Veggie Recipes

Aside from getting new gear as noted in the backpack post from a little while ago, the other thing I have been doing is trying some new recipes (reproduced below).  I must say the Carter Notch Coleslaw is excellent.  It dehydrates and rehydrates very well, weighs next to nothing and maintains a nice crispness.  I hope to prepare about 40 packs of this, which would be a treat a couple of times a week.  The other thing I tried is dehydrating some Brussel Sprouts.  This turned out OK, not great, so I might make 20 packs of these.  That is good for a once a week treat.  Gotta get my veggies!
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http://www.pcta.org/2013/trail-salad-recipes-12787/

Carter Notch Coleslaw

From Lipsmackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’

Total weight: 7 ounces

Weight per serving: about 2 ounces

Total servings: 4

Ingredients:

At home:

  • 1⁄2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 11⁄2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag fresh coleslaw vegetable mix
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped green pepper

Optional:

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon prepared horseradish

Preparation at Home:

Heat liquids, sugar, and spices, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Immediately remove from heat once the syrupy mixture reaches boiling. Combine the shredded vegetables in a heavy-duty plastic bag or bowl and cover with the hot syrup. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 8 hours, mixing at least once during the period. Drain, then spread the vegetable mixture thinly and evenly onto parchment-lined dehydrator trays. Dry, breaking up any lumps partway through the drying process. When ready, distribute the slaw mixture evenly between 4 ziplock quart-size freezer bags (about 2⁄3 cup each).

Preparation on the Trail:

  • 2⁄3 cup water per serving

To make 1 serving, add 2⁄3 cup of water to 1 bag of slaw. Allow to rehydrate for at least 30 minutes.

Option: Add the contents of a fast-food packet of vinegar for additional tang.

Ken Harbison

Rochester, New York

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http://rawmazing.com/recipe/brussels-chips/

Brussles Sprouts Chips

MAKES 5 CUPS

6 cups sliced brusseles sprouts (1/8th-thick)

1 cup cashews, soaked until soft, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons organic maple syrup

3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or coconut aminos

1/2 lemon, juice from

1 teaspoon chili flakes (omit if you don’t like heat)

Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place sliced brussels sprouts in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Blend cashews, water, maple syrup, tamari and lemon juice in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  3. Pulse in chili flakes, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over sliced brussels sprouts and toss to coat.
  5. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 45 minutes then reduce heat to 115 and dehydrate for 24-48 hours. (This is still raw. The food temp never gets above 115 degrees in the first 45 minutes. It cuts dehydration time.)

Food

Today will be a somewhat rambling post about food.  I need to get this dialed in and prepped as tax season is approaching fast and already I find there is a lot of administrative work that needs to be done at the office to get prepared for tax season and the tripling the size of our staff for a few months.

So, breakfast.  Although I am taking a stove and planning on cooking dinners, I do not want to cook breakfast.  I like to get up, pack up and get some miles under my belt before anything else.  And I don’t want to spend the time it takes in the morning to cook.  In fact, I have pretty much decided I am not taking coffee on this trip for that very reason…too much monkey business in the morning getting it all ready.  We will see if I change my tune on the coffee at some point.  I might.  But anyway, with or without coffee, I do want good nutrition to start the day.

I know I mentioned in another post about Drew Manning’s Spinach Shake recipe that was a main part of his menu plan on his phase from fat to fit.  (read all about Drew’s journey at http://www.fit2fat2fit.com)  The shake is good.  The basic recipe is a couple of cups of spinach, ½ a banana, ¾ cup almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter and a couple of handfuls of ice.  Put in a blender and go.  I think I can do that, absent the ice part.  In fact, as I write this I have almond milk and bananas in the dehydrator.  Dried peanut butter is available and I have already dehydrated a ton of spinach.  So I can mix together powdered everything in a small bag and have that every morning it will do two things.  First, I will start my day with some very good nutrition for my body that just spent the last eight to ten hours repairing itself from the prior days’ challenges, and second I will start my day by hydrating.  Two birds, one stone.  The big issue is can I dry these ingredients and make it palatable on re-hydration?  That remains to be seen.  Especially without ice.

Since I am talking food and dehydrating, I thought you might like to see some pictures of my setup.  I converted a space in the garage to be my dehydrating station.  I did this in part because of the room the dehydrator took up in the kitchen and in part because dehydrating onions smells really really bad.  So, garage it was.  I also purchased a freezer and setting up the station in the garage gave me easy access to that as well.  By January 15th I hope to have around 100 dehydrated vacuum sealed prepackaged dinners in that freezer.  The rest of the meal plan will be the spinach shake discussed in this post (assuming it is palatable) and various protein bars, granola bars, candy bars, etc…with the occasional sub sandwich or other trail town available meal thrown in.

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You can see the now empty bottle of almond milk sitting on the table.  Here is a picture of the almond milk in the tray in the dehydrator.  I must remember to be more careful moving a tray of liquid to the dehydrator as I ended up with almond milk on my feet.

