Vegetarian food is anything but boring, and when you have an open flame to work with, the delicious meter goes up a notch. Natural smoky flavors become a part of the dish, making it unique from anything you could cook on your stovetop at home.
Instead of relying on cold salads and simple dips, take advantage of this opportunity, and make vegetarian camping food to write home about.
More: 10 Uses for Peanut Butter at the Campsite
Prepping the Fire Pit
Before cooking anything, you want to be sure the fire pit is ready for your food. With a few simple steps you'll be a fireside chef in no time.
1. Clean the grate with a grill brush. You don't know what was grilled before you got there, including meat and fish, so give it a good scrub.
2. Let the fire burn off debris before placing food on the grate. If you use newspaper to get the fire started, burned paper flakes will make it into your meal.
3. Be sure to use cooking spray before putting anything on the grate.
Once the fire pit and grate are ready to go, you can begin cooking fire-kissed vegetarian camping food. Try these three recipes to start.
Stir-fry is a simple vegetarian camping food that can be elevated with the use of open flame. When made over a campfire, the infused smoky flavor brings a new dimension to this once standard dish. But, imparting that flavor will take an extra step—roasting the veggies over the open flame first.
Recommended vegetables include bell peppers, onions and zucchini. Coat them in olive oil, skewer them and lay on the grate. Skewering them helps to get an even cook on all sides.
Meanwhile, have your sauce warming in a pan, also on the grate. Once cooked, put your veggies in the sauce, and let everything sit in the pan for a few minutes. This will impart that charred flavor into the entire dish. Scoop a base onto the plate, such as rice or noodles, and top with your smoky stir-fry.
Charred Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed bell peppers are the perfect vegetarian camping food because the ingredients are easy to pack and the dish is even simpler to put together. Before heading to the campsite, prep your main stuffing ingredient; this can be rice, quinoa, couscous, or another grain of your choice. Heat this up over the fire while the peppers are cooking.
Place your peppers on a well-oiled grate and let each side char. Be sure to keep an eye as the peppers are cooking to avoid burning any of the sides—you want them to wrinkle just a bit. Once finished, stuff them with your grain, and place in tin foil with cheese on top.
Close up the tin foil and let your pouch sit on the fire. This allows the cheese to melt, making for a well-rounded, delicious meal. Top the dish with fresh tomatoes, onions and herbs.
Roasted Tomato Pizza
This vegetarian camping food strays from the norm in the most delicious way. Crispy crust and roasted tomatoes make you wonder why you never had camping pizza before.
Place your crust on the oiled grate, off to the side. You don't want to put it directly over flame, and risk burning it. Marinate thick tomato slices in olive oil, salt, pepper and basil, and place them on the grate as well. These should be close to the flame because you want them to wrinkle and roast.
While your pizza is on the fire, add sauce, the cooked tomatoes and cheese. Cover this with a large pot lid to create a convection cooking process, which allows the cheese to melt. Slice up and dish out to your pizza loving campers.
Vegetarian camping food should be no less boring than it is at home. In fact, at the campsite, vegetarians can impart more flavors to create a dish you can't get from the stovetop cooking process. Be sure to take advantage of the fire pit to make amazing vegetarian food.
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