Best Meals for Cooking When Camping

When you think about campsite cooking, the word 'basic' probably comes to mind. But with a little bit of forward planning and a bit of imagination, your diet on holiday can be just as healthy and varied as it would be at home. Whether you are roughing it in a tent with a basic gas stove, or have access to a motorhome or caravan kitchen, there is no need to resort to pre-packaged junk. Here are a few suggestions for quick and relatively easy meals you can make while camping:

Barbecue:

Burgers and sausages are probably the first things that come to mind when you think about camp site cooking. Barbecues are a fun and easy way to cook meals when camping, whether you have a fully fledged barbecue or one of those disposable trays. But if you are pescetarian, vegetarian or simply bored by these meaty offerings, why not branch out and cook something else on that grill?

  • Oily fish is very good for you and many are perfect to grill – if you are by the seaside, buy a portion of the catch of the day and cook it simply with just a little salt.
  • Grill peppers or tomatoes, sweetcorn cobs and plenty of other vegetables.
  • Traditional soy or quorn based burgers and sausages are not your only options. You could also have burgers made from nuts and/or pulses. (The other good thing is that with the aid of a fridge or even a cool box you could make them at home, freeze them, and bring them with you.)
  • Halloumi is perfect to skewer and barbecue too. Other vegetable skewering options can be enlivened with a little Indian spice.

Camp Fire:

In the UK, with our changeable weather, it can be difficult to rely on a camp fire for too long. If you are lucky enough to get a roaring fire going then why not cook some jacket spuds wrapped in tin foil in the base? Camp fires are really best for snacks though. Break away from the marshmallows and cook bananas with chocolate in foil and in their skins. Kids will love the novelty of 'cooking' with open flames.

One Pot:

For camp cooking without any faff, there are plenty of options that you can cook, even for bigger families, without making too much washing up.

  • Noodles: Why resort to noodles in a pot when you can make your own noodle meal in less than five minutes? Simply bring along a packet or two of dried (unflavoured) egg noodles and you can add whatever you like. A stock cube and a few vegetables is a healthy and pleasing option.
  • Pasta: There are an infinite variety of easy pasta dishes that can be cooked in one pot. A pesto or tomato sauce brought from home makes things even easier.
  • Soups and stews: again, there are a huge number of soups and stews that can be easily made for a family in one big pot. You could buy canned, but actually, making your own can be easy too. Lentils are a good, healthy, cheap portable food stuff that can used to make a huge variety of meals. Boiled eggs are also always a good, quick meal.
  • Chilli – either a mince meat or vegetarian option. A big pot will warm you up on a cold night and will go a long way.

Remember to plan ahead. You may not necessarily be close to the shops, so bring a few basics so you can always rustle up a quick meal. Bring salt and stock cubes. These will add flavour to very simple meals and don't take up much space.

Eating al fresco can be a great joy, so don't be afraid to branch out and cook something a little different on your next camping trip.