For healthier Dutch oven cooking, try these 5 gourmet camp recipes

You’ve mastered the gold standard of Dutch oven cooking: the legendary cake-topped peach cobbler. As delicious as it is, though, the dessert delivers a ton of sugar in every bite, most of it from high fructose corn syrup. You can do better. Dutch oven meals don’t have to be heavy with carbs and calories. Expand your repertoire with these belly-filling, high-protein and vegetable-rich Dutch oven recipes.

Mountain Man Breakfast

This solid breakfast is rich in all three essential macronutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates) and will fuel any rigorous activity until lunchtime. Makes 4 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. country sausage
  • 1 lb. frozen hash-brown potatoes
  • 4 eggs beaten with 1⁄8 cup water
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fry and crumble sausage in Dutch oven.
  2. Remove sausage and drain on paper towels.
  3. Spread hash-brown potatoes over sausage grease in oven and brown potatoes.
  4. Place cooked sausage over cooked hash browns.
  5. Pour eggs over hash browns and sausage.
  6. Sprinkle cheese over mixture.
  7. Bake until eggs are cooked.

Santa Fe Soup

This soup has many health benefits, thanks to the beans that give it bulk. Many studies have shown a correlation between eating beans and the reduced risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks. What’s more, beans are rich in protein, amino acids and fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, prevent diabetes and increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Makes 12 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 packages ranch dressing mix
  • 2 packages taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 16-oz. can kidney beans
  • 16-oz. can pinto beans
  • 16-oz. can black beans
  • 1 bag frozen white corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (with or without green chiles)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Brown turkey in a pan with vegetable oil. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning. Add water. Mix.
  3. Add beans, corn and tomatoes.
  4. Place mixture in a 12-inch Dutch oven and simmer over coals until done.
  5. Optional: Add a topping of crushed tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream to each bowl of soup.

Spanish Paella

This recipe took second place at the Great Salt Lake Council Scout-O-Rama Dutch Oven Cookoff in 1994. Paella is a high-carb meal, thanks to the rice. If you’re trying to lower your blood sugar, simply eat more of the protein (seafood and chicken) and a small amount of rice — or swap out the white or yellow rice with brown rice or quinoa, both of which are higher in fiber and will lower the meal’s impact on your blood sugar. Makes 5 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 5 chicken legs or thighs, skinned
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rice
  • 12 medium shrimp, cleaned and shelled
  • 10 clams, washed
  • 1 small can artichoke hearts
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup sliced olives

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pour oil into heated 12-inch Dutch oven and add chicken. Cook for about 15 minutes, and then remove chicken to a plate.
  2. Cook garlic, onion, pepper and tomatoes until tender.
  3. Return chicken to oven.
  4. Add water, broth and spices. Heat to boiling, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add rice and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Place shrimp, clams, artichoke hearts, olives and peas on top of mixture. Do not stir after clams are placed on top. Cover. Add coals on top of oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Remove from bottom heat after 10-15 minutes, if rice is cooked and soft. Clams should have opened by the time the dish is finished cooking.

Dutch Oven Vegetables

Vegetarians in your crew? This cheesy, hearty medley of vegetables and savory seasonings will fill up hungry campers even without a protein. Makes 8 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 cups vegetables of your choice, such as broccoli florets, butternut squash, carrots, mushrooms, onions or zucchini
  • ¼ lb. butter
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Chop vegetables into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Pour water into 12-inch Dutch oven, filling the bottom to a depth of ¼ inch.
  3. Add vegetables. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place slices of butter on top of the layer of vegetables.
  4. Put Dutch oven on about 24 coals, lid off, until vegetables start steaming.
  5. Using a stick, remove half of the coals from underneath oven. Allow vegetables to steam until tender.
  6. Move oven off coals and remove leftover water in bottom of oven with a baster.
  7. Cover the hot vegetables with grated cheeses and put lid on oven (no need to add coals on top) until cheeses are melted, about 5 minutes.

Baked Stuffed Apples

Apples are loaded with phytonutrients, including the antioxidant vitamin C and heart-healthy potassium. Be sure to leave the skin on the apples before cooking. That’s where you’ll find most of the nutrients and fiber. Makes 6 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large Granny Smith or honeycrisp apples
  • ½ cup raisins (you can also use dried cranberries)
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 6 oz. orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons honey

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash and core apples, leaving the bottom of the core.
  2. Mix raisins, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
  3. Stuff each apple with mixture.
  4. Add water, orange juice concentrate and honey to a bowl. Mix well.
  5. Place apples in Dutch oven. Slowly pour orange juice/honey mixture over apples.
  6. Place oven on coals, put on lid and arrange coals on the lid in a checkboard pattern.
  7. Bake until apples are tender, 40-50 minutes.

Recipes courtesy of Lodge Manufacturing Company of South Pittsburgh, Tenn., maker of the 12-inch, 6-quart Cast Iron Boy Scouts of America Camp Dutch Oven.

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