Three courses for those rainy & cold spring hikes! Do the work at home and eat gourmet while everyone else has a soggy PB&J! And also great for hot summer trips, especially when there are fire bans.
Pistachio Couscous Salad
2 cups lower sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 Tbsp diced dried onion
1½ cup couscous
15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey or agave nectar
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp dried basil
¼ cup shelled and diced pistachios
Bring the broth and onion to a boil in a medium saucepan, add in the couscous. Take off the heat, cover tightly and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff up the couscous with a fork into a large bowl, toss with the chickpeas.
Whisk the dressing in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Let chill overnight, stir in the nuts and then pack into lightweight sandwich containers (such as Glad or Ziploc brand ones) with tight-fitting lids.
Makes 2-3 large portions.
If vegetable broth and agave are used this recipe is vegan friendly.
Hearty Spinach & Artichoke Wraps
1 burrito size flour tortilla, per wrap (see notes)
1 Tbsp ranch dressing, per wrap
2 slices cheese, per wrap
3 slices deli meat, per wrap
14 ounce can water packed artichoke hearts, well-drained
¼ cup baby spinach leaves, per wrap
At home –
Lay out a tortilla for each wrap. Brush on the dressing. Lay down the cheese, then the meat on top. Squeeze the artichoke hearts gently to remove all water, chop up two hearts per wrap and sprinkle on top. Lay the spinach on top, roll up each wrap tightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill. Carry to the trailhead in a cooler, insulated with ice packs.
To carry safely on the trail build “ice packs” by putting ice cubes in quart freezer bags. When you get to lunch time your wraps will be safely chilled and you will have ice/ice water to add to your water bottle!
Look for the gourmet tortillas in fun flavors like Sun-Dried Tomato or as well ones sold as wraps in the bread section of the store. Water packed artichokes can be found inexpensively at Trader Joe’s, oil packed can be subbed, drain well.
We used Swiss cheese and smoked turkey on our wraps, use what you crave!
Chewy Granola Bars
1½ cups Rice Krispies® or similar cereal
1½ cups quick cooking oats (1 Minute)
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, frozen
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup pure maple syrup or honey
½ cup peanut butter (preferably natural)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Spray an 8×8″ glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the cereal through chocolate chips in a large heat safe mixing bowl.
In a medium saucepan bring the sugar and syrup to a boil, take off the heat and add in the peanut butter and vanilla, stir till smooth.
Quickly add the hot syrup to the dry, mixing while pouring in, with a silicone spatula. Stir quickly till the cereal is coated and immediately dump into the prepared pan, pack down firmly with the spatula.
Let sit till cool and then slice into bars with a thin knife, wrap tightly for carrying.
How many? Depends on your size of bar!
Substitute any favorite nut or seed butter for the peanut butter and any small dried fruit for the raisins.
Photos courtesy of Kirk Kirkconnell.