Some great recipes are below, but before we that, a short note on camp food:
We think of meals as highlights each day. Not only for tasty food, but to catch up on our adventures. Meals are prepared in the certified kitchen and dining area in the Lodge where we can do meal prep, but there are other areas campers are involved, largely outdoors. (Pre-Covid), We use the bike blender for breakfast smoothies (and pesto), the brick oven for pizza (and roasting veggies) and campfires for cook-outs. For 2022, Nature's Farm Camp is planning on bringing back more kids involvement in meal prep (in a way that's safe w/Covid).
We understand food as medicine and, through positive interactions throughout, including offering a wide array of tastes and textures and sharing meals together, we foster healthy relationships with food. We also like to put an emphasis on campers learning food practicality, i.e. skills they can take home and put to use.
Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is a fruit seed and is related to sorrel and rhubarb. More nutritionally dense than wheat, it’s also gluten free.
Our buckwheat is from Brian Severson’s family farm. In the recipe, we don’t add sugar, but we often add fruit (or chocolate chips) to the batter and we offer sweet toppings.
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, or as needed
And Butter to grill…
Whisk buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. If you add sugar, this is the place to do it.
Beat buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract together in another bowl. Pour flour mixture into buttermilk mixture; whisk until batter is thick and smooth. Let batter rest for a few minutes until bubbles form and batter relaxes.
Melt butter on a griddle over medium heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
Tools: two big bowls, whisk, measuring spoons, Grill tools: towels, butter, ladle, flippers, plate, tray to put pancakes in (put in oven on low
Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crisped Chickpeas and Salted Pistachios
Note: We don’t do the chickpeas part. And, if you want to ‘sell’ more of it, put in raisins instead of nuts.
Salad 1 lb carrots, grated ½ cup chopped parsley ¼ cup salted pistachios chopped
Dressing 1 medium garlic clove, minced ¼ cup lemon juice 3 tablespoons tahini (maybe less!) 2 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Make dressing: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, adding more water if needed to thin the dressing slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning; don’t worry if it tastes a little sharp on the lemon, it will marry perfectly with the sweet grated carrots. Assemble salad: Place grated carrots in large bowl and toss with parsley. Mix in 2/3 of the dressing, adding more if desired. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with a large handful of chickpeas (you’ll have extra and if you’re like us, won’t regret it) and pistachios and dig in.
Do ahead: Salad keeps well in the fridge for two days, however, I’d add the chickpeas and pistachios right before serving, so they don’t get soft.
Chickpeas 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-ounce can, drained and patted dry on paper towels 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin Roast chickpeas: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss chickpeas with one tablespoon olive oil, salt and cumin until they’re all coated. Spread them on a baking sheet or pan and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crisp. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and firmness of your chickpeas. Toss them occasionally to make sure they’re toasting evenly. Set aside until needed.
Green Lentil Curry
This is a new recipe to camp in 2019, and a bigger hit than we anticipated.
We believe recipes are just starting points. Get the basics down and then improvise, based on what’s available to you and what you enjoy. Try the recipe as-is the first time you make it, but don’t hesitate to add more of the spices, and veggies. We added carrots nearly every week.
*1 large onion, finely chopped
*6 garlic cloves, crushed
*1 tsp turmeric
*½ tsp ground coriander
*1 tsp curry powder
*1 tsp cumin
*1 ¼ tsp salt
*a couple shakes of pepper
*14 oz can coconut milk, full fat
*6 oz tomato paste
*2 cups green lentils, uncooked and rinsed
*3 cups water
Preheat pot on low-medium heat and swirl oil to coat.
Add onion and garlic, cook until golden brown (5 minutes), stirring occasionally.
Add turmeric, coriander, curry powder, cumin and salt; cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
Add coconut milk, tomato paste, water, lentils and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low for 30-45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
*Add in chopped veggies or cooking greens. Use whatever you have. And don’t be afraid to add more spices.
