are the perfect southwestern camping dish!
Yield: 3-4 servings
2 chicken breast halves, cubed or two 9 oz ez-open Swanson Canned Chicken Breast meat
1 Green bell pepper, sliced
1 Yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 Red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 Red onion, diced
(optional) 2 fresh jalepeños, finely chopped
12 flour tortillas
1 Pack of dry fajita seasoning (such as Mccormick’s)
1. If using fresh chicken, marinate in the fajita seasoning for a few hours prior to cooking
2. In a medium pot, cook the marinated chicken over low to medium heat
3. Add the vegetables once the chicken is cooked through, and let it all cook for a few minutes
4. Serve ‘em up on tortillas
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Cube the fresh chicken at home and keep it in a doubled ziplock bag along with the fajita seasoning. Swanson canned chicken is another option. Cut the veggies at home as well. Whole wheat or corn tortillas are a healthier option.