Backpacking Meals: A Gourmet Holiday Outside

An valid chef cooks one, and you would possibly perhaps too!


I’m attempting to score a sure construct of holiday this year. An gain away from cityscapes. A formulation to reconnect with my wild roots. A broad gamble to book clear of from now on holiday jingles. Despite the actual fact that while off backpacking I will seemingly be lacking out on among the outdated festivities, there’s absolutely no formulation I’m going to skip out on the food.

With stuffing myself with stuffing in mind, I enlisted the reduction of an valid live chef. We deliberate on cooking and dehydrating an total holiday meal. Seattle-primarily based Avry DiMaccio has been cooking for the greater piece of a decade in professional kitchens (RPM, Muse, Lola). They’re also a backpacker who knows “the sads of having to utilize the an identical textures and the an identical bleak tastes in mountain mountaineering food.” However there’s hope! Chef Avry promises: “With somewhat of planning you would possibly perhaps utilize love a king, or queen, or gender nonconforming royalty.”

We made a paunchy meal. Be half of us:

  • Cornbread vegetarian-sausage stuffing with apples
  • Gripping Brussels sprouts
  • Delicata squash
  • Turkey jerky
  • Apple crumple


Cornbread Vegetarian Sausage Stuffing with Apples

To me, stuffing is a truly mighty piece of the jog meal. I essentially had been known to construct excessive (read: quadrupled) amounts of stuffing most sharp to freeze it and revel in for months after the broad meal. I essentially acquire one recipe I inform upon making: Silver Palate’s Cornbread Sausage Stuffing with Apples and Pecans (we didn’t exhaust pecans, but you would possibly perhaps acquire reward of them …). Chef Avry used to be style ample to oblige, and added their very delight in flair.


  • 5 cups bread cubes (sourdough, total grain and cornbread—pro capabilities for making your delight in)
  • ¾ cup white onion, chopped
  • 2 gigantic apples, cored and cubed (essentially be at liberty to leave peels on)
  • four vegetarian sausage hyperlinks, crumbled (we celebrated smoked apple sage veggie sausage)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons contemporary rosemary, chopped and de-stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons contemporary thyme, chopped and de-stemmed


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Melt 1/2 your butter in skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook except delicate and evenly colored. Transfer onion and butter to gigantic mixing bowl.
  3. Melt final butter in identical skillet. Add apple cubes and cook over high heat except evenly colored, no longer restful. Transfer apple and butter to identical mixing bowl.
  4. Crumble veggie sausage into skillet with rosemary and thyme and cook over medium heat except browned. With slotted spoon, switch to mixing bowl.
  5. Add final substances to mixing bowl and mix gently.
  6. Spoon mixture into casserole dish. Duvet dish with tin foil and blueprint dish into a gigantic pan. Pour scorching water across the casserole dish to come abet halfway up the perimeters.
  7. Bake for 30 to forty five minutes.
  8. Dehydrate (see pointers beneath).

“Lightest, most sharp backpacking meal ever,” stated me.

“Surprisingly, dehydrated food retains its flavor essentially, essentially effectively,” stated my photographer, Joe Santiago, who got to utilize the rehydrated food with me as we made that essentially frigid GIF.

Techniques for Dehydrating

  1. Raise the obliging temperature. Test the urged times printed straight in your machine.
  2. Let it dry. In case your food feels soft, spongy or sticky, leave it in longer.
  3. Dehydrate a huge selection of foods at the an identical time that require the an identical temperature. Makes sense, obliging?
  4. Slash all sliceable food to equal thickness and sizes. For stuffing, guarantee your cubes are pretty the an identical dimension.
  5. Pat off any excess oil—that stuff can slide rancid!
  6. Retailer your food in plastic zip-top baggage, and you would possibly perhaps just hold them and slide!

Spfrosty Brussels Sprouts

It’s a actual thought to be wholesome, every every so continuously. Chef Avry took the typical Brussels sprouts aspect dish and elevated it. “Season your food,” they stated. The crunch of this veggie used to be welcome in the historically restful world of dehydrated backpacking food. And the warmth reduce throughout the comfort of the meal, delighting my taste buds in a formulation I essentially haven’t skilled in the woods.


  • ¼ cup white onion, chopped
  • A wholesome dollop of olive oil
  • three cups Brussels sprouts
  • ½ teaspoon curry
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon powdered cumin
  • ¼ tablespoon contemporary thyme
  • ¼ tablespoon contemporary rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Minimize Brussels sprouts in 1/2 and acquire burr off backside. “A couple of of the leaves are going to come abet off. Allow them to slide,” stated Avry, which I took as life advice, as effectively.
  2. Cook dinner onion in olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat except translucent.
  3. Add Brussels sprouts and seasoning—curry, garlic powder, cumin, contemporary thyme and contemporary rosemary.
  4. Raise away skillet from heat as soon as Brussels sprouts flip a verdant green. They must always be indifferent firm to bite, but no longer uncooked.
  5. Dehydrate.

