Camping enthusiasts don't have to settle for the same old hot dogs and s'mores. Lighten up your next camping menu with a few diet-friendly dishes. The USDA recommends whole grains, a variety of veggies and lean protein as the basis for a healthy diet. Health-conscious campers can incorporate these guidelines into their outdoor cooking, starting with these great meal ideas.
Strawberry Pancakes with Canadian Bacon
Grab a bag of frozen strawberries from the cooler and a box of low-fat, just-add-water pancake mix. When you're ready for breakfast, chop the strawberries into bits and add them to the pancake batter. Grease a skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray, and cook pancakes until both sides are golden brown. While the pancakes are cooking, brown the Canadian or other lean bacon in another skillet. Serve pancakes plain or with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, and add a piece or two of bacon to each plate.
Lean Teriyaki Burgers
Burgers made with lean meat make for a healthy and easy camp lunch. Bring 95 percent lean ground beef and a bottle of teriyaki sauce or marinade. Wash hands and mix the ground beef and teriyaki sauce in a bowl, adding just enough sauce to make the ground beef moist and sticky.
Grill the burgers over the fire, and check their temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure they're safe to eat. The USDA recommends that ground beef reach an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees before it's served. Serve the burgers on thin multigrain or whole-wheat sandwich bread, and top with lettuce, tomato and onion for a tasty treat. Complete the meal with carrot sticks or sliced apples.
Marinated Grilled Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a great source of healthy protein. Add low-fat or fat-free Italian dressing to a gallon-size baggie, then add the chicken breasts. Put the bag inside another sealed bag to prevent leakage. Keep the bag sealed and stored in the cooler for a few hours, then grill the chicken over the fire. Use a meat thermometer to check for the USDA-recommended internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Cut up the vegetables of your choice into slices or large chunks. Add a teaspoon or two of olive oil to a bag, with the seasonings of your choice. Add the cut vegetables to the bag and toss to coat. Grill the vegetables on a separate area of the grill until done. To find out how many servings of vegetables you need per day, visit the CDC's fruits and veggies website (see Resources below).
Article Written By Myrrh Hector
Based in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Myrrh Hector has been a professional writer since 2007. Her work has appeared on Helpful Mother and other websites. Hector studied English at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois and specializes in outdoor and health-related articles.