There's a good reason salt-depleted backpackers crave chips and burgers after a hard trip. But there's no need to wait until you hit the pub on the way home to replenish what you've lost through sweaty hiking. Here's how to dine from the bar menu before you've even left the backcountry.
Mushroom-Asiago Veggie Burgers
1 cup Nature's Burger veggie burger mix (6 oz.)
1 cup boiling water
2 large cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
Olive oil (optional)
4 large burger buns
Condiments, such as mayo, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, and tomato
Pack buns in your cook pot or a smash-proof plastic container. Do not dice or wash mushrooms, as this can accelerate spoilage.
Place burger mix in a heat-safe bowl. Add boiling water, stir and let stand for 10-15 minutes or until mixture is cooled and set. Dice mushrooms and work into mix along with cheese. Form into four patties. Pan-fry in a non-stick skillet (with olive oil, if using). Fry each side until browned and burger is cooked through. Add bun and fixings. Serves 4.
Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
Olive or canola oil (optional)
Seasonings such as onion powder, Italian seasoning, and/or seasoning salt
Place potatoes in paper bag.
Peel sweet potatoes, then cut into 2-inch strips. Coat a large skillet with oil. In batches, add sweet potatoes and sprinkle with sea salt and seasonings. Fry until browned on both sides, about 10-15 minutes. Remove to a plate and top with additional seasonings, if desired. Serves 4-6.
Note: To bake fries, wrap them in foil along with the seasonings and place the packet directly on hot coals; omit the oil.
Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
1 can evaporated milk (5 oz.)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 jar quartered and marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (we like Cento's)
2 cups fresh baby spinach, lightly chopped
2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3/4 cup Parmesan & Romano cheese blend
Place spinach, basil, and cheese in a large zip-top bag.
Whisk evaporated milk, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat; add in artichoke hearts, spinach, basil, and cheese. Stir and cook for 6-7 minutes or until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted. For dipping, pack a bag of pita chips (they're less fragile than others) or a loaf of crusty bread, or make tortilla chips in camp. Serves 4-6.
Toasted Tortilla Chips
4 10-inch tortilla wraps (try Mission's Garden Spinach Herb or Jalapeño and Cheddar)
1 oz. olive or canola oil (optional)
pinch of sea salt
Cut tortilla wraps into wedges and place in a zip-top bag.
Fry wedges in a skillet with oil until crisp and browned, or use a dry nonstick skillet. Remove from heat and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Serves 4-6.