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Recipes for camping

Margaret Earle and Graham Leslie

Rocks and gravel for 4–6‡ 

Our kids and their friends invented this recipe (pictured) when they were teenagers camping at Kaitoke on a wet, long weekend (pictured). They often cooked it over the fire, but it can also be made in a camp oven (or a large pan with a lid) on a gas cooker or in a hooded BBQ.



1–2 onions, chopped

Bacon and/or sausages (the best sausages are the cheap ones)

1 Tbsp oil

3 cans of baked beans

Bag of scone mix

1 tin of creamed corn 


  • Make dumplings by putting a tin of creamed corn in a bowl and adding enough scone mix to make a stiff dough. If the mixture becomes too dry add a small amount of milk or water. Form the dough into small balls and put aside. 

  • Put camp oven to heat on cooking fire or gas cooker. Add oil to camp oven. Fry onion, bacon and sausages for a few minutes. Add baked beans and stir through. 

  • When the mixture is warm put the uncooked dumplings on top of the baked beans and put the lid on the camp oven.

  • Turn the gas down to low or put the camp oven on a cooler part of the fire. Leave to simmer gently until the dumplings are cooked through. Be careful that the baked bean mixture doesn’t burn while the dumplings are cooking. 

Paneer and vege curry for 4–5‡ 

I came across this recipe when I was looking for a vegetarian meal to dehydrate for tramping. It is tasty and the veges listed can be substituted for whatever is available. 

Paneer is used a lot in Indian vegetarian recipes. You will find it in most supermarkets. It will keep for some weeks in a fridge so is a good source of protein when most of the fresh ingredients have been eaten. In this recipe, the paneer is cubed and fried before being added to the other ingredients. This makes it crisp and flavoursome. 


Cooking oil 

1 onion diced 

3 cloves of garlic or 

1–2 tsp minced garlic 

1 Tbsp grated ginger root 

1 tsp garam masala 

400g tin diced tomatoes 

½ cup vege stock (½ tsp powdered stock + ½ cup water) 

1 tsp brown sugar 

1 pinch of chilli flakes 

1 cup pumpkin,chopped into small cubes or kumara or carrot 

1 red capsicum, diced 

2 courgettes, diced 

3 cups baby spinach 

300g paneer, cubed 

  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large pan.

  • Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 2–3 minutes until softened. 

  • Add garam masala and stir. 

  • Add tomatoes, stock, brown sugar, chilli flakes, capsicum and pumpkin. 

  • Simmer until pumpkin is soft and liquid is reduced. 

  • Add courgettes and spinach and cook until wilted. 

  • While curry is cooking heat more oil in another pan. 

  • Brown paneer on all sides. 

  • Add to curry before serving. 

  • Serve with rice. 

Tuna pasta for 4–5‡ 

This recipe can be cooked entirely from tinned food so it can be made when all the fresh food has run out. 


1 onion, sliced, if available 

2 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp of crushed garlic, if available 

1 Tbsp oil 

1–2 whatever vegetables are available (eg, mushrooms, courgettes, beans, capsicums). If no fresh veges are available, then freeze dried peas can be used: cook them separately and add with the tuna. 

450g tin of tuna in spring water, drained 

2 tins of diced tomatoes in juice 

1 tsp dried basil 

1 tsp dried oregano 

Handful of olives (optional) 

Salt and pepper 

Dried pasta such as spaghetti, spirals etc 

Grated parmesan or tasty cheese, if available 

  • Heat oil in a medium sized fry pan. 

  • Add onion and/or garlic (if using) and fry until slightly starting to brown. 

  • Stir in carrot and cook for 3–5 minutes. 

  • Add tinned tomatoes and bring to boil. 

  • In a separate pot boil the water for the pasta. Add sufficient pasta to feed those eating the meal. 

  • Add veges that require the most cooking. Continue to stir regularly and gradually add all the veges. Add the veges that require the least cooking last. 

  • Add drained tuna, basil and oregano. Stir well and cook until veges are desired softness. 

  • Add olives (if using) and salt and pepper to taste. 

  • Serve sauce over cooked pasta. 

  • Top with grated cheese (if using).

‡ Depends how many vege you cook, how many it will serve

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