“Eat your vegetables!” –The mantra of every mother everywhere.  She knows what she’s talking about; a diet rich in vegetables prevents weight gain, increases energy, and helps boost your immunity. Plus, they taste great, especially when you’re camping!

Corn and Tomato Salad:

This fresh salad is a nice departure from regular garden salad, and lends itself well to tacos, burritos, as a side to a dish of chili, and pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwiches. A great side for four people.

  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh corn off the cob and cooked for 5 or ten minutes in 2 cups water, then drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced

Mix together and just before serving dress with store-bought Italian dressing, or a dressing made of 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil, and 1 tablespoon mixed herbs of your choice. Season with salt and pepper, toss salad once more, and serve.


  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup gazpacho blend

Divide into bowls or mugs and top with croutons. Makes 2-4 servings.

Salsa Hash Browns:

hash browns on a plate
Hash browns are a classic camping side dish.

    These make a great change from ordinary. And so easy to make–we have them at least once every camping trip. One package of hash browns is a lot; you may need two frying pans, or make it in two batches.


1-1kg bag frozen hash browns

1-500ml jar good-quality salsa, mild, medium or hot, according to taste

In frying pan over medium high heat, melt butter and add hash browns. Fry, turning, until hash browns are golden brown. Add salsa gradually until there is enough mixed in to suit your taste. We use the whole jar, but others may like less. Steak and eggs is great with this. Serves 4-8.

Vegetable Packets:

Super-easy to prepare ahead of time or at the campsite, and a tasty side dish to any meat. A good rule of thumb for this recipe is one vegetable per person–there are six vegetables used here, so this is for six people. If you have 8 people, add two more vegetables, different or more of the same, whatever you prefer. Onion, eggplant, broccoli, corn sliced off a cob, a tomato, are all good choices.

1 sweet green pepper, cut into 1″ dice

a stalk of stalk celery, cut into 1″ slices

1 medium carrot, cut into 1″ dice

a small zucchini, approx. 6-8″ long, cut into 1″ dice

8 medium to large mushrooms, sliced

6 fresh uncooked green beans, cut into 1″ lengths

4 Tbsp butter

3 garlic cloves, crushed

salt & pepper

Wash vegetables, peel zucchini (and carrot if desired) and chop vegetables into size listed. If you wish, at this point, you can brown the mushrooms over high heat in a frying pan with butter and cool; since the vegetables will bake/steam/stew in their own juices nothing will brown; but the mix of vegetables is a nice color anyway so it is up to you. Mix all vegetables together, along with the crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble 6 squares of tin foil. Place  one tablespoon of butter in the center of each foil square, then divide the vegetable mix up into six and place one portion on each foil square. Fold the foil in such a way as to ensure that no liquids will leak out when turning over in or among coals. Wrap twice more in foil and refrigerate. You can probably freeze these but I have never tried it, because of the mushrooms. When ready to cook remove from cooler and thaw, then place among or over campfire coals, turning regularly to cook evenly and avoid burning, approx. 30 minutes. Remove and place on rock around campfire or grill near coals to keep warm until rest of meal is ready. Serves 6.

Tomato-Mozzarella Salad:

mozzarella salad
You can add greens to your tomato-mozzarella salad, or just have the two main ingredients. Delicious and beautiful either way.

   This is a beautiful side-dish for any lunch or dinner, and easy to prepare. This is enough for four to eight people, depending on what you serve with it.

2 good-sized round tomatoes

2 balls buffala mozzarella, about the same size as the tomatoes

1/2 cup good Italian dressing

fresh herbs, finely chopped (optional)

Slice tomatoes and mozzarella balls in slices of the same thickness. Alternate in a row or two on a serving plate and drizzle with dressing. May be sprinkled with a little finely-chopped fresh parsley, thyme or oregano to finish, or any fresh herb of choice.

Vegetable Stir-fry With Shirataki Noodles

Also known as konnyaku, these noodles are made from yams, so this dish is entirely vegetarian.  It’s a complete meal, low in calories and carbohydrates. Some brands are 0 calories! Win-win.

1 8-oz package shirataki noodles (found in Asian markets in the refrigerated section)

1/8 cup olive or coconut oil, or whatever oil you have on hand

2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms

2 cups snow peas, trimmed and sliced in bite-sized pieces (in half will do)

1/2 each red and yellow bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 carrot, scrubbed and thinly sliced

2 cups bean sprouts

1/2 cup vegetable broth (for non-vegetarians you can substitute chicken broth)

2 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

2 Tablespoons lime juice

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

2 Tablespoons minced ginger

Drain noodles (they smell funny in that water) and put in a bowl with cold water to soak while you sautee the vegetables.  Noodles will not lose their texture. Drain just before adding to the pan.

In a pan over a Coleman heater or campfire grill heat oil and add all the vegetables except for the snow peas and bean sprouts, tossing for 5-15 minutes, depending on heat source and outside temperature. Vegetables should be about half-cooked.   Add the rest of the ingredients, including the now-drained noodles but still leaving out the bean sprouts, snow peas, lime juice and cilantro. Cook for about another 5-15 minutes, then add the snow peas and bean sprouts. Cook another minute or two more, then drizzle with lime juice and toss in cilantro.  Give it another minute, maybe, and serve. Makes a great side dish to any meat but is wonderful without meat for vegetarians.


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