Trail Chef: Easy, Cheesy Southwest Jambalaya

Elevate standard grocery-store fare to the next level with this recipe

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Easy. Quick. Delicious. After hauling myself 10 miles up the side of a mountain, those three words are music to my ravenous ears. Easy and quick aren’t so hard to pull off (i.e., packet of ramen, meet boiling water)—but delicious? That’s the trick.

One secret: Prepackaged, preseasoned bags ‘o rice. Cook ’em up, throw in a few add-ons, and you’ve got yourself a camp-gourmet-caliber dinner for dirtbag-level effort.

Easy, Cheesy Southwest Jambalaya

Recipe by Cindy Crosby

1 pouch Cajun Sides Red Beans & Rice (by Knorr-Lipton)

1 4-ounce pouch southwest-flavored chicken breast (such as Bumblebee)

1 packet cheese-sausage-pretzel JackPack! (by Jack Link’s)

1 tablespoon chopped onion or green onion (or 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes)

2 tablespoons diced red bell peppper (or 1 teaspoon dried)

2 tablespoons diced celery (or 2 teaspoons dried)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1. At home, pack fresh veggies in paper bags. Tip: An easy way to carry green onions in your pack is in an old Wyler’s or Crystal Light lemonade plastic canister.

2. In camp, rehydrate veggies or chop fresh veggies. Open the JackPack!, slice meat into 1/4-inch chunks, and dice cheese. (The pretzel is your appetizer.) Chop chicken.

3. Sauté vegetables and sausage chunks in oil until tender. Add two cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil.

4. Add chopped chicken and Red Beans and Rice packet. Simmer, covered, for 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the diced cheese. Remove from heat and let it stand, covered, for 3 minutes.

Serves 2-3

—Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Image credit: brandi666 via Flickr

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