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Campfire Cuisine

Yes, you can camp out and still create healthy, whole-food meals.

Campfire Bibimbap

Whether assembling gooey s’mores or roasting hot dogs on a stick, many of us have fond memories of cooking in the great outdoors. And while there’s a time and place for that typical fireside fare, we believe that nourishing whole foods can be a fulfilling addition to the time we spend outside. All it takes is a little planning and preparation.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the Dirty Gourmet trio, chefs Aimee Trudeau, Mai-Yan Kwan, and Emily Nielson, who have mastered the art of bringing fresh ingredients and global flavors to their own camping expeditions. The following recipes are excerpted from their cookbook, Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures.

These recipes are ideal for car camping or dining alfresco in your backyard, assuming you have access to a campfire grate and a cooler for perishables (see the “Car-Camper’s Kitchen Kit” below). Each one includes a few make-ahead elements, so you can focus on tending the flames once your fire is lit.

The meals are designed to be cooked over open flames, ideally surrounded by plenty of hungry friends and family. (For tips on building your own campfire, see “How to Build a Campfire.”)


Tomato and Jalapeno Toast

Makes eight to 10 toasts
Prep time: 10 minutes at home, five minutes at camp
Cook time: five to 10 minutes

Tomato and Jalapeno ToastsDirty Gourment

For the Paste

  • 2 small lemons
  • 1 small lime
  • 3 jalapeños, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 tsp. sea salt

For the Toast

  • 1 baguette or bread of choice, halved lengthwise and cut into 4- to 6-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

At Home
Prepare the jalapeño paste: With a vegetable peeler, peel sections of lemon and lime peel. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade attachment, place the peels, jalapeños, and salt. Process until a paste is formed. Spoon into an airtight container and keep chilled until ready to use.

At Camp
Place a grate over the campfire and adjust the fire so there are medium flames licking the underside of the grate. Toast the baguette pieces on the grate. Remove from the fire and rub the cut side of each toast with the cut side of a clove of garlic. Drizzle with oil, then spread a thin layer of the jalapeño paste. Top with sliced tomatoes.
Serve immediately.

Recipes excerpted from Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures. Copyright April 2018 by Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan. Published April 1, 2018, by Skipstone, an imprint of Mountaineers Books. Reprinted with permission.

is an Experience Life senior editor.

Photo by: Dirty Gourmet

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