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My second book, Another Fork in the Trail, was finally released just over a month ago and I’ve been busy chasing after my toddler, cycling with my 10-year old, and redoing www.aforkinthetrail.com as well as a slew of other things. I’m also gearing up to lead another wilderness cooking workshop in Algonquin Provincial Park for their Experience Algonquin series. I’ll be in the park for three events between August 3rd and 7th, 2011 including a book signing in the Visitors Centre on the 3rd. If you are in the area the day of the signing, please stop by and say hello.

Here is a recipe from the new book that you make at home before your trip. It makes for a refreshing trail snack with a great hit of lime. It almost reminds me of my of Key Lime Pie.

tropical kiwi trail cookies

vegan and gluten-free

dehydration time: 5–8 hours
makes about 18–20 cookies

Kiwi is a favorite around here. I first made these because we were going day hiking with a friend who is a raw foodie and I volunteered to make the snacks. I’m still torn as to whether these should be considered a snack or dessert.

1 cup dates such as Medjool or honey dates
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and quartered
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 cup shredded coconut

At Home
Pulse the dates in a food processor until ground to a thick paste. Toast the almonds, if desired, in a dry non-stick frying pan over medium heat just until they start to become fragrant. Be careful that you do not burn them. Add the almonds and cashews to the dates and pulse to chop the nuts. Add the kiwi fruit, lime juice, and lime zest, then pulse again until well combined. Remove the container from the food processor and take out the blade. Toast the coconut, if desired, in a dry frying pan until golden and then stir into the date and kiwi mixture.

Line your food dehydrator with fruit leather trays, plastic wrap, or parchment paper. Drop the fruit cookie mixture by heaping tablespoons and press flat until about 1/4 inch thick. If your unit has a temperature control, set it for 104°F and dry for 5 to 8 hours or until the cookies are dry and firmed up. Wrap the cookies in waxed paper and store in ziplock bags. Theses cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

From Another Fork in the Trail by Laurie Ann March ©2010/2011

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I love salads on the trail as many of my readers know. Since writing this recipe for A Fork in the Trail, I have rehydrated it using cold water. It takes about 1/2 hour to rehydrate the couscous this way and eliminates the need to pull out the stove at lunchtime. That said, this salad tastes nice warm too.

curried tuna and couscous salad

dehydration time: 5 to 10 hours
makes 2 servings

Quick cooking and versatile, couscous makes a good base for a salad. This flavorful dressing works well with tuna, but to make it vegetarian use some of your favorite vegetables instead of the fish.

Salad
1/3 cup roasted cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup red onion, minced
1/2 cup instant whole wheat couscous
1 3 oz pouch tuna
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Dressing
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼–1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

At Home
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and sprinkle with a little salt. Put them on an oiled baking sheet. Roast them for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool. Dry the minced onions and cooked tomatoes on separate lined dehydrator trays for 5 to 10 hours or until dried thoroughly. Package in a ziplock freezer bag.

Place the couscous in a large ziplock freezer bag with a copy of the cooking instructions from the package. Add the pouch of tuna and the bag with the tomato mixture to the bag of couscous. Wrap the curry powder and almonds separately in plastic wrap. Pour the mustard, honey, and red wine vinegar in a leakproof container and place it in the bag of couscous along with the spice and almonds. Add the olive oil to the other oil that you will take on your trip.

At Camp
Add enough boiling water to the tomato and onion to barely cover them. Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes or until rehydrated. Prepare the couscous according to the directions you packed. Allow the couscous to cool. Make the dressing by mixing the mustard, honey, and red wine vinegar with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the curry powder. When the couscous is done, mix in the tomatoes and onions and add the dressing. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and stir gently to coat.

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

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I don’t like to have to pull the stove out at lunch, unless the weather is very cold, so I generally try to create no-cook lunches for our trips. This one is a family favorite and will be appearing in my upcoming book, Another Fork in the Trail. The book, the second in my backpacking cookbook series, is expected to be released in Spring 2010.

olive tapenade

dehydration time: 8 to 10 hours
makes 4 to 6 servings

I first had this tapenade at a Fall gathering being hosted in Ontario, Canada’s Algonquin Provincial Park. The original recipe belonged to my friend Alison and it was her contribution to an impromptu potluck. I have modified the dish to suit backcountry trips and although it is great as a spread, it can double as a refreshing addition to pasta.

olive tapenade

olive tapenade

1 cup pimento stuffed green olives, drained
1 cup pitted black olives, drained
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 hot banana pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 sweet red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon capers, minced
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

At Home
Put the olives and artichokes in a food processor and pulse to chop the mixture. It should be a fine chop, but not to the point of being a puree. Put the olive mixture in a bowl and set aside. Next, put the peppers in the food processor and pulse until the peppers are the same consistency as the olive mixture. Add the peppers to the olive mixture along with the garlic, basil, capers and lemon juice. Stir until well combined.

Spread onto lined dehydrator trays and dry for 8 to 10 hours. Package the tapenade in a medium ziplock freezer bag and add the olive oil to the other olive oil you are taking on your trip.

At Camp
Rehydrate the tapenade using a formula of 1 1/2 parts dried mix to 1 part water. Let rehydrate for 10 minutes and add a little more water if necessary. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, if desired, and serve with your favorite cracker or flatbread.

created by Laurie Ann March ©2008

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This isn’t exactly a recipe but more of a technique. I was going to write about how to make popcorn on the trail but Hiram Cook has made a video on it. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I’ll post some good popcorn recipes soon, maybe even with photos.

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This recipe does require some cooking at camp and you will need a surface for frying. I generally use the frying pan from my MSR Duralite Gourmet Cookset but some sets come with a pot lid suitable for frying and that would suffice for this recipe.

You could use wild blueberries in this recipe, if you were so inclined, but I prefer to leave those for the birds and other animals. Instead of syrup you could use a little sprinkle of lemon and some powdered sugar.

chai tea pancakes

makes 2 servings

The spice of chai tea perfectly complements the blueberries in this pancake.

4 tablespoons milk powder
2 tablespoons whole powdered egg
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1 chai tea bag or enough loose tea to make 1 cup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
butter (optional)
maple syrup (optional)
3/4–1 cup water

At Home
Mix the milk powder, powdered egg, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large ziplock freezer bag. Wrap the blueberries in plastic wrap and place them, along with the chai tea bag, in the freezer bag with the dry ingredients. Add butter and vegetable oil to what you will take on your trip. Pack the syrup in a leakproof bottle.

At Camp
Add 1/2 cup boiling water to the chai tea bag and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Allow the tea to cool for a few minutes and then add 1/2 cup cool water. Add the blueberries to the dry ingredients. Add 3/4 cup of the chai mixture to the dry ingredients in the large ziplock bag. Stir to moisten and add extra water as necessary to obtain a pancake consistency. Do not overmix or the pancakes will be tough. Place a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and heat over medium flame. Pour in 1/4 of the batter and cook until the edges appear dry. Then flip and cook until the underside is golden. Repeat until you have 4 pancakes adding more oil to the pan between each pancake as necessary. Serve with a little butter and syrup if desired.

Tip
The batter is easy to manage if you make it in the ziplock freezer bag. Then simply cut off a corner of the bag and squeeze the batter into the pan. Between pancakes, be careful to situate the bag so that the batter doesn’t spill out of the cut corner.

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

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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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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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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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