Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Coconut, Prawn & Spinach Camping Risotto



I'm a wee bit of reluctant camper. Truth be know glamping is more my thing. However given the right circumstances I'm happy to rough it under canvas for a couple of nights. Friends, sunshine, music and booze most definitely help but alas no Festivals for us this summer. We did however have a camping tripped planned to attend the Aboyne Highland Games. Foodie Loon, boy and girl are all members of Newtonhill Pipe Band. I've got two pipers and a drummer and throughout the summer I'm often a pipe band widow when they're gallivanting to various events but this time I was invited along.




Our previous family tent had seen better days so I jumped at the chance of a new one from Millets. A Vango Beta 450XL duly arrived along with a couple of camping chairs and a Trangia Camping Stove. To help us on our way we also received a camping care pack with an assortment of goodies. I was really impressed with the Steripod clip on toothbrush protectors. These will have a permanent place in my toilet bag, not just for camping. I can imagine that the giant wipes would be particularly useful in a festival situation and whilst there were a few midgies around there were no mozzies but the 'Zap It' has been set aside for our trip to Orlando in October.


The Trangia Camping Stove was a totally new concept to me. Apparently its an essential piece of kit for the serious Boy Scout or anyone doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award. They've been around for almost a century and remain as popular as ever. The entire packaged stove, including the 2 saucepans and a frying pan, is no larger than a standard cooking pot. Lightweight, durable and simple to use, it's easy to see why it has lasted the test of time and become so iconic. We used it at every meal over our two night stay from cooking up supernoodles to frying sausages and heating beans at breakfast. We struggled a wee bit in controling the heat and clearly need to work on finding out how best to adjust between full flame and off! There are a wide range of additional accessories for the stove and I suspect that Foodie Boy already has his eyes on some. Even before our trip I was conned into buying him the matching fuel bottle.


The Vango Beta 450XL is a 3 poled tunnel tent which offers generous sleeping space for 4 along with an extra living area for storage and shelter. No sooner had it arrived than my Boy Scout took it upon himself to erect it in the garden and spend a couple of nights under the stars. The pitching time is given as 15 minutes. On his own erecting it for the first time he had it done in less than 30 which is pretty good going in my book. With four hands to the pump it was pitched well within 15 minutes at the campsite with the whole set up being very intuitive. The porch/living area is absolutely huge in camping terms. The weather was kind to us on this trip but there would have been plenty room if we'd all had to sit inside. Diamond clear PVC windows provide lots of light and internal pockets and lantern hanging points are conveniently positioned. The winds picked up overnight so we were grateful for the tension band system which prevents any sideways movement. The real test would of course be could two pipers and one drummer get changed into their band uniforms within the tent?! I left them to it and I'm pleased to report that all three emerged fully attired and ready to perform. That's one spacious tent.


Camping does of course provide its own food and cooking challenges but with a wee bit of forward planning greater things than beans and hot dogs are possible. Here are a few of my top tips along with some camping recipes from blogging friends

Noodles, quick cook pasta, tinned potatoes and pre-cooked rice pouches are convenient carbs.
Tinned meat and fish are your friends (make sure you bring a tin opener if they don't have ring pulls!)
Egg based meals work well for any time of the day - not just breakfast.
Ambient goods such as chorizio and smoked sausage can be combinned with tinned tomatoes and pulses.
Measure ingredients for each meal ahead of time and pack in labeled ziplock bags. 
Simple one pot dishes work really well, don't try to overcomplicate things.
Prepare soups, stews or chili etc ahead of time. Freeze and used as ice packs in your cool bag.
Remember to pack salt and pepper. They will make a huge difference to your cooking. 'Acquire' some individual sachets.

Coconut, Prawn & Spinach Camping Risotto
This is much more of a general idea than a recipe. The basis of a risotto made with pre-cooked rice works really well and can be adapted by using different flavours of rice and substituting or adding extra ingredients.

N.B. We made and ate this on our first night when we arrived. Prawns and a coolbox may not be the best combination. Use tinned meat/fish, ambient chorizio/smoked sausage or buy something fresh from a farm shop to enjoy this mid camping.

250g Pack of precooked Coconut Rice
1 x 50g Sachet of Creamed Coconut
100g Baby Spinach
150g Cooked & Peeled King Prawns
Salt & Pepper

Heat through the precooked rice in a pot over a camping stove along with the creamed coconut and a a cup of water.
Add the spinach and let it wilt down.
Cook for a few more minutes until the rice is hot and most of the excess liquid has been absorbed.
Finally add the prawns. Warm them through, season with salt and pepper and serve.



Disclosure : Millets #WeDoSummer campaign provided our camping equipment for review. This is not a paid post. As always, all views expressed are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you.

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10 comments :

  1. Lovely camping dish Claire, I love prawns and coconut and that tent looks fabulous:-)

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    1. Seriously the tent is like a tardis! I was going to use coconut milk but couldn't find a ring pull tin hence opted for the coconut rice and creamed coconut combo.

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  2. Do you know I might even have to try camping if you can eat things like your risotto! The tent and stove look great.

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    1. The spaciousness of the tent and the convenience of the stove made for a very pleasant camping trip. The good weather did of course help!

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  3. Camping is brave at the best of times but to cook meals like that is heroic!

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    1. I take it you're not a Happy Camper Heidi?! LOL

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  4. Love how easy this recipe is, and it sounds delicious! I must admit that camping is not for me. I love being in nature but I would miss the comforts of being in doors! :P

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    1. Camping has moved on so much from what you probably perceive it to be. It's really not roughing it as there is now so much amazing kit available.

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  5. Ooh, yes please! I'm always up for easy peasy one pot meals and this one looks delicious. Love your fab camping cooking tips too. And thanks for linking up with #CookBlogShare :-) Eb x

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    1. Thanks! The precooked rice is fab for a quick one pot dish and this recipe certainly doesn't need to be kept just for camping.

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