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Based on the picture it appears I need to level the dehydrator just a tad.  We will see how this turns out and if it will re-hydrate in a shaker bottle with water rather easily.

Nutrition

One thing I am concerned about is nutrition on the trail.  Most hikers tend to go for high calorie junk food to propel them forward on the trail.  When in trail towns they stock up on highly processed junk foods and that is what they eat.  If you are young, perhaps this works as the body is very resilient to all sorts of negative inputs at that age.  If the trip is a short one, only a couple of weeks, again, not a big deal.  But when the trip is going to be a multi-month trip, I think proper nutrition on the trail takes on a whole new level of importance, regardless of age.  Yes your body needs raw calories to get through the day of hiking 20 plus miles while carrying 30 pounds of extra weight, but if you do that day after day without replacing key nutrients your body eventually will start to cannibalize itself to get those key nutrients.  For example, if you don’t get enough calcium, your body will start to draw it from your bones which could lead to a stress fracture.  Then your through hike is over, and it is over because of nutrition exhaustion.  Perfectly preventable.  Another aspect of proper nutrition is that it allows your body to recover that much quicker.  You might not be as sore in the morning as you would be otherwise.  Again, a theme you will begin to see is that being comfortable on the trail, for a trip of this nature, is critical to the mental capacity that you need to complete the trip.  So anything that will make me more comfortable, in this case recover quicker and with less soreness, is critical.

Food energy comes in three forms:  Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates.  You need protein to repair and rebuild muscle and make enzymes, hormones and many other body chemicals.  Fats store energy, help us maintain proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, transport vitamins and other nutrients amongst other things.  Carbohydrates come in two forms, simple and complex, and the main function of both is to provide energy for our bodies.  A secondary purpose of providing energy is to protect our muscle tissue, as the body will burn the protein found in our muscle for energy if necessary, thereby cannibalizing itself.  Simple carbohydrates fall into the sugar line and are a relatively immediate source of energy for our bodies whereas, complex carbohydrates fall into the whole grains and vegetables and are a longer lasting form of energy for our bodies.

Calorie for weight, fat provides the most calories for the lightest weight (roughly 9 calories per gram), with protein and carbohydates less so (roughly 4 calories per gram), and with some complex carbohydrates, such as broccoli and other fresh vegetables (broccoli .34 calories per gram), you need pounds of them to provide any calories.  This is the energy density of food (calories divided by weight).  But there is more to the food we eat than calories and weight, otherwise everyone would eat plain sugar and butter on the trail.  It is crucial that to maintain peak functioning that we get plenty of vitamins and minerals with our food.  These last two items help our bodies process the protein, fat and carbohydrates properly and keep our muscles, bones and other connective tissues repaired.  Without going into more detail, this is my plan for replenishing energy.

I am planning on dehydrating my own meals for the trail.  This way I know I’ll be getting good nutrition.  I assume that each week I’ll be in trail towns for at least one dinner, perhaps two, so I am going to find five meals that I like and make enough for five months of backpacking.  I hope to finish the trip in just over four months, but it could take six, so how much food to prepare is a bit of guesstimate.  The first one I am working on is unstuffed peppers.  I got the original recipe from http://www.backpackingchef.com, and modified it a bit.  I have added a couple of tablespoons of dried onion and a couple of tablespoons of dried spinach.  Spinach is one of those “super foods” that contain all sorts of nutritional goodness.  Spinach is a good source of Niacin and Zinc, Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese and Choline.  So the onions add flavor and the spinach adds nutrition.  And with the spinach, you literally don’t even notice that it is in the dish.  The downside to spinach is there are almost no calories in it.  (.23 calories per gram, or 2 Tablespoons dried is 26 calories)  If I find I am losing too much weight during my hike, I may add a couple of Tablespoons of Olive Oil to each dinner to get the added calories.

For breakfast, I am considering doing a variation of the Drew Manning, from Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit fame (http://www.fit2fat2fit.com) Spinach Shake.  I can use protein powder and powdered peanut butter.  I can dehydrate spinach and almond milk and grind it into a powder.  Not sure about the banana.  The only thing I don’t have is the ice.  J  Well, I will try this at home and see how it turns out.  There will likely be some variation on this recipe to make sure that it dissolves well and is palatable.

The rest of the day I’ll eat as most backpackers eat.  Protein bars, granola bars, granola, Snickers bars, etc….  On some days as I pass through a town or stay overnight in a town, I’ll buy a Subway sandwich and carry that with me for lunch.  Or a block of cheese and sausage, or other such real food trail treats.  One thing I do on the trail is eat all day long.  Basically it is one long grazing period.  In a readily accessible location I will have two or three different bars, or snacks that I can eat while hiking.  This way I am getting nutrition and calories all day long.  I will have more on this as time goes on…