Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mike Asimos : Preparing Dehydrated Foods for Camping

When you're focused on planning a backpacking trip, a few things usually take priority - namely your tent and sleeping bag requirements, trail maps, first aid and food. Unlike car camping, food weight, ease of cooking and taste all play a factor, as does cost. Some meals can be so expensive and others are cheap and taste awful. I have used a dehydrator in the past with good results and wanted to pass on some tips to you.

The benefits of dehydrating your own food are control over ingredients and freshness factor. Overall, if you buy your items in bulk or use items you already have in bulk in your pantry it can also be more cost effective. It requires no refrigeration once it has been dehydrated and the weight is minimal.

The best fruits to dehydrate are bananas, apples, strawberries, peaches, cherries, pineapple, mangoes and blueberries.

The best vegetables to dehydrate are corn, peas, green beans, onions, mushrooms, carrots and broccoli.

There are plenty of other resources for meats, as I have very little experience with it mostly cause I'm afraid of getting sick, but I know that beef and turkey are supposedly easy.

Every item has its own levels of water and therefore need different amounts of time in the dehydrator but I have never seen a dehydrator that didn't have instructions for different foods.

Things to remember:
Cut the food items into small bite sized pieces.
Lay the items next to one another in a layer, but not touching while dehydrating
Place dried items into bags/containers that will allow you to remove all air from them.

I personally use Ziploc bags and press the air out. I also dehydrate shortly before my trip is happening. Then I bring one Tupperware to mix/rehydrate everything in and am able to reuse the Ziploc bags next time.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mike's Drinkify Suggestion!


I am astounded on the daily by technology.
I found drinkify.org and put in the Grateful Dead just to see and their soundtrack and suggestion were equally impressive.
Two kinds of gin and lemon juice plus they played "big boss man".

Don’t listen to Grateful Dead alone. We suggest…


  • 12 oz. Sipsmith Gin
  • 12 oz. Lemon juice
  • 6 oz. Blackwoods Gin
Combine in shaker and strain into cocktail glass. Serve. Stir vigorously.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Vegetarian Camp Cooking

Grateful Cead Black Bean Burger
Grateful Dead Black Bean Burgers

I found this article about Grateful Dead Black Bean Burgers at the Tupelo Honey cafe, and it inspired me to both share and comment on vegetarian camping foods.
Most people associate camping with a lot of meat (what about the hot dogs, Mike!!) but in fact I have had great success with vegetarian cooking in terms of flavor and not having to worry about food storage bacteria problems. Many freeze dried foods these days are vegetarian and fruits and veggies will often stay fine in your pack without needing ice.

REI has some pasta and beans kits that just need a flash of rehydration and they don't weigh as much as something already cooked in sauce and a tin can will.

The recipe above could be modified just a bit, pre-formed in a wax paper or aluminum casing and heated up once you get your camp fire going for a nutritious and filling meal.

Head over to the article above for the full scoop, or shortcut here. If you repost, please give credit via the site linked above!

Grateful Dead Black Bean Burger 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup peeled, shredded carrots
  • ½ corn, frozen, or cut from 1 large ear
  • ½ cup diced roasted red bell pepper
  • ½ diced poblano chili
  • ½ cup diced Vidalia onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup firm tofu
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 8 artisanal hamburger buns
  • lettuce and avocado for serving (optional-not in original recipe)
  • Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the carrots, corn, bell pepper, poblano, onion, celery, and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure the garlic does not burn. If it starts to, turn the heat down some. Remove pan from heat and let veggies cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Place tofu in a food processor and puree until smooth. Place in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine beans, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Place 2 cups of bean mixture at a time in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Once coarsely chopped, place in the large bowl with tofu.
  4. Add panko crumbs to the large bowl and mix the tofu, bean mixture, and panko crumbs together. Form into 8 patties.
  5. Heat Canola oil in a heavy bottomed skillet on high heat until oil begins to bubble. Put patties in oil and cook about 5 minutes per side, until outside is crispy.
  6. Serve on rolls with mayonnaise.
Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.