Dehydrated hamburger. Lightly brown breaking up all the chunks. Dehydrate (leather sheets work best), bag and store in refrigerator.
Dehydrated chicken. Use ground chicken and do same as hamburger.
Just Tomatoes is a great, sometimes quite cheap source of already dehydrated vegetable.
1. Hot Pot. Great with instant mashed potatoes. This is my best meal. Make at home and dehydrate. Brown 1 lb hamburger, remove and place in large casserole dish. Cut ½ lb bacon into ¾ inch pieces and fry. Using a slotted spoon remove from the fat and add to the casserole. In the bacon fat, sauté 1 medium onion ch, I green pepper ch, 1 red pepper ch, 1 jalopeno diced and 3 cloves of garlic minced.
Add to casserole.
Add 1 can kidney beans, 1 can black beans and 1 can of another kind of bean (lima, black eyed peas, broad beans or your choice), ½ c ketchup, ½ c dark brown sugar, 2 tbsp mustard and 1 cup vegetable broth. Season and stir it all together.
Bake uncovered in oven 50 minutes at 350. Dehydrate (one serving per sheet) on leather sheets. Place in sandwich bags and store in freezer (because of the fat).
2. Chili. Your recipe – make at home and dehydrate. Serve with grated cheddar, bread.
3. Hamburger/rice skillet. Prepackage at home.
½ lb dehydrated hamburger, 1 tbs onion, ¾ c minute rice – cook rice / saute onion, and add rehydrated hamburger, rice, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste. Cover with thinly sliced cheese, melt and serve.
4. Hamburger stew. Quanities are for Just Tomatoes dehydrated vegetables. Package at home, rehydrate hamburger and dehydrated vegetables.
½ lb dehydrated hamburger. 2 tbsp onion, 1 tbsp each carrot, red pepper, green pepper, celery, peas, mushrooms. Garlic to taste. add onion or mushroom soup mix, salt, pepper, beef buillion
Serve with instant mashed potatoes.
5. Curry. Prepackage at home. Use Just Tomatoes rehydrated vegetables.
½ lb dehydrated chicken (rehydrate at breakfast), 2 tbsp onion, 1 tbsp each green pepper, red pepper, carrot, peas, coconut powder, curry powder, salt, pepper
6. Gingered Stir-fry. Prepackage first row at home.
½ lb dehydrated chicken or pork – 2 tbs onion, 1 tbs red pepper, green pepper, peas, carrot, ginger, garlic to taste
add 25 ml oyster sauce, 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp chili garlic oil
serve with rice or rice noodles.
7. Andean Quinoa Stew
Quinoa is a “supergrain” by because of its high protein content, is a perfect backpacking food staple.
Rinse 1 cup quinoa + 1 cup water boil, then simmer covered 10-12 minutes until liquid absorbed. Quinoa should be translucent. Fluff with fork off heat. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, juice 1 lime, 1 cup dehydrated corn kernels, rehydrated, 2 tbsp. diced sun dried tomatoes, or
2 tbsp. dehydrated onion, 1 tbsp. Chipotle Seasoning mix (Dan’s)
Garnish: handful coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, 1 sliced avocado
8. Bangkok Noodles
At home: Vegetables: matchstick 1 carrot, dice 1 red pepper and strip strings of 1 c snow peas – store in a zip close bag.
Sauce: Mix 1 cup smooth peanut butter, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp. fish sauce, 1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes, 2 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tbps. brown sugar, 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger, 1 tsp. curry powder, Black pepper to taste. Carry in Tupperware or zip lock bag.
Topping: 1 bunch scallions, sliced diagonally 1 inch lengths, 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped. Place zip lock bag.
In camp: Prepare 1 pound angel hair pasta per directions on package—may take longer to cook at altitude. One minute before they are done, add the pepper, snow peas and carrot. Drain pasta and vegetables. Toss in sauce. Top with your choice of scallions, coriander, and/or mint.
9. Cascade Stew
At home: In a food dehydrator, dry potatoes (1 pound, boiled, diced), carrots (1 lb boiled matchsticked), and roma tomatoes (1 pound, diced). Dehydrate 1 (4 oz) jar Armour Sliced Dried Beef even further; when stiff, break it up into small pieces. Mix all of these ingredients together with 3 tbsp onion flakes – store in a zip lock. Carry 1 cup potato flakes separately.
In Camp: Add stew mixture to 5 c water and boil about 1 minute or till vegetables fully hydrated. Stir frequently. Add potato flakes and stir. Serves 2.
