Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

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Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby Young Camping Family » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:36 am

I thought I'd start planning early because no doubt before we know it it will be 2010.
We are going away Aust Day long weekend - Friday to Tuesday.
Based on this we have 4 dinners and at this stage only an esky. That being the case I can only count on the Esky lasting (by that stage cold not frozen) til Sunday dinner, so Monday will be tinned soup or something like that.
I thought maybe Friday dinner as snags - easy to cook once we have set up.
Saturday maybe pasta with bolognese sauce (mince should stay frozen).
Sunday maybe chicken risotto (chicken will be fully thawed by then) and the rest apart from the mushies and bacon shouldn't require refrigeration.

Because I'm thinking 1. We won't have a lot of room for cold stuff, and 2. I want simple meals (one pot if possible) these are all I can come up with... please does anyone have an easy meal (one pot) with few ingredients that is a winner with adults and kids?
We tried the canned bolognese sauces last time and they were edible but tasted soupy and the meat did not resemble meat (not something I'd eat again unless I had to) so I'd rather make it myself. Are there any other pre-prepared/canned foods that people can vouch for? I'd do something with tuna but my hubby won't eat it (or any other fish for that matter).

The unknown is fire restrictions, so we will be in trouble if there is a total fire ban for the time we are away and can't use the gas stove!

I'm planning on the canned puddings with UHT custard + cream (thanks!!) and canned fruit for easy desserts.

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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:47 am

Did you have a look in the Favourite Recipes thread Rachel?? viewtopic.php?f=103&t=2681&hilit=recipes

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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby amanda » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:00 am

My favourite for a quick camp meal is Chicken Alfredo. You could pack the chicken breast frozen and if it gradually thaws out ovet the weekend it would still be fine by Monday. I usually freeze it in a chinese style container so that as it thaws in the esky it isn't getting water through it from the melting ice.

The recipe uses:

500g chicken breast
1 packed Continental Alfredo Pasta
1/2 Cup snow peas
A dozen or so cherry tomatoes
Handful of cashews
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk

Slice the chicken breast and brown in a mid to large saucepan. Add milk, water and pasta packet and bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through. Add snow peas and tomatoes for the last 2 minutes, then throw in the cashews for 1 minute.

You can substitute the snow peas and tomatoes for pretty much anything you prefer - zucchini, capsicum etc.

It's a huge winner on our camping trips.
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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:09 pm

Here is a simple one to prepare at home. Freeze it and then reheat and serve with rice or toast as you choose.

APRICOT & VEGETABLE CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients:
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into cubes
500g frozen mixed vegetables
1 onion, diced
405ml can apricot nectar
1 pkt cream of chicken soup

Method:
Place all ingredients together in one pot on either the stove, electric frypan or in the microwave and cook. Times for microwave cooking will vary depending on wattage of microwave and it would not matter if you under cooked it as the cooking process will commence again when you reheat at camp.

Amanda's suggestion of placing it into a container to freeze is a good one for this as well & it will sit quite easily on the floor of the ice box.

BTW...you can substitute cooked sausages for the chicken if you want something a bit different. Cut them into smaller pieces when cooked.

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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby smiththenovice » Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:59 pm

Not straight from a can but one pot and soo worth it, we loved this recipe which I took from Amanda's post in favourite recipes...

amanda wrote:
I just love porcupine balls (and every kid I know does too)

Ingredients
500g minced beef
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 finely chopped onion
1 lightly beaten egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons plain flour
Italian herbs
Salt and pepper
1 can tomato soup

Method
Mix all ingredients other than tomato soup in a large bowl. Shape mixture into walnut size balls. Place in a casserole dish (or camp oven). Mix soup with half a can of water and pour over meatballs. Cook for approximately 45 minutes or until rice is cooked.

When cooked the rice sticks out of the meatballs, looking like a porcupine!


For kids that won't eat their vegies, throw a grated carrott and zuchini into the mix - they won't know the difference.

