I typically like to keep things in the kitchen simple, especially when camping. Dehydrating fruits and veggies is about as fancy as I get. Until I saw these savory pies on Adventure Journal. I started to salivate just imagining pulling this package of sweet-potatoey goodness out of my snack bag after a quad-burning ascent to a sweeping mountain vista.
The recipe on Adventure Journal took us to the Dirty Gourmet website where we fell into a rabbit hole of outdoor recipes. But I was still focused on the pies. Our first attempt didn’t look as saliva-inducing as the recipe, but they were as tasty as I imagined. I wanted more delectable food for adventures, so I picked up a copy of their cookbook.
Both the book and website are organized similarly, first by adventure then by meal. However, we didn’t discern between hiking, car camping, and backcountry when skimming through the book with our Eastern Sierra New Year’s trip in mind. The result was quite the camp-kitchen spread. I highly recommend Dirty Gourmet in either book or website form. Below you’ll find a quick sampling of the meals we prepared; if you want the recipes and more delicious options you’ll have to do a little dirty work yourself.
Sidenote – we were too busy cooking and enjoying the food that our photos aren’t terribly artsy. If you’re looking for artsy photos, you’ll find them with the recipes.
For breakfast we decided on peanut butter and jelly overnight oats, breakfast couscous, and chilaquiles. We prepped the overnight oats our first night in the Eastern Sierra and figured we didn’t need to put the containers in the ice chest because it was so cold. Turns out it was too cold and we woke to frozen oats. They were still pretty tasty once they de-thawed.
The couscous may be my new go-to meal for backpacking. It was easy, filling, and positively yummy that I ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture. We intended to make the chilaquiles on our last morning, but the temperatures again dropped below freezing so we headed into town for breakfast and had the chilaquiles for dinner when we got home. I feel like food tastes better when in the woods, if that is any indication, the chilaquiles are going to blow my mind next time out.
The snacks that we tried are on point. First the pies and then avodiablos – think deviled eggs but in an avocado. This one was so tasty and simple to make that I got more supplies after our trip for work lunches.
We got real fancy for our first dinner and had an appetizer of grilled spiced cauliflower steaks. Route mixed the garlic, spices, and olive oil before we left giving the garlic two days to really infuse. The cauliflower wasn’t structurally sound enough to form “steaks” but they were still an effective vessel to get the garlic oil to our mouths.
The sweet potato chipotle flautas introduced Route to chipotles in adobo sauce, which might be his new favorite ingredient. The flautas were appetizing for both dinner and the next day for lunch. The tortilla wasn’t as soggy as I feared the next day, but in the future I may store the leftover innards separate and just put them in a fresh tortilla.
Our second dinner was campfire bibimbap, on the stove. The timing was a bit tricky with the temperature so low, but once everything was cooked and mixed into our bowls it was nice to fill our bellies with warm food on a frigid night.
No cookbook would be complete without a dessert section and I highly recommend the zesty orange cups of delight. This was the one item we actually cooked on a fire, which is necessary unless you have camp baking equipment. A lot of our camping is during fire restriction season, but I plan on earning some auntie points with my nieces when campfires are permitted.
The food prep was a bit more in-depth then we’re used to, but we prepared three breakfasts, two lunches, one appetizer, two dinners, and one dessert in about four hours. Pretty reasonable considering these were all new recipes to us. Once we get our favorites down we can speed up prep time and throw in a new one here and there to add some spice to our backcountry kitchen.