There’s nothing worse when you’re camping than having to eat a vegetable dish that’s over or undercooked. OK, so maybe we could think of a few things that would be worse, but eating veggies that aren’t cooked properly can really throw off your meal, especially if you didn’t bring anything else. Either you’re losing a filling trying to gnaw an undercooked, hard veggie or you have to choke down mushy, overcooked ones with the consistency of baby food. No, thank you!
While most RV rentals feature a gas stovetop for cooking during your vacation, making it a little easier to get the vegetables just right, there’s a great sense of delicious victory that comes to those who cook their favorite camping recipes over the nightly campfire. Here’s how to get it just right.
Not All Veggies Are Created Equal
Vegetables can be finicky things to cook, requiring just the right about of cooking time to prevent them from being too hard or totally mushy. Just like when cooking on a stovetop, you’ll want to cook certain veggies longer than other. For example, a carrot is going to take much longer to soften than sliced mushrooms. Here’s an easy breakdown of the types of vegetables and their cooking times:
⎯ Quick Cooking Time (approximately 10 minutes): Mushrooms, zucchini and asparagus
⎯ Medium Cooking Time: (approximately 20 minutes) Onions, bell peppers and broccoli
⎯ Long Cooking Time (approximately 30 to 40 minutes): Carrots, potatoes, corn on the cob and Brussels sprouts
Cook Your Meat and Vegetables Separately
In a traditional kitchen, you can control the temperature and cooking time of each individual dish. You may have a chicken roasting in the oven while sautéing your zucchini on the stove. When cooking over a campfire, it’s a one-stop shop and cooking times for your meat and vegetables will vary. If you’re planning to make fish, be sure to throw your potatoes on the fire long before you cook the meat.
Photo by Myles Tan on Unsplash
Prep Ahead of Time
Tedious and messy tasks like peeling or chopping vegetables can seemingly take forever after a fun-filled day exploring. It also means a long clean up after mealtime. Save yourself the hassle by doing the legwork before you hit the road. Prepping your vegetables in advance and storing them in airtight containers can make mealtime a lot more convenient.
Keep It Simple
We recommend leaving the culinary experiments for when you’re at home – that way, you have a favorite restaurant close by if things go south in the kitchen. The best camping recipes are those that are easy to make and delicious to eat.
If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to actually cooking your vegetables, aluminum foil is the way to go. You can utilize two pieces of foil to create an “oven” and the best part is that you can lay it directly in the base of the fire if you don’t have a grill top. The foil casing also ensures that your vegetables will absorb all of the flavor of your seasonings; try drizzling some olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper over the top before you seal the foil. This method is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Grill It Up
If you were hoping for a bit of char on your vegetables, then don’t be afraid to tap into some of that delicious campfire flavor by grilling your vegetables. If you have a grill top, or a portable grill, thread some chopped bell peppers, onions and zucchini onto a skewer and grill them right alongside your steak.
When using wood skewers, soak them in water ahead of time to avoid burning the ends. Thicker vegetables like eggplant or corn on the cob can be placed right on the grill. Just dress each with a little oil or butter to avoid sticking. Feeling inspired? Check out these skewer camping recipes from Fresh Off The Grid.
Vegetables Recipes for Camping
Now that you’re in the know on cooking techniques, here are some great vegetable camping recipes to get your started!
Chili Lime Corn on the Cob
A vegetable favorite with a savory twist, chili lime corn on the cob is a fun way to add a little zest to your camping menu. If you’re planning on laying them directly on the campfire grate to cook, be sure to wrap them up in tin foil (or give the grill a good scrub down). Check out the recipe.
Roasted Cauliflower, Yellow Squash and Onions
Photo Credit: Nina Manolson
If you’re looking for a fail-proof veggie dish, this is it. Try adding in some sliced potatoes and goat cheese for a little extra substance. Click here for the recipe.
Veggie Foil Packet
Photo Credit: Happy Foods Tube
In the tradition of foil packet dinners, this great dish is quick to prepare, a no-brainer to cook and easy to clean up. And the homemade spice mix will win over even your picky eaters. Get the recipe here.
Time to Wander
We hope these tips will come in handy when preparing for your next trip and that mealtime will be full of delicious, fireside veggies. Ready to try your hand at these cooking tips, but aren’t sure where to go camping? Check out these RV adventures for some ideas to get you started.