Whether you are heading out on a weekend camping trip or a long-term road trip, it is essential that you eat meals packed full of nutrients in order to restore your energy. Although we also love the occasional sausage on the fire, being well-fueled helps to support us throughout a day of adventures.

We believe that cooking outdoors can be basic, healthy and easily accomplished. One of the keys to being able to create diverse meals is having a good spice kit. We don’t include the spices in our ingredient list, because we always have a spice kit on hand. It’s as much apart of our camp kitchen as our stove and pots.

The spices we always have in our kit are:

  • salt
  • pepper
  • chili powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • curry powder
  • oregano
  • steak spice
  • cinnamon

Spices can turn almost any meal from boring and bland to fun and flavorful. Here are a few recipes to get you started. At the end of each one, there are tips to make these meals gluten-free or vegan (if they aren’t already) so they can be enjoyed by everyone. If you have your own favourite spices, feel free to play around. You really can’t go wrong.

photo
Credit: Kira Hak

*All recipes are for 2 people.

CHILI CON CARNE (GF)

photoKira Hak

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 lb ground beef

1 can of kidney beans, drained

1 onion, diced

1 pepper, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 cup of tomato sauce

   

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook ground beef in pot.
  2. Add beans, onion and pepper. Cook until soft.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Simmer until heated through. If needed, add water until you have reached your desired consistency.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

TIP: To make this vegan, replace ground beef with black beans, 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa or another vegetable of choice. (Recommended vegetables: zucchini, carrots and/or corn)

 

TUNA CASSEROLE

photoKira Hak

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of pasta

1 onion, diced

4 gloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup of butter

1 can of tuna

1/3 cup of parmesan, grated

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook pasta as per directions on the package and set aside.
  2. Put butter, onion, garlic, 1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp pepper into pot and cook until onion is translucent.
  3. Add tuna, parmesan and the pasta into pot. Stir.
  4. Cook until heated through.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

TIP: To make this gluten-free, substitute pasta for gluten-free pasta or potatoes. To make this vegan, substitute the butter with a tablespoon of olive oil. Substitute the cheese with nutritional yeast, vegan parmesan or a vegetable. Substitute the tuna for a vegetable of choice. (Recommended vegetables: mushrooms, peas, and/or chickpeas)

 

CHICKEN SOUVLAKI (GF)

 photoKira Hak

INGREDIENTS:

1 lemon

2 chicken breasts

1 cup of rice

1 sweet pepper

1 tomato

1 small cucumber


INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Squeeze 3/4 of the lemon into a pot and add 1tbsp oregano, 1/4tsp salt, 1/2tsp pepper, 1tsp garlic powder. Mix. Cube chicken and add to the pot. Mix, cover, and set aside.
  2. Cook rice as per directions on the package. Set Aside.
  3. Cook Chicken.
  4. Dice pepper, tomato, and cucumber into bite sized chunks and place in a bowl. Squeeze remaining 1/4 lemon on top and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix.
  5. Plate the meal, and enjoy!

TIP: If you buy the chicken breasts with the bone, chop the meat off the bone and set aside for dinner. Boil the bones in 2 cups of water with some of your favourite spices. Pull the bones out and enjoy a warm cup of chicken broth as an appetizer. To make this vegan, substitute the chicken for tofu.

 

BLACK BEAN BOWL (GF & V)

photoKira Hak

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup quinoa

1 can of black beans

1 large avocado

1/2 lemon (or 1 lime)

1 tomato

1/2 red onion

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1.  Cook quinoa as per directions on the package. See aside.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans. Set Aside.
  3. Scoop avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork. Squeeze lemon (or lime) in and add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp garlic powder. Mix.
  4. Finely dice red onion and tomato. Fold into avocado mix.
  5. Split the quinoa, black beans and guacamole between two bowls. Enjoy!

TIP: Leftover nacho chips from last nights campfire? Serve this meal with a handful on the side.

 

COCONUT CURRY (GF & V)

photoKira Hak

INGREDIENTS:

1 small sweet potato, peeled & diced

1/2 head of a small cauliflower, broken up into bite sized pieces

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, diced

1 inch x 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced

1 can of coconut milk

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook sweet potato, carrots, ginger, and onion until tender-crisp. Add Cauliflower. Cook until all veggies are tender.
  2. Add coconut milk, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp cinnamon and stir well.
  3. Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.
  4. Serve, and enjoy!

TIP: If you want to make this an even heartier meal, serve with rice and/or naan.

 

BEEF STEW  (GF)

photoKira Hak

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb beef steak

1 large potato, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced.

2 tomatoes, diced

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cube beef and sauté in a pan with a 1 tsp of steak spice until medium rare. Remove from heat.
  2. Add potato, carrots, onions, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp of oregano and 1/4 cup of water to a pot and cook until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Add beef and tomatoes, and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

TIP: To make this vegan, substitute the steak for a vegetable. (Recommended vegetables: zucchini and/or pumpkin)

 

photoKira Hak

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