While some hikers love easy, no cook dinner options I happen to be one of those hikers who just loves a hot meal, no matter how hot it is outside! To me, a hot meal can really end my day on a good note. Was it hot and nasty today? A good meal makes me feel better. Cold and drizzly? A hot meal warms me up and sends me to bed happy. Now, imagine you’re having a tough day out on the trail and you open your food bag to see that you left yourself your absolute favorite dinner for tonight. This moment can not only change your day, it can sometimes change your entire outlook! One of those trip altering meals I had on the Benton MacKaye Trail was this one - Soul Food. I adapted it from the book Lipsmackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’ and it was definitely one we think about even off trail! If you wanted to take this meal to the next level and you aren't vegetarian, you could even add in chunks of summer sausage!
Soul Food - 1 serving
1/2 heaping cup brown rice, dehydrated and cooked in veggie stock
1/3 cup of precooked and dried black-eyed peas
2 tbsp onion soup mix (here’s the recipe I use, but you can use store bought Lipton brand)
1 tsp onion flake (in addition to your soup mix!)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp parsley flake
1/2 tsp cajun/creole seasoning
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp bacon bits/TVP
1 pack Cholula hot sauce
Optional: Slices of summer sausage
At home: Add all ingredients to a zip top bag and seal. Shake to combine evenly. Add one pack of Cholula hot sauce to the bag before packing.
On trail: Pour contents of the bag into your cook pot, minus the hot sauce, and cover with water, leaving approximately 1/2 to 1 inch of water extending over your ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat, add sausage if you'd like, and let meal sit for 5-10 minutes. Check the texture of the beans for doneness before adding hot sauce and digging in.