And the food updates continue.
I did a couple of elaborate breakfasts, chillequiles being by far the most involved. For me, trail breakfasts can be the most repetitive and boring meal of the day. Oh, oatmeal or poptarts again? No thank you. I branched out and tried some new things, including breakfast quinoa, breakfast lentils, and chillequiles. Let’s start with what chillequiles are. They are a Mexican breakfast, originally made using leftovers found around the kitchen. They can be either red or green but basically you take salsa, heat it up over the stove, whisk in some beaten eggs so that they cook in the hot simmering sauce and then crumble in some fried tortillas (tortilla chips will suffice if need be). Some people cook it like a casserole in the oven and you can add chicken or pork. Oh, and don’t forget a sprinkle of cheese. Sounds delicious right? You are probably wondering how the hell I made that into a trail food…
First things first, I made a salsa verde. You can find all sorts of recipes for them online, I prefer lots of tomatillos and lots of spice. I dehydrated the salsa into a leather and split it amongst four breakfasts. Then I tossed a bouillon cube and some freeze dried cheese into a ziplock and filled a separate baggy with a couple of servings of dehydrated eggs. Last ingredient: a packet of tostado shells (basically tortilla chips). This morning we boiled water with the bouillon cube in it. Once it was boiling we poured in the salsa verde leather and the cheese. We added a little water to the ziplock of dehydrated eggs and once they were soupy we turned down the stove and poured in the eggs. At this point we removed the pot and put it in the pot cozy and let it sit for a bit so the eggs could cook. When we were ready to eat it we dumped in the tortilla chips, making sure not to crumble them up too much and ta-da! Chillequiles in the backcountry. It was one of those moments where we each took a bite and then, eyes wide with delight, high-fived each other over our genius. Seriously good stuff.
This was the first of our dehydrated sauces that we received. The bulk of our dehydrated meals are sauces that we bought from Whole Foods and then paired with grains, veggies, and sometimes meat. In this case it was a Carribean curry paired with quinoa, peas, potatoes, chicken, onions, green onions, and leeks. These meals were quite simple to make. We would buy a couple of sauces when we were at the store doing our grocery shopping for the week and dehydrate them when we got home. Then I would make a batch of a grains, dehydrate it, and split it up amongst a couple dehydrated sauces. Figuring out how to rehydrate this meal so that it tasted like grains with a sauce on it, not a curry soup, was a little trickier. We ended up cooking the grains and veggies in the pot with water for a little while, waiting until there seemed like the right amount of water leftover for the sauce. Then we tore the sauce leather up into little bits and added it in. It was delicious, but definitely a little bit watery, so getting the amount of water right is going to be a challenge. The quinoa, even though I cooked it and dehydrated it, still took a while to rehydrate. Overall a success and I cannot wait to try our other sauce leather meals.
Cuban Beans and Rice:
This is one of Kyle and mine’s favorite meals to make at home. It is a slow cooker recipie so you can ignore it for hours and is very simple, the main ingredients being black beans, tomatoes, chilies, and fennel. When it’s done you laddle it over some rice and crush some tortilla chips on top and you have a fabulous meal. We also love to eat it in the morning with an egg on top of it. This was a simple trail meal to make. We just made a batch of rice and beans for the week and then took half of it and dehydrated it, along with some rice. Then we bought some Fritos to go with it and dinner is served. It rehydrated well, the beans were still a bit chewy but we couldn’t have fit any more water in our pot. We made this meal the same night as the Carribean curry and Cameron, Kyle and I split all the food. We had A LOT of food, but managed to eat it all.
Rice Noodles with Thai Peanut Sauce:
Another simple one. We dehydrated broccoli, and then added it, along with freeze dried chicken, dried onions and garlic to some rice noodles. We bought a Thai peanut sauce from Whole Foods and dehydrated that. We are still working on how to effectively cook things that have sauces with them, so this time we used less water and tried to squish everything into the pot. This didn’t work out great and we ended up boiling a little more water and pouring it over top. The biggest mistake we made was that, in my hungry aste, I didn’t rip up the Thai peanut sauce leather into smaller bits, I just threw it in with the noodles in one big chunk. In the end we got it softened up and mixed in with the noodles, which rehydrated beautifully. The sauce definitely made the meal, it was nice and creamy and very spicy. We now know how we would fix our cooking method in the future and with that in mind this was a killer meal.
Spicy Miso Ramen:
So, I had already done a write up on the Shoyu Ramen, and this one was basically the same except it had a miso leather and a spicy red pepper leather instead of soy sauce. Also there was dehydrated corn in the mix. This probably would have been a very successful dinner except that I was busy doing an interview during the cooking and I forgot to tell Kyle not to add all the spicy pepper leather at once… So it was really spicy. REALLY spicy. But still good. Our room for improvement involves less red pepper leather and I am saying screw it to the organic ramen noodles. They suck. I am going right back to shitty Top Ramen noodles. With these changes this is going to be a ten. Also, I didn’t hate the pork stuff so much this time round.