If you are a fan of any outdoor activity – whether that be hillwalking, climbing, cycling, paddleboarding, running, skiing, camping or anything else – and you enjoy good food, Cook Out is the book for you. Food and the outdoors have often had a connection but – barbecues aside – cooking outside is often overlooked, but not here. Below is a selection of recipes that are designed to be prepared mid-adventure and – to show you how easy it can be to enjoy gourmet meals in the open air – you don't even need to bring your camping stove for these.
SUNRISE BREAKFAST: Muesli
Serves 2 Allergens gluten, nuts, milk
Packed with fibre and complex carbohydrates, muesli is a breakfast that will fuel you through any morning activity. Shop-bought muesli is often extremely high in added sugars which can cause energy levels to crash in the hours after consumption, but a home-made blend can keep you marching on. The original Swiss blend contains grated apple, but I keep my mix dry so that it’s easy to increase the portion size and carry it on a multi-day adventure.
Method Add the bran sticks, oats, sunflower seeds and raisins to the bowl. Finely chop the walnuts and add 3⁄4 to the bowl. Roughly chop the dried apricots and add them to the bowl.
Mix together and serve in a bowl with a scoop of yoghurt – top with the cranberries and remaining chopped walnuts.
ELEVATED SANDWICH: Cheese and caperberries bagel
Serves 2 Allergens gluten, fish, milk
If you happen to be enjoying the outdoors in Scotland, then be sure to take the opportunity to buy your smoked salmon from as close to source as possible. Not only is this bagel beautifully visual, it’s also delicious. There’s no need for a stove for this one, unless you fancy a brew to wash it down. If you can’t find the big juicy caperberries, regular ones work just fine. Other smoked fish will also work equally as well.
Ingredients 1⁄2 red onion 25ml white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar salt 2 bagels 100g cream cheese 200g smoked salmon 4 caperberries fresh dill
Method Thinly slice the red onion and add to a bowl or container with the vinegar, sugar and salt. Leave for 10 minutes to create a quick pickle.
Slice the bagels in half and spread the cut edges with cream cheese. Top the cream cheese with pieces of smoked salmon. Garnish with the now vibrant, quick-pickled red onion. Slice the caperberries in half and place on top, and finally scatter over some fresh dill.
Tip: Stir a small amount of horseradish through the cream cheese to further level-up this salmon bagel
This snack simply requires assembling rather than cooking, but you could take it to unrivalled levels by creating the components from scratch. Thought to be the culinary innovation of Horace Sowers Kephart (great name), an avid outdoorsman and travel writer who was at his prominence at the turn of the 1900s, trail mix can refer to any medley or ‘pick n mix’ of savoury and sweet morsels to be devoured in nature. The inclusion of chocolate might cause a few rumblings in thru-hiker communities due to it melting in warmer climes, but that’s only a concern a couple of days a year here in the UK!
Ingredients 100g mixed nuts with dried fruit 100g dried banana 100g sugar-coated chocolate peanuts 100g cheese crackers 100g Bombay mix
Method Decant the ingredients into a sealable container or pouch ready for your next adventure. The choice of ingredients is really up to you. Choose a blend of sweet, crunchy, salty, savoury and fruity products that are baked or dried so they last longer when you’re out and about.