I posted the other day about my dilemma with choosing food to take hiking. Dan and I took an overnight hiking trip to the Grampians this week, which included three nights in a tent without running water, so this challenge presented itself again. We hiked the Mount Difficult and Briggs Bluff route recommended in the Parks Victoria document on overnight hiking in the Grampians but were genuinely surprised by just how difficult the main route up to the summit from Troopers Creek campground really was. It truly was named Mount Difficult for good reason! Dan loved the rock scrambling but I feared for my joints with a 65 litre pack on my back. Anyway, it ended up being a very enjoyable and memorable trip which included one night camping out and two nights camping by the car at Troopers Creek.
Unfortunately before the trip I didn’t have time to test the amazing jerky recipe provided by Jarrah in my last post’s comments (but thanks heaps Jarrah, I can’t wait to try making my own jerky when I get a spare weekend and work out how to use our new oven). Instead I set to work planning and thinking up a few ideas for what else we could eat that was light-weight, protein-filled and delicious (well edible at least). I came up with four recipes, which I admit do feature sachets of tuna quite heavily, but they are just such an easy ingredient. I also relied way too heavily on ‘cup-a-soup’ mixes for flavour – something I really want to move away from because I hate eating these in the real world! We only ended up eating three of the meals because we decided to come home on Thursday instead of Friday, and the first meal is actually nearly identical to the one we had on our Great Ocean Walk trip (tried and true – we love this meal).
I am excited about coming up with some better recipes featuring more variety – but my requirements are that they are simple, light-weight, 100 per cent fridge-free and super easy to cook. We use a very cheap, simple Trangia-copy stove that runs on metho and has no controls for heat. It’s hot or it’s off.
So here are my recipes:
Minestrone tuna pasta
– Angel hair pasta (stupid me weighed this but didn’t write down the measurement – sorry you’ll have to guess… enough for 2 people)
– Dehydrated peas
– 2 sachets of minestrone “cup-a-soup”
– 2 sachets of tuna
– Dried parmesan cheese
Method: boil water, cook pasta and peas until soft, drain if necessary (sometimes the water mostly evaporates anyway!), add minestrone, stir, add tuna, stir until hot but not too long or it burns on the bottom. Serve with parmesan.
Red curry rice with quinoa and tofu
– Enough rice for two (we used a fancy mixed variety from the Chinese supermarket which included black, red and white rice as well as some split peas and other goodies)
– A dash of quinoa (we used 2 tablespoons each but could definitely have added more)
– Vacuum-sealed tofu (this is available in the aisle of some supermarkets – completely free from refrigeration)
– 2 sachets of Asian Thai red curry ‘cup-a-soup’
Method: boil water, cook rice and quinoa until soft, mash tofu with a fork and add it, add ‘cup-a-soup’, stir, serve. (note: this recipe tasted a little bland so next time I think I’d rather try a proper curry paste rather than the soup mix.)
Pea and ham smoky chicken pasta
– Risoni (enough for 2)
– 2 cans of smoked flavoured chicken
– 1 can of tomato flavoured ham (I think this is a new addition at Coles and I promise it’s not as gross as Spam!)
– 2 sachets of pea and ham ‘cup-a-soup’
Method: boil water, cook risoni until soft, add soup, stir, add chicken and ham, stir until hot, serve. (Note: this one was very tasty and filling but the catch is the meat comes in cans which aren’t ideal to carry around. We had this one on one of our nights by the car.)
Beans, mash and salmon (note: we didn’t end up trying this recipe but I’ll include it here for fun anyway)
– Dried bean mix
– Dried instant mashed potato
– Dried instant sweet potato (optional but probably extra tasty)
– 2 sachets of red chilli flavoured salmon
Method: boil water, cook beans until soft, drain the water into bowls, prepare mashed potato and sweet potato in bowls, add beans, add salmon. (note: I reckon this might be a little dry so I’ll work on a flavouring/sauce to try next time.)
SO there they are. Not startling, but super easy. I’m not sure I’d give much of a ‘thank you’ if I was served any of these delightful dishes on a normal occasion, but out in the cold bush, having food that’s quick, easy, hot and tasty (well tasty enough) is all that matters. Not to mention light-weight.
I’m excited about trying some improved versions of these recipes and adding a few more to my list. I’m imagining a wealth of options when milk powder is added to the mix. Also, there are plenty of dried flavour additions available – onion and garlic flakes, herbs, spices…
Any more ideas?