Cooking Vegetable Side Dishes On Campground Fire Pits

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Love cooking over an open fire? Here are some recipes for vegetable side dishes that will make your next camping trip even more delicious!

Tired of the same old boring grilled burgers and steaks? Here are some veggie side dish ideas to help campers enhance the evening meal.

Camping is all about the enjoying the great outdoors and life under the stars. So why should the evening meal be boring? Sure it’s easy to throw a steak on the grill and call it dinner. But with a little forethought, campers can bring a little more excitement to their campground fire pit with some grilled vegetable recipes.

Basic Tips about Veggies and Camping

Refrigerator items such as vegetables can spoil quickly in the great outdoors even when kept in a cooler, so it is important to plan accordingly. A weekend camping trip is generally no problem; however, campers who want to enjoy paradise for a longer period of time should plan on restocking at a local market.

Do as much of the prep work at home as possible to make meal time in camp go faster and smoother. Plus campers need to be sure to bring their own fire grate or grill in case there is none at the campgrounds. And here’s a tip from food guru Guy Fieri: cross-utilize groceries. That means bacon fat from breakfast can be reused to fry potatoes for dinner.

Campfire Veggie Side Dishes

As most backyard barbecue cooks know, grills are not just for meat. There are plenty of veggie side dishes that campers can include in their meals, like grilled zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes or baked potatoes, just to name a few. And, of course, don’t forget corn on the cob. However, why not spice it up a bit with a little seasoned butter?

Seasoned Butter Recipe

 1 t. chili powder
 1/8 t. dried oregano
 1 pinch of onion power, cayenne pepper and garlic powder
 Salt and pepper to taste
 ½ cup softened butter

Mix all the ingredients in advance and store in air tight container (just don’t mix this up with plain butter and spread it on the morning toast!) At camp, prepare six ears of corn by carefully pulling back husk, removing as much silk as possible and rewrapping in husk. Soak in water 30 to 60 minutes. Drain, dry and spread corn with seasoned butter. Tie closed with string or husk strips. Grill until tender, about 20 minutes.

And speaking of spicing things up, here’s a recipe for spicy grilled sweet potatoes that does just that.

Grilled Spicy Sweet Potatoes for Four

 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
 1 cup red onion, minced
 1/3 cup olive oil
 2 T. catsup
 2 t. chili powder
 2 t. salt
 1 t. pepper

Mix all ingredients except the potatoes in a re-sealable container. At the campsite, prepare the potatoes then mix into marinade. Pour onto four separate sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil (regular foil tends to tear) and seal into tight little packets. Place on grill (350 to 400 degrees). Watch carefully to ensure they don’t burn. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes.

Another way for campers to get their veggies is to skewer them and then roast them on the grill. For this veggie side dish, chop one each of zucchini, yellow squash, red and/or green pepper and red onion chunks plus about a cup of mushrooms. In a separate air-tight container combine sweet and sour marinade.

Sweet and Sour Marinade

 ½ c. cider vinegar
 1/3 c. sugar
 1/3 c. vegetable oil
 Salt and pepper to taste

At campsite combine veggies and marinade a few hours before grilling. Vegetables that marinate too long can become mushy or rubbery. Grill until cooked to desired tenderness.

For a little extra twist, grill veggies using the spicy sweet potato marinade or just a bit of salt and pepper then toss into a grilled flour tortilla with a bit of the evening’s protein and/or maybe some campfire beans. Now that’s fine eating!

Campfire cooking is all about keeping it interesting. And making veggie side dishes on campground fire pits is just about mixing it up and doing as much prep work as possible in advance.