River Time & a Burrito Bowl Review

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Friday we woke up to a sunny morning. I wasn’t feeling like driving far, so we went to Kanasket-Palmer State park, which is only a few miles away. It sits on the Green River and in summer is a relatively safe place to let kids enjoy river time. Now in off-season? Well, pay attention to the signs kids…..

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Like most rivers here in western Washington, they tend to get smaller by mid-summer, since they are snow-fed. The Green, like many here, have damns up high in the Cascade Mountains, and are used to provide water to Seattle and Tacoma. The Green is damned (though these are not big damns by any means). Without that, the river would pretty much dry up by summer. So it runs deep in the center, as they let it out.

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The boys though loved that the rock beach went on for a very far distance. Let two small boys out, and they will toss a million rocks into the water happily.

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I had found a spot where I had shade, and there was a side portion of the river that they could splash and play in, with no fears of the current. If you look, you can see the water mark for how much higher the river is in winter.

What I found odd is that there was only 2 other cars besides us at Noon on a hot/sunny Friday. Woah. I’m sure come the afternoon it was crowded, but I