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Archive for April, 2009

I am trying to avoid cross-posting with my other blog at wildernesscooking.com but this is such a great food for the trail that I thought I could make an exception. Often we want a trail lunch that is simple, lightweight, tasty and doesn’t require a lot of time or the use of a camp stove. Hummus is a tasty dish that fits all of that criteria. It can be used in a wrap with chicken for a nice light dinner meal.

sunny garlic hummus

dried hummus

sunny garlic hummus

dehydration time: 5 to 7 hours  
makes 2 to 4 servings

Hummus is one of the easiest things to make for a trail lunch, and this one has the sunny flavor of oranges.

1 19-ounce can chickpeas – rinsed and drained
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
2 cloves garlic
1 heaping teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons tahini
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

At Home
Combine and blend all the ingredients using a food processor or hand blender until you have a thick paste. Spread evenly on lined dehydrator trays, keeping the mixture about 1/4 inch thick. Dry for 5 to 7 hours or until the mixture crumbles and is thoroughly dry. Store in a medium ziplock freezer bag.

At Camp
Rehydrate the hummus using a formula of 1 1/2 parts dried mix to 1 part water. Wait 5 to 10 minutes and then add a little more water if it’s too dry. Serve as a dip with Greek pitas or your favorite crackers or use as a spread in a wrap.

Tip
If you need to increase your fat intake for cold-weather hiking, drizzle a little olive oil on the hummus just before you eat it.

From A Fork in the Trail by Laurie Ann March ©2008

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We often go on day hikes at this time of year and I like to make a variety of  trail bars just to mix things up a bit. For the most part I make my own bars but I really like this recipe for Crunchy Fruit ‘n Peanut Butter Bars. The recipe was given to me by a friend with Celiac disease and I believe it originally comes from Nature’s Path. I love their products and this no-bake recipe is a keeper.

crunchy fruit ‘n peanut butter bars

makes 16 bars

3 cups Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise, crushed
2 cups Nature’s Path Fruit Juice Cornflakes, crushed
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into 1/4” pieces
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together.  Press into 9 x 9 pan and chill for 2 hours.

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A fellow, known online by the name of Oregonhiker, graciously granted permission for me to share his trail recipe for a quinoa-based Jambalaya with you. Quinoa is a favorite in our family, as is Jambalaya and combining the two is a great idea (I wish I had thought of it). If you haven’t used quinoa before and would like to learn more about it, please visit wildernesscooking.com for more information.

I’d like to thank Oregonhiker for taking the time to create this yummy recipe.  Here it is along with some great tips.

I added a new recipe to my camping food list. This is new in two respects, one is the Jambalaya and the other is using quinoa.

Quinoa is a grain that is high in protein, has a nutty flavor and hydrates very easily. My son used this on the PCT, starting from dry grain and adding water.

 jambalaya

dehydration time: 8 to 10 hours
makes 3 to 4 servings

1 1/2 cups quinoa (rinsed and drained)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion (minced)
1 bell pepper (minced)
10 fresh mushrooms (minced)
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
15 ounces canned white beans (drained)
8 ounces fish – more on this later
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 2 3/4 cups water, bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender and translucent. Set this aside.

Heat a fry pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the onions, bell peppers and mushrooms and stir for 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, beans, fish and herbs and bring to a boil, let in simmer for 5 minutes.

At this point your kitchen should be filled with a heavenly smell.

Add the quinoa to the mixture and blend.

For my first attempt I used tuna for the fish. This didn’t work very well as the tuna didn’t seem to rehydrate well and although the taste was very nice it was extremely chewy. The original recipe called for deveined shrimp.

Spread this mixture out onto dehydrator trays and dehydrate. I did it overnight on the plastic trays that hold moisture, and I had to flip the food over in the morning to fully dry it all.

This then goes into ziplock bags. On the trail I simply put the Jambalaya into my cook pot, added water to cover the food and brought it to a boil and simmered a couple of minutes, and then let it sit a few minutes to fully hydrate. The amount of water you add is something you need to experiment with, if you add too much you just end up with a bit of soup to finish off your meal with. I do stir the mix while heating to be sure that it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

Some recipes suggest adding boiling water to the ziplock bag. I don’t favor this approach as there is a significant amount of research out there about the potential for unwanted chemicals to leach out of the plastic into your food. For me clean up is a breeze, just a little water in the pot, a quick scrub with my no-see-um net scrubber and the pot is clean.

