So far, it’s been an absolutely beautiful summer! Many of you are enjoying the camping season and taking the time to relax and forget about the busy life you left behind at home. To maintain healthy habits while camping and away from home can be difficult to do, especially since it’s your time to relax! With such warm weather, limited cooking utensils and space, preparing a large homemade meal is the last thing you want to do while you’re away. There are many quick healthier recipe options, than the traditional camping meals, that will go perfectly with your weekend at the campground.
Some “must have” items on your grocery list that you can use with almost any meal are:
- Peppers, onions, mushrooms
- At least one type of whole grain pasta noodle
- Milk and cheese
- Tomatoes and lettuce/mixed greens
- Proteins: chicken, ground meat, etc
- Spices of your choice (garlic, oregano, thyme, etc)
- Other items for the below recipe (flatbread buns, beans, sour cream and anything additional you like to add to these recipes)
Some healthy meals suggestions while camping
Homemade Burgers: Prepare burgers with lean ground meat. Mix chopped onions and peppers in the homemade paddy, along with some spices. BBQ and add to a whole grain flatbread bun, top with shredded cheese, tomato and lettuce, and enjoy with a side of grilled veggies.
Chili: If you want to enjoy something more of a “comfort food” type meal, try chili! I know the thought of chili seems like a lot of work while camping, but once you prep your veggies and cook your ground meat….just add your tomatoes, beans, spices and whatever else you want to add. Let it simmer and cook over the outside stove or even the fire pit!
Pasta: You can cook any type of pasta fairly quickly. If you have an oven available when camping it can be even easier as you can just bake your pasta dish. Prep some veggies of choice, add it to your cooked pasta noodles, make a homemade sauce (to decrease sodium); you can make a white sauce with some milk, sour cream and spices or you could make a tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes (or canned with no sodium added) and a low fat cream with some added spices. Mix everything together and top with some shredded cheese and put in oven. If you don’t have an oven available just simmer over the stove until cooked just the way you like it!
You can also whip up a nice garden salad to go along with any of your meals using the ingredients above.
Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador