Camping Recipes Cheap Eats

Macca — 30 June 2016

When you’re on the road, particularly if you’re on a budget, the price of your meal ticket becomes important.

When I was growing up, my parents took us to the far-flung edges of Victoria because they weren’t sure of what lay beyond the borders of our great state.

And we did it on a budget. Dad had a VW Kombi that he used to do deliveries in and, when school holidays came about, he equipped it with 250kg of superfluous and mostly dangerous stuff, pushed four of us into its arse end unrestrained and took us off on another journey.

Then, to add insult to injury, he usually headed into a deepening low pressure system (that’s a thing designed to make your holiday a misery). But, alas, God couldn’t have made our existence more miserable at that time.

Pulling up on a cliff, the Twelve Apostles within our sight, dad set us free to explore. And I did. I spent most of my time looking for lizards and watching ants do their thing.

Why do ants act so randomly, so singularly when they collectively make a nest? I still ponder this question.

However, while crouched down, my butt facing the Kombi, I heard the report of a firearm and immediately popped my head up to enquire, to which my dad lowered the gun and invited me to remain alive for the rest of my life if I stopped pretending to be David Attenborough, as it was dinner time.

And as I continued to wander unassisted around the cliffs that form the backdrop of the Twelve Apostles, I thought about those poor souls who were shipwrecked on Victoria’s coastline way back when, and a wry smile would come to my lips. There was that dreadful sense that tonight we might sup down on another disaster. Imagine if survivors had dragged their wretched bodies up the cliffs, only to be met by my mother’s tucker? It’s an atrocity that only my siblings and I could know.

But, as mum always continues to say, “I was a child of the depression.”

That’s nice mum, but why did you serve us depression food?

I’ve grown up a bit since and now believe there’s a lot to be said about saving a dollar where you can.

So here a few tasty ways to ease the pressure on your bank account.


  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 grilled red or green capsicum, finely diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp chopped chili, or chili flakes
  • 400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • Handful of coriander or parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 lime wedges

Saute onion and garlic in one tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Place onion mixture, capsicum, chicken stock, a tbsp of olive oil and chili in a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pan. Stir in beans and simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat. Stir in corn kernels and salt and pepper. Heat through and serve with yogurt, coriander and lime wedges.


  • 800g beef cheeks
  • 750ml good red wine, minus 1 cup for the cook
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary, removed from stems and chopped
  • A bunch of thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 500g lasagna sheets torn or broken into shards, cooked to packet instructions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated to serve

Place the beef cheeks in a bowl and cover them with red wine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours or a minimum of four.

Remove the beef cheeks from the fridge and pat dry with paper towel. Reserve the red wine from the marinade for later use. Heat a heavy based, high-sided frying pan or deep pot on the stove and add the oil. Brown the cheeks on both sides until golden and caramelised. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add a little more oil if necessary and lightly fry the onion until soft before adding the garlic, rosemary and thyme. Fry for a further minute or so and then deglaze the pan with the wine. Pour in the stock and tomato paste, stir well and return the cheeks to the pan. Cover the cheeks with a piece of baking paper, creating a tight seal and simmer on low heat for six hours, making sure the pan doesn’t dry out by adding water as necessary.

Once ready to serve, using tongs to gently shred the cheek meat and then add the tin tomatoes. Bring back to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer, stir well and add a little more water if necessary. Sprinkle over the parsley and then add the cooked pasta shards. Toss well to combine and serve at the table with the grated parmesan, green vegies and some crusty, buttered bread.


  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into matchsticks or grated
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely sliced
  • 1½ cups mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp picked fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 small eggs
  • 4 rasher bacon, finely diced
  • 1 cup grated cheese

Spread potatoes on a large clean tea towel and wrap up tightly, squeezing out all excess moisture. Add oil and potatoes to bowl and mix well to combine. Line muffin tray with the potatoes, pressing firmly down to form a cup.

Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and set. Remove, line with thyme leaves and crack an egg into each cup. Sprinkle with bacon, fried mushroom and cheese and place back into the oven, then cook until the cheese has melted and the egg is cooked.

Serve with buttered toast.

The full feature appeared in Camper Trailer Australia #101 June 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month! 


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