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I’m unsure of the original origins of this recipe. It was given to me by my father-in-law after we had this for dinner at his home one evening. While it was a little different than the traditional cabbage rolls I was used to, I did enjoy it and I thought that it would dry perfectly. It did and it makes a great addition to our trail food.

backcountry cabbage casserole

dehydration time: 8 to 12 hours
makes 4 to 6 servings

If you are vegan you could easily substitute beef flavored TVP for the meat in the recipe.

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup cooked rice
2 10 oz cans condensed tomato soup
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups cabbage, shredded

At Home
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Meanwhile, brown the ground meat and onion in a large skillet. Drain off any fat and stir the tomato soup, rice, salt and pepper. Layer half the cabbage in a greased 9 x 13 inch dish, cover with the meat mixture and repeat the layering again. Cover the dish and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Measure the casserole and write this measurement on a sticky note. Spread the food on dehydrator trays that have been lined with fruit roll inserts or plastic wrap and dry for 8 to 12 hours or until no moisture remains. Put the casserole and the sticky note in a ziplock freezer bag.

At Camp
Add enough boiling water to the dried ingredients in a pot to equal slightly less than the measurement on your sticky note. Be sure to account for and add your dried ingredients to the rehydration container prior to adding any water. You can always add more water if you need to. Once the dish has rehydrated, reheat it through if necessary.

Tips
Putting the container, be it a freezer bag or pot, that you reconstitute your food with inside of a cozy will generally eliminate the need for reheating the food after rehydration. This, of course, depends on factors such as the time of year.

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While this recipe is a little weightier than dehydrated fare, it is a great go-to for those impromptu trips. Using a boxed stuffing mix, such as Stove-Top, makes this a super easy trail dinner.

crabby cakes

makes 2 to 3 servings

A fellow canoeist and avid day hiker, inspired this recipe when we were on a wilderness paddling trip together in Algonquin Provincial Park. I’ll never forget her husband, crabbily teasing me in regards to the number of portages I had planned for each day… “Laurie this is the best hiking trip I’ve ever been on!”  was his comment after the 4th carry of the day. I guess that is what happens when you let a backpacker organize a canoe trip. I called these “crabby cakes” just to tease him a little.

3–4 single serving packages of mayonnaise
1 single-serving package sweet relish
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 package stuffing mix for poultry
2 3 oz pouches or 1 can real crab meat
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cooking oil

At Home
Put the single serving packages of mayonnaise and relish into a small ziplock bag. Put the stuffing mix in a large ziplock bag with the dried chives. Put the bags of mayonnaise bag and the pouches of crab in the large bag. Package the cooking oil with the other oil that you will take on your trip.

At Camp
Mix all the ingredients together in a pot. Add 4 tablespoons water and let it set for 10 minutes. Shape the mixture into small cakes and cook them on a greased frying pan until golden on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Tips
Powdered shortening can be used in place of cooking oil. I recommend serving a nice side of vegetables with this dish.

created by Laurie Ann March ©2005

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apple pie gr-oatmeal

dehydration time: 7 to 10 hours
makes 1 to 2 servings

This warm and hearty oatmeal tastes a little like Mom’s apple pie.

1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup dried apples, chopped
2 tablespoons of granola
1 – 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 packages of regular instant oatmeal
2 tablespoons of soy or whole milk powder

At Home
Mix the cinnamon and applesauce together and spread on a lined dehydrator tray. The mixture will take 7 to 10 hours to dry and will be the consistency of fruit leather.  Wrap the dried applesauce and dried apples together in a piece of plastic wrap. Package the granola and brown sugar in a second piece of plastic wrap. Mix the oatmeal and milk powder together and place in a ziplock bag. Place the fruit and granola bundles in the same ziplock as the other ingredients.

At Camp
Take the apple and applesauce package out of the ziplock. Tear the applesauce leather into small pieces and place in your mug or a freezer bag with the dried apples. Rehydrate with just over 1/3 of a cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached. Place oatmeal in a bowl with the milk powder. Add boiling water to preferred consistency. Top with re-hydrated apple mixture and the granola and brown sugar mixture. Stir if desired.

