Many world-famous chefs and restaurateurs will attest that simple food made with quality ingredients often tastes better than elaborate, overwrought dishes that are meant to impress.
For survivalists and preppers, there’s no need to impress anyone. “Simple” food is less a choice and more a survival necessity.
No matter how well you think you’ve prepared for a disaster, it’s still important to know how to provide meals for yourself and any dependents, even with a limited store of ingredients.
As you think about which types of food and cooking supplies to stock in your cellar, shelter or bug-out bag, consider the following seven meals.
You’ll be able to cut down on the number of unique ingredients you have to hunt down, transport or store at a time when you’ll only be able to count on the essentials.
1. Roasted Meat Skewers
If you’ve got a fresh kill from a hunting trip that you can quickly butcher some strips of meat from, you can make this dish a little more sanitary by using metal skewers that will keep any dirt and grime from getting into your meat.
Apply salt, pepper, and other seasonings if you’ve got them, and enjoy one of these meals right off the skewer.
2. Foil-Wrapped Baked Potatoes
Slice your potatoes halfway through and load them with butter, salt, pepper, and your choice of additional condiments (if you’ve got them) like bacon and chives.
Place them in an area of medium- to low-heat coals and allow them to heat for 30 minutes. Unwrap and enjoy a tasty baked potato!
3. Grilled Lobster Tail With Garlic and Butter
You might think of lobster as a luxury item, but it wasn’t always that way. These tasty crustaceans were once so plentiful that people considered them to be “poor people’s food” and used them as fishing bait or fertilizer.
If you’ve just hauled a few fresh “bugs” in from a body of water near your beachfront camp or shelter, they’ll be delicious prepared over a grill grate with only the addition of a little butter and garlic. Preparation takes about 10 minutes.
4. Australian Campfire Bread
The result is a hearty, more cake-like consistency that takes well to a dollop of butter, delivering some much-needed stick-to-your-ribs sustenance at the end of a long or difficult day.
Best of all, you can make this bread with only three ingredients.
5. Packet-Roasted Salmon or Trout
If you’ve had a successful fishing expedition, why not enjoy the catch of the day? Fish gets no fresher than a hand-cleaned filet wrapped in foil and accompanied by some lemon, rosemary and butter.
As with the potato recipe, all it takes to prepare a juicy, succulent fish is 30 minutes in the hot embers surrounding your campfire. If you’re using simple camping utensils, be careful to remove the small bits of bone you might not find in store-bought fish.
It might add some minor inconvenience, but you’ll notice a difference in flavor that’s well worth the nuisance.
6. Camper’s Dip
If you’re interested in reenacting your favorite “Blazing Saddles” scene, look no further than some hearty and tasty bean dip topped with melted cheddar cheese.
While it might not evoke thoughts of gourmet cooking, this dip can easily transform a bag of chips or a loaf of fresh campfire bread into a complete meal. Heat a can of hearty chili in your campfire oven, add sour cream, diced onions and cheddar cheese.
Serve right from the Dutch oven or spoon into bowls for a simple but effective meal that will satisfy everybody sharing your fire.
7. Homemade Trail Mix
If hunger pangs strike while you’re driving to a new shelter location, or out for a hike, you won’t need to make camp to gain some much-needed energy.
You can also customize your trail mix using a wide selection of bulk nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and even chocolate or peanut-butter chips, although these are best when kept cool. Otherwise, it’s a meal as versatile as the name implies.
A Comfortable Post-Apocalypse
It can be easy to let the realities of few ingredients and bare-bones prep tools intimidate you into eating only premade food. However, there’s genuine value in crafting something hot and homemade around the campfire.
Of course, you can always stock up on MREs ahead of time to ensure you’re safe in an SHTF scenario. They provide all the necessary nutrients to keep you alive, and they’re easy to transport and store.
That said, it’ not so hard to provide a selection of tasty menu options that remind you of home, even when you’re sleeping under the stars or in other unfamiliar circumstances.
As long as you pack MREs or remember the seven meals above, you’ll enjoy a comfortable post-apocalypse.
Do you have any tips for meals you can make with limited ingredients? Let us know your survival stories in the comments below.