Trail Rice

Rice is nice on trips but the downside to me has always been that the cooking time is pretty long, which means alot of fuel usage, and that you need two cups of water just to cook one cup of rice. I was in the grocery store one day and dawned on me that Uncle Bens Ready Rice pouches are a great option for the backcountry. Typically you heat the rice in the microwave for 90 seconds, but I learned from the pouch that you can heat it in a pot/pan as well. The rice is already cooked, so it just requires a couple of minutes of heating with two tablespoons of water. The other plus side to the pouches is that there quite a few flavor options (sixteen regular flavors, and several whole grain flavors). So for meals you can just eat the rice, or you can add a protein and/or vegetables, so there are alot of possibilities.


Cooking Videos

Videos that I like about cooking outdoors (I will keep adding with time)
Spicy Pad Thai - This is a good recipe that I tried and liked very much from Backpacker Magazines Trail Chef.
Backcountry Tiramisu - Another good one from Backpackers Trail Chef, this is a really special treat for a trip.
Pizza - An Alternative to my version, this pizza is made in a pan, and the crust is made instead of bought.
Pizza Ramen - Ramen meets pizza in a freezer bag! Really cool recipe
Salmon Alfredo - Pasta, sundried tomatoes, and salmon in a creamy alfredo sauce.


Campfire Pizza

Pizza is something that most people wouldn't think of for a backpacking trip but i've done some experimentation with it and have found that it can be done a few ways and is not a major hassle, and can taste great. Pizza is one of those things that I can really begin to crave when I'm away trips, and i think you can impress some friends with this backcountry rendition.

For my Version i picked up already made personal sized pizza crusts, a marinara spice packet that uses tomato paste and water to make a sauce, and went with mozzerella, mushrooms, and spinach as my toppings. (Note that this recipe needs a campfire to cook it so plan accordingly, and don't disregard campfire bans please!)

Ingredients (for three pizzas)
One package of Crusts (3)
1 packet of pasta sauce spices (I found near tomato sauces in jars at the store)
1 small can of Tomato Paste (spoon out into a quart ziplock bag at home)
1 cup of water
1 small can of mushrooms (drained and put in a small ziplock at home)
Two handfuls of spinach (placed in a ziplock)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 two foot rectangles of Aluminum Foil

To begin this I make a normal campfire at my site for the night and make sure its a decent size so I can get some hot coals going. After I do that I make the sauce; first open the quart ziplock that already contains the tomato paste, then add the spice packet. Now you will need to add the water (I went ahead and added less water then directions on the spice packet called for because i didn't want the sauce to be runny), so just add water slowly till you achieve the desired consistency, seal it, then shake and squish the bag up to mix everything really good.

Next Pull out your two Aluminum Foil Pieces, and put your Crusts on top (shiny side facing down). Top the pizza with the sauce, then cheese and toppings. Now wrap the aluminum up around the pizzas but don't press down on top of the foil, try to leave some gap between the top of the cheese and the foil.

Now spread out hot coals from your fire with a stick into a flat layer that can fit all of the pizzas. Place two sticks flat below each pizza so air can flow underneath and keep the coals alive and hot. Additionally I also try to circle the pizzas with logs or sticks that are still burning to achieve more heat. The Pizza is going to take about 5-10 minutes to cook this way, just keep peeking into the Aluminum foil until you see that the cheese is gooey, then remove carefully with some sticks, and dig in!

Backpacker Magazine's Trail Chef made pizza with her own dough and in a pan, this could be an alternative recipe if you can't have a fire. Check it out here.