Heather Ray, MS, RD, nutrition expert for TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, offers four fun recipes that can be prepared in foil packets.
“Foil packet recipes are easy to make, and even easier to clean up,” Ray said. “Plus, each recipe can be customized to suit your tastes and health goals. And you don’t have to sleep under the stars anytime soon just to enjoy them — you can bake these recipes at home in a 400-degree oven instead.”
Hominy Hobo Packet
Place two cups of chopped, raw, nonstarchy vegetables in the center of the foil. Top with a half cup of cooked or low-sodium canned black beans, three-quarters cup of canned hominy (drained and rinsed) and a heavy sprinkling of chili powder. Seal packet and cook over medium heat for about 20–25 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Top with two tablespoons of ripe avocado and one tablespoon of reduced-fat sour cream.
Meat Lovers Campfire Fiesta
Place two cups of chopped, raw, nonstarchy vegetables in the center of the foil. Top with two ounces of Southwest-seasoned, cooked ground beef and eight chopped black olives. Cut one six-inch corn tortilla into half-inch-wide strips. Arrange strips around beef and vegetable mixture to resemble a campfire. Place one-quarter cup of salsa in the center of the strips to make the “fire.” Seal packet and cook over medium heat for about 20–25 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Grilled Apple Cheddar Snack Sandwiches
Core one small apple and slice horizontally into six rings. Divide one ounce of reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese into three parts. Sprinkle one-third of the cheese onto each of the three apple rings. Place the remaining three rings on top of the cheese rings to make three sandwiches. Stack all three sandwiches together in the center of the foil. Seal packet and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until apple rings are roasted and cheese is melted.
Slice one ripe medium peach in half and remove pit. Place halves in the center of the foil with the flesh side up. Spread each half with one teaspoon of no-sugar-added blackberry jam. Sprinkle two tablespoons of granola on each half (a total of one-quarter cup granola). Seal packet and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Healthy Camping Tips
Make a list. After you make a healthy menu plan, write down everything you need for on-site food prep. Don’t forget measuring cups, cutting boards, knives, foil, garbage bags, sanitation supplies, etc.
Get the kids involved. This is a great time to talk to your kids or grandkids about all the healthy fruits and vegetables you’re about to cook.
Stay active. Plan activities such as a family hike, scavenger hunt or dip in the lake.
Practice food safety. Bring a meat thermometer and plenty of coolers with ice. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Chill leftovers in a cooler with ice. When cooking raw meat, use a food thermometer to make sure that meat is heated to the proper internal temperature. (Beef, pork, lamb 145°F; hamburger patties 160°F; poultry 165°F.)