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Backcountry Dinner Recipes
By dinnertime, you'll be tired and hungry. You won't want to spend a lot of time preparing supper, but you'll be in the mood for something good. Now is the time to work a one pot wonder or two. Most of your dinner options start with boiling water. Pasta and rice are the mainstays of camp food, and in 10 minutes (or less) cooking time will provide bulk for your meals. With a little creativity, you can add variety.

Any of these suggested dinners can be prepared with canned or dried meat and some added freeze-dried or dehydrated vegetables. The key is to keep your camp meals simple.

Suggested Dinners
Macaroni & Cheese (add dried soup, canned or dehydrated meat)
Noodle dinners (including Ramen)
Potato dishes (mashed potatoes, au gratin, or other packaged potatoes)
Minute Rice topped with instant gravies and sauces
Lentils
Instant mashed potatoes Pasta salads (in a box)
Couscous
Pilafs (lentil, wheat, rice, etc)
Tuna and other canned meats
Pepperoni, dried meats, sausages
Sardines and fish steaks
Specialty dehydrated meals
Dehydrated vegetables

Curried Rice & Tuna
2 cups instant rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1 6-ounce can tuna in water
4 cups water
2 teaspoons margarine
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 hard-boiled egg

Cook the rice according to the package directions, using the water, salt, and margarine from the ingredients listed above. While rice is cooking, peel the hard-boiled egg and finely chop. Drain most of the water from the tuna (away from the camp). When the rice is cooked, leave over low flame and toss the raisins, curry, chopped boiled eggs, and tuna with a small amount of tuna water. Mix thoroughly and heat briefly. Remove from heat and serve. A couple of tablespoons of chopped almonds makes a good addition to this recipe.

Tuna Spaghetti
1 8-ounce package angel hair pasta
8 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 6-ounce can tuna in oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
4 cups water

At home: Mix the basil, oregano, parmesan cheese and garlic powder in a resealable plastic bag and label.

In camp: Soak sun dried tomatoes in four cups of water for ten minutes. Remove the tomatoes from water and bring to a boil. Break the angel hair pasta in half and add to the boiling water. Cook pasta until done, usually four or five minutes, depending on how firm you like it. Drain water away from camp. Leave noodles in the pot and add tuna with oil, tomatoes, and contents of the cheese and spice package you assembled at home. Stir well.

A low fat version can be made with water-packed tuna, but you'll want to drain most of the water before adding. If weight is not a factor, two small cans of tomato puree can be used in place of the sun dried tomatoes. This meal goes good with bread fried in margarine and garlic.

Oyster-stuffed Potatoes
2 large baking potatoes
4 shitake mushrooms
2 cans smoked oysters

At home: Bake potatoes.

In camp: Rehydrate shitake mushrooms by covering with water and soaking for 15 minutes. Drain oysters and the mushroom water well away from camp. Cut open the potatoes and stuff with oysters and mushrooms.

Chicken Quesadillas
4-5 small flour or corn tortillas
1 small onion
1 6-ounce can chicken
1 teaspoon oil
4 ounces Monterey jack (with jalepeno peppers if you like it spicy)

Dice onion, packing out the outer skin and end pieces. Thinly slice up cheese. Drain the chicken well away from camp. Assemble quesadillas by sprinkling chicken, onion, and cheese on half of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over omelet style and lightly brown in oil.

Chicken Stroganoff
1 8-ounce package noodles
1 packet onion soup mix
4 tablespoons sour cream (made from dry mix)
1 6-ounce can chicken
1 small can sliced mushrooms

Bring water to a boil; add onion soup mix and stir until dissolved. Add noodles with the soup and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain water well away from camp, keeping as much of the onion as possible. Add sour cream, mushrooms, and chicken. Season to taste. This recipe also works with canned ham or Textured Vegetable Protein (see the vegetarian section for more on TVP).

Corned Beef and Potatoes
1 package au gratin potatoes
1 large carrot
2 tablespoon margarine
1 canned corned beef
1 small onion
1/3 cup non-fat dry milk

At home: Open potatoes and remove the cheese sauce. Mix the cheese sauce powder with the dry milk in a resealable plastic bag. Leave the potatoes in original package.

At camp: Slice carrot into thin, round pieces while bringing the water to a boil. Put dried potatoes and carrot slices into the boiling water and cook until potatoes are tender. While potatoes are cooking, dice onion. When the potatoes are done, drain the water well away from camp, leaving about 1/3 cup of water in the pot with the potatoes and carrots. Add dry milk/cheese sauce mixture and diced onion; stir well. Cut corned beef into pieces as you add it to the pot. Return to heat, stirring continuously until the beef is heated and everything is well mixed.

Ham a la Ramen
1-2 packages Ramen (oriental noodle soup)
1/2 cup dried peas
Parmesan cheese to taste
1 5 ounce can ham
Red pepper flakes to taste

Cook the Ramen noodles (without the flavor pack) along with the dried peas. When the noodles are cooked, drain away from camp. Top with ham and add red pepper and parmesan cheese to taste. Mix, eat and enjoy.

Pizza on a Pita
3 whole wheat pitas
4 ounces of mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 small jar or can of pizza sauce
Pepperoni or other toppings

Cut pitas in half by separating at the edges to make two pizza crusts out of each pita. Top pita halves with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings. Fry in oil until crust is lightly browned.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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