When you're traveling, camping or holidaying, part of the adventure is the fun (or challenge) of making meals away from home. It can be hard to know where to get food from, what to choose, and how much to spend. Don't let this get you down! We've created this comprehensive guide to help you enjoy your holiday while not stressing about the next meal.
All Kiwi Holiday Parks have clean, well-stocked communal and private kitchens so cooking shouldn’t be too difficult. You're also most welcome to use your own individual cookers on site, such as camping stoves – providing they're safe and well supervised.
There are a few basic staples to keep with you. These versatile foods can be the base of any meal, and are cheap to buy, especially in bulk:
- Flour and sugar
- Salt/pepper plus grains, seeds or lentils
- Olive oil (or similar)
If you have a cooler or chilly bin, butter and milk are great additions to pantry items.
No matter where you are throughout New Zealand, there are endless opportunities to secure products right from the source (such as a farm), farmers markets or supermarkets, where you can buy fresh bread, fruit, vegetables, berries, eggs and meat for a competitive price. Some produce or butchery stores may reduce their prices as the day goes on, so there's a great chance to grab food at a bargain price.
Sometimes we put too much pressure on the main meals, so don't forget snacks – especially if you're going on a long drive or hike. Great ideas include:
- Nuts – such as almonds, cashews, and peanuts
- Celery sticks – add peanut butter for an extra flavour hit!
- Dark chocolate
- Carrot sticks
- Cut fruit
Tasty meal ideas
Using your staples and grocery items you’ve picked up at the market or store, it's easy to throw together a nutritious, filling meal. Simple to make, why not consider:
- Cooking beans and rice to serve with tortilla chips.
- Making an easy pizza base – put 225g of self-raising flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 5-7 tablespoons of water until it has the consistency of a soft dough. Roll it onto a floured surface and make it as thick or thin as you like. Cook until brown in a pan drizzled with oil, then add toppings and cook again until any cheese has melted or the base becomes golden at the edges.
- Adding vegetables, meat, and/or potatoes to pasta or rice.
- Cooking noodles with chicken, beef or vegetable stock. Throw in chopped vegetables and/or meat of your choice and you have a simple dish that makes great leftovers. For an added kick, garnish with soy sauce or sesame seeds.
Something to cook over the fire
If you have the opportunity to light a fire (safely, and with permission) or have the use of a camping stove with a flame, these great recipes/ideas are always a winner.
- The classic toasted marshmallow.
- S'mores – toast a marshmallow over the fire and place it with chocolate between wine biscuits or graham biscuits.
- Damper – in a bowl, rub 2 teaspoons of butter into 2 cups of self-raising flour. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar then knead in 1-2 cups of milk to create a dough. Wrap dough around skewers or clean sticks, cook and eat.
- Stuffed Potato - Wash and peel potatoes before slicing strips into the top. In these strips add salt, cheese, sour cream, spring onions or anything else you wish. Wrap in tin foil and place them among the coals at the base of the fire to cook for around 30 minutes.
These simple meal ideas will keep you well fed and energised and feel free to ask any of our friendly hosts for tips and local information about markets and the best food stores in the area.
Do you have any favourite camping meals or foods? Tell us about it in a comment below – we'd love to hear about it.
Enjoying the market by Jocelyn Kinghorn, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Making sushi in motorhome by studio tdes, CC-BY-2.0