Take Your Garden Camping

Gardening seems to be an enjoyable hobby…to those who gladly accept those beautiful, free vegetables you share. In reality, gardening involves a lot of hard work. Rewarding, but still labor intensive. Fishing and camping, on the other hand…oh, wait. They’re a lot of hard work, too, but so worth it!

After a couple of weeks of hard work in the garden, we were ready for a break; a week of camping at Beaver Lake was just what we needed. And after all that garden work, we had the fruits of our labor all over our counter tops. So why not take them camping?

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Washing, slicing, and bagging the veggies before you go saves water, time, and work at the campground. Here are some of the ways we used them:

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Pictured here are balsamic glazed chicken breasts, beefy-cheesy stuffed poppers, and grilled okra. By having the chicken pounded and tenderized before bagging and freezing, I was able to go out fishing while the bag of chicken thawed. When we returned, Saint started the charcoal while I rubbed it with olive oil and salted it. It cooked on the grill in less than 15 minutes and then I basted it with balsamic glaze that I prepared before we left home. I microwaved the glaze in the glass storage container, stirred, and it was ready for brushing.

For the okra, I made a foil tray, drizzled olive oil in the tray, sliced the okra length wise, tossed it in the oil, and salted it. I placed the foil directly over the charcoal, and stirred it occasionally. This was my first attempt at grilling that particular vegetable, and I was pleased with the result. The smokey, caramelized taste was great with the chicken.

Saint’s favorite part of this meal was definitely the jalapeno poppers. This was an original recipe using an old favorite dip/spread as a stuffing.

Beefy-Cheesy Stuffed Poppers

Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1/2 small carton Hiland’s French Onion Dip

1 jar dried beef-torn or cut into small bits

1 tsp. minced onion

1-2 tsp. garlic salt

jalapeno peppers

bacon

Directions:

Mix first five ingredients to a smooth, spreadable consistency. Split jalapeno peppers length wise, remove seeds and membrane. I recommend using plastic gloves for this. Spoon filling into a jalapeno half and top with the other half. Wrap the stuffed pepper with a strip of bacon (you may want to use half a strip depending upon the size of your pepper) and secure with a toothpick.

Grill over hot charcoal, turning or rolling as needed, depending upon how charred you prefer the pepper to be.

Other meals included fresh corn microwaved at home for a couple of minutes and then finished by rubbing with olive oil and sea salt before grilling, and yellow squash and zucchini that had been sliced and marinated in Zesty Italian dressing at home and only needed to be placed on the grill and turned as needed. These accompanied bacon wrapped filets and grilled avocados.

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The avocado (not grown in our garden 🙂 was prepared by halving, removing the seed, making criss-cross slits through the fruit, not the peel, rubbing on a couple of drops of hot sauce, sprinkling with coarse salt and Parmesan  cheese, and grilling peel side down. I never turned the halves, the browning of the cheese occurred when I placed the lid on the grill.

I’ll share the great make ahead low carb quiche recipe we enjoyed before fishing when I find the pictures.

It really is easier than you think to eat healthy and use your fresh garden or Farmer’s Market produce when you camp.

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Space Saving Tips for RVs and Camping Trailers

Organization is KEY to successful RV travel. With cabinet space at a premium, you want to make the most of every available space. The old adage, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, just doesn’t apply, here.

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Practically everything you need to prepare, cook, and store (except for microwaving) is contained in this tiny, under-the sink cabinet space behind a closed door.  There’s a stainless steel skillet for cooking on your camper stove, an iron skillet for the campfire, and…drum roll, please.

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Inside the big red pasta pot are all, yes ALL of these! The wonderful nesting bowls can be used to heat or cook on top of the stove, as mixing bowls, for food prep, or even as salad or storage bowls since they have plastic lids. The two sizes of pasta pots with lids can be used to cook almost anything. Look for these sets at flea markets or garage sales to outfit your camper. Serious space savers!

Who says you can’t be a gourmet cook in a camping trailer? If you want to, that is. With this storage solution, you are ready for anything!

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