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Camp Dinner: Beans, Greens, & Bangers

Camp Dinner: Beans, Greens, & Bangers


Allow us to introduce one of our favorite people we love to camp with - Jeff Shu. Jeff is a part-time professional cook with experience in fine dining, education, and many aspects of the food service industry. We've had the pleasure of camping with him several times, and the last time we somehow talked him into organizing the menu and helping cook for a group of 25 of us up at Mount Tam. What he came up with was not only delicious and creative, but also hearty and easily executed. With some forethought and preparation, a camp meal can be the highlight of your trip. Read on and get ideas for the upcoming camp season:

The original idea proposed to me was to create a couple of meals easily re-creatable for any camping trip.  So I took the nostalgia of a campfire and a can of beans (reference Lucky Day, by Tom Waits) and based my dinner around that. A giant pot of beans, grains, bangers, and kale salad to accompany is what happened. Grains accompany beans well and either beans or rice can be doctored-up to anybody's tastes.  I added a kale salad for balance, and bangers because they're usually pre-seasoned pretty heavily and can make stews and rice extra tasty if you eat meat.    - Jeff Shu

Camp Dinner: Beans, Greens, & Bangers

Prep Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 90 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Ingredients for the Beans and Bangers:

  • 1 cup beans (Calypso were pictured)
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • spice combo (we suggest thyme, bay leaf, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, chili flakes)
  • 1 cup grains of your choice (brown rice, sorghum, and barley are pictured
  • 2-4 sausages

Ingredients for the Kale Salad:

  • 1 head of kale (curly was pictured)
  • 1/3 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 1/2 jar of balsamic pickled onions, sliced (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of Other Brother Olive Oil
  • Edible flowers* (optional) (nasturtium, thyme flowers, pictured)
  • Salt + Pepper

Steps to Success:

Beans, Bangers, and "Rice"

  1. Prepare beans.  If using dried beans, soak them overnight prior to cooking.  To cook beans, cover completely with water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for about 30 minutes approximately.  For simplicity, a store-bought can of beans will do nicely.  Cannellini beans are fine.
  2. Prepare "Rice" (aka whole grains). In a separate pot, prepare grains. If using dried whole grains, use (1) one cup of grains for every (1.33) one and a third cups of water.  To cook grains, mix grains and water, bring to a boil, and let simmer for an hour approximately.  For simplicity, a store-bought package of pre-cooked grain will do nicely. Brown rice will be nice.
  3. Prepare corn, onions, and garlic. While beans and "rice" are being heated, prepare corn, onions, and garlic for step 4. A rough chop will be perfect.
  4. Doctor-up your beans. We added corn kernels, diced onions, garlic, vegetable bullion base, Other Brother olive oil, and pre-ground spices (ground up coriander, cumin, thyme, oregano, and black pepper).  Stir to incorporate.  Let simmer for 5 minutes, and taste with a spoon. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. While beans and rice are simmering, pan-fry up whole sausage in a skillet, or heat them up over a grill.
  6. Enjoy together.

Kale Salad

  1. Prepare balsamic pickled onions. Slice Onions thinly. Place slices in jar and cover with balsamic vinegar for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve sliced onions.
  2. Prepare radishes. Slice radishes thinly.
  3. Prepare kale. Remove the kale stems and rip kale leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add the kale leaves and salt+pepper to a large mixing bowl. Mix together well and crush kale leaves slightly. Let sit for 5 minutes. Your kale will be slightly tenderized and tastier.
  4. Mix together kale and sliced radishes, sliced onions, sliced almonds, and Other Brother olive oil and toss thoroughly.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy. Decorate with edible flowers* if available.

*note: Nasturtium and Thyme flowers picked prior to arrival at camp site.


Canned beans work best for the campsite, but if you like to buy in bulk BE SURE to soak the beans for at least one night before camp dinner, or else you'll be boiling them all night long (when you should be singing alongside your friend that brought his banjo...)