Sunday, August 14, 2011

Trail Food

Hannah and I went canoeing last weekend. In the interest of minimizing menu planning time in the future, I’m sharing what we ate here.

Breakfast                                 Lunch                         Dinner
                                                                                               Grilled Pizza
Sourdough Pancakes                Summer sausage       Peanut Soba Noodles
Buckwheat Pancakes                MRE-Indian              Grilled Veggies
Brownies and Fruit Compote   Salmon Patties

What? Isn’t going camping an excuse to cook delicious food outside for everyone?

Recipes for reference, sorted by meal:

Sourdough pancakes
Adapted from From Troop 655 sharing Jim Hewin's Sourdough Pancakes

Ingredients (mix dry ahead) - 10 to 12 servings
1 c. flour
1 egg
1 pkg. dry yeast
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. oil

Packing the Food 
Put the flour and yeast in an empty plastic peanut butter jar.
In a separate ziplock bag add the dry ingredients. Write the trail directions on the bag with a permanent marker. Oil and toppings (or fillings) will be carried with everything else.

On the trail 
The night before you plan to enjoy this breakfast, take the egg and the ziplock bag out of the peanut butter jar. Add in a cup of water. Mix it with the flour and yeast. Put the lid on the batter and secure in your bear bag.

In the morning, add the oil, egg, and ziplock of dry ingredients to the batter. Mix it up well.
Turn on your camp stove, melt some butter and fry up your pancakes.

We ate ours with blueberry-lime jam.  And put blueberries and chocolate chips in them. (Not all at once.)

Lesson to remember, don’t try to do a soufflĂ©. It’s too hard to flip. Burnt the crust and had gooey inside. Maybe if I’d covered it, it would have worked.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Y’know the Bob's Red Mill bags that you see if you look at the hippie grains in the grocery store? There’s a buckwheat pancake mix1. Hannah brought that. And blueberries. And I brought blueberry-lime jam. That’s really all you need to know.  She also served us each a fried egg. Apparently eggs actually work well on the trail.

Brownie Breakfast
Adapted from who shared from Lipsmackin' Vegetarian Backpackin'

Both the brownies and the fruit compote were supposed to be dessert. But we were always full by the time we finished dinner. Solution to eat it for breakfast.  And then go be active so you don’t feel the sugar crash as much.

1/2 cup flour
1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/8 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 TBS milk powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnuts
5 teaspoons of oil added on the trail. (2 teaspoons per serving)
Water added on the trail (2 tablespoons per serving)

Packing the Food
Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and milk powder. Once fully mixed add chocolate chips and nuts. You can place 1/2 cup of mix into a ziplock bag, for individual servings. If you do, this recipe should give you three servings. Carry oil and water with the general provisions.

On the trail
Add a teaspoon of oil and two Tablespoons of water to a bag of brownie mix and mix it up. (We didn’t measure the liquid. The first bag looked too wet, so we poured our second brownie mix bag into the first. This is the only reason I recommend keeping the bags separate instead of just combining them all.)

On your cook stove, heat some oil in a skillet on low heat. Add some brownie batter, cutting a corner of the bag seemed like the best strategy. When it looks ready, flip and cook the other side.

Without an egg, these weren’t easily flipped. It worked best to cook them a bit,  flip parts, treat them kinda like scrambled brownies. Though next time I might just include an egg to mix in.

Fruit Compote
One of my favorite transformations of trail mix. (I now always make sure that I have candied ginger in my trail mix.)

Picked through trail mix

On the trail
Cut up fruit to cook. This time we had a couple of pears and an apple. We also juiced half an orange.  Put it in a pot. Add favorite trail mix components. This time I think we just used ginger. In the past I’ve used raisins, crainsins, dried cherries, chocolate chips, even some nuts. (If the fruit is just apples, adding some chocolate chips make the juice at the end chocolate cider goodness.)

Put pot on cook stove (or over fire if it’s actually at dinner and a fire was used) and cook on medium to low heat until the fruit is done.


Packing summer sausage and some good cheese makes for a good lunch early on in a trip. (The cheese won’t keep forever. For that matter, I wouldn’t trust the meat that long either.) We had mustard, but didn’t use it. We had pita bread, but didn’t use it either. We did use the grilled bread made with the leftover pizza dough.

Salmon Patties

Were really a last minute adaptation on the trail. Hannah mixed a packet of salmon (travels great), with an egg and some buckwheat flour. (Though she would have preferred some crushed up saltines if we’d known to pack them.) Flavor with salt and pepper. Unfortunately the lemon had gone bad on the trail. Fried up on a skillet on the camp stove. Served with pita.


Grilled Pizza

Hannah’s creation. She made the sauce at home the night before. Froze it. In the morning before leaving for our trip she made some dough to the point of kneading and then placed it in a bag. Brought mozzarella and a grill grate to put over the fire.

We would spread out the dough, cook it on one side. Flip and sauce and cheese it up. When done, take it off and serve.

Next time, we’re bringing extra thick pepperoni to grill and then put on the pizza. (Because on the night with the grilled veggies we also grilled up the leftover summer sausage. Carciongenic heart attack, so you can’t eat it every day. But as Hannah said, “It’s everything I love and everything I hate about meat.”)

Peanut Soba Noodles
I like this recipe at home. So I brought it on the trail. It uses lots of pots, so make sure you have 2 people’s worth of gear. It makes a lot though. We finished with another serving leftover. The sauce was adapted from The Crabby Cook.

3 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
4 Tbsp Peanut butter
4 Tbsp Water

2-3 cloves garlic (It's the trail. You're ignoring germs. Give yourself an immune boost and use 3.)
Crushed red pepper flakes (or a couple of those dried chilies)

Soba noodles
Veggies: onion, carrots, and red pepper 

Packing the Food
Measure the honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil into a small container to carry on the trail. (I used a 1/2 cup mason jar, even though packing glass is questionable.)

On the trail
SautĂ© the onion. (Cut into whatever size you want. I like strips.) In a pot, start boiling water for the noodles and tofu.  Slice up the tofu (I like little cubes) and add to the water.

In another pot, add the sauce base. Add the peanut butter and 4 Tablespoons of the water boiling for the noodles and tofu. Mix well. Add in the garlic and crushed pepper. Meanwhile, go ahead and cook the noodles in the boiling water with the tofu in it.

Meanwhile, prepare the other veggies. I like the carrots to be in peels and red pepper in strips. Hannah doesn’t like red peppers, so they got reserved and only put on mine.

When the sauce is mixed up, add the onion and other veggies. Once the noodles are cooked, drain the pot, and combine the noodles and tofu with the peanut sauce and veggies. Serve on up.

Grilled Veggies
Bring skewers. It’s easier than making your own out of maple saplings (like Hannah did).

Veggies: corn, cherry tomatoes, pepper, onion

Corn on the cob can, in fact, survive three days in a bag on the trail/river. And be delicious when served with butter and salt. Despite our doubts.

Cut veggies to skewer size. Skewer them. Put on grill grate over fire. Monitor by rotating them frequently enough. Serve.

Couscous is amazing trail food. It’s light, cooks up a lot, doesn’t require any draining, and is quick to prepare. This time with was good with the veggies. In the past it’s been good with salmon (why I packed the salmon in the first place). And if you buy one of the mixes from the store, there may already be extra flavors so it’s not bland. (If you pack your own, remember to add spices.)