Here is a simple and tasty omelet that you can make on your next camping trip. The trick is to have a large enough sauté pan for a 3-4 egg omelet, but not so large that it won’t fit over a small camping burner. You can scale it down to a two-egg omelet for one person.

A week ago we were camping during a very hot stretch of weather so we decided on a cool and refreshing Caprese salad for supper the first night, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic, and a baguette to sop up the juices. The next morning we used the leftovers to make  the omelet, letting the ingredients do double duty.

 

As a side note, an omelet is great for dinner, too.

We asked our sommelier friend, Christopher Wilton, of The Small Winemakers Collection and Wilton Wine Consulting, for a recommendation to go with the Caprese salad we had the night before. He suggested any Italian white other than Pinot Grigio.  We chose an inexpensive Soave Classico. It was spot on, light and refreshing.

Caprese Salad

Here is a vegetarian option for a camping meal that will satisfy even the hungriest carnivore. You can add grilled meat if you want to stretch this out. If adding meat, grill thinly sliced Greek pesto marinated steak, pork loin, lamp, or chicken.

 

Serves 4 – 6

  • 1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 sweet or red onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off
  • 1 portobello mushroom, stem end trimmed (leave whole)
  • Greek pesto (recipe below)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup hummus
  • 1/4 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1- 2 pitas per person, regular preferred over pocket bread
  • oil for grilling

Greek pesto

  • 2 cloves garlic, peele
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, leaves and stems
  • 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

Pesto:

In a food processor, add garlic, parmesan, parsley, oregano, lemon zest, and vinegar. Pulse, scraping the sides occasionally, until uniformly chopped. Drizzle in olive oil through the spout while the processor is running. Add just enough to bind the ingredients loosely. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and continue to blend. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Add more lemon juice and olive oil to taste. Transfer into a container and keep covered in the fridge up to a week. You can make this ahead and freeze it, as well.

Grilled Veg Pitas

Grilled Veg Pitas (1)
Grill:

Heat a sauté pan over medium flame on a campfire, grill, or camp stove. Remove from heat and place the pitas in the pan; cover with a lid to allow them to warm and soften off the heat.

Brush oil on a medium-high campfire grate, grill, griddle, or grill pan. poon half the pesto into a cup and thin with oil to make a good basting consistency. Grill bell pepper, onion, asparagus, and mushroom, basting with pesto as they cook. Place lemon on the grill, cut side down. Turn vegetables and continue basting until they have a little char.  Set aside on a plate as they become done. Slice the portobello mushroom after grilling. Squeeze half of the grilled lemon over the vegetables.

Grilled Veg Pitas (2)

Build the pitas:

Spread pita with hummus and pesto. Layer with grilled veggies and chopped cucumber. Squeeze grilled lemon over veggies. Top with crumbled cheese. Fold pita in half and enjoy!

Grilled Veg Pitas (3)

Eggplant, zucchini summer squash, and beets would be good, too. Vegetables that you can slice into long strips before or after grilling work best in the pitas. We tried green onion (scallions) and found them too stringy.

When we’re camping, we like to make sure we have a no-fuss meal for breakfast or lunch on our last day. Something quick & light with little clean-up involved makes packing up a lot easier.

This is also a great item if you’re headed out for a hike or picnic.

Buns with cheddar, ham, apple (1)

In cooler seasons, we might use buns, but prefer bagels at other times because they keep a little bit better. Bagels are also a good option if you’re wrapping these up and packing them because they don’t squish. Jalapeño bagels are tasty if you like spicy food!

If you want to get fancy, lightly toast the sliced bagel or bun on a griddle. You can even soften the apple slices although the crunch of fresh apple adds a nice texture.

  • Firm bun or bagel, sliced in half
  • Spreadable cheddar (substitute flavoured cream cheese)
  • Thin slices honey ham or black forest ham
  • Apple, thinly sliced

Buns with cheddar, ham, apple

If you’re packing these ahead of time, assemble and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. They’ll keep unrefrigerated for a couple of hours.

