Saturday, January 10, 2009

Indulging hobbies

Christmas was very good to me this year. I mentioned last time my new madeline pan. This week has lead to a few different madeline-experiements including: Macadamia nut-lemon...

and, cranberry-chocolate!

Both were delicious, but I think we agreed the ones plain were the best!

Also for Christmas the husbot and I both got sleeping bags, a much needed addition to our fledgling backpacking desires, and a fancy ultralite backpacking stove and cookware! So the past few weeks I've started experimenting with various backpacking recipes that are nutritious, easy, fast, and tasty. With the weather a little too nippy in the midwest for a full out camping expedition, we are settling for dreams and practice meals. Hopefully when we do get the opportunity to hit the trail we won't be confined to boil in the bag meals!

It's important to me to incorporate as much fresh and whole foods as possible, without compromising too much on weight. Since I don't have very much camping/backpacking experience a lot of these recipes may need extensive trial and error to see if they will even function as trail meals. But if possible, I would love to avoid as many hotdogs and freeze dried bagged meals as possible.

The first "meal" I have started toying with is a red lentil curry and bulgar salad. It's important to me to limit the active stove time needed for each dish, so I'll be trying out various grains and lentils to see how to cut down active cooking time. Bulgar is simple, just add hot water in a 2:1 ratio and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to soak up the water while wrapped in a pot coozy. Afterwards, various spices and flavors can be mixed in. For this salad I used crushed red pepper, mint, salt, and a bit of lime juice.

I was able to reduce the cooking time for the lentils to around 10 minutes by soaking them in water (3:1 ratio) before cooking, and then allowing them to sit for another 15 minutes after cooking. These recipes were tested on the electice stove top, so they will need to be tested on the MSR before finished to make sure the timing still works, but here's the first round recipe. I didn't try it this way, but I imagine you could mix all the dry ingredients and just add water on the trail.

Red Lentil Curry

1/2 cup red lentils
1 & 1/2 cup water
5 g curry powder
1 g salt
5 g unsweetened coconut shreds
15 g dried milk

Soak lentils in water for 30 minutes. Mix in other ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, wrap to retain warmth and rest for 15 minutes.

No comments: