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Backpacker Magazine – October 2001

Packable Salads

These crunchy, easy-to-prepare side dishes will make your hiking buddies green with envy.

by: J. Lynn Cutts


Recipes

Packer's Cole Slaw

1 tablespoon noniodized or canning salt
1 cup water
1/2 cabbage, washed and finely shredded
1 stalk celery, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 green pepper, shredded
3/4 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 cup sugar

At home: Dissolve the salt in the water in a large bowl, then soak the cabbage in the salt water for an hour. Add the next three ingredients and let them soak for another 20 minutes, then drain and rinse thoroughly. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, and sugar in a pan and bring it to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the dressing over the rinsed vegetable mixture in the bowl and marinate, covered, for at least 24 hours before dehydrating. Divide the dried slaw into plastic bags (1/3 cup of dried salad is adequate as a side dish for one person).

In camp: Add an equal amount of water to each portion of salad (1/3 cup of water to 1/3 cup of salad) and allow it to reconstitute for at least half an hour. Yield: 3 1/2 to 4 cups (10 to 12 side dishes).

Carrot-Pineapple Crunch

1 large lemon's peel, grated
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds

At home: Stir the lemon zest and sugar into the lemon juice in a pan and simmer gently until the sugar is dissolved. Put the carrots and pineapple in a bowl, pour the juice mixture over them, cover the bowl, and marinate for at least 24 hours before drying. Package the dried mix in zipper-lock bags (1/3 cup of dried salad will make side dishes for two people). Package the almonds separately.

In camp: Add an equal amount of water to each portion of salad (1/3 cup of water to 1/3 cup of salad) and allow to reconstitute for at least half an hour, then add almonds. Yield: 1 cup (6 side dishes).

Mexi-Bean Salad

1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/3 cup salsa
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 scallions, chopped

At home: Stir the cilantro, salt, and vinegar into the salsa in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, cover the bowl, and marinate for at least 24 hours before drying. The salad is done when the beans are crunchy and the corn is still a bit leathery. Place a single serving (1/4 cup) of the dried mix in each zipper-lock bag.

In camp: Add an equal amount of water to each portion of salad (1/4 cup of water to 1/4 cup of salad) and allow it to reconstitute for at least 1 hour. Use as a side salad or as filling for a vegetable burrito-just add cheese. Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 cups (6 to 8 side dishes).



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