Asparagus Omelet (1)

An omelet makes a great outdoor camping breakfast, especially if you have some veggies to add. While this may not be suited for backpackers, just about everyone else can prepare this tasty stuffed omelet. If you have leftover grilled vegetables from the previous dinner, that’s even easier! If not, we suggest grilling your vegetables first so that they are ready to go when your omelet is just about done.

Vegetables: Red or sweet onion, bell pepper, portobello mushroom, spring green onion, asparagus, zucchini summer squash, and mild chiles are all good candidates. Toss with a little oil and pinch of salt before cooking. You can grill vegetables in various ways, over campfire with a grate, on a charcoal grill, on a portable propane grill, with a grill basket or cast iron grill/griddle, or even in a sauté pan. Some vegetables are best sliced and others can be left whole, or grilled whole and sliced after cooking. Keep veggies warm on a plate with a lid on top, or with foil.
Firepit Grill (1)

 

Grill Basket

 

Grilled Veg

 

 

 

 

Cheese: For additional creaminess add cheese, crumbled, sliced, or grated. Best options are goat cheese, gouda, or havarti, plain or flavoured, to suit your taste.

Seasonings: A sprig of fresh herb is nice too, or simply some dried seasonings like Italian blend or ground chipotle.

Meat: If you want to add meat, smoked salmon or trout is nice. Diced ham, bacon, pancetta, or smoked chorizo are good options, but less is more, we have found! We like ours simple and delicious.

Eggs: Allow 2 eggs per person. A four-egg omelet fits a medium sauté pan and feeds two people quite well. You can use egg whites or egg substitute, but we prefer whole eggs.

  • eggs, beaten thoroughly (dash of milk, cream, or water, optional)
  • goat cheese, crumbled
  • asparagus, grilled
  • sprig of dill, minced

Pre-heat a medium sauté pan over low heat with a dash of oil. Add beaten eggs and swirl around the pan before setting back on the heat. With a spatula, gently push the egg mixture from the inside towards the outside, allowing the uncooked egg to run into the centre. Lift the pan off the heat to regulate temperature if it’s cooking too quickly. When the egg has started to set firmly on top, flip the omelet using the spatula. If you’re not too confident about flipping the omelet, you can invert a large plate over the pan and flip the omelet onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan. Turn the heat off and allow the residual heat to finish cooking the eggs. Add the cheese around the centre to soften. Then add the veggies on one half (and meat, if using). Add herbs and season to taste. Gently fold omelet over in half and slide onto the large plate. Cut and serve.

If you’re making more than one omelet, put a lid or foil over the plate and it will keep warm long enough to make another.

Asparagus OmeletAsparagus Omelet (1)

 

Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t eat extravagantly! There are all kinds of easy-to-pack treats you can indulge in like a little pâté and pepper jelly on crackers, or slices of apple with shavings of hard aged artisanal cheese.

For a very simple, yet decadent breakfast, we made “Duo of Eggs”.

Duo of Eggs

This recipe is flexible:

Use whole eggs, egg whites, or egg substitute, as you desire.

For cream, use sour cream, crème fraiche, plain yogurt, or as we did, sour cream with a dash of horseradish blended in. Lemon zest would be nice, too. We brought a small container of the cream, but you may find yourself using sour cream or yogurt in other meals. You can even whisk the eggs with some of the cream!

We used lumpfish caviar which is relatively affordable and comes in a very small container. Salmon roe would be nice, too. If you aren’t a fan of fishy caviar, try Kelp Caviar. It’s a sustainable, Canadian caviar substitute made from seaweed. It’s not nearly as fishy tasting, has zero calories & cholesterol, is high in calcium, and is shelf-stable prior to opening. There are several flavours – the wasabi caviar would be tasty and pretty!

Kelp Caviar Wasabi

Recipe:

  • 2 eggs per person, whisked and scrambled until soft
  • 2 Tbsp per person of sour cream, crème fraiche, or plain yogurt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon per person of caviar or substitute

Bon Appétit!

