Plant-based meat has slowly been making its way into the mainstream, thanks to successful efforts to engineer new products that taste like meat. It’s showing up in fast-food joints, Michelin-starred restaurants and even your local grocery store, which is where we step in.
We wondered how we could bring the meatless trend into the outdoors with us on our next car-camping trip, so we turned to the creators behind the Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cookbook—writer and illustrator Lindsey Moran, executive chef Denise Woolery and editor-in-chief Gail Kearns—to find out how to do it right.
They remixed three of their favorite recipes from the cookbook to make meat lovers drool (and satisfy vegetarians, too).
Best Blue Cheese Burger, Ever
Moran introduced this burger with a confession: “I hate blue cheese, but I love this burger.”
What changed the game for her was the genius method her mom invented of fully encompassing a blue-cheese patty with ground beef, which Moran promptly replicated with plant-based meat, calling it a “blue cheese plantducken.” The result is glorious—full of the same juicy flavor you’d expect from a beef burger. Get ready to share, because this recipe makes four burgers.
- 2 pounds plant-based meat
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, crumbled
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 4 brioche buns
Optional burger fixings
- Sliced tomatoes
- Caramelized onions
- Mayonnaise with a dash of hot sauce or any homemade spicy mayo
Set up charcoal for grilling using a chimney stack two-thirds filled with charcoal. When coals are partially covered with ash, spread them out in the fire pit and set up a Tuscan grill, a cast-iron grill grate with short legs that you place directly over embers. (While Moran uses a Tuscan grill for this recipe most often, a typical grill, camp stove, or even your regular home setup will work well.)
Place plant-based ground beef in a bowl along with garlic, sage, pepper and salt and work into the meat to combine. Divide meat into eight balls. Gently flatten into patties.
In a separate bowl, form the crumbled cheese into four patties. Place one cheese patty on each of the four beef patties. Top with the remaining four beef patties, pinching the edges to seal the cheese completely. The cheese patties can be made ahead of time and stored in your cooler.
Get the grill hot and place the stuffed patties on the grill. Cook patties according to package directions. Grill the buns by placing them cut-side down on the grill until just barely browned. Assemble and enjoy.
A word with two meanings, tagine refers to the clay or ceramic pot used to make this hearty dish and the meal itself—a mouthwatering blend of meat, poultry or fish and fruit and veggies, slow-cooked with North African spices. Not planning on bringing a heavy, earthenware pot camping? Don’t worry, you won’t need to with this recipe. Here, Moran captures the warm flavors of the traditional dish in a camp-ready classic. This sumptuous, filling recipe makes six servings, for you and your closest campmates.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 2 cinnamon sticks or 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 16 small shallots, peeled and left whole
- 1 medium-size butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch-thick rounds
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- 1 tablespoon dark honey
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 package plant-based sausage (4 large sausages)
Prepare your fire pit for Dutch oven cooking. (Though a Dutch oven is preferred, any pot over a fire, grill, or camp stove will work.)
Heat the olive oil and butter in the Dutch oven. Stir in ginger and cinnamon sticks. Toss in the shallots. When they begin to color, add squash and carrots. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the prunes and honey. Pour in vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat under the Dutch oven, cover with lid, add coals to lid and cook gently for about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile: Grill sausages according to package directions, slice into rounds and set aside.
Then remove the lid and stir in some of the cilantro, some of the mint and all of the cut sausage. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce liquid, if necessary, by cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes without the lid. The squash should be fork tender, slightly caramelized and the sauce very syrupy. Sprinkle with remaining fresh cilantro and mint, serve immediately.
Citrus Chicken Tacos
This unique citrus marinade packs welcome flavor into plant-based chicken strips. Pro tip: Make the marinade ahead of time and bring it to the campsite in a leakproof jar. This recipe makes about eight tacos—perfect for those days when you’ve worked up an appetite!
- 16 ounces (2 packages) plant-based grilled chicken strips
- Juice and zest of 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 scallions, chopped
In a large bowl, combine all the zest and juice, garlic, cilantro, honey, olive oil, tamari soy sauce and ginger. Add the chicken strips and mix to coat them completely. Let marinade for 30 minutes in the cooler.
Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken strips and heat according to the chicken strip package directions. If there’s too much liquid, pump the heat up at the end to boil it off.
Garnish with scallions and serve.