Recipes For “What Do You Eat When The Fire Goes Out?”

cherry cream cheese on bagel
A breakfast so good, you won’t wait for no fire as an excuse. Good for you, too.

Food without fire when camping. Hm. Not the greatest situation, you might think.  I used to feel that way, too. But I changed my mind because I discovered dozens of recipes you can make without a campfire.  Without fire of any kind, in fact. Delicious alternatives to cooked meals.  These are the recipes for “What Do You Eat When The Fire Goes Out?” If you want to see it, click here. Below are a few of them:

Food Without Fire Breakfast Recipes:

Cherry Cream Cheese (for your bagel)

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cherries, chopped (about 3 doz pitted cherries)
  • 1 TBSP white granulated sugar (or honey, or maple syrup, or 12 drops SteviaClear)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla and/or almond flavoring
  • half a dozen almonds, slivered
  • half a dozen pitted fresh cherries, slivered


First of all, place cream cheese in a bowl and mix to soften further. Next, add sugar and vanilla, mix well, then stir in cherries. Finally, spread on halved bagels and serve. Garnish with slivered almonds and/or cherries.  This is a surprisingly substantial breakfast; a quarter of a bagel half will probably do most kids. Or, you can buy mini bagels and half them–the spread will probably do a dozen of those.

Early Morning Parfait

  • 1/2 cup each blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and halved green grapes
  • 2 cups greek-style yogurt
  • 1/8 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

First mix fruit together in a bowl and set aside. Take another bowl and blend yogurt, sugar and vanilla together, mixing well. Set aside. Take four 1-cup sized containers (You can get plastic wine glasses from the dollar store; they look really pretty in them and there’s no worry about breakage on the camping trip. Feel special, too.) Next, layer in two tablespoons of yogurt, then a tablespoon of berries, then a tablespoon of almonds. Repeat with another layer of yogurt, berries, and almonds.  Finish with two more tablespoons of yogurt. Top with a piece of fruit or an almond for garnish & serve. Makes four servings.

Fruit Salad With Nutella Sauce

  • 1 cup each grapes, orange segments, blueberries, cubed watermelon, halved or sliced strawberries, and diced peaches or nectarines
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or more if you like it sweeter

Nutella Sauce:

  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup milk

Mix Nutella and milk together until well blended. Add a little more milk if sauce is not as thin as you prefer. Set aside. Mix all fruit together in a large bowl. Next, add the sugar and mix well. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then spoon into four serving dishes and drizzle about 1/4 cup of the nutella sauce over each serving of fruit salad. Serves four.

No Cook Trail Mix Oatmeal (must be made the day before)

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups trail mix (click here for a trail mix recipe that leaves all others in the dust)
  • 1 1/2 cups Balkan-style yogurt
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Mix all ingredients together and place a lid on the bowl. Set aside overnight (can be made earlier in the day as well). In the morning, serve with 2 tbsps. of maple syrup drizzled over top each serving. Serves four.

Trail Mix Muesli

  • 4 cups trail mix (see below for a trail mix recipe that leaves all others in the dust)
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup flax seed

That’s it. Just mix together and store in a container until you want to use it. I use a ziploc bag for this. For each serving slice 1/2 an apple, stir in 1/2 a cup of muesli, and top with 1/3 cup of milk or yogurt.

Food Without Fire Lunch Recipes:

Beet & Feta Salad

  • 8 baby beets, pre-roasted (do this at home before camping trip), or 2 cans of beets (if you must)
  • 6 cups of salad greens of your choice
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dried)


  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix together greens, onion, and dill. Toss with dressing. Place a generous cupful on a plate or bowl, top with 1/4 of the beets and finish off with 1/4 cup feta cheese. Makes four servings.

Roast Beef & Cheese Rollups

  • 8 small tortilla wraps
  • 1 lb. thinly-sliced deli roast beef
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (grate your own or prepackaged)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup prepared horseradish, depending on how much you like horseradish
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, ribs removed

Blend together softened cream cheese and horseradish and mix in grated cheddar cheese. Layer each tortilla with about 1/8 cup cheese mixture, some lettuce, and top with about 2 oz. deli meat. Roll up. Serves four, two wraps each.

Tapenade & Baguette Slices

Note: The tapenade must be prepared at home. You really don’t want to bring a mortar and pestle and attempt to make this while camping. Too work intensive.

Tapenade (made at home):

  • 2 cups pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 tbsp. crushed garlic (about 4 large cloves)
  • 4 tbsp. capers
  • 4 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 anchovy fillets

Place all ingredients except olives in food processor and pulse till well blended. Add olives and pulse until olives are finely chopped and mixture resembles a smooth puree. Place in a plastic container with spill-proof lid and refrigerate until ready to eat. A little goes a long way, so this is plenty for four when spread on baguette slices.

