A weekend of camping meals – easy and pleasing
The long Memorial Day weekend almost all over. A weekend of camping doesn’t mean a weekend of cooking. Here’s a menu I came up with to minimize time at the stove.
A disclaimer – breakfasts are not included in this plan.
Dinner first night – Chicken Kebabs (serves 6)
Mix ½ cup canola oil with ½ cup lemon juice (about 3 whole lemons), 4 tsp cumin, 2 tsp coriander, 2 tsp paprika, and 4 cloves of garlic (smashed is you want a stronger garlic flavor in a large ziplock plastic bag. Put 3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast that has been cut into 1-inch pieces In a separate ziplock bag. Pour half of the marinade over chicken, seal bag, and toss to coat. In the original bag, add 2 bell peppers (red or green), 3 small (each about 6-inches long) zucchini cut into 1-inch pieces, and 3 small (same length as the zucchini) summer squash cut into 1-inch pieces, seal bag and toss to coat. Put both bags in ice chest for no less than two hours.
Bring grill to a medium-high temperatures. While waiting for the grill, soak 12 wooden skewers and start preparing instant brown rice. Remove the chicken and vegetables from their bags and pack dry. Throw out the marinade. Thread chicken, vegetables and, if desired, halved onion layer and mushrooms, onto skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly oil grilled just before placing the kebabs on it. Grill kebabs, turning every now and than (remember the chicken will tell you when to turn it when it no longer want to stick to the grille) until cooked through, about 6 minutes at sea level. Serve half over brown rice and set half aside to cool for later meals.
Lunch – Grilled Chicken Salad (serves 6)
Place 8 cups of greens (your choice) in a large bowl. Arrange chicken and vegetables, holding about half the peppers and zucchini aside for the next day’s lunch, on top of the greens. Scatter 4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese, one cup of drained and rinsed beans (black are a personal favorite but use what you like), and a palm full of olives over the greens. In a separate small bowl or coffee cup, use a fork to whisk together 1 Tbsp of red wine vinegar and 2 tsp Dijon mustard. Continue whisking while drizzling 3/4 cups of olive oil into the vinegar mixture. Add salt and pepper if desired. Toss salad with half the dressing and serve immediately with crusty bread. Serve remaining dressing on the side.
Dinner second night – Pseudo Chicken Fried Rice (Serves 6)
Make 4 cups of brown rice according to the package directions. (Save one cup plus any leftover rice to tomorrow’s lunch.) Put one-and-half pounds boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1-inch piece in a bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Place large skillet over high. Heat 1 Tbsp oil to almost smoking and add half a slice onion. Stir-fry until edges start to brown than add chicken. Stir-fry until cooked through, about 6 minutes at sea level. Transfer cooked chicken and onion to a plate. Add another Tbsp oil to skillet and stir-fry 1 pound bag of thawed stir-fried vegetable (pat dry to reduce splatter) and cook about 2 minutes (to heat through). Add chicken and onion mixture and 1/4 cup soy sauce to skillet and cook one more minute. Serve immediately over cooked brown rice. Option: Substitute one pound pork tenderloin for chicken.
Lunch – Rice and Bean Burritos (serves 6)
If you make breakfast burritos, this is a good way to use up leftover flour tortillas.
Wrap six flour tortilla in foil and set over warm part of the grille to heat through. Meanwhile, in a skillet saute one finely diced onion in a tablespoon of oil until translucent. Add 1 tsp cumin along with leftover zucchini and bell pepper and stir to heat through. Stir in one 15-oz can of beans (either black or pinto), 1 cup of thawed frozen corn, ½ cup enchilada sauce, and one cup plus any leftover brown rice; heat through. Remove the flour tortilla off the heat and carefully open. Put one tortilla on size plates and divide the bean and rice mixture between the tortilla, sprinkle with grate cheddar cheese and wrap the tortilla around it all. Service immediately. May want to serve with some additional enchilada sauce and/or add a teaspoon chili powder to the mixture along with the cumin.
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