Also for a light dinner we love corn fritters. We make them differently every time because I am not big on measurements but it is basically just tinned corn, eggs, flour, bit of milk, some spices (whatever...probably cumin and coriander), just fry them up and eat with sweet chilli sauce or balsamic vinegar........this works well because it leaves room for the yummy pudding!!!

Another, again, fairly light dinner is pita pockets. Pita bread lasts for ages and you can use that cheddar cheese off the supermarket shelf that comes in the blue box and doesn't require refridgeration. We cut them in half, spread the inside of the pocket with tomato paste and fill with ham, cheese and pineapple...but you could use anything. Then wrap in foil and toast, either in the frypan or on a BBQ hotplate, until the cheese melts. The best bit for that is no dishes!

Hope this is kind of what you are after...
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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby Young Camping Family » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:32 am

Oooh, like the pita idea! And if it's TFB day then they can become wraps! lol

Gypsy, have you ever tried the Casserole without the apricot nectar? Suppose it just wouldn't be as sweet. Mmm, maybe I should check out the soup websites and see if they have any recipes (like on the cans).

Keep them coming!!

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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:53 am

Young Camping Family wrote:Gypsy, have you ever tried the Casserole without the apricot nectar?
Rachel.


Yes I have and it is fine Rachel...

Any casserole meals you would normally make at home can be cooked and frozen for use when camping. I often do spag bol at home and freeze it for camping.....just thaw and reheat and cook the spaghetti as required. In fact I have at times cooked both at home and mixed them together and then froze it for camping.

Did you have a look in the Favourite Recipes thread??

Camping meals are only limited by your imagination Rachel.



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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby Bradd » Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:48 pm

Sounds like a gourmet restaurant in here.
I'm happy with a can of Braised Steak and Vegetables on Toast

I'm sure Leggos and Campbells make a decent canned "meat" spaghetti sauce (haven't had it for ages)

Another idea is the Fresh Pasta meals like Beef Ravioli or Tortellini that you get from the supermarket
it doesn't need to be frozen, and tastes fine with "soupy" sauce :grin:
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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby Komodo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:25 am

Casseroles and curries (probably need to make them fairly mild for the little tackers) are great camp dinners. If you can get your hands on one, a vacuum sealer (I've got one of the ebay units) works a treat! cook your casserole or curry at home, allow to cool, stick in vac bag - vac and seal, freeze. Take camping and reheat on the stove. On TFB days a 12V stove from DSE / jaycar / ebay works a treat for reheating.
Unfortunately Victorias laws for fireban days arent very well thought out for campers as we arent allowed to even use any gas fired cooking appliances.

Also if you are camping where there is a camp kitchen you will find you CAN use gas appliances as it is a fixed structure. Most van parks and some camp grounds will have communal camp kitchens and most of these have built in cooking facilities (mostly gas or elec bbq's though some also have gas hobs)
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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby xmasbaby67 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:09 pm

A NO COOKING UP FRONT RECIPE I LOOOOVE!!!! :armsup

Extremely easy one I do when I'm running out of time getting organised.


Sweet & Sour Chicken with rice

1 large cooked chook from supermarket
2 large jars of Coles brand sweet & sour sauce

Break meat off chook and put in plastic container then add two jars of SS sauce and stir.

I usually have rice & pasta in my pantry that I cook up in a saucepan on one burner while I heat up the SS chook in another pan on the other burner!!!.

So you dont really have to cook anything until you get to the campsite ::)
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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:31 pm

Komodo wrote:Unfortunately Victorias laws for fireban days arent very well thought out for campers as we arent allowed to even use any gas fired cooking appliances.


Now this is a situation where a Dream Pot comes into its own......no need for fire. Prepare at home before leaving and serve when ready to eat.

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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby Dettie » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:10 pm

We eat better when we are camping than when we're at home.

