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Mar 24, 2018
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A-camping we will go: 5 easy recipes to make in the great outdoors
By Anne Marie and Dan Lodholz | Photos by Carmen Troesser
Posted On: 09/01/2014   

During our first year as a couple, Dan and I celebrated my birthday with a camping trip. He bought me a Coleman stove. We borrowed a friend’s tent. We took our French press for coffee, packed some eggs, bacon, bread, beef stew and pickleloaf. With the sunlight streaming through the dappled leaves and crisp fall air, we took comfort in the familiar, wrapped up in the adventure of the outdoors and our new life together, sipping on mugs by the morning fire.

It’s never about the distance traveled or the heights climbed. We’ve camped in places as exotic as Big Bend National Park in Texas and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado, but our excursions in the great outdoors have always centered around spending time with each other and unwinding. In fact, many of our favorite places to stay have been beautiful Missouri state parks within a couple hours’ drive of St. Louis.

When camping, time seems to simply slow down; everything tastes better outside and smells cleaner and more intense. Even routine camp chores seem an adventure in the company of buttercups, great purple swallowtails and lightning bugs.

For people who don’t get to cook as much as they would like, vacation, and camping in particular, can be a time to escape and enjoy making simple meals from scratch with family and friends. We developed these recipes as templates to showcase your own favorite seasonal ingredients, prepped at home and cooked over a campfire or nestled in the hot coals. For simplicity’s sake, the recipes call for just a cast-iron skillet and a Dutch oven. Flexibility is the key to cooking outside, and scarcity is the mother of creativity – hopefully with a cold beverage in hand while working under the shade of your favorite oak forest.

Sausage and Vegetables with Quinoa
Makes 4


4 cups chicken stock
2 cups quinoa
¼ cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ lb. sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups washed, chopped greens (such as Swiss chard, kale or mustard greens)


• Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add the quinoa. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Let sit, covered, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Meanwhile, in a cast-iron skillet, brown the sausage over hot coals. Remove the browned meat from the skillet and set aside.
• In the remaining sausage fat, saute the onion until translucent. Add the red pepper and salt to taste. Cook 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the greens. Season with salt and pepper, stirring to wilt the greens.
• When the vegetables are tender, return the sausage to the pan and season to taste. Remove from heat.
• To serve, divide the quinoa evenly among four bowls. Top each with the sausage and vegetables.

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