Real Food Camping: Hobo Packs

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Camping is THE BEST summer activity.

There is nothing like getting outdoors, away from electronics, out exploring the world around you. Whether you tent camp, car camp, or stay in an RV or rustic cabin, camping is just plain fun!

One aspect makes camping fantastic is the food. Planning your camping menu is exciting and challenging at the same time. The excitement comes from the variety of foods and change in cooking method while camping. It needs to be portable, easy to cook, and nourishing (hiking can take a lot out of you!).

The challenge can be in avoiding processed filler foods and sticking to real foods that will keep your energy up. It would be easy to throw in a bag of chips for a snack, but how will that help you succeed on your epic hike? Cut up those carrot sticks and pack the hummus!

Our favorite camping dinner is what we call a Hobo Pack. It’s very easy to prep ahead of time and could be frozen if needed to last a couple days in a cooler. There is a lot of flexibility in the recipe. Be creative!

Before we head out, I chop up a variety of vegetables (onions, carrots, potatoes) and mix it together with some raw ground beef in a foil pack. Add some spices and butter and close up the packs. (I usually put the packs in a plastic bag as well just in case they leak.)

When you are out at the campsite get your fire going before dinner and let it die down just a little bit. Place your Hobo Packs on the coals and let it cook! You’ll want to rotate the packs around every five minutes or so for it to cook through. Your cook time will vary depending on how much food you have in your packs. I’d say 15-20 minutes and check that the beef has no more pink.

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Hobo Packs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 2-3 small potatoes
  • (other veggies as desired)
  • 2-3 Tbsp butter per pack
  • salt and pepper
  • favorite spices

Instructions

  1. Divide meat evenly onto 2 sheets of foil.
  2. Chop vegetables and distribute on top of the ground beef.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and desired spices. (I like Thyme or Savory. But any single spice or combination will work!)
  4. Add butter.
  5. Fold up foil to enclose the food. Add an extra sheet of foil around the outside if necessary.
  6. Place packs in a plastic bag for transportation or until ready to cook.
  7. When cooking over an open fire, you can use a grate if one is available or you can let the fire die down a little and place the packs on the coals.
  8. Turn the packs every five minutes until the meat is no longer pink and the veggies are at desired doneness.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2015/04/13/real-food-camping-hobo-packs/

Super simple! You can eat straight out of the packs or divide up onto plates for the kiddos. Remember the foil is HOT so bring tongs and a hot mitt or towel to handle the packs.

Eating real food while camping CAN be done. It takes a little bit of planning and usually a little prep ahead of time. But it is well worth it. If you usually eat real food at home, you don’t want to switch it up just for convenience when camping. Everyone wants to have fun while camping so feed your body well!

What is your favorite camping food?

 

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Butternut Beef Wraps

 

butternut beef wraps

Do you ever just throw something together in the kitchen and it turns out amazing?

Like knock your socks off amazing?

Yeah, that happened. I was struggling with what to have for lunch. I often just grab some leftovers or graze on random things throughout the day. But there were no leftovers and I didn’t have any grazing foods around. Everything in the fridge and cabinet needed actual cooking. Ugh. Sometimes real food takes some work.

I sat the baby in his chair and started whipping something up. I had some butternut squash and some kale that needed eating. So I started chopping tossed those two items in some olive oil and stuck them in the oven.

My mother says I’m “protein sensitive”. Meaning I need to eat some protein at every meal or I just don’t feel well. Thankfully I had some ground beef in the fridge. I cooked it up on the stove.

What to do with roasted veggies, ground beef, and a need to make it interesting? I threw it all together and added some Sunrise Spice. Only one of THE BEST spice mixes by Melissa Joulwan, author of Well Fed and Well Fed 2, my favorite cook books (affiliate links). It still seemed incomplete.

Looking around my fridge, I pulled out some romaine lettuce. Perfect for wraps. Meal created.

If you are looking for a savory, filling, and scrumptious meal, this is the way to go. It works great as a lunch if you have some time to prepare it, or it would be an excellent dinner. I would even eat it for breakfast! I’m sure my husband would love it. He’s easy to feed!

It’s also free of anything that might be an allergen or cause sensitivity. Paleo all the way! Below is the complete recipe for your cooking pleasure. I changed up a couple of things from what I did initially to make it flow smoother and to give you the best flavor. Enjoy!

Butternut Beef Wraps

Butternut Beef Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Sunrise Spice
  • several leaves of romaine lettuce

Instructions

  1. *Prep Sunrise Spice ahead of time
  2. Turn oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place butternut squash in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until soft.
  4. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onion in a skillet. Once the meat is no longer pink, add kale and cook until slightly wilted. Add Sunrise Spice.
  5. Once the butternut squash is finished roasting, add to the ground beef mixture.
  6. Serve in lettuce wraps.
http://neverlackingzeal.com/2014/10/16/butternut-beef-wraps/

This post is shared on the Homestead Barn Hop, Weekend Potluck,  Wellness Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, and Mealplan Mondays.


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