“Sure. Sure. Sure. Veggies that taste actual and acquire a bite? Sure. And again, yes.” –me

“Brussels sprouts gain a deplorable rap for being every kid’s worst nightmare. However a plastic score paunchy of rehydrated-then-dehydrated food tastes about as sharp because it looks to be to be like. Would suggest to a pal. Surprisingly aesthetic.” –Joe

Techniques for Rehydrating

  1. Vegatables and fruits can last for as much as twelve months, especially if saved in your freezer. Within the event you’re going to utilize them sooner, a cabinet must always assign just perfect.
  2. Exercise your dried meats within three months. (And store them in your freezer if no longer eaten within a month.)
  3. To rehydrate your food, merely add boiling water to merely duvet your food and let sit down for 12-20 minutes.
  4. You would rehydrate in a zipper-top score, your tenting bowl with a lid, or another vessel that closes.
  5. No longer into scorching food? Add water to your zip-top score, wrap in one other plastic score (for security) and let it sit down for just a few hours as you hike. You’ll acquire a tasty meal willing to head do you should’re achieved for the day.
  6. Pro tip: Add salt after your food is totally rehydrated.

Delicata Squash

Chef Avry says the sweetness of the squash balances with the spirited, aromatic facets of the seasoning. Delicata squash holds up effectively for dehydration. This total meal is an exercise in balance. On the total, we’re searching to no longer overcook the rest and to hold foods that won’t crumple in this harsh means of cooking, dehydrating and then rehydrating all the strategy through again.


  • Olive oil
  • 1 exiguous delicata squash
  • ½ tablespoon curry
  • 1 tablespoon powdered cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Halve your squash. Stride spoon down channel to gain the seeds and pulp out. Minimize into quarter-walk 1/2-moons.
  2. In a mixing bowl mix curry, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder and garlic powder with a splash of olive oil to construct a construct of paste. Add squash and coat with mixture.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add spiced squash. Toss spherical in the scorching oil except squash is soft, no longer restful.
  5. Dehydrate.

“We’re persevering with the tremendous scorching flavoring with squash that undoubtedly looks to be to be like and tastes love squash in the backcountry. Amazing.” –me

“Squash is posh.” –Joe

Turkey Jerky

Clearly, a holiday meal wouldn’t be full with out a meat product to ooh and aah over. We picked turkey on story of, why no longer? “My job is carried out while you occur to would perhaps acquire eaten a actual meal in the backcountry,” Chef Avry stated.


  • 1 exiguous turkey breast (We celebrated a frozen diversity)
  • 2 sprigs contemporary rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Slash your turkey into ¼-walk slices.
  2. Bruise rosemary with the abet of your knife. Cook dinner in olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Recede away it in the skillet.
  3. In a bowl, mix collectively onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a splash of olive oil. Rub spices over turkey slices. “A exiguous bit extra seasoning than you imagine you’ll want to,” Chef Avry stated.
  4. Add somewhat of additional oil to the skillet. As soon as oil is scorching, seer the beginning air of the turkey, enable to cook through.
  5. Pat excess oil off and dehydrate.

“The rehydrating process for the turkey left somewhat of to be desired. Make sure to make exhaust of boiling water and let sit down except fully hydrated.” –me

“Turkey & rosemary: the classy identical of PB&J.” –Joe

Apple Crumble

Every connoisseur meal wants a dessert. Apple crumbles are easy peasy and aesthetic and rehydrate effectively. Right here’s Chef Avry’s backpacking twist on the typical. Prepare to nom away.


  • four apples, cored and cubed
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Procedure apples in an Eight in. by Eight in. baking dish.
  3. Combine brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and butter in mixing bowl to create crumple topping.
  4. Unfold topping over apples and bake for 35 minutes, or except top is browned.
  5. Dehydrate.

“Right here’s the appropriate backpacking dessert I’ve ever had. That entails my melted-ice-cream milkshake while I used to be ravenous sooner or later of my through-hike of the PCT, which is a moderately darn high bar.” –me

“Is this a meal I’d put collectively for a tenting outing? Undoubtedly. It packs light and retains a huge selection of flavor. The apple crumple took me abet to my favourite flavor of on the spot oatmeal—both tasty, but the paunchy-on crumple used to be so powerful extra enjoyable. SO GOOD.” –Joe

The put up Backpacking Meals: A Connoisseur Holiday Beginning air appeared first on REI Co-op Journal.

Originally posted 2018-02-16 18:10:51.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest