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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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vegetarian and vegan recipes

vegetarian and vegan recipes

I have finally completed the second instalment in my wilderness cookbook series. Well, let me rephrase that. I’m almost done—I just need to do one more read through of the final layouts before it hit the presses this week. I’m doing that today because it’s just easier to sneak away to a quiet spot for reading while Bryan is home for the weekend.

The book is entitled Another Fork in the Trail: Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes for the Backcountry and will be on shelves this Spring. If you like, you can pre-order at a variety of on-line retailers including Amazon.ca, Chapters.Indigo.ca, Amazon.com, and  BarnesandNoble.com.

I thought that I would take a short break and post one of my favorite lunch recipes from the book. This recipe isn’t just for the backcountry; we enjoy having this for a weekend lunch at home. If you want to have it at home just skip the dehydration instructions.

mediterranean garbanzo bean salad

dehydration time: 8–12 hours
makes 2 servings

I like to think of this salad as a little trip around the Mediterranean because it combines ingredients common in Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, and Egypt. Za’atar is a flavorful spice blend available through Middle Eastern specialty stores and online spice retailers. This salad can be served cold but is especially delicious when served warm. You can even serve it over cooked quinoa or couscous for a nice dinner.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilies (optional)
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Segments of 1 large orange
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon za’atar spice blend
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

At Home
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for a few minutes. Add the crushed red chilies, orange zest, orange juice, and orange segments. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the lemon juice, chickpeas, olives, and za’atar spice blend. Simmer for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. Stir in the pepper and salt.

Allow the mixture to cool and then measure the amount you will dry. Write this measurement on a sticky note. Spread the salad on lined dehydrator trays to dry. When the salad is dry, package it in a ziplock freezer bag along with your note.

At Camp
Rehydrate the salad by adding enough boiling water to the mix to make it equal to the measurement on your sticky note. Be sure to account for and add your dried ingredients to the rehydration container prior to adding the water. You can always add more water if you need to. Once the salad has rehydrated, reheat it if desired.

Tips
If you can’t find za’atar, then use a combination of thyme and basil, as they will pair nicely with this salad as well.

If you’d like to have this recipe for lunch, you can add cold water to the mixture at breakfast and let it rehydrate in your pack as you travel.

This is also good for dinner served on couscous or quinoa that has been cooked with a little vegetable stock or orange juice or with pitas that have been toasted, drizzled with a little olive oil, and sprinkled with a bit of the za’atar spice.

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

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My return to posting on this blog has been a long time coming. I’ve been busy with the challenges of a new baby, finishing the manuscript for my second wilderness cookbook, outdooradventurecanada.com, and life in general. Another Fork in the Trail, is now in the publisher’s hands and I will see the layouts this week. The book should be on shelves by mid-May.

Amidst all of this I have been writing a monthly recipe column for Seattle Backpackers Magazine.

Here are the links to each month’s instalments…

December 2010: Quinoa – A Superfood for the Trail

January 2011: Winter Drinks to Warm You Up

February 2011: Romancing the Trail

March 2011: Soup’s On – Pizza Soup and Ribollita

I hope you enjoy the recipes and articles. I’ll be posting more recipes on the backpacking recipes blog soon.

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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 often get asked about egg replacement for trail recipes.

These two recipes and information are from A Fork in the Trail’s chapter on Recipe Creation. This bit appears on pages 26 and 27.

“You can purchase egg powder that is suitable for baking but not for use as scrambled eggs. If you have an allergy to eggs or you are vegan, you can purchase egg-free egg replacer at your local health food store.

If you prefer, you can make your own egg replacer. It is similar to egg whites and works well in white cakes, muffins, and cookies. The addition of oil mimics a whole egg in baking. To make the equivalent of one egg, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons tapioca starch, 1 1/2 teaspoons potato starch (sometimes found with the Kosher foods), and 1/8 teaspoon baking powder together and store it in a ziplock freezer bag. Then when you’re ready to use it at camp, add 1/4 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Beat the mixture with a fork until it becomes a little foamy.

Ground flax seed can be used in muffins, breads, or other baked goods, but it imparts a flavor that might be unpleasant in a cake or cookies. Keep the ground flax seed cool and away from air and light to prevent it from becoming rancid; this recipe is not suitable for use in hot weather or more than two days into a trip. Store the seeds in the refrigerator until you leave for your trip. To make the equivalent of one egg, use 2 tablespoons ground flax seed. If you cannot find ground flax seed, then grind whole flax seed. Pack the powder in a ziplock freezer bag, removing as much air as possible and storing it away from sources of heat and light. When you’re ready to use it, add 3 tablespoons of water to the ground flax seed and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Add to your recipe like you would regular eggs.”

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makes 2 servings

Couscous makes a wonderful breakfast food since it cooks very quickly.

1 cup instant couscous
1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped dried pears, peaches, and mangoes
1 teaspoon crystallized stem ginger
1/2 teaspoon creamed coconut or 3 tablespoons coconut powder
1 1/2 teaspoons butter (optional)
Enough soy or whole milk powder to make 1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups, plus 1 teaspoon hot water, plus enough water to reconstitute milk

At Home
Place the couscous and brown sugar in a medium sized freezer ziplock bag. Place the fruit, ginger, milk, and coconut in separate bags, and put the bags in with the couscous. Add the butter to what you are taking on your trip.

At Camp
Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. While you wait mix the couscous and brown sugar mixture with the fruit, ginger, and butter in a freezer ziplock bag. Place the coconut cream in a bag or container large enough to accommodate at least 1/2 cup of liquid. Add 1 teaspoon of hot water to the creamed coconut and mix. If you’re using coconut powder, then you will need to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. To the same container add enough milk powder and water to make a 1/2 cup of milk. Carefully pour the boiling water into the bag with the couscous mixture. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir the couscous, scoop it in bowls, and top it with the milk mixture.

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

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