10. Cashew-Ginger Chicken and Rice
At home: toast 1 cup cashews (or almonds), zip lock. Mix 1 cup instant brown rice, 2/3 cup freeze-dried corn (or home-dried savoy cabbage and carrots), 1 cup thinly sliced dry shiitake mushrooms, ½ cup onion flakes, zip lock.
Also pack: 1 (10-ounce) can of chicken, 2 (1-ounce) packets of Thai Coconut Ginger Soup Mix paste
In camp: place dry mix, chicken, and 1 packet seasoning in pot and cover with
water; mix well. Bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes; taste; add more seasoning?
11. Chicken with Chinese Ginger Lemon Sauce
At home: bag dash of Five Spice powder, granulated, garlic, black pepper, 1 tsp. powdered ginger, 1 tsp. dry onion, 1 cube chicken bullion, crushed, 1 tsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. lemonade powder, 1 tsp. cornstarch
Also take: 7 oz. pouch chicken, 1 pkg. soy sauce
At camp: combine all but meat with 1 cup boiling water and shake to mix well.
Add meat and put in a cozy for 10 minutes.
Serve over instant rice, or instant mashed potatoes.
Optional: For a real treat, replace powdered ginger with a chunk of candied ginger, diced. Also, 1 cup of dry sherry is nice to add. Serves 1-2.
12. Cowboy Paella
At home: 1 red onion, 1 green pepper, 1 medium fennel bulb coarsely chopped, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp saffron threads, 2 sprigs fresh thyme—chopped and bagged
Also pack: 1 package Chicken of the Sea whole baby clams and juice, 1 small cup Spanish olives, handful fresh parsley, pepperoni, rice, bouilion, Platypus full of dry white wine.
In camp: Saute 1 inch chunk pepperoni cut small dice in olive oil in pan a minute. Add 2 cups instant rice, sauté another minute. Add vegi/herb mix and saute another 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and 2 chicken bouillon (or substitute half the water with wine), bring to boil, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until rice is cooked. Add clams and artichokes and cover until heated.
Garnish with olives and diced parsley.
13. Doctari’s Tuna Casserole
At home: Make casserole ready for dehydrating.
Boil 3 cups water, 1 tsp. salt, add 1 cup basmati rice covered for about 45 minutes or until tender. Add two 6-oz. cans water-packed tuna drained (or salmon), 1 (10 . oz.) can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, 1 can sweet peas, drained, 1 (10-oz.) package frozen chopped broccoli. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp. dried parsley, 1 (13.2 oz.) can mushrooms, chopped with juice. Simmer 10 additional minutes. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese until melted. 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Dehydrate one serving or 2 cups of casserole on each tray. When dry, store each serving in zip lock.
In camp: for each serving, bring 1 cup of water to a boil, then add one
package of casserole. Stir frequently. For a bit more flavor, carry an extra can of tuna and add toward the end of the cooking time. Serves 2.
14. Oriental Takeout
At home: chop 1 pound shallots, 1 pound bok choy, 1 pound Asian eggplant, 1 pound carrots, 1 pound spinach. Dry in dehydrator. When dry, combine with 3 cups jasmine rice, 3 ounces dried mushrooms, chopped small, 4 ounces pork sung (Asian-style dried pork, or use beef jerky), 2 (1-ounce) packets Noh Oriental Stir-Fry Seasoning. Divide into four separate plastic bags of 3 cups each. Each bag represents one serving.
In camp: For each serving, bring 3 cups water and contents of one bag to a
boil. Cook until rice is soft. Add more water if needed.
15. Preservative Stew
1 Landsjaeger sausage
At home: mix together 1 cup dehydrated potato flakes, 1 c minute rice, 1 c dehydrated vegatables and assorted dried seasonings (1 tsp each of salt, paprika, oregano, thyme and rosemary is good).
In camp: Boil 2 cups of water, dump in the dried stuff. Dice 1 Landsiaeger sausage and add. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring well, then turn off the torch and let sit for 5 minutes or so.
16. Spring Family Pasta
1 pkg. pasta, 1 pkg. dried pesto sauce, 1 pkg. (small) sun dried tomatoes, olive oil
Cook pasta until tender and prepare the pesto sauce according to instructions
on package. Drain and add pesto sauce, sundried tomatoes and olive oil.
17. Tofu with Peanut Sauce
This recipe is elaborate by backcountry standards, but will make herbivores and carnivores equally happy.
