Camping Recipes Without Fresh Fruit & Vegetables

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One of the great challenges for any camper is what to eat. Especially on longer trips where space is always at a premium and keeping perishable food for any length of time can be difficult.

Even if you are lucky enough to have a fridge, once the drinks are loaded space for bulky fruit, vegetables and meat can be limited. Luckily canned and dried foods are readily available at the supermarket, even in faraway rural areas. They are full of nutrition and can be packed using minimal space.

Some delicious meals can be made from these foods and combined with pasta, rice or couscous will ensure the family never go to bed hungry.

These sauces can also be used on toast or even in that potato baked on the campfire coals. The options are endless. Like it hot? Just add some dried chilli flakes.

Cooking in camp oven on open fire

There is one downside – canned foods are often high in salt, so don’t add salt to your cooking without tasting it first and where possible buy reduced salt options.

Alternatively, if you can’t be bothered cooking and want something that you can simply heat ‘n’ eat, check out our range of freeze-dried meals.

So, here are some of my favourite sauces suitable for camping, requiring no perishable ingredients.

Creamy Salmon (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp granulated garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Half cup dried onion flakes (see note below)
  • 1 can pink/red salmon
  • 1 cup canned cream or Carnation cooking cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tblsp capers
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Add salmon and capers to a pan and stir until salmon is broken up and heated through.
  2. Add white wine, garlic and onion flakes. Stir through and gently heat, without boiling.
  3. Add cream and stir until heated through.
  4. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, cook required amount of pasta, rice or couscous. Drain and return to pot.

Add the sauce and stir through.

Serve in bowls and sprinkle with parmesan if required.

Porcini Tomato (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp granulated garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups dried mushrooms
  • 1 can Spam or similar canned ham, chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 425g can tuna in spring water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chilli flakes
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Soak mushrooms in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Put some olive oil in a saucepan and lightly sauté garlic.
  3. Add ham and fry.
  4. Drain mushrooms and add to the pan. Keep drained liquid.
  5. Sauté mushrooms lightly.
  6. Add tomatoes and tuna, including juices.
  7. Add salt, pepper and chilli to taste.
  8. Simmer for 15 minutes, adding some reserved mushroom liquid if too dry.

Meanwhile, cook required amount of pasta, rice or couscous. Drain and return to pot.

Add the sauce and stir through.

Serve into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan if required.

Porcini Tomato Ingredients

Tuna Ragu (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 3 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ cup dried onion flakes (see note below)
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 425g can tuna in spring water
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste (if you like a more robust flavour)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Put olive oil in a frypan and lightly sauté garlic and onion flakes.
  2. Add tuna, including water, olives and capers to pan and stir until tuna is broken up and heated through.
  3. Put in the white wine, tomatoes, tomato paste (if required) and chilli flakes and gently bring to a simmer.
  4. Add salt, pepper to taste.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the required amount of pasta, rice or couscous. Drain and return to pot.

Add the sauce and stir through.

Serve into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan if required.

Marinara (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • Chicken stock powder to make 1 cup of liquid stock
  • Olive oil
  • 300g canned seafood (e.g. prawns, oysters, mussels, crab, etc), drained, reserve liquid
  • 220g can tuna in spring water, drained, reserve liquid
  • Half cup dried onion flakes (see note below)
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 artichoke hearts, drained, chopped (available in can or jar), reserve liquid
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Add 2 tbsp oil to pan (use any reserved oil from canned seafood), stir in onions and garlic and lightly sauté.
  2. Using reserved liquids and water, make 1 cup chicken stock.
  3. Add stock to the pan and bring to a simmer.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Add white wine, artichoke hearts, seafood and tuna and simmer for 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens to desired consistency.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook required amount of pasta, rice or couscous. Drain and return to pot.

Add the sauce and stir through.

Serve into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan if required.

Marinara simmering over camp stove

Carbonara (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can Spam, diced
  • Half cup onion flakes (see note below)
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or chicken stock)
  • 300 ml can of cream or Carnation cooking cream
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Soak mushrooms in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking. When rehydrated, drain and reserve liquid.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan, add Spam and cook until it starts to brown.
  3. Add onion and garlic and lightly sauté.
  4. Stir in mushrooms and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add wine/stock, reserved mushroom liquid and cream and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce begins to thicken. Stir often.
  6. While continuing to stir, season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for a further minute.

Meanwhile, cook the required amount of pasta, rice or couscous. Drain and return to pot.

Add the sauce and stir through.

Serve into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan if required.

 

Tell us your favourite camp cooking recipe in the comments below.

About the writer...

Barry Peters

After experiencing camping, and being a boy scout as a child, I developed a love of the outdoors and the outback. I’ve taken every opportunity to travel across the outback through South Australia, the Northern Territory, and down the Western Australian Coast. In more recent times, after becoming an empty nester, I have organised and led many outback trips for family members, friends and acquaintances, to explore some of the more remote places across the country.

Joined back in June, 2012

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