A very quick and easy camping meal is chili mac. In addition, this very inexpensive meal does a great job of filling a person up. It even tastes great when it is cold, so leftovers are seldom a problem.
This camp dinner is especially fantastic if you suddenly realize that it is getting late and that you haven’t even come up with any ideas for camp dinner. From start to finish, it doesn’t take much more than a half hour to make, and it fills the belly. Even kids tend to love the flavor. The following should be enough for four people.
1 pound hamburger
2 boxes macaroni and cheese
2 cans of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of butter
1 tablespoon of sweet relish
Lightly brown and scramble the hamburger in a fry pan. While it is cooking, heat a quart of water to boiling in a pot, and add both boxes of macaroni, minus the cheese packet. Cook the macaroni until it is tender and can easily be cut with a fork, stirring occasionally to keep it from clumping together.
Drain the water out of the macaroni, add the cheese packets, butter, milk, relish and tomato sauce, and return it to heat, turn the heat down, and stir until the butter is melted and everything is blended. Add the browned hamburger, stir, and remove from heat. The meal is as simple as this.
Spices like cumin and oregano can be stirred in if you wish, but they aren’t necessary. This makes it nice, if you forgot to bring the camping spice box. Diced onions can also be cooked with the hamburger, if it is desired. Using pork sausage instead of hamburger also is a delightful change to make. Another variation is to add a can of diced stewed tomatoes.
For a better-rounded camp dinner, this dish goes well with crisp green salad, cooked green beans, or cooked peas. This is a great way to get the kids involved in helping with cooking the dinner, because they can work on the salad or other vegetables while you are cooking the main course.
Fresh fruit is a great dessert for this dish, especially watermelon, peaches, or strawberries. Since the macaroni is starchy, heavy desserts may not be the best choice. Fruit, on the other hand, is a wonderful finishing touch for this quick and easy meal.
Chili Mac can also be made at home, however when done in camp, it also has a slight natural smoke flavor that is hard to duplicate outside of camp. This camp meal should be remembered. It can easily become a favorite camp food for you and your family.