As in, “My kids will actually eat this!” 😉
I’ve been camping regularly for the past five years. When I started, I’d been on two, maybe three, camping trips with my parents. In my whole life. Now?
Now I camp 3-4 times per year, usually at major festival events.
And by “camping”, I really mean “I choose to live outside for ___ days in a tent.” It’s how memories are made.
Five kids, a daycare, healthcare appointments and the general chaos of my reality says, “WHAT?!?”
All in the prep-work, baby…all in the prep.
For example, sometime during the month prior, I make a double batch of a dish, then I freeze it.
The week before we leave, I make a few meals in my crockpots (I have two…I want to have three) OVERNIGHT…eliminating the chaos in my kitchen during the day AND taking advantage of the lower energy prices. 😀 Frugal, baby!!
Then, I freeze them.
Said frozen containers of yumminess act as ice bricks to keep the cooler cold, thus enabling we can eat the fresh stuff first, then dig in to the hearty meals on the second/third+ day. Take it out a couple of hours prior.
*disclaimer: These recipes are just our favourite family camping recipes…they do not conform to specific dietary conditions…modify at your own discretion*
MACARONI & CHEESE CASSEROLE (OVEN)
2 cups of cooked noodles
1 can tomato soup
1 can of milk
1 cup of shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 350degrees
1. Cook noodles & drain.
2. In a casserole dish, empty tomato soup and whisk together with the can of milk (use the same can!!) Put in the noodles, the shredded cheese and mix well.
3. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
~Can be served with a tossed salad and/or fresh veggies
*note: do not ever make this with rice noodles….I could have used it to spackle drywall, but I’m not sure it’d even ever dry (o.O) blech!
RUSSIAN CHICKEN (CROCKPOT)
4-6 chicken breasts, or 8-10 chicken thighs (economical)
1 small bottle of Russian salad dressing
1 small jar of Apricot jelly/jam
1 package of Lipton Onion Soup mix
Line bottom of crockpot with chicken.
In a bowl, whisk together dressing, jam and soup mix.
Cover the chicken and cook on High for 4-6 hours, or Low for 8-10 hours. Make sure your chicken reaches proper internal temperatures!
~ Can serve with boil-in-bag rice (easy peasy!), salad, fresh veggies, roasted potatoes
SWEDISH MEATBALLS (CROCKPOT)
1 package (3 lbs) of frozen meatballs
1 large jar of Welch’s grape jelly
1 large bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce
1. In a bowl, whisk together the jelly and the chili sauce. Easier to coat the meatballs!! Do not worry about any lumps…they will “smooth out” during cooking 🙂
2. Line the crockpot with meatballs and pour mixture; toss to coat.
Cook on High for 4-6 hours, Low for 6-8 hours.
~Can serve over top of boil-in-bag rice, mashed potatoes (which, incidentally, you CAN make ahead as well and freeze!!!) 🙂
~ Better yet…serve the meatballs up on a skewer stick!! The more of the fun, the more of the eating!
TURKEY BURRITO FILLING (STOVETOP; 15mins!!)
1 pound of ground turkey (healthy choice!)
1 1/2 cups of salsa (can adjust the heat to your liking)
1 can of refried beans
1. Brown ground turkey and drain, if necessary.
2. Add in salsa and can of refried beans.
3. Heat through.
Yes. It’s that damn easy.
~Bring a bag of tortillas to make a lunch-wrap! Serve with raw veggies!
Other ideas that are great to make ahead of time and freeze!!!
– Beef stew
– Taco meat (ridiculously easy lunch idea!!!)
– BBQ Pulled Pork
– Spaghetti (seriously…don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it…saves the starchy draining!)
– Soups (great for spring/fall camping…but temperatures can be cool on rainy days and summer nights!)
Here’s the best part….SHARE YOURS!!! This will be a one-stop shop for amazing family camping meal ideas!! Be sure to include some that ARE dietary specific!! 😀
Dietary specific? Check out our favourite GRAIN-FREE banana bread! I freeze a loaf and bring it for a good, healthy snack with some berries!