Camping trips are fun activities that involve the whole family, sometimes even a number of families. These outings call for careful planning and meal preparation, especially if children are among the campers. Because the comforts of home are missing---no running water, no refrigeration and no microwave---it is crucial to choose food items that may be cooked either over an open fire or reconstituted simply by adding water. With a little effort and planning, you'll have some excellent premade meals that are easy, inexpensive and tasty.
Foil Cooking Ideas from the Reynolds Kitchen
Check out the many recipes from Reynolds.com, the website for the company that makes aluminum foil. The idea is to precook an entire meal at home, place it in an foil package and then reheat it either by placing the package into the hot ashes of a fire, putting it on the grate over a barbecue pit or reheating it in boiling water. For example, a turkey dinner package would contain stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and dried cranberries. All these food items are precooked and placed into the foil package, which is then tightly sealed. It may be frozen prior to the camping trip or simply kept in a cooler on ice. You may make individual packages for various meals or big packets for an entire family meal. This versatile way of bringing along premade meals cuts down on space, because the packets are flat and easy to store and bring along.
Gourmet Omelets for Breakfast
Try out this recipe, which is surprisingly easy and versatile: Crack a couple of eggs into a bowl and whip them up as you would for a regular omelet. Pour the eggs into a Ziploc bag and add precooked mushrooms, ham, raw spinach, tomatoes or whatever you like in an omelet. Squeeze out the air and cook the egg mix inside the bag in boiling water for about 13 minutes. You end up with an omelet roll that is perfectly light and fluffy. You can premake these gourmet omelets for breakfast at your campsite by having egg-filled Ziploc bags on ice. In separate bags, you can bring along precooked ham, mushrooms, onions and anything else you like in your omelet. When you are ready to make breakfast, open the Ziploc bags, add the precooked food, close them and boil them.
Commercially Available Premade Meals
Check out commercially available premade meals. Most of these meals can be reconstituted by adding boiling water. Alternatively, they may be cooked in boiling water in their pouches and then opened and enjoyed. The advantage of commercially available premade camping meals is the ease of storage. Because they are shelf-stable, they do not require refrigeration, making the transport of an ice-filled cooler unnecessary. If you are planning on hiking to your camping spot, this might be the most effective means of eating healthy and cutting down on the weight of the gear you pack in and out.