Cooking outside always seems to make food taste better. This year, outside options are more important than ever. These can be easily adapted to any eating style. I am including ideas for meat-eaters and meatless eaters, as well.
Here are seven ways to make a healthy and delicious meals outside over a campfire or backyard BBQ.
- Pineapple Skewers
Pre-marinate your chicken or tofu and pineapple skewers, then cook over the fire. You can add other ingredients such as red pepper and onions, which pair well with pineapple. Bring lettuce to wrap it with and other fun toppings like an Asian slaw mix so you can customize your wraps bite to bite.
- Foil Packets Cooked to Perfection
Fresh salmon cooked over a fire is one of the best things about outdoor cooking by the fire. For a meat-free option, substitute a medley of vegetables in your foil packet, with some added tofu. Try it with a mix of hoisin and fish sauce for a Thai-like experience or keep it simple with olive oil and dill. Just wrap it with your desired flavors in foil and cook until done.
Here’s a Mediterranean option that’s a real crowd pleaser:
Mediterranean Salmon Foil Packets
This healthy and easy dinner features heart friendly salmon, and bright fresh flavors. Prep work and clean-up are minimal (thanks to the foil packets), and the leftovers can be eaten hot or cold.
4 salmon fillets about 6 ounces each (one per serving)
-Thaw frozen fillets in the fridge overnight, the day before.-
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 onion chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes halved
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
You will also need foil and a small amount of olive or vegetable oil
- Thinly coat 4 large pieces of aluminum foil with a small amount of oil.
2. Place each salmon fillet on top of a piece of aluminum foil. Top each fillet with about 2 tablespoons pesto, ¼ cup of onion, ¼ of the tomatoes, and approximately 2 tablespoons of feta cheese. You don’t have to measure the ingredients. Use as much as you like!
3. Seal the aluminum foil packets by pulling two sides together in the middle above the fish, and rolling down until there is just enough room left for the topping. Then roll in the remaining sides and pinch tightly to seal.
4. Place the foil packets on the grill and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes.
5. Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.
Portion Note: Cooking for Two? You can cut the ingredients in half, using only 2 salmon fillets, or make the whole recipe and enjoy the leftovers. The cooking instructions remain the same.
To cook inside: Heat oven to 350F (180C). Bake packets on a baking sheet for approximately 20 minutes.
- Grilled Stuffed Avocados
Grill up garlicky shrimp and avocados, then stuff the shrimp into the avocados for a tropical take on your campout. Bring mango salsa along to unite the flavors with perfection. Skip the shrimp for a meat-free option and use grilled tofu and jicama instead.
- Potato Packets
Fill up foil packets with pieces of organic chicken sausage, potatoes, and other veggies you like for a rustic and delicious meal that nourishes with healthy ingredients. You won’t need much to season it with the bold flavors of sausage making their way through there, though it’s best if you pre-cook the chicken sausage before heading out on your trip (or before putting them on the grill). For a meat-free option, choose meatless links such as Beyond Sausage Brat.
- Campout Caprese
If Caprese chicken is a favorite around your dinner table, then turning it into a campfire-friendly dish is a must! Simply slice each chicken breast in a Hasselback style and stuff it with tomato and mozzarella, top with pesto, then seal into your foil packets. If you want to skip the chicken, use a potato for a Caprese Hasselback Potato option. To make it dairy-free, choose dairy-free mozzarella.
- Fireside Fajitas
Wherever there are fajitas, there is always a fiesta. Using lean meat, plenty of bright bell peppers, and onions, you can create your Mexican restaurant favorite by wrapping it in aluminum foil. Or you can skip the meat and use a meatless option such as ground “beef” made by the Impossible brand. Don’t forget to bring tortillas along plus a little guacamole for plenty of those healthy fats, too.
- Banana S’ mores
And finally, because you need a dessert when camping or soaking up the last fading wisps of warmth before seasons change, there are banana s’ mores. Split your bananas, stuff them with marshmallows and dairy-free dark chocolate chips and eat with a spoon for a healthier version of the campout classic.
Enjoying time with friends and family is a little different this year. As we head into colder weather, finding opportunities to gather safely becomes more and more challenging for some. I hope these recipe suggestions inspire outdoor connections and contribute to continued celebrations as we head into the last few months of the year.
Leave a comment and let me know how you are celebrating this Fall. If you need help with recipes or “outdoor gathering” suggestions, I am happy to jump on the phone for a 30 minute call. Leave a comment with your info and we will schedule a time.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Love and Good Health!