By: Susan Irby1374023321-IMG_0519_MAIN
Outdoor adventures continue as warm weather entices us away from the computer and television and into the wilderness. Enjoying the outdoors is a wonderful, invigorating experience and the foods we eat can be equally as exciting. Get the most out of campfire meals by including nutrients vital to repairing tired muscles and storing up needed energy for the next day’s adventure.

When it comes to campfire cooking, keep it simple with lean proteins cut into smaller, easy-to-cook portions and nutrient-rich vegetables and starches that replenish energy stores and keep the metabolism revved to optimal levels. Incorporate herbs and spices such as turmeric that help relieve joint pain. A root most often dried and ground to powder form, turmeric is popular in cooking and commonly associated with curry, a spice blend. Turmeric is a powerful spice that acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, helps prevent cancers, helps control diabetes, reduces cholesterol and aids in weight loss due to its ability to help break down fat. Sprinkle a little in your breakfast eggs, use in vinaigrettes or add a little to marinades and dry rubs for proteins as demonstrated by this recipe for Campfire Chicken.

Campfire Chicken
(Serves 6)

1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
2 medium hot house or similar tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch thick strips
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow summer squash or pattypan squash, sliced
6 garlic cloves, halved
½ pound pancetta, roughly chopped
½ pound summer sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp fresh oregano or thyme leaves
1 ear fresh yellow or white corn kernels
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 double-folded aluminum foil squares, about 12 inches x 12 inches

1. In a small mixing bowl, toss together chicken and turmeric. Set aside.
2. In a separate small mixing bowl, toss together quinoa and cayenne pepper and set aside.
3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat or prepare outdoor campfire. In a large mixing bowl, combine onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, pancetta, summer sausage, oregano or thyme and corn and toss together. Drizzle olive oil over all and add sea salt and black pepper and toss well to combine. Add chicken mixture and quinoa and toss well to combine.
4. Divide each mixture equally amongst six aluminum foil patches. Form foil into a pocket-style design and fold edges of foil to close securely.
5. Place foil packet directly on heated grill over medium-high heat or directly onto coals or rack over open campfire. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
6. Serve as is or with a sauce on the side such as roasted red bell pepper remoulade or basil pesto.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Serving size: 1 packet
Calories: 427.5
Fat: 25.7g
Saturated Fat: 8.1g
Carbohydrates: 19.8g
Protein: 29.4g
Fiber: 4.3g
Sodium: 1,018mg

Susan Irby, the Bikini Chef, is a radio host for Bikini Lifestyles on 790 KABC, an author and specialist in healthy “bikini” cuisine. Follow her at or visit her online at

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