At home: bag 1 cup dried shitake mushrooms (at home, cut into smaller pieces), bag 4 squares of dried tofu, 2 tbsp. oil, bag 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast, 1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder, bag 1-1/2 cups couscous, bag 1 cup freeze dried peas
In camp: Rehydrate 1 cup dried shitake mushrooms chopped in hot water, set aside to soak for 30 minutes. Discard water. Rehydrate tofu by placing in ample hot water. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. Once rehydrated, squeeze out excess water. Tofu can be cut into chunks for easier handling. Heat oil and fry tofu until outside is crisp. Remove from oil and dust with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and pepper. Set aside.
Boil 2-1/2 cups water, add couscous and pinch of salt. Return to boil then remove from heat and set aside.
Make peanut sauce (1 package dried) per instructions, adding in 1/2 cup additional water. Add shitake mushrooms and 1 cup freeze dried peas. Add coconut powder and fresh basil if available. Let simmer 4-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
To serve, place tofu on top of couscous and top with peanut sauce. Garnish with peanuts.
18. Trail Sushi
In a quart freezer bag put: 2 cups instant rice
Also take: 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar, 1 package nori (seaweed sheets, about 10), 1 cucumber, 1 avocado, 2 ounces sesame seeds, 1 can or preferably, pouch of shrimp or crab meat. Soy sauce packets or prefered dipping sauce. Ginger and wasabi in tubes (Get at an Asian food store or online.)
In camp: Add 1 3/4 or so cups boiling water to rice, and let sit in a cozy for 10
minutes. Add vinegar to the rice to make it sticky. Let the rice cool completely before rolling sushi. Place a nori on top
of a sushi mat, and layer rice, veggies, sesame seeds, and seafood on top, then roll and cut to your desired length. Serve
with soy sauce, reconstituted wasabi, and ginger. Serves four as an appetizer.
19. Tree Frog Soup with Rattlesnake
4 serving-size cups Near East Split Pea Soup (at home bag)
1 (12-oz.) tin of Spam
On the trail: chop the Spam into small pieces. Heat 4 cups water in a pan. Add soup mix and Spam to pan and eat when soup is hot.
20. Beef & Bean Chili Serves 3-5
• 1 to 1¼ Pounds lean ground beef or turkey
• ½ cup Bread crumbs, finely ground
• 1 Large onion
• 1 – 2 Cloves garlic
• 3 tbsp Chili Powder
• 1 15 oz. Can kidney or red beans, drained
• 1 10 oz. Can tomato puree
• 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
In the kitchen: Work bread crumbs into ground meat with your fingers and set aside for a moment. I add bread crumbs because dehydrated meat infused with bread crumbs rehydrates better on the trail. Also, the bread crumbs absorb and lock in more of the chili flavour. If you are not planning on dehydrating this chili recipe for backpacking, there is no need to add bread crumbs to the meat. You can make your own bread crumbs by dehydrating bread.
Saute onions and garlic in a little olive oil using just enough to coat the pan. It really helps to use a non-stick pan.
Add ground meat and cook for about ten minutes until browned, stirring continuously. Add chili powder and cook for one more minute. Add tomato puree, diced tomatoes and drained beans. Cook until bubbling and then reduce heat to a simmer for one hour.
Dehydrate: Have a taste and put the rest in the refrigerator overnight. The extra time enhances the flavour. Spread chili out on the dehydrator trays covered with non-stick Paraflexx® Sheets or parchment paper. Dehydrate at 125° for 8 – 10 hours. After about four hours in the dehydrator, break up any meat and beans that might be stuck together with a spoon or your fingers to expose pieces to more air circulation. Once dry, divide dehydrated chili into one cup or larger servings and pack in plastic zip-lock bags. Yield: Five cups weighing about 12 ounces dry.
On the Trail: Combine one cup chili with one cup water and let sit for about five minutes. If you are cooking a larger serving, just add an equal part of water to your dried chili. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for one minute. Remove from stove and place pot inside insulating pot cozy for ten minutes
serving, just add an equal part of water to your dried chili. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for one minute. Remove from stove and place pot inside insulating pot cozy for ten minutes.
21. Chicken Gumbo Serves 2.
• 1 cup Instant brown rice
• 1/4 cup Onion, dehydrated
• 1/4 cup Bell pepper, dehydrated
• 1/4 cup Corn, dehydrated
• 1/2 cup Okra, dehydrated
• 1/4 cup Tomato sauce leather
• 1/2 cup Chicken or sausage, dehydrated (shredded or ground chicken dehydrates the best)
• Spices: 1/2 tsp Garlic, 1/2 tsp Basil, 1/4 tsp Thyme, 1/2 tsp Pepper, 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper, 2 Bouillon cubes
At home: Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart ziplock bag.
