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5-Minute Meals: Protein-Packed Dinners

Add four low-carb recipes to your trail cookbook

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You swear this is going to be the trip: You’re going to plan a gourmet menu and savor it under the stars with your friends. But then you think of the extra weight, the cutting boards and the frying pans and the cleanup, and you just stuff a couple of freeze-dried meals in your pack again. Break out of your slump with 5-Minute Backpacking Meals, our guide to gourmet-level cuisine you can put together in five minutes or less. 

Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb Frittata

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
  • 1 teaspoon basil, dried
  • 1 cup liquid egg substitute (or powdered equivalent of 4 eggs)
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese

In camp Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté sun-dried tomatoes until well coated (about a minute). Reduce heat to low. Mix oregano and basil with eggs and pour into skillet over the tomatoes. Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is almost set on top. Flip carefully; cook for 1 or 2 more minutes. Slide onto plate, cut in half, and top with cheese. Serves two.

Apple-Walnut Chicken Salad

  • 1 cup canned chicken (or dehydrated equivalent), cut into ½-inch chunks
  • ½ cup celery, chopped (about 1 stalk)
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

At home Drain and chop chicken; pack in zipper-lock bag.

In camp In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, celery, apple, walnuts, and raisins. Add oil, salt, and pepper; toss gently to coat. Serves two.

Lemon Couscous Chicken

  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups dehydrated broccoli
  • 1 package Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous
  • 1 ½ cups canned chicken or dehydrated equivalent
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon peel

At home Drain chicken; pack in zipper-lock bag.

In camp Cover broccoli in water and soak for 10 minutes to rehydrate. In large skillet, bring water, oil, and contents of the spice envelope from the couscous mix to a boil. Drain broccoli, then add couscous, broccoli, chicken, and lemon peel to skillet. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serves two to three.

Smoked Salmon and Rosemary Pasta

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-ounce pack smoked salmon (foil pouch)
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

In camp Cook pasta according to package directions, set aside. In a separate pan, heat oil; add salmon, rosemary, garlic, and pepper. Sauté until salmon is hot. Stir into pasta. Serves two.

Last updated May 2022

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