This dish comes together in the time it takes to boil the pasta, making it perfect for camping. Omit the chiles if you don’t like it spicy and try substituting sundried tomatoes. The dish also works well with shrimp. We make it at home a lot, too.

Scale the dish to the number of servings you need. One regular can of clams is enough for 2 – 3 servings.

  • linguine for 2 – 3 servings
  • oil or butter to sauté with
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (shallot works well, too)
  • half of a regular sized onion, chopped (save the other half for breakfast hash)
  • 1 – 2  red chiles of your choice, stemmed, seeded, and minced (you can use red pepper flakes if fresh chiles are not available, and add some sundried tomatoes to brighten up the dish)
  • ¾ cup white wine (substitute stock or water)
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1 can clams with their liquid
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • grated parmesan

For ease of prep, you can pre-chop the garlic, onion, chile, and parsley at home and keep in plastic containers in your cooler. While these seem like a lot of steps, it’s really a dump-pour-simmer-repeat kind of production that comes together quickly.

Spicy Clam Pasta

Bring water to a boil, add salt, and cook the pasta until al dente. TIP: always boil water with the lid on for heat efficiency.

Spicy Clam Pasta (1)

Meanwhile, heat oil or butter in a large sauté pan over a medium-high flame. Sauté garlic and onion until the onion begins to soften.

Spicy Clam Pasta (2)

Add the chile and sauté a minute more.

Spicy Clam Pasta (3)

Add the wine, lemon juice & zest, and liquid from the canned clams (reserve the clams in the can). Reduce the liquid by about half.

Spicy Clam Pasta (4)

Turn the heat down to medium. Add the clams and simmer until it reaches a saucy consistency.

Spicy Clam Pasta (5)

Stir in the parsley and some grated parmesan.

Scoop out a coffee cup full of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and add to the sauté pan, tossing it with the sauce. If it’s not saucy enough, add some of the pasta water and more lemon juice to taste. Serve with a little more parmesan over top!

Spicy Clam Pasta (6)

In Cajun country, if something is really good, you say, “It’s so good you’ll slap ya mama!”

This recipe is easy and very satisfying after a day of hiking. We like Slap Ya Mama brand Red Beans & Rice from Louisiana, but you can use any rice & bean package mix you prefer. Choose mild or spicy sausage to suit your tastes, or omit it altogether for a vegetarian dish. Use your favourite salsa but stick with a tomato base, not a fruity one.

Rice & Beans with Chorizo & Salsa (6)

Serves 2-3 as a main dish.

  • 250 gr (¼ lb) andouille, chorizo, or Italian sausage (mild or spicy), removed from casings and crumbled
  • 1 jar (454gr/16oz) tomato salsa (mild, medium, or hot)
  • 1 box Slap Ya Mama Red Beans & Rice (or your favourite brand)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley, for cilantro-haters)
  • grated or crumbled cheese for garnish (parmesan, feta, or cotija)

Rice & Beans with Chorizo & Salsa

Heat a skillet over medium-high flame and sauté crumbled sausage until cooked through. You shouldn’t need to add any fat. You can add a dash of water if the sausage is sticking to the pan too much.

Rice & Beans with Chorizo & Salsa (3)

Drain liquid from the salsa into a cup and use in place of the water called for in the directions for the rice & beans. Add water to make up the quantity needed, if necessary. Stir the liquid and the rice & beans into the pan with the sausage. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the moisture is absorbed according to the package directions.

Rice & Beans with Chorizo & Salsa (4)

When done, uncover and add half of the jar of salsa (the entire jar if omitting sausage) to the pan; stir. Add the cilantro and gently toss to combine. Remove from heat and serve with cheese over top.

Rice & Beans with Chorizo & Salsa (5)

Enjoy!

We picked up an 8-pack of Golden Grill Russet Hashbrown Potatoes at Costco in Peterborough, Ontario. They’re made by Basic American Foods of Walnut Creek, California and are also available through Amazon. The packs are shelf-stable and lightweight – perfect for camping, boating, backpacking, and the cottage.  In the past, we’ve used Idahoan and Ore-Ida brands but have to admit that the packaging on the Golden Grill is much handier. You rehydrate right in the carton!

