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Wellness / May 15, 2016

Campfire Gourmet: Foil Packet Veggies

Written by: Eric Hockman

You just finished another great day on the bike. The sun sets as  you roll into your campsite and the endorphins begin to wear off and now hunger starts to set in. The grumbling in your stomach signifies food is needed, NOW before you become “hangry”.

Rolling into camp dirty, happy, and extremely hungry is something most outdoor enthusiasts can relate to. It’s times like these where preparing a healthy and hearty meal from scratch may seem as difficult as the final push you made to get back to camp. When you are in this state of mind, you simply want to eat everything in the cooler that is readily available. However, you can find solace that there is a solution for this very dilemma. Enter the foil packet meal.

Thinking back to my younger years as a Boy Scout, I can remember using foil to cook meals over the glowing red coals of a campfire like it was just last weekend. Perhaps that’s because I have a sharp memory, but it’s more likely because on our last camping mission we used this method to quickly feed our hungry bodies after a long day of turning the pedals on some energy depleting single track.

Preparing a meal or two before your trip will help save time when you’re ravenous, and makes post-meal clean up as simple as balling up your foil packet and scoring a 3-point shot into the nearest recycle bin. By creating an enclosed cooking vessel with aluminum foil, you are sealing in critical heat and moisture which will help efficiently cook your food throughout and keep your meat and veggies tender come dinner time.

Here are some pointers on how to successfully prepare and devour your own foil packet veggies with basil feta sausage recipe.

 

The first and possibly most critical step to making a foil packet meal is ensuring that your foil is of good quality and proper weight. It’s important to cover your bases as to avoid losing your ingredients to the mighty Hephaestus because quite frankly, nothing is worse than watching your meal go up in flames, literally. In most cases, normal grade foil is sufficient as long as you double up the outer layers. However, heavy duty grilling foil can also be used as an alternative.

  • Begin prepping the veggies and your choice of protein by cutting the ingredients into equal sizes. This will help everything inside the foil packet cook at the same rate so you don’t have to worry about getting sick from undercooked meat.
  • Next, drizzle some olive or coconut oil over your packet ingredients to keep everything protected from burning to a crisp while cooking.
  • Add desired seasonings to your veggies. For this meal we kept it basic with salt and pepper since the basil feta sausage is already sure to add some flavor to the mix.

Once you’ve got everything inside the foil, take your time and fold the edges and corners in a manner that will seal in moisture and heat. Make sure you can still open and check the status of how things are going inside. A pair of gloves are critical when pulling your packet from the flames, don’t forget to bring a pair!

When mealtime is just around the bend, get your campfire started to get the coals rolling. After you’ve got some usable coals, it’s time to get cooking. Spread out a flat spot of coals in your fire ring, place the foil packet on top, and cook for 10-15 minutes per side. To help speed up the process you may cover the top of the foil packet with coals as well.

This type of meal is best enjoyed with a grain of your choice which can be cooked while your foil packet is surfing down the coal river. We used couscous in this iteration because it’s both delicious and cooks very quickly on a camp stove.

After you’ve ensured that the meat inside your foil packet is cooked throughout, scoop your cooked grains into a bowl and top with the contents from your packet. Next comes the best step; eat your gourmet creation, because after-all, you’re just about starving at this point!

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about the author

Eric Hockman

From epic backcountry journeys on the mountain bike to splitboarding tours through snow-covered peaks, Eric constantly craves what’s just around the bend. A professional ski tuner and cycling mechanic by trade, he now works for a local cycling company in Golden, where he takes off on the weekends and maxes out his vacation schedule, seeking adventures around the mountains of Colorado and other regions of the country.

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