On the Trail: Combine all ingredients with the 3 cups of water in pot and soak for five minutes. Light stove, bring to a boil, and continue cooking with the lid on for one minute. Remove pot from stove and wait ten minutes. Insulate pot if possible.
22. PINEAPPLE ALMOND COUCOUS
10 oz couscous
2 cups water
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp + 2 tbsp olive oil
¼ green pepper, cut into ¼ inch squares
¼ cup onion, diced
½ zucchini, diced
½ yellow squash, diced
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup pineapple, cubed (I use canned so that I can use the juice)
½ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup parsley (fresh or dried)
salt and pepper to taste
Directions. In a pot, bring water, salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil to a boil. Stir in couscous, remove from heat, cover and stand for five minutes.
Saute green pepper and onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium until al dente, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini, squash and a teaspoon of salt and cook for about another five minutes. Add vegetables to couscous.
To toast the almonds, spread them over the saucepan evenly with 1 tbsp of water. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the almonds are fragrant and light brown, continuing to shake the pan so that the almonds do not burn.
Mix almonds, pineapple, pineapple juice and parsley into couscous and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sriracha or Tabasco go great with this.
23. TRAIL PIZZA
Easy to make, it allows different group members to pick their own toppings.
Directions: Take a slice of pita bread and place a tablespoon of canned tomato paste and spread it evenly in a thin layer to the edges. Sprinkle some garlic salt, or minced garlic, basil or oregano over the paste. Add the cheese – depending on your preference: shredded mozzarella or fresh goat cheese on shorter trips.
Add toppings: whatever your favourite: cured Italian meats have a great flavour (prosciutto, pepperoni, salami, capicoli), mushrooms, canned pineapple, summer sausage, chopped onion, garlic, hot sauce.
Cooking: Heat a skillet with a pat of butter or oil. Once the butter is melted, put the pizza in the pan and allow the bottom to start cooking. It’s easy to burn the bottom of the pizza, so use a diffuser plate, low heat and continually move your pan over the flame in circles to cook evenly. To get the cheese to melt before the bottom burns, pour just a teaspoon of water into the bottom of the hot pan with the pan lid ready to close it quickly. The steam generated will melt the cheese and cook the toppings. Be careful not to add too much water, or the bread will get soggy. If the cheese isn’t melted after the first steam, just repeat the process a few times until it is. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook time: 5-10 minutes per pizza.
Repeat this process until everyone in your group has their own personal pizza.
24. THIA MANGO CHICKEN and RICE Serves 1
1 3 pouch chicken (or 3 tablespoons dried)
1/3 cup instant rice
3 tablespoons chopped dried mango
1 tablespoon dried bell pepper
1 tablespoon coconut crème powder, available at a variety Asian markets.
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
At home: combine everything in a zip locking plastic bag (If using dried chicken, add it with the dry ingredients). If you don’t have a dehydrator or don’t want to bother with this step, substitute in a pouch of chicken. Or use canned chicken. Just add it to meal after it has been rehydrated.
At camp: place bag in a cozy. Add just enough water to cover. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Stir in the chicken and serve.
Dried chicken. Buy cans of chicken at Costco and use fruit roll liner trays. I don’t bother to drain the chicken. The liquid will dehydrate and add a little more flavor to the final product. Break up the chunks as small as possible. This is so it will both dehydrate and rehydrate quickly. If you leave large chunks, the chicken can be chewy when rehydrated. Or get a butcher to grind the chicken. Set the dehydrator to 145-150 and let the dehydrator run. It will take 6-8 hours, so be patient. You do not want any wet spots.
At camp, add just enough hot water to cover all of the ingredients. Stir well and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until rehydrated. Stir again and eat. If you don’t want to eat out of a plastic bag, you can rehydrate the meal right in the pan or your bowl.
When I prepare backcountry meals, I never make just one at a time. I set up an assembly line and make 4-6. Put out several bowls and measure each ingredient of the recipe into them. Then dump each dry meal into a zip locking freezer bag. Don’t use regular sandwich bags. They are too thin. Label and date the bags with a Sharpie. Now you have several backcountry meals, ready to grab and go.