Tip
If you don’t want to bother dehydrating applesauce and aren’t worried about a little weight in your pack then take a single serving container of applesauce.

created by Laurie Ann March ©2004
recipe courtesy of www.wildernesscooking.com

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As anyone who has read my book knows, I love quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). A while ago I was checking out the availability of the grain at Bob’s Red Mill (the online store) and I noticed some recipes including one for a power bar that I thought would be a great addition to one’s trail food. Here is the recipe from the Bob’s Red Mill website. There are lots of great recipes on the site so you should go check it out.

whole grain power bars from Bob’s Red Mill

makes 15 bars

2 cups oats, rolled, quick cooking
1/2 cup quinoa organic grain
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup soy protein powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup walnuts-baker’s pieces
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (raw shelled)
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup coconut, shredded
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup water

Cook dry quinoa according to directions. While this is cooking, combine oats, flax, protein powder, baking soda, evaporated cane juice, flour, walnuts, seeds, cranberries, coconut and sea salt in a large bowl.

Once quinoa is cooked, add to the pan the oil, vanilla and water. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together.

Spread mixture into greased 9 x 13-inch pan, pressing down with hands to fit into pan. Dough may seem slightly dry, but this is okay. Bake for 20 minutes at 350ºF. Allow to cool and cut into pieces.

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Makes 1 to 2 servings

When I was writing A Fork in the Trail, Kurt Larson (Kipawa Kurt) sent this to me with a note saying that it is one of his favorite recipes. I was skeptical at first but  after trying it I recommend the dish as a tasty addition to your trail food repertoire. While it is not a super lightweight recipe, it does make a great side dish to a campfire-grilled steak. As a variation, we add a bit of gruyere cheese to the recipe.

1 large white onion
1 single serving pouch or cube beef bouillon
1 to 2 tablespoons butter, to taste

At Home
Pack the onion and beef bouillon in a ziplock bag. Add the butter to any other butter you will take on your trip. Pack enough aluminum foil to double-wrap the onion.

At Camp
Make sure you have some hot campfire coals. Peel the onion and cut it in half. Scoop out a small portion of the center and place the bouillon in the cavity. Put the two halves back together and cover the outside liberally with butter. Wrap the entire onion with two layers of foil. Place the bundle near the hot coals and cook until the onion softens. Open the package, separate the halves and cover with the gruyere cheese. Serve with a slice or two from a mini baguette.

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Dennis Schmitt, known for his work on the Philmont Country Cookbook and for authoring the A Taste of Troop 928 Cookbook, generously granted permission for me to share some trail egg nog recipes with you. You can find links to both cookbooks on MacScouter’s Cooking and Cookbooks page.

The first is a family friendly version and is completely yummy. Dennis says that it comes from the Troop 928 cookbook but may have appeared in an earlier book.

egg nog brink mix

1 1/2 cups instant dry milk
1/2 cup nondairy creamer
1/2 cup powder egg mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground

At Camp
Mix 1/3 cup of mix with cold water and stir.

This second version is for the adults only.

egg nog – adult backpacker version 

2 oz light rum
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons powder egg mix
nutmeg

At Camp
Shake all ingredients (except nutmeg) with ice or snow in a Nalgene bottle and strain into a sierra cup. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and serve.

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dehydration time: 5 to 10 hours
makes 2 to 4 servings

Bagels survive well in a backpack. The hint of lime in the salsa complements the tuna; chicken would also work well in this wrap.

1/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 foil pouches tuna, approximately 3 ounces each
2 multigrain bagels

At Home
Mix corn, lime juice, salsa, and black beans together. Spread the mixture on lined dehydrator trays and dry for 5 to 10 hours. Place the dried salsa in a ziplock bag with the pouches of tuna. Wrap and pack two bagels in plastic wrap and place them in the ziplock bag with the other ingredients.

At Camp
Remove the tuna pouches from the ziplock bag. Add warm water to the salsa mixture, using a little less water than dried mix. Once rehydrated, add the tuna to the salsa mixture and place 1/4 of the mixture on each half of the bagel. Serve open faced.

Tip
If you are planning to have this for lunch on the trail, add cold water to the salsa mixture at breakfast, and it’ll be ready by the time you stop for lunch.

From A Fork in the Trail by Laurie Ann March ©2008

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