Tuna In Tomato Cups

  • 4 large, firm ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6-7 oz.) tuna
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley or cilantro, depending on personal taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

slice top off of each tomato, scoop out and discard insides (or save it and use it in a soup or stew), and turn tomatoes upside down on paper towel on a plate to drain. Meanwhile, mix all other ingredients together. When mixture is ready, turn tomatoes right side up and fill with mixture. top with “slice” of tomato that was originally removed to hollow tomato out. Serves four.

Tuna Salad Baguette

  • 1 baguette
  • butter for baguette (optional)
  • 2 6-7 oz. cans tuna, well drained
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Half baguette length wise and pull soft center out along full length of both halves. Butter inside of baguette lightly if desired and set aside. In a bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients. Place half of mixture along one baguette. Repeat with rest of mixture on other half. Sandwich halves together and slice into eight equal portions. Serves four.

Food Without Fire Dinner Recipes:

Couscous Salad With Deli Chicken

A really great thing to take camping is a deli chicken. Because it is precooked it cuts down on prep time for meals like this. For a vegetarian version (or if meat is not available), substitute chicken for a large can of precooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

  • a deli (precooked) chicken
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • a cup of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. good olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a large bowl place couscous, water, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, mix well and cover with lid or plastic wrap. Let stand for 15 minutes to a half hour–you can chop the vegetables while you are waiting. Once couscouse has absorbed the liquid, add the vegetables and mix. Taste and adjust seasoning; if it seems a little dry toss with a little Italian dressing or more olive oil and lemon juice. If using deli chicken, debone half the chicken, cutting into 1″-2″ pieces. Mix into couscous. If using chickpeas, mix in with vegetables. Serves four.

Ham & Cheese Wraps

  • 8 small tortilla wraps
  • 8-16 thin slices deli ham and as many thin slices cheddar cheese (aged is good)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

     Very simple to prepare. Mix mayonnaise and mustard together. Spread thinly over torilla, layer two slices of deli ham and then two slices of cheese over tortilla and roll up. Serve with potato salad. If using potato salad recipe below, omit prosciutto. Serves four.

Potato Salad With Prosciutto

Okay, admittedly this is a bit of a cheat. We’re acting on the premise that you have potatoes and eggs precooked to work with. But let’s face it–most of the time these recipes will be used, not because you have no fire, but because you don’t want one, such as very hot days, when the camping is awesome. Besides, if you don’t want to make the salad, you can always pick some up at the deli before you go camping.

  • 4 medium to large cooked potatoes.
  • 8 oz. sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips.
  • thinly-sliced radishes, one cup.
  • One medium onion, chopped fine.
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs.
  • 1 cup chopped celery.
  • 3/4 of a cup of grated carrot.
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise.
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard.
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes.

Cut potatoes into 1″ dice and place in a large bowl. Slice egg by hand or with egg slicer and add to potatoes. Add vegetables and toss together. In a small bowl mix mayonnaise and mustard, add to salad and toss. Sprinkle top with red pepper flakes. Serves four.


Hefty Antipasti Platter

  • 1/2 lb.  each genoa salami, sliced; prosciutto, sliced; and capicolla (or other spicy salami), sliced
  • 1 cup mixed olives
  • 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 lb. cheddar cheese
  • 1 melon or cantaloupe, sliced into wedges
  • a bunch of grapes
  • a jar artichoke hearts, drained (about 14 oz., more or less)
  • 1 cup pickled button mushrooms
  • a loaf focaccia bread, sliced
  • 1 container butter for bread, or bowl of 1/2 cup olive oil mixed with 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes & 1 tsp. kosher salt

Arrange food on a large platter. If platter is not large enough, serve bread, butter or oil and cheese on a separate platter. Serves four more than comfortably. Possibly eight.


Roast Beef Salad

  • bunch romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 16 oz. deli beef, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-4 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place vegetables and beef into a bowl and toss. In a separate bowl mix together oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper and mix well. Add to salad just before serving, tossing well. Serves four.

Food Without Fire Desserts:

Berry-Almond Parfait

  • 1/2 cup each blueberries, black berries, raspberries and sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided into two 1/4 cup portions
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 4 cups Balkan yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. almond or vanilla flavoring
  • 1 cup chopped or sliced almonds

Mix fruit with 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon and lemon peel, set aside. In a separate bowl, mix yogurt, other 1/4 cup sugar, and flavoring. In each of four parfait glasses (plastic wine glasses from the dollar store work really well for this; get the 12 oz. size) layer 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup fruit, a 1/4 cup of yogurt, 1/4 cup almonds, a 1/4 cup of yogurt, a 1/4 cup of fruit, and top with yogurt. If you want to get really fancy garnish with a twist of lemon peel. Serves four.

Mini Cherry Cheesecake

  • One 8 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve of graham crackers)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 can cherry pie filling

Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter and granulated sugar together. Using a muffin tin with muffin liners, place about 2 tbsp. of the crumb mixture in each muffing liner, pressing down with a spoon. Set aside. In a bowl mix the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar together, stirring well. Fold in the Cool Whip, stirring until well blended. Divide the cream cheese mixture among the 12 graham cracker muffin lined cups. Top each one with a spoonful of cherry pie filling. Allow to set for an hour before serving.