25. TRAIL CHILI Serves 1 568kcal
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup lean hamburger
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1/3 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1/3 cup canned sweet corn, drained
1 tbsp chili con carne spice mixture (Santa Maria)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
At home: Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft and golden. Add the ground beef and cook till light brown. Transfer to a colander. Drain. Return the meat to the saucepan. Add red pepper, beans, sweet corn and chili con carne spice mix. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced tomatoes with juice. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Turn down the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
In Camp: Rehydrate with 1 cup water, bring to a boil over medium heat and
for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand another 5-10 minutes to rehydrate completely.
26. STUFFED PEPPERS UNSTUFFED
Make it with red, yellow, and orange peppers in my “unstuffed” version. The colors make it a fun, enjoyable meal. I usually cook a side of corn in my fry pan lid when I make this meal on the trail.
½ cup dried or instant rice
½ cup dried ground beef
½ cup dried bell peppers
½ cup tomato sauce leather
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Rehydrate with 1 ¼ cup water
Dehydrating the Ingredients
Peppers: To dehydrate peppers, simply cut the peppers into pieces and dry them raw at 125° for six to eight hours. Dried peppers remain pliable when dry and they rehydrate well with hot water.
Rice: Although you can use instant rice, I precook long grain rice to add extra flavor to it and then dry it. Precooked and dried rice rehydrates well on the trail with minimal cooking. Cook each cup of rice in two and a half cups of beef, chicken or vegetable broth before you dry it. Spread cooked rice out on your covered dehydrator trays as best you can and dry at 125° for approximately five hours. Don’t worry if the rice is stuck together at first. After about two hours, pull apart the largest of the rice clumps which will still be moist. About ¾ of the way through the drying process, the rice will be dry enough to take up handfuls and squeeze and rub it against itself to break up the clumps. Some rice will remain stuck together at the end, but it separates when you rehydrate it on the trail.
Dehydrate Rice for Several Meals. I don’t dehydrate food for one meal only. I dry large batches of rice, vegetables, meats and sauces that I combine later into a variety of meals. Yield: One cup of rice makes about 3½ cups cooked before drying and that yields 1¾ to 2 cups dried. So, you can make two to four meals starting with a cup of rice depending on the size of your servings. Visit my website to learn more about using bread crumbs in ground beef to make it rehydrate much better than dried ground beef by itself. You will also find a tasty recipe for Mexican Beef andRice.
Nutrition Tip: If you are drying any cooked vegetables around the time you are drying rice, use the water that you cooked the vegetables in to make the rice. Toss in a slice of a bouillon cube if it needs a bump in flavor.
Tomato Sauce: Use your favorite marinara sauce to make tomato sauce leather. Avoid sauces that have a lot of oil or cheese in the ingredients as these won’t keep as well as plain sauce when dried. Spread the sauce thinly on covered dehydrator trays and dry it at 135° for six to eight hours. If you are drying it at the same time as vegetables, you can dry it at 125° and leave it in longer. After about five hours, the tomato sauce leather should be dry enough to peel off the non-stick sheets and finish drying without the non-stick sheets. This ensures the bottom side of the leather gets dried well.
Ground Beef: Use only lean ground beef because fatty meat could spoil. Cook until brown in a frying pan and pat down with paper towels before drying at 145° to 155° for about six hours. Use non-stick sheets or parchment paper to keep small pieces from falling through the trays. Ground beef will be hard when thoroughly dried.
Regular Serving for One: Pack ½ cup rice, ¼ cup peppers, ¼ cup ground beef in a Ziploc bag. Pack ¼ cup tomato sauce leather and two tablespoons of parmesan cheese in separate small plastic bags and enclose with the other ingredients. Water to rehydrate: 1 ¼ cups.
Larger Serving for One: ¾ cup rice, ⅓ cup peppers, ⅓ cup ground beef, ⅓ cup tomato sauce leather, 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Water to rehydrate: 1 ¾ cups.
On the Trail: Combine all ingredients except parmesan cheese in pot with water and soak five minutes. Light stove, bring to boil and cook for one more minute. Turn off stove and wait ten minutes. Stir in parmesan cheese.
26. BEEF STROGANOFF RAMEN Serves 1, 4 ounces
Lightweight and heavy on the calories.
1 package beef flavor ramen
3 tablespoons freeze dried beef (or hamburger gravel, or shredded jerky)
2 tablespoons dried mushrooms
1 tablespoon dried peas
1 shelf stable package cream cheese
At home: Combine all of the ingredients except the cream cheese in a zip locking plastic bag.
