Camping is best in any season. You can bring your friends and family to build strong relationships. Or, you can also camp alone to develop self-esteem. Planning your outdoor activities is an excellent bonding because you share different ideas that you can try for the first time. Of course, you plan on what to bring, especially food. But because of limiting the weight of the materials you get, you can just look for food outside that can also add thrill and excitement. Looking for food will also help you to become resourceful. Snacks and side dishes are essential because you need them while you play or talk with each other.
You can still have your full main course while camping. It is also a way of bond with your companion to look for food. This will also exercise your ability to be independent by sustaining everything you need with your own effort. Looking for food will develop your agility and strength. The food will taste better because you got and made it from your own effort. This is what they call “Taste of Success”. So without further ado, here are the easy side dishes that you can make while camping.
WHAT IS A SIDE DISH
A side dish is a part of cuisine that balances the overall meal. It must also compliment not only the main course but also dessert, appetizer, and drinks. It also adds texture and color to the meal. And as its name suggests, it is placed on the side of your plate and accompanies every dish. Side dishes also differs depending on the season and occassion. For example, you can have fruit bread for Christmas and mashed potato casserole for Thanksgiving day.
There are common ingredients for the side dish. You will see these ingredients in a restaurant-made or homemade side dish. Examples are beans, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, nuts, bread, chillis, tomatoes, potatoes, avocado, and many more.
SIDE DISHES THAT ARE EASY TO MAKE WHILE CAMPING
It is fun to go out with your friends or family. Part of the plan is preparing for your food. But what if you have already eaten all of your packed food? In this part, you will see how strong your resourcefulness is. By getting your needs in your environment, you will have a chance to live longer outside your home.Here are the side dishes that are easy to make on camp. Let’s start with the most common side dish; salad.
Salads are the most common side dishes and are easy to make. The easiest salad that you can make while camping is just a mixture of a single kind of vegetable or fruit, little chunks of meat, and a dressing. The dressing can be just a simple vinegar with a pinch of sugar or just the extract of the content itself. But if you are camping in an entire cultivated area, you can be creative in making your salad.
Salads are beneficial to health. Because of its ingredients, you can still maintain your health lifestyle. Salads can improve your muscle performance. This is a good benefit especially for people who like to go out. It also build stronger bones. And, salads are a natural source of fiber for your digestion. Here are some examples of salads that you can make.
🥗 Asian Slaw
This kind of salad is very easy to make. You just need crunchy cabbage, peppers, green onions and herbs, fruit like peaches, and nuts. You can add miso, sesame oil, ginger, lime juice, and cashew for the dressing. If you do not have miso, you can skip that. Cabbage and nuts are responsible for the crunchiness and appetizing beauty of your salad. The peppers and herbs add spice and kick while you munch. GInger and lime juice is great for extra taste. The fruits will add juiciness and extra contrast with the other ingredients.
🥗 Cherry Tomato Salad
As its name suggests, the main ingredient is cherry tomatoes. You can mix the raw and roasted cherry tomatoes for extra texture on your salad. Add paprika or any available spices you have, and it’s better if you also smoked them. The best partner with tomatoes is garlic for an extra twist. Add cucumbers, fresh herbs, and cheese if available. The dressing is also simple. Toss your salad with olive oil and lemon juice.
🥗 Avocado Tortilla Salad
This recipe is not also a side dish but also a snack dip. Do not worry if you do not have a tortilla. Your biscuits will not be sad anymore. Mix together fresh avocado, tomato, cooked ground meat, cabbage, and some chilis. No dressing is needed because the avocado will do its job for the flavour. Either you dip your crackers or break and put it directly into the salad for an extra crunch.
🥗 Watermelon Tomato Salad
Staying hydrated is very important, especially if you are outside. This salad is not only a side dish but also a good source of hydration. Because of its main ingredients, you will not worry again if you have emptied your water bottle. Watermelon and tomato have water contents, so mixing them together will produce enough fluid to maintain hydration. To complete the salad, you only need nuts, herbs, tamarind, and chilli for an optional spice.
🥗 Classic Eggplant Salad
This recipe is also great for camping. You can make this as your side dish or your main course. Just get an eggplant, cut it in the middle, put a mixture of herbs, spices, tomatoes, and salt. Cook it in a low fire until the eggplant becomes tender and absorb the mixture. Eggplant has a high amount of antioxidants and can control your blood sugar. It is also a good fibre source, so you will probably have good digestion by adding it to your menu.
🥗 Summer Salad
If you are in a tropical country, it will be possible to have a source of different fruits. Just mix all the fruits you can get around, and you will have a classic summer salad. You can add milk or crush the fruits and add water to make a summer drink. This summer salad is a healthy recipe because fruits are a great source of vitamins and energizers because of their sweetness.