Perhaps for the first night you could make a nice big chicken ceasar salad. I usually fry up the croutons from chopped up bread and being limited for space, you could just slice up some good parmesan so you don't have to take the whole block. Boil up some eggs and add some cesar dressing.

My DIY cesar dressing is to stir up some mustard mayonnaise and a bit of extra virgin olive oil... even my 11yo LOVES it. It's our favourite camping meal. We come back skinnier every time. Bonus! :armsup

Have fun! I think the cooking and prep work is one of my greatest joys while camping.

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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby Lin » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:31 pm

My favourite canned meal is still Staggs chilli. The meat does taste like meat and it's tasty, but that's just my personal opinion. I either have it on tortillas - preferably with some avocado and sour cream - or with Deb mashed potato. Not haute cuisine, but I enjoy it!

I recently discovered an easy and unusual pasta that I'm going to make next time I go camping. I am going to try to freeze the cooked chicken, as raw chicking in the esky freaks me out a bit, no matter how well it's packed. I think frozen cooked chicken will be ok if I reheat it thoroughly?

Here's the recipe. Note: I don't add the spring onions nor the parsley. I also cook the zucchini in oil and don't use quite as much butter at the end. Some butter and lots of garlic is a must though. It's a very refreshing dish and my 5yo loves it too.

Ingredients (serves 4)
375g bowtie (farfalle) pasta
100g butter, chopped
2 zucchini, coarsely grated
2 yellow zucchini, coarsely grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
grated parmesan cheese, optional, to serve (I think this is vital for the taste!)


Method
Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 30g butter in a large, deep-sided frying pan over medium heat. Add zucchini and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until zucchini is soft. Add chicken and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until heated through.
Add pasta, remaining 70g butter, green onions, lemon rind, 1/4 cup lemon juice and parsley to chicken mixture. Cook, stirring, over low heat until heated through. Sprinkle with parmesan, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Also, Choice magazine just did an article on ready-made meals. You need to have a subscription to see the results though. I'll paste the "What to buy" results here:

Enjoyo Indian Butter Chicken & Rice
Tasters’ comments
* “Quite spicy. Seems to be generous with chicken bits.”
* “Compares with a restaurant meal (a cheap one, obviously).”
* “Good curry flavour with bit of a kick.”

Heinz Big Eat Spaghetti Bolognese
Tasters’ comments
* “Rich, but not overpowering. In one word: hearty.”
* “Flavour is good, but the spaghetti is too short and too limp.”
* “Smells nice and tomatoey.”

Enjoyo Beef Stroganoff & Rice
Tasters’ comments
* “The rice is too gluggy, but the stroganoff tastes better than it looks.”
* “Looks bad but tastes quite good. The rice is very gluggy.”
* “A bit sloppy-looking, big bits of mushroom; meat could be a bit bigger.”

Heinz Three Cheese* Tortellini Creamy Pumpkin & Roasted Garlic
Tasters’ comments

* “Quite yummy. Not heavy, despite three cheeses and garlic. Could taste pumpkin.”
* “Tastes really nice – like there may be some blue cheese in it.”
* “Beautiful colour and smells of pumpkin.”


Leggo’s Pasta Meals Napoletana
Tasters’ comments
* “Looks and smells good. Pasta not too soft or hard.”
* “The pasta is good and the sauce tasted good – just the right amount.”
* “Sauce is OK but a bit bland. Needs spices and more herbs.”
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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby Poodle Jewel » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:40 pm

Yes Lin i love Stagg chilli it is great for Nachos or tacos if i want it to go further i add 500 grams mince. depending on how long i`m going for, sometimes i cook and freeze before i go,but i usually eat the most perishables first,then by the last day it`s baked beans on toast,scrambled eggs on toast.
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Re: Menu Help - what are your camping dinners?

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:50 pm

Dettie wrote:We eat better when we are camping than when we're at home.

Dettie


I think that can probably be said for most of us Dettie....I know I have more time when I am camping than at home.
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