Purists might balk at the suggestion of using packaged goods to create a meal, but when it comes to eating after a full day of hiking, I figure almost anything goes. And then I tried a new ‘turkey dinner’ recipe. We haven’t worked up the courage to repeat this mix of turkey jerky, dried stuffing, instant potatoes, powdered gravy and craisins.
A Meal Done Right: Red Curry Vegetables with Coconut Milk
Sounds weighty for backpacking at first glance, but we took one of our family’s favourite car camping recipes and adapted it to the trail and now have a delicious meal that goes on almost every trip.
The original version started with a package of Asian Home Gourmet’s Thai Red Curry spice paste (ask your grocer to bring some in if you can’t find in your local store). Add fresh chicken, fresh vegetables and a can of coconut milk and you’ve got a tasty dinner. When we discovered powdered coconut milk, we realised we could take this anywhere.
We started by hauling out the dehydrator (you could buy the dried veggies if you’d like to shortcut the process), chopped, sliced, diced and dried plastic bags full of zucchini, red onion, carrots and red pepper. Then we measured a meal’s worth of dried veggies (up to you how much you’d like, but we found one to one and a half cups to be plenty) into one bag and labelled. Extras vegetables were stored for later use.
Next we measured out one cup of instant rice and put in a baggie. In a large re-sealable plastic bag, we put the veggie bag, rice bag, one red curry seasoning pouch (taking off outer packaging) and one package of dried coconut milk (also available from Asian Home Gourmet). Presto – instant meal set to go.
In the backcountry, once camp is set, re-hydrate the veggies in water and cook curry dish in one pot, adding rice for bulk. If you don’t mind a little extra weight you can also add a tin of cooked shrimp to the meal and serve with Naan (Indian flat bread). Delicious!