In camp: bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Break up the ramen noodles (if not already crushed) and add them to the pan along with the peas and beef. Simmer until the noodles and vegetables are soft. Stir in the cream cheese just before serving.
27. CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp garam masala spice mix
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
½ cup ground chicken
¼ cup dehydrated cooked basmati rice
2 tbsp whole milk powder (Nestle Nido)
At home: Saute chopped onions and ground chicken in olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, cook 2-3 minutes. Add water if starts to burn. Add all the spices and heat for another minute. Add diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 10 minutes.
Cool slightly. Dehydrate at 52C/125F for 8-10 hours until brittle. Break up the pieces and store in a zip-lock bag.
On trail: Rehydrate with 1 cup water and bring to boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Cover and let stand another 5 minutes to rehydrate meal completely.
28. COOKING SEAFOOD on the WEST COAST TRAIL
Assuming you’re hiking South to North, at the Nitnat narrows ferry crossing (kilometer 32), you can find fresh seafood on offering, along with a few side dishes and beer. Most people opt to have their seafood cooked up on the spot but if you take it to go and cook your way.
One of the great things about the West Coast Trail is that open fires are allowed, even in the warm summer months. An open fire, of course, is perfect for fresh seafood, especially salmon.
Get your fire going. For this recipe you’ll want a large amount of hot coals, which can take awhile.
Next, prep your fish. If you had to catch it yourself you’ll need to do some scaling and gutting, but for those lucky enough to buy it fresh the prep work is probably already done. Next, coat the salmon in whatever fat you have. I really like coconut oil, especially for taking backpacking, because it stays solid at room temperature and tastes great on fish. Olive oil and butter are also great options for salmon. Next, sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and your spices of choice. For salmon, dill is my personal favorite, but fennel, lemon pepper, thyme or some combination of the above also make excellent choices.
Lastly, wrap everything up together in tin foil. Getting the whole package covered in coals is ideal, but flipping your fish halfway through is an option too. Cooking times will vary, depending on how hot your coals are and how thick your fish is, but you’re probably going to aim for something like 10 to 15 minutes.
After that you eat.
29. CHICKEN CURRY and COUSCOUS Serves: 2
⅔ cup Couscous
1 – 7-ounce pouch Chicken
1 large Red Bell Pepper or ½ each of a red and yellow Bell Pepper, approximately 1 cup diced
1 large Carrot, thinly sliced, approximately ½ cut
1 small Apple, peeled and diced, approximately ½ cu3 Tbsp Powdered Milk, (NIDO® brand whole milk powder works well)
2 tsp Curry Powder
½ tsp Chili Powder
¼ tsp Salt
2 Cups Water
At Home: Pre-cut and pack vegetables in a snack size Ziploc® bag, separate from other ingredients. (For camping, you could pack the vegetables whole and cut them up in camp, but pack the apple whole.) Combine curry, chili, and milk powders with salt in a snack size Ziploc® bag. Keep chicken in original pouch.
In Camp: Combine vegetables with water in pot and bring to a boil for less than a minute (they finish cooking while the pot sits off the stove). Add chicken, including juices, apples, powdered milk and seasonings. Stir and return to boil. Add couscous, stir, and extinguish stove. Couscous absorbs water rapidly and may scorch to the bottom of the pot if you try to “cook” it with the stove on. Add the couscous to the boiling water last and extinguish the stove.
Let meal sit for ten minutes with lid on pot.
Since this recipe uses fresh ingredients, it is ideally suited for trips where it will be eaten within a day or two. If you need to preserve food for a longer haul or when you want to reduce weight and volume, use ½ cup dehydrated canned chicken, ½ cup dried vegetables and ¼ cup dried apples. Increase water by ½ cup. Soak the dried ingredients for five minutes before you light the stove.
27. LOADED POTATOES
Instant mashed potatoes are a great way to fill up on comfort food. Add in a little dried gravy mix, bacon bits and chives. On the first day of your trip, pack a little fancy cheese. This dish makes a great side to fresh-caught fish cooked over an open flame (caught with a permit, of course).
28. TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE
Discard the flavor packet before you go to save sodium and crud. The plain noodles cook quickly in boiled water. Drain the excess water and add in a package of tuna, chicken or salmon. You can find all three in easy-open foil packets that are lightweight and easy to pack out. Chili flakes or your favorite hot sauce (the little packets from Taco Bell are great!) give good flavour. If space and weight aren’t an issue, a can of peas ups the caloric intake and flavor. Bring everything you need for this meal in a Zip-lock bag that can double as a sealable trash bag for the hike out.