featured recipes
Citrus Lentil Salad
(from A Fork in the Trail page 70)

Dehydration Time: 5-7 hours
Makes 2 servings

My family loves to have salads on the trail and this is one of our favorites. It appeared in Joy of Backpacking by Brian Beffort.

Salad
1/3 cup roasted red peppers
1 cup canned green lentils, well drained & rinsed
1 small carrot, coarsely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons celery leaves, chopped
1/8 cup fresh chives or scallions, chopped
1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried sweet basil

At Home
Roast the red peppers according to the instructions below. Once they've cooled, peel them and chop them into ¼-inch pieces. Combine all the salad ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss. Spread out the salad mixture on lined dehydrator trays. If your unit has a temperature control, set it for 135°F. Dry the mixture for 5 to 7 hours.

Pour the olive oil and lemon juice into a leakproof container such as a small Nalgene bottle. Pack the cayenne, cumin, and basil in plastic wrap or a small ziplock bag. Put the salad, bottle of dressing, and spice packet inside a medium ziplock bag and seal, making sure to remove as much air as possible


At Camp
Rehydrate the salad in the plastic bag using a formula of 1½ parts dried mix to 1 part water. Wait 5 to 10 minutes and then add a little more water if needed. If you accidentally use too much water, be sure to drain the salad well before adding the dressing.

While the salad is rehydrating, put the contents of the spice packet into the bottle containing the olive oil and lemon juice mixture. Shake vigorously. Pour the dressing on the rehydrated salad and stir gently to combine. Serve the salad with lightly toasted Greek pitas or stuff it into pitas.


Tip
If you plan to prepare this salad well ahead of your trip, wait to make the oil and lemon mixture until closer to your departure date. The dried ingredients will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. Write the recipe name and date you made it on the outside of the freezer bag, using an indelible marker; be sure to write yourself a reminder on the bag about adding the dressing.


Roasted Red Peppers
To roast peppers place them on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool before peeling off the skin. You can also grill them until the skin starts to blacken and peel. You can buy roasted red peppers, packed in oil, at the supermarket. Just give them a little rinse first.

Blueberry Banana Energy Bars
(from A Fork in the Trail from page 104)

Makes 10 servings

This recipe appeared in the May 2008 issue of Backpacker Magazine. In the magazine the recipe was titled Blueberry-Banana Peanut Butter Bars. Laurie's trail bars were included as part of an article called "The Perfect Menu" by Dorothy Foltz-Gray abd Elizabet Kwak-Hefferan. A variation of the original appeared a second time in August 2009.

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups high-energy cereal or cereal made of strong flakes, crushed
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup dried banana chips
1/3 white chocolate chips

At Home
Break the banana chips into smaller pieces and set aside. Heat the honey and brown sugar in a large pot and let simmer for 1 minute. (Boiling too long will make the bars brittle.) Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter is well incorporated. Add the crushed cereal, blueberries, almonds, and banana and chocolate chips and combine well.

Coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil. Scoop the mixture into the pan and pack down evenly. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer the pan contents to a cutting board. Allow to return to room temperature and then cut into 10 bars. Wrap bars in waxed paper and store in ziplock bags. The bars will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Mediterranean Garbanzo Bean Salad
(from Another Fork in the Trail page 107)

Dehydration Time: 8–12 hours
Makes 2 servings

I like to think of this salad as a little trip around the Mediterranean because it combines ingredients common in Spain, Italy, Greece, Israel, and Egypt. Za’atar is a flavorful spice blend available through Middle Eastern specialty stores and online spice retailers. This salad can be served cold but is especially delicious when served warm. You can even serve it over cooked quinoa or couscous for a nice dinner.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilies (optional)
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Segments of 1 large orange
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon za’atar spice blend
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

At Home
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for a few minutes. Add the crushed red chilies, orange zest, orange juice, and orange segments. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the lemon juice, chickpeas, olives, and za’atar spice blend. Simmer for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. Stir in the pepper and salt.

Allow the mixture to cool and then measure the amount you will dry. Write this measurement on a sticky note. Spread the salad on lined dehydrator trays to dry. When the salad is dry, package it in a ziplock freezer bag along with your note.

At Camp
Rehydrate the salad by adding enough boiling water to the mix to make it equal to the measurement on your sticky note. Be sure to account for and add your dried ingredients to the rehydration container prior to adding the water. You can always add more water if you need to. Once the salad has rehydrated, reheat it if desired.

Tips
If you can’t find za’atar, then use a combination of thyme and basil, as they will pair nicely with this salad as well.

If you’d like to have this recipe for lunch, you can add cold water to the mixture at breakfast and let it rehydrate in your pack as you travel.

This is also good for dinner served on couscous or quinoa that has been cooked with a little vegetable stock or orange juice or with pitas that have been toasted, drizzled with a little olive oil, and sprinkled with a bit of the za’atar spice.

For more trail worthy recipes and Laurie Ann's blog please visit Wilderness Cooking or Backpacking Recipes.

If you wouldn’t eat it at home, why eat it in the backcountry?