DISCLAIMER: If you are about to embark on the Appalachian Trail and you just finished cutting all the tags out of your t-shirts, these recipes are probably not going to work for you. So just go back to quietly weighing your socks and scheming ways to dehydrate beer.
These meal ideas will work perfectly, however, for your next music festival, car camping trip, or backyard adventure.
1. Fish tacos
Grab some white fish. Mix some taco seasoning into a little container of sour cream. Slice up some avocado with a crunchy vegetable (I like radishes or purple cabbage) and throw it all onto a grilled mini corn tortilla. Boom. Taco party.
Tip: Use tinfoil to keep the fish from falling into the fire.
2. Grilled pineapple on a burger with sharp cheddar cheese
These don’t even need condiments. However, if you absolutely cannot eat a burger without at least one condiment, I recommend spicy mustard. Crumbled blue cheese could also work here.
Throw everything you would put on a nacho in a cast iron skillet: onions, black beans, jalapeños, green peppers, I don’t need to tell you what goes on a nacho. Make multiple layers. You should be doing this in your normal nacho making, but you should especially be doing it here.
Cover it all with some kind of lid (a stainless steel plate, a pot lid, another skillet) and let it sit for maybe 10 minutes. Just keep an eye on it and you’ll be fine. Top with sour cream, avocado, and sliced tomato. The best cheese for nachos is NOT Monterey Jack. It is freshly grated, extra sharp cheddar cheese. Don’t argue with me on that.
4. Salad pizza
I invented this in college. Get some pita bread. Throw it on the grill and melt some cheese on it (feta and mozzarella combo?). Take it off and top it with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, whatever. Dress it with some vinegar, olive oil, and dill. Slice it up. Pretend it’s a pizza.
5. Crispy fancy kale
Toast a sprig of kale like a marshmallow (pinkies out!). Is the fire too hot for your dainty fingers? Poke a shish kabob stick in it and quit complaining. Immediately dip your crispy kale into a mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, and hot sauce.
6. Fried bologna sandwich
Don’t turn your nose up at bologna. Throw it on the grill and make it curl up at the edges. Put it on an egg sandwich with some cheese and mayonnaise.
7. Spin-off tomato soup with grilled cheese
Get a can of whatever soup you’re partial to. Fire-roast some tomatoes over the fire and add them to the soup. Eat a grilled cheese. Grilled cheeses are even better with mayonnaise and Sambal on them.
8. Canned tomato and goat cheese pasta
Buy a can of whole, peeled tomatoes. Caramelize some onions and garlic in a pan. Add the tomatoes. Add some honey. Let it simmer while you drink a beverage. Pour it over a bowl of pasta. Mix in a huge spoonful of goat cheese. Eat it.
9. Takeout pizza
Order a pizza from a pizza joint. Ask them to slightly undercook it. Grill it over the fire. Burn the pizza box. Tell people you made it.
10. Vegetarian soldier’s meal
So you don’t eat meat. That’s unfortunate. Slice up some root vegetables (parsnips, beets, carrots) and grill them in a tinfoil pocket. This takes a little while. Keep opening it up and poking around with a fork. Take it off the fire. Top it with awesome cheese and crispy kale.
If you did eat meat, you could mix it all with ground sausage, and you would be a happier person.
11. Wild card homie scramble
Fry up some taters. I like to use regular and sweet. Throw in absolutely everything you could possibly think of. Onions, beans, beets, edamame, bacon. Make some holes and crack a couple eggs right in the pan. Mix it all up. Top with cheese and sour cream.
12. Bacon grease cornbread
You’re not watching your weight, are you? Fry up some bacon in a cast iron skillet. Remove the bacon and eat it. Keep the grease in the pan. Throw in some cornbread mixture, mix it all up, cover the skillet with a lid, and bake it over the fire. Pour some baked beans over it. Maybe add an over-easy egg and serve.
Tip: Snazz up your cornbread mix with sliced jalapeños, cheese, chopped-up bacon, or dried dill.
13. Chocolate-stuffed bananas
Peel a banana and slice it open. Stuff as much chocolate or Nutella as you possibly can in there. Wrap up in tinfoil and throw in the fire for five minutes or so. Top with fluff or toasted marshmallows.
14. S’more upgrades
Add peanut butter cups, Carmellos, Nutella, anything that is good.