Wednesday, April 11, 2012

John Muir Trail Food: Part Deux

A demanding schedule has hindered my cooking time as of late, which has translated into very little time to experiment with dinners. This week, I finally made time, prepped a few simple dishes and tossed ’em into the dehydrator.

Before I get to those, I’d like to mention that my previous experiments were a success!! Even after 21 days in ziplock bags, the lentils and black beans look and taste great!

A day after I made the lentils and black beans, I made rice noodles with olive oil, mushrooms, asparagus, dried dill, salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. After 20 days, the rice noodles look good and taste even better. I think I will be eating quite well on the trail after all :)

Ok, back to my current experiments. The first meal I prepared this time around was macaroni salad. I used curly (spiral shaped) macaroni, vegenaise (vegan mayo), celery, bok choy, garlic, cilantro, curly parsley and dill. Can you say YUMMMMMMY?? After about 8 hours in the dehydrator at 135 degrees, I removed the dried salad and placed it into a ziploc bag. I tell ya – if this dish doesn’t spoil (and I don’t think it will), I may be the only person to reek of garlic on the trail :))

The second meal I prepared was rice – made with olive oil, curry powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and a dash of salt – with a side dish consisting of eggplants, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley. The rice dish was in the dehydrator with the macaroni salad so it too dried for 8 hours. In all honesty, these meals taste better when dehydrated than they do just after I make them. Or it might just be that I get hungry at night (I turned the dehydrator off at 10pm).

I’m not sure about the caloric content of these meals in relation to their weight, but I'm almost certain that the ratio is close to 100(calories):1(ounce). Although eating calorically dense, hearty meals on the trail is most important to me, it is more important to consume nutritionally dense and tasty meals. I’m willing to lug a few extra ounces of food per day on the trail and look forward to dinnertime than stick to the ratio religiously and languish each time I open my bear canister.

Please don’t hesitate to comment! I would love to hear your thoughts, observations and even suggestions for recipes that work for you!

Bon appétit 

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