I am now getting back to posting some backpacking recipes from the yurt trip over spring break. The one when I sat home alone, watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution with the best dog ever. And I cried. Not about the home alone thing, but while watching Jamie's show. I am very passionate about eating real food and I am emotional. About everything. Once I cried while watching an infomercial. Just kidding. I don't watch those. Or cry while watching those.
Anyways, after just saying that I am passionate about eating real food...I present to you a backpacking recipe! This one is actually very fresh and real. Although, I am a supporter of processing food for backpacking. It is a food safety thing. And a lighter pack thing.
This dish is pretty quick. If it is all packaged right (see above), when you are on the trail (or in your yurt), all you have to do is wilt the spinach and cook the polenta.
Then you just assemble: polenta, spinach, top with goat cheese, craisins and almonds. Polenta is a great low fuel dish. For winter backpacking (my fav!), all of these ingredients would keep fine for several days. For summer backpacking, this would have to be the first night's dinner. Unless you are at high enough altitude to keep it cool overnight...but I still wouldn't. However, you could omit the spinach and goat cheese (sad), and then this meal could be made at any point in a trip.
Bottom line, when backpacking/camping, it is nice (/necessary for me) to have some interesting things to eat. Something other than bars, gorp, and beef jerky. Even though, I kind of love all those things too.
Please note that I was not there to monitor the preparation of this meal. And it is a mystery still, why the polenta was so soupy? I am guessing it was either the wrong amount of water, the altitude (they were camping at 12,000 ft), or maybe the temperature of the water. These three were hungry and not picky at all, they slurped up that soupy polenta without thinking twice about it.
Backpacking Meal: Polenta with Spinach
2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3/4 cup polenta
1/8 cup grated parmesan
3 tbsp butter, separated
pinch of salt
1 bag pre-washed spinach
2 oz. of goat cheese
handful of craisins
handful of slivered almonds
Boil 2 cups of water with chicken bouillon cubes. Once it comes to a bowl, take off heat. Slowly stream in polenta while stirring liquid continuously and briskly (to avoid clumping). Once combined and smooth, add in parmesan and 2 tbsp of butter with a pinch of salt.
In the meantime, wilt spinach in a separate skillet in the remaining 1 tbsp of butter.
To serve, pour some polenta in a bowl. Then, top each serving with pieces of goat cheese (just break up with fingers). Top with cooked spinach. Sprinkle with craisins and slivered almonds.
(Servings: 3, Prep time: 10 min., Cook time: 10 min., Difficulty: Easy)
More pics of the trip?
Here is what a yurt looks like inside (very cozy):
Kitchen and bedroom all in one:
Sledding outside the yurt:
Chopping wood for the fire (I LOVE stuff like this...not doing it necessarily, but being in the presence of others working hard to stay alive is so fun):
Biggest sledding hill ever:
These guys love sledding: