Friday, August 07, 2015

Food Planning and Preparation: Lunches and Snacks


Lunches have been a bit of a challenge for us. The first day we're fine, we have a fresh lunch. We've evolved the process to just packing cold meats, salamis, proscuitto, ones that aren't too delicate if they're not kept super cold. We have them with a nice cheese like gouda or edam. LT always supplies the first day lunch and we've had some really nice ones. We stopped bringing bread to have with the lunches as we've been finding it too heavy. He also cuts up fresh apples, pears and other fruit for the lunch and has started bagging it into two, one bag for each of us.

I have a salsa, rice, chicken and vegetables lunch we cook up. Each of those ingredients are dehydrated, then mixed together and rehydrated with boiling water. I have made pot cozies for all my camping pots. The food is put into the pot, the boiling water added, then we let it sit for 10-20 minutes, stirring it once in while. 
Homemade pot cozies
There's the reliable standby - KD, Kraft Dinner, with cut up pepperettes in it for lunch. It's always a hit, I packed two of them for LT's solo trip and he didn't eat either of them. It has nothing to do with the taste, it's more to do with the effort. Especially if we've got a long day of paddling and lots of portages, the last thing we want to do is stop, unpack the cooking stuff, get water, then pack up dirty dishes to continue on. So we often don't.

I tried a different lunch idea on our last trip. I got some very yummy teriyaki pork jerky at Costco then divided the bag into several servings and immediately vacuum sealed it just before bringing it along. I had some crackers with that, Triscuits I think. And some cheese string. I like using the cheese string cheese as it is all prepackaged in individual servings and I think that helps keep it fresh without refrigeration on our trips.  


Granola on special tray
We've moved to just having more snacks. When we first started out I had a great recipe for granola from here: Ohsheglows granola that I made regularly and we packed it up with fruit I had dehydrated and even M&Ms (only for cooler weather!). The problem with the granola is that it may start out nice and chunky, but after being carried around for a couple of days it breaks down into really small pieces and you almost need a spoon to eat it. Which is fine when you're at your kitchen table at home, but not so much when you're trying to shove some calories into your mouth while the canoe is being unloaded at the 5th portage of the day.
Fruit Leather

I've been really successful with making my own fruit leather using the dehydrator.  Again, Chef Glenn has some good recipes. I've adapted his recipe to the following:  a banana, a cup of applesauce, a cup or slightly more of a "main fruit" (I use frozen strawberries, blueberries, or mango) and juice from a single lemon. I puree the mixture up in my Blendtec blender, pour it onto special trays I have for the dehydrator and dry that up. Once it's dehydrated, I peel it off the trays and pack it by cutting the big circle in half and rolling it in plastic wrap. So it truly is a fruit roll up! These pack well, are fine with not being refrigerated and are delicious. You just need to remember to drink water while eating them.  

I've tried my hand at making tamari almonds. I just soaked the almonds overnight in tamari sauce and then put into the dehydrator to dry. They are good, maybe not as much as the super spicy flavoured almonds you can buy in the store, but with a lot less chemicals.  

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