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In the Kitchen: Try these recipes on your next camping trip

My column this past Wednesday was about my love of camping when our children were young, as well as the debacle camping trip I had with my parents and brothers as a child.

I promised to share some recipes that are perfect for camping out. While hamburgers and hot dogs are fine, if you really want to impress your fellow campers, try some of these recipes. 

Trust me, you will own your camping kitchen and be a total rock star.

If there is a grill at your campsite, you can cook anything just like you would at home. The trick is to do some prep work at home before the camping trip. 

One of our go-to favorites was always pork tenderloin. You can make a quick marinade and marinate the pork tenderloin in your cooler — it cooks quickly on the grill and makes for a nice change from burgers and hot dogs.

Marinated, grilled pork tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine 


1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons sugar or honey

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


Place pork tenderloins in freezer zipper bag. 

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, thyme, basil and oregano. 

Pour marinade over pork tenderloins and massage to distribute marinade evenly. 

Marinate in the refrigerator overnight and then transport to cooler with ice before cooking. 

To grill, heat coals over medium-high heat and grill pork tenderloins until done, discarding marinade.

 •    •    •

 Pasta salad, especially the kind without a mayonnaise base, is the perfect side dish to take on a camping trip. Make it ahead of time at home, and you can just pull it out of the cooler and serve. Yum!


Italian pasta salad

1 pound pasta, fusilli or bow ties

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup onion, minced

1 can artichoke hearts, in water, drained and chopped

1 European cucumber, chopped

4 ounces mini-mozzarella, halved

4 ounces salami, cut into thin strips

1/4 cup Italian parsley, minced


Cook pasta according to package directions. 

Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta has cooled. Drain well. In a small jar, add olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic, shaking to combine. 

In a large bowl, add cooked and drained pasta, olives, red bell pepper, onion, artichokes, cucumber, mozzarella, salami and parsley. Pour dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

 •    •    •

Grilled vegetable kabobs

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces

1 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces

1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 zucchini, cut into wedges

1 yellow squash, cut into wedges

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Place vegetables in a zipper baggie and put in the cooler until ready to cook. In a small jar, add olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, shaking to combine. 

When ready to cook, thread skewers with vegetables. Brush each vegetable kabob with some of the dressing mixture. 

You can use a grill basket to cook vegetables, brushing the vegetables with the dressing. Grill until vegetables are soft and have some char marks.

•    •    •

I love granola, but I don’t like how many additives, preservatives and other unnecessary ingredients the store-bought kind contains. 

Here is a simple granola recipe that is ready in no time. 

You can get fancy and add other things such as shredded coconut and/or other nuts. Just don’t stir in the dried fruit until after you bake the granola.


Simple morning granola

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted if solid)

1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup raisins or other dried fruit

 Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. In a bowl, whisk together honey (or syrup), cinnamon and salt. 

Add oats and almonds, stirring to combine. Pour onto prepared baking sheets and bake 25 minutes, stirring once during baking. Remove from oven and cool before stirring in raisins or other dried fruit.

 •    •    •

Who doesn’t love s’mores? You can make them the traditional way and they will be delicious. 

Or, you can get fancy and use miniature candy bars instead of plain chocolate. 

I love them with dark chocolate, but milk chocolate is yummy too.


Classic s’mores

8 sheets honey graham crackers

Bars of chocolate, dark or milk

8 large marshmallows


Cook marshmallows on skewers (or sticks) to desired doneness. Place marshmallow on graham cracker with chocolate and top with another graham cracker. 

Forsyth County resident and author Adlen Robinson can be reached at