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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Trail Chef: Foodie Meet Outdoorsy

Kashi commercials, whitewater & wine, and real-life trail chefs--just a few of the ways foodie and outdoorsy mesh.

  So you're a foodie. (Do you know what a persimmon is and how to use it in a dish? You qualify.) And you're the outdoorsy type. (You're reading this blog. You qualify.) And while once foodie and outdoorsy may have butted heads (at least in the mainstream), that relationship is swiftly reconciling, as evidenced by the number of recipes and discussion on this website and others regarding delicious meals that are easy to prepare in the backwoods. With that reconciliation comes an array of new opportunities for the foodie-outdoorsy type:

Starring in a Kashi Commercial
OK, apparently you have to work at Kashi to star in their commercials which hit to the very heart of the foodie/outdoorsy argument, but the message is clear: stale, processed granola bars and stale, processed granola bar people are old news (not a direct quote). Even energy bars and granola bars are continually evolving with new ingredients and attention to flavor and nutritional value. New Clif "C" bars combine fruit, nuts, & sea salt...and not a whole lot else (especially gluten, no gluten). The BP office moochers can't get enough.

Culinary Whitewater Series
You did not misread that title. While The New York Times scooped us on this one just the other day, the Culinary Whitewater Series is a true foodie-outdoorsy adventure. ROW adventures combines whitewater rafting trips with "hands-on learning of campfire and Dutch Oven cooking focused on Northwest Regional Fare." Ultralighters need not apply. Meals are paired with regional wines and trips are four to six days along the Snake, Salmon, and Grande Ronde River. Adult prices range from $1,250 to $1,765 according to their website.

Volunteer Crew Chefs, Continental Divide Trail Alliance
If you happen to be in Leadville, CO on July 3 there will be a one-day workshop for those interested in becoming 2010 volunteer crew chefs. Crew chefs whip up hearty meals for the hungry trail volunteers who haul dirt and rocks to make the CDT hikeable; in 2009, the first year of the chef team, all CDTA volunteer projects featured on-trail meals. The training session costs $15. Can't make the workshop? Check out our article, Dinner Party: Cooking for a Group, then whip up something with persimmon on your next group outing.

How are you blending foodie/outdoorsy? Let us know in the comments below.

--Trail Chef


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Oct 21, 2010

I am a foodie and love the outdoors. My husband and mountaineering partner is lactose intolerant and has some other food aversions. It always made buying those pre-made freeze dried meals difficult. In the end, I started making my own meals. I have started a collection of my recipes here:

May 02, 2010

Love the outdoors, love to eat, that's us. We'll accept the "foodie" moniker if necessary. Subsiding on gorp and energy bars just isn't adequate or sustaining on the trail and creates a blood sugar roller coaster. We eat (and drink) well and healthily at home; we don't want to do differently in the outdoors. I'm a huge fan of dehydrated meals and have found that dehydrating the (planned) leftovers from some of our favorites (Jambalaya!) makes for great eating later. Light enough to allow for a couple Platypus' of wine under the stars. Heaven!

May 01, 2010

45 years of cooking my own meals in the outdoors. I think I have tried FD meals 3 times. I think I will treat them as emergency rations.
I make my own BP bars based on a recipe from Harriett Barker.


1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy)
7 cup Rice Krispies or equivalent
Coconut, nuts, M&M'SŪ, butterscotch bits (optional)

Combine syrup, sugar and butter in pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add peanut butter, stirring until melted. Pour mixture over Rice Krispies in large mixing bowl, stir carefully until mixed. Spread into greased 9x13 inch pan. Press down lightly. Let cool. Cut into bars.

A variation is to use Dried Cranberries and mix them with the Rice cereal before adding the syrup.

May 01, 2010

Dinners on my first couple of backpacking trips way back when were nothing but Harvest Food Works dehydrated meals. It worked, but...

Since those days I've gotten more adept at putting together decent meals on the trail that would appeal to most foodies. Even though I do strive for really light (one step down from ultra light), I've learned the value of including a few fresh food items in my arsenal: garlic, shallots, carrots, and peppers being those of note. Parmesan cheese is another one that travels well (grate at home), but don't put it in the food while you're cooking - sprinkle it on in your bowl to avoid a messy cheese-pot cleanup. You can make a mighty decent pasta just with garlic, hot pepper flakes, sundried tomatoes, and Parmesan. A little nalgene bottle of olive oil goes with me too.
Yeah, I hike to eat!


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