The word gourmet is relative. Especially when it comes to long distance backpacking. As a foodie and a long distance backpacker, I struggle to find a compromise. Here is a sample of one of my recipes that takes a little extra time to make, but the reward is worth it!
This is, hands down, our favorite trail recipe. It is filling, delicious, resembles real food, and is relatively inexpensive to make. It just takes a little extra time to prepare, which is why I categorize it as “gourmet”.
This recipe makes one very large 2-serving meal as written. However, it may make more sense to make 3 batches of it at a time and use the whole pound of meat. Just triple the recipe and later divide into 3 baggies.
Note: You will need at least 1.3L pot for this recipe, as it is very large!
- 1/3 lb. extra lean ground beef or turkey (7% fat)
- 1/3 packet powdered taco seasoning
- Extra hot sauce to season, as desired
- 2 Knorr Spanish sides
- 2 oz. shredded lite cheese
- 1 small can of black olives, sliced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 4 large tortillas
- 3 T. dehydrated refried beans
Brown the ground meat in a large skillet, making sure to cut meat into small pieces as it cooks. Add taco seasoning and hot sauce. You shouldn’t have to drain any fat if you use a 7% meat.
Spread the meat mixture evenly on a parchment-lined tray in the food dehydrator. Sprinkle the sliced olives, onions, and cheese on top of the meat mixture. Completely dry, turning every hour or so.
Package it up: Place meat/cheese/onion/olive mixture into a pint or quart freezer bag.
Place 2 Spanish rice sides into a snack bag. Or, if you are adding beans, place the rice and beans into their own quart Ziploc. Then, package the rice (+beans) inside the quart freezer bag with the meat.
Package 4 tortillas (they fit nicely in a gallon Ziploc).
1-2 hours before eating, remove the baggie of Spanish rice and set it aside. Then, add just enough water to the quart bag to cover the meat mixture. Close bag securely and let the meat mixture soak while you hike/ ride/ paddle on a bit further.
Once the meat mixture has softened, cook the rice. Place the rice into your cook pot and just barely cover it with water. If you add too much water to any part of this process, you will be enjoying burrito-flavored soup instead of burritos. If you need to, you can always add a little more water while the rice is cooking. When rice is about ready (6-7 minutes), and most of the water has cooked out of it, add the meat mixture to the pot and mix it in with the hot rice. Let it all sit, off the stove, for a couple of minutes to warm, mix flavors, and soak up any remaining water.
Spoon into tortillas. Or, if they ended up too soupy, break your tortillas up and put them in the pot.
Variation on the recipe: Stuffed Peppers
Calories: Each recipe makes 2 huge (2 c.) servings and provides about 1,225 calories per serving. Beware: these servings are for hungry people!
Cost: The cost per serving for this recipe is about $4.75, including the tortillas and all ingredients (except beans). This may seem like a lot, but for equivalent calories of a store-bought freeze-dried meal, you would spend $12-15–per person!
If you liked this idea, check out my other Gourmet Trail Recipes.
No way you would put this much work into trail food? Check out my articles entitled Favorite Easy Trail Recipes. New recipes coming soon!