Cooking in the great outdoors without your usual kitchen essentials can be intimidating! You might be tempted to default to some basic dishes like chili, soups, and stews because you can cook ahead, freeze and just reheat when it’s time to eat. But with a few easy tricks and some great recipes, you can whip up gourmet and even exotic dishes in the wilderness without much fuss.
Last weekend, we joined a few friends on the South Fork of the American river for a kayak/raft trip. Part of this boating trip involved camping on the side of the river – all part of the outdoor experience! Honestly, I am not a “roughing it” kind of girl but I am a lover of a good outdoor adventure! Just because we were camping, it didn’t mean we had to settle for canned beans and weenies by the camp fire. With my passion for food and wellness, my husband has come to expect delicious healthy food anytime I cook, in and out of my own kitchen. I created 2 recipes that are easy to pull off anywhere as long as you have a heating element and a cast iron pan or a Dutch oven.
Preparing the dish ahead
- Slice and dice at home with your chef’s knife to make it fast and easy.
- Marinade and season the meat ahead.
- Pre-measure and package seasonings and herbs for finishing touches.
- Precook ingredients partially.
- Assemble the dish as much as possible without affecting taste and texture of the final product.
- Chill all perishable ingredients separately to avoid co-mingling different flavors.
Pear and Fig Gorgonzola Torte
- 1 8-inch cornmeal crust (Vicolo)
- 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese
- 1 large pear
- 3-4 fresh figs
- Balsamic glaze (Trader Joe’s)
- Warm gorgonzola cheese slight on the stove or microwave to soften.
- Spread the cheese on the cornmeal crust to cover the base. Wrap the crust with foil and keep chilled.
- When ready to cook, remove foil and place the cornmeal crust on a cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven. Thinly slice pear and figs lengthwise (do not do ahead to avoid discoloration). Arrange slices of pear and fig in alternating pattern on top of cheese.
- Cook covered with a lid or foil on a camp stove or fire over medium high heat for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. You can also cook this in your oven or gas grill at 400F when at home.
- Drizzle the torte with balsamic glaze before serving.
Asian Noodle Soup
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1 block (3.5 oz.) Organic Baked Tofu, teriyaki flavor, julienne cut
- 2 carrots, julienne cut
- 1/4 lb. sugar snap peas
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 lb. dry Asian noodles (wheat or rice)
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 (1-quart) boxes of chicken broth (Pacific organic bone broth)
- Precook meat and vegetables at home according to directions below and store in a container or freezer bag and keep chilled.
- Sauté yellow onion in oil.
- Add ground pork and cook until no longer pink.
- Season with salt and soy sauce.
- Add carrot and cook until almost tender.
- Add sugar snap peas and cook for a minute but still crisp.
- Cook noodles according to package directions and do not overcook. Store in a container or freezer bag and keep chilled.
- When ready to eat, bring chicken broth to a boil in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Add meat and vegetable mixture to the broth and bring it back to boil.
- To serve, place a small amount of cooked noodles in each serving bowl and ladle soup over noodles. The soup will heat up the noodles. Do not add noodles to the soup in the skillet because it will absorb too much liquid.
- sprinkle chopped green onions on top of soup to garnish.