There are lots of dry pancake mixes available but most call for eggs and we try to limit our fresh items when we’re on longer camping trips. We came up with a recipe that only requires water but is every bit as good as our homemade pancake batter made with eggs, milk, and butter. We picked up powdered milk and powdered egg whites at the Bulk Barn.

Yields plenty for two breakfasts for a hungry family of four.

  • 10 cups flour
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • ½ cup powdered egg whites
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp salt

Mix together all the ingredients and keep well sealed in a resealable plastic bag or container. Whisk dry pancake mix with enough water to make a batter consistency; ¼ cup of dry pancake mix makes approximately 2 silver dollar pancakes or 1 large pancake.

Cook in a non-stick pan or griddle over medium heat. Pour batter onto the pre-heated pan or griddle. When bubbles begin to break open on the surface of the pancake, flip and cook until set firmly.

You can sprinkle chopped apples, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips, or crumbled bacon (!) over the batter immediately after you pour it onto the griddle, before it sets.

Try substituting some of the flour for buckwheat and powdered buttermilk for nonfat milk.

Here’s a handy idea: measure the amount of dry mix you’ll need for one breakfast into a cleaned & thoroughly dried ketchup or mustard bottle, leaving an equal amount of room for water later. Fill with water, leaving room to shake the bottle vigorously to mix; squirt out onto the pan or griddle.

Pancake Squirt Bottle

This recipe is great for camping or boating. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and comes together quickly with a minimum of ingredients like canned sliced potatoes which are shelf-stable. You can choose the spiciness of the sausage and hot sauce to suit your tastes. Grilling the lime in the pan brings out the essential oils and adds a nice tartness to the dish.

If you’re packing an avocado for camping, wait until it’s softly ripe. Put it into a small plastic container to keep from bruising and pack in your little fridge or camping cooler. The chill will slow down the ripening.

Serves 2 – 3 (easy to scale up)

  • 1 can sliced potatoes, drained
  • ½ lb (250gr) chorizo sausage, mild or spicy, removed from casing and roughly crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp oil or butter
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro. Cilantro-haters can substitute flat leaf parsley.
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • ½ cup guacamole (quick recipe below)
  • In place of guacamole, substitute chipotle mayo, cilantro-lime aioli, or queso cheese sauce
  • favourite hot sauce, Summer Kitchen Piri Piri Garlic Chile Sauce is perfect
  • 2 – 4 pita pockets (1 – 1-½ whole pockets per person)

Quick Guacamole

  • 1 lime
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • optional, 1 small tomato chopped
  • pinch of salt

Heat the oil and/or butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Spread the sliced potatoes out in the pan and cook until they become golden brown, turning occassionally. When done, remove to a plate and cover with a lid to keep warm.

Brown the chorizo in the same pan until it’s cooked through and the smaller bits are a bit crispy. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the potatoes back to the pan and mix in half of the cilantro. Push some of mixture aside and press the lime halves onto the bottom of the pan, cut side down, to quickly “grill”. Remove the limes; set one half aside and squeeze the other half over the mixture. Turn off the heat and toss in the remaining cilantro, turning to combine. Transfer to a serving dish with a lid on top to keep warm. Briefly warm the pitas in the pan just to soften up.

Chorizo & Potato Pockets

While one person is cooking the chorizo-potato filling, another can make the guacamole. Cut the lime in half and squeeze all the juice out into a small bowl. Finely mince the garlic and add to the bowl. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Squeeze out the avocado into the bowl and immediately stir into the lime juice with a fork or spoon to prevent browning. Add the chopped tomato, if using. Add salt to taste.

Potato & Chorizo Pockets

Cut the pita pockets in half and serve with the chorizo-potato filling, fresh guacamole, Piri-Piri sauce, and an extra squeeze of lime.

Enjoy!