*Optional: cilantro and/ or green onions, for garnish.
*We serve it the same day as it’s cooked, but it tastes better day two or day three. Just leave it covered, in the fridge. Please, please double the recipe! For thirty-six people, multiply recipe by at least five!
FORMULA: it’s all about the greens, nuts, oil, salt and garlic. Cheese is optional. Blend the nuts and garlic first. Add leaves and pour in olive oil as it’s blending.
We generally don’t use a recipe, but it’s nice to look at samples to get a sense of the ratios. Sample as you go, but don’t put a spoon that has been in your mouth back in the processor!
2 Cups Fresh Leaves.
2 Cloves Garlic.
1/3 Cup Nuts.
1/2 Cup Cheese, Fresh.
1/4 Teaspoon Salt.
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper.
1/2 Cup Olive Oil.
Maybe a splash of lemon (or a vinegar like apple cider vinegar)
The Greens: We usually use at least some basil, but always add in whatever greens we have. Tougher stuff (kale) you could do a quick blanch in boiling salted water to soften up. Softer stuff: Basil, parsley, cilantro, chervil, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli, broccoli rabe, scallions, garlic scapes, ramp tops, kale, collards, mustard greens, radish tops, spinach, watercress, peas. We had lots of beet greens this summer and they work well.
The Nuts: If not pine nuts, try walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios. Because of allergies, we often use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds,.
The Cheese: try Parmesan, then others OK
Tools: towel, 1 knife, cut board, bowls, colander, measuring spoons – mortar/blender. And spoons to try as they go, i.e. have a master testing spoon that gets pesto from blender and place a couple drops on each camper’s testing spoon, without touching the camper’s spoons (that way there is no contamination).
Expectations: we are using a knife (a tool), which, when not used properly, is dangerous.
A staff member demos knife skills, e.g. bear claw, and when in the hands of a camper, the staffer tests for competency and then monitors closely. When a camper uses a knife, they are to pay attention. If they are distracted, they put down the knife until they are ready to focus.
Notes: Make sure kids have hands wash and prep space is clean and sanitized. This is the kids project. They get to show how well they can work together: read, discuss ideas, listen, plan and execute (perhaps dividing up tasks). Before beginning, kids must commit, even to the clean-up.
2 pounds medium zucchini & squash – thinly sliced (using mandoline or knife)
Onion – cut up in long thin slices
Garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 part cider vinegar and 1 part water
Something sweet (honey and/or maple syrup)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
turmeric & pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Also options: fresh chives and dill
First Part Directions
1. Thinly slice squash. Transfer squash, onion and garlic to a colander set in a bowl. Toss well with salt. Refrigerate 1 hour (or more). 2. Meanwhile, bring vinegar, sweetener, and spices to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Let cool completely, at least 20 minutes.
Second Part Directions (After Break):
1. Rinse veggies, onion and garlic and drain.
2. Put veggies, onion and garlic in bowl or jars and pour in cool brine.
3. Transfer to airtight containers. Refrigerate. Eat two days, or two weeks later.
Expectations: we are using a knife (a tool), which, when not used properly, is dangerous.
The staff demos knife skills, e.g. bear claw, and when in the hands of a camper, staff watches closely to ensure proper use. When kids not using knife, they put knives down
Notes: Before beginning, the prep space must be cleaned and everyone washes hands
Tools: towel, knives, chopping boards, measuring spoon, bowl, pot, Use blue tape to ID the jars, i.e. with date, names, and ingredients.
Notes on “Pickling”: Pickling is the process of preserving or extending the lifespan of food by either fermenting in brine or immersion in vinegar. Explain why we ferment and benefits, i.e. preserve harvest through winter, flavor, health benefits. Foods that are pickled include vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, dairy and eggs.
There are lots of ways to pickle and preserve food, the method above is just one. During camp this year, there were several batches where we forgot to add water, so the pickles were extra vinegary.