OTHER SIDE DISHES YOU CAN MAKE OR BRING ON CAMP
Aside from typical salad, you can also have a variety of side dishes that you can instantly bring or make while camping. These side dishes can also be your snack while you are on your way. It can also be served as the main course of your meal. Be creative in making your meal and you will discover your new talent in cooking.
You can bring any type of biscuits or crackers in your bag. Having a biscuit is also a ready-to-eat meal that you can pick especially if your stomach starts to growl. As a matter of fact, biscuits are a good source of carbohydrates, so it can make your hunger away. Biscuits and crackers are best instant food and they have a good stability factor. Compared to other foods, biscuits have longer shelf life. So, these are good to bring during camping.
If you really can’t make any of the salads listed above, it is great to eat them directly. Then, just pick fruits around and you are ready to go. But make sure that the fruits you see are edible and ripe enough to eat them. Fruits are the best source for your vitamins. So, you can still be healthy even you are outside your home.
🍂 Fried Leaves
Fried leaves are now emerging on the list. Just coat the edible leaves with flour and water, then fry them in hot oil. If you do not have flour on your bag, crush your biscuits into a fine powder and you can use it to coat the leaves. These fried leaves will add crispiness and crunch to your meal. It’s like you are having a potato chip made with different leaves.
You can make the beans into a side dish that looks like it came from a restaurant. If you have beans on camp by chance, boil them in water and add some sugar, herbs, and spices. Garnish it with edible leaves you can pick around. And that’s it! You now have a delicious bean dish. Beans are also good source of protein. You can have enough amount of protein by eating beans in the absence of pork. It can also control your appetite, so it is included as a type of side dish.
🍟 Potato Fries
If you are lucky enough to have potatoes on your backpack list, you can make a delicious snack. Grab your potatoes, wash them thoroughly, cut them into very thin slices, coat them with salt and pepper, and fry them in very hot oil. Who said you couldn’t have fries on camp? If you do not have potatoes, show your talent in digging and look for some cassavas. Fries are best as finger food or those that you eat using your bare hands. They are also a great type of snack, especially if you have night talks with your friends. Also, you can eat fries while having hot tea while stargazing.
If you like crunchy food, you probably bring nuts with you. There are different flavors of nuts that suits your taste or just go with classic nut. Eating nuts will also help you exercise your jaw, especially if you are alone and have no one to talk to. Nuts also help to stimulate the nerves of your brain to maintain its memory function. So, nuts can help you memorize your way back home. Aside from being a memory enhancer, it can also save your life by preventing blood clots. It minimizes the chance of having stroke and heart attack while you are outdoor.
SIDE DISHES THAT ARE POPULAR FROM DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
We have different preferences for food. Especially if you plan to go camping in another location or country. You must familiarize yourself with the popular food in your destination and try it for the first time. You can also be creative by modifying these side dishes on your own taste preference. Here are the most popular side dishes from a different country that you can use as a basis for camping.
- For Central America, we have Darasa or the banana snack, Torrejitas de maiz, Yuca con chicharron, Yuca al mojo, and Gallo Pinto.
- In Asia, you will see Pumpkin Erissery in India, Yam Neua or the grilled beef salad in Thailand, and Bánh xèo, also known as the Vietnamese Crepes.
- We also have European side dishes. For Belgian, there is the beef stew with beer. For French cuisine, we have warm bacon and egg salad. We also have an Italian side dish and that is Italian asparagus frittata.
- Aside from Central America, we also have South American side dishes. Examples are Torta Frita, Peruvian Beef Tequeños, Chilean Sopaipillas with Pebre, and Empanadas de Membrillo.
- Side dishes from the Middle East are also part of the list. Some of their side dishes are Turkish lamb stew, Georgian cheese bread, Cucumber tomato salad, Baked falafel, and Egyptian eid cookies.
Food is one of the most important things that a person must have. It is essential because a person cannot live without food. It is ok if you cannot complete the entire course meal, as long as you eat enough to maintain and sustain the nutrients you need. Also, make sure to eat healthy foods. It is important to eat with nutrients, especially if you are planning to live outside your home for a more extended period of time. Finally, bring your first aid kit because you might experience some unexpected food allergies.
While camping, take note of your allergies. If you do not have any idea of which food you have allergies, be observant of yourself. Check any skin reactions for a sign of an allergy. Signs of allergies are skin redness, itchiness, and pain. For adverse reactions, the difficulty of breathing may be experienced.
If you have experienced food allergies, stop eating the food immediately. Check for some anti-allergies, also known as antihistamines, in your first aid kit. If it is a severe reaction, call the emergency hotline immediately. It is good to have supplies for food, but it is great to keep your body healthy.
Plan ahead of your schedule. Set a list and estimate the days on how long you’ll live outdoor. Camping is good as a form of meditation and self development. So, use this time wisely. This will be the greatest time in your life with your friends and family.