The Great Backpacking Culinary Experiment Begins

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David calls me a mad scientist in the kitchen... I have never been one to follow recipes or even write mine down for that matter. Sometimes I feel like the crazy chef from The Muppets, throwing in a little of this & adding a pinch of that (usually making a mess in the process) and using every dish & pan in the kitchen! All the while, never really knowing how it is going to turn out until about half way through the cooking process. 

What to do with a tiny burner or a small cook fire, one pot & maybe a fry pan and spatula if I can keep my pack weight down with other items?.. This may get tricky, but I am determined to make our backpacking trip one our tastebuds will remember!  

There are so many factors to consider with meal planning for long distance hiking & I am not going to pretend that I know the half of them yet. A few things that I know will play a factor on what we will be dining on under the stars: ease of preparation, water requirement, clean up effort, perishability & most importantly edibility!

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Many long distance hikers throw their "nutritional values" out the window and just eat loads of candy bars and top ramen... There will be no msg or other crap in our food... We will be eating a blended diet of organic backpacking foods from Mary Jane's Farm and organic home dehydrated meals and snacks. I even have some ideas on how we can grow our own sprouts on the trail. 

Now is not the time to give up nourishment for convenience. ..

I haven't had real success with my planning and execution of dehydrating foods for the trail. My attempts haven't been a complete failure, just nothing to write home (or blog) about... Until tonight!

I have now learned that I can make plain white rice in large batches, dehydrate & then add spices & dried veggies to get delicious instant rice packets. I will be able to vary the ingredients so easily to get an Asian stir fried rice one night & Spanish rice the next... How about a basil pine nut & Asiago rice to go with some gourmet salami? Yum!

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The basic concepts are starting to click with me... This dehydrating thing can be a fickle little bitch, but I think I owned it with tonight's recipe:

Stir "Fried" Rice

1.75C dehydrated long grain white rice (was 1C uncooked) 

3T coarsely ground dehydrated red bell pepper 

2t coarsely ground dehydrated celery

1/8t coarsely ground dehydrated jalapeño (or red chili flakes)

1t ground garlic

1/4t ground ginger

1/8t Himalayan salt

stir all above ingredients together and set aside in a bag

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To cook...

Boil 1.75C H2O (you can add a boullion if you like but it had plenty of flavor without)

Add 1 packet (1T) of soy sauce & about 1T coconut oil then bring water back to a boil

quickly add the rice mix and stir

bring to a low boil for 1 minute.

Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes (no peeking!) use a pot cozy in cold weather! Add any type of protein for a one pot meal, but be sure to add more water & cooking time if need be. I think next time I will stir in some roasted cashews at the end!

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Stir and enjoy!