Peanut Butter Balls

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup each flour, peanut butter, and maple syrup
  • 1 cup finely chopped peanuts
  • mixture of 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, two tablespoons cocoa powder

Mix everything except the cocoa/sugar mix together, adding a little water or more flour until desired dough consistency is formed. Roll a generous tablespoon of dough into a ball, repeating until all the dough is used up. Dust with sugar/cocoa mix. Makes 2 dozen.

Strawberry Angel Food Cake

  • 1 store-bought angel food cake (10 oz.)
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tub Cool Whip, thawed

Mix sugar in with the strawberries; let stand for 1 hour. When ready to serve, cut cake into eight wedges. Take one slice and lay it on its side on a plate. Using a slotted spoon, top with 1/2 cup of strawberries. Add a generous tablespoonful of Cool Whip, then drizzle a tablespoonful of the strawberry juice over all. Makes 8 portions.

Strawberry Mousse

  • 1 pkg. strawberry jello
  • 1 tub Cool Whip topping, thawed
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Start by mixing strawberry jello with 1-1/2 cups of cold water and then stir until granules have dissolved. After that, place in your cooler and allow to set partially–perhaps one hour. Keep checking every twenty minutes or so. Finally, remove from cooler and mix in the Cool Whip. Fold in strawberries and portion dessert out into 8 plastic glasses. Serve immediately.

Food Without Fire Snacks:

The Best Trail Mix You Will Ever Eat

  • 1/2 cup each of roasted, salted peanuts, and spicy bbq peanuts, plus cashews, plus macadamia nuts, plus walnuts, plus almonds and finally shelled sunflower seeds. Add a little more of your favorites, if you like.
  • 1/2 cup each dried cherries, plus raisins, plus dried cranberries, plus chopped dried apricots and dinally chopped dried plums (prunes). You can add a little more of what you like, but this mix is the best, I’ve found.
  • 1 cup dried mango strips, chopped into bite-sized pieces, about the size of your thumb.

Mix together and store in a plastic container. Alternately, you can use a zip-lock bag. Don’t worry that there is too much; it will all get eaten and they will be looking for more. Makes about 6 1/2 cups of deliciousness.

Spicy Mammoth Olives

Prepare this at home, because the longer it sits the better it tastes.  Heating this mixture up can be horrendous on the eyes and nose if you get too near the steam due to the hot peppers in the mix. Exercise care until removed from the heat.

  • 3 cups pitted mammoth olives in brine
  • 3 tablespoons hot chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

First, pour olives with brine into a saucepan; then stir in the chili-garlic sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. Next, remove from heat, then stir in red pepper flakes. Let cool, transfer to a large container with a tight-fitting lid and put in refrigerator. Keeps for a couple of weeks. Pack into the cooler when leaving for the campsite.

Tzatziki With Pita Points

Make this at home and just bring it with you. You could make it at the site and use nachos instead, but these are special enough to try at home first.


  • 4 cups Balkan-style yogurt
  • 1 medium cucumber, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-3 cloves crushed garlic, depending on preference
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

more lemon juice and olive oil for drizzling over top

In a colander fitted with a coffee filter, drain the yogurt at least two hours. If you can, leave it to drain overnight, that way the consistency is nice and thick. Also in a colander fitted with a coffee filter, drain the shredded cucumber. When all is drained, place the now very thick yogurt in a container. Put cucumber onto a paper towel and squeeze, that way you get out any excess moisture that might be left. Stir into yogurt. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, dill and salt and mix well. Place in a container with a sealable lid, and drizzle the juice of a half a lemon and 2 tbsp. of olive oil overtop. Replace lid and refridgerate until ready for use.

Pita Points:

  • 4-6 tortilla wraps
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • finely chopped rosemary
  • dried thyme

Begin by laying out the tortilla wraps on a tray or cutting board. After you do that, brush itwith olive oil and sprinkle each one generously with the salt, pepper and herbs. Stack wraps and cut into wedges. Separate and lay out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F  for ten minutes. Remove, cool and place in a plastic container until ready to use so that the pests don’t get at them before you do.

Vegetable Plate With Go-To Dip

We call it “Go-to Dip” because that’s exactly what it is. Because you can vary it with anything and everything–add cheese, spices, different herbs, chopped drained spinach, chopped artichokes, another cooked veg, salsa–you name it, you can add it and have a fabulously different dip every time. It therefore becomes your go-to dip for every occasion.


  • 2 cups Balkan-style yogurt
  • 1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix
  • can of water chestnuts, sliced (optional but adds a lovely crunch)

Combine all ingredients and let stand at least one hour. This is because the flavors need time to blend and marry.

Vegetable Plate:

First cut up and add to a platter the celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, bite-sized pieces of raw broccoli and cauliflower; in addition to mushrooms, carrot sticks, and sweet bell pepper sticks. Add more or less of each vegetable according to preference. Finish by arranging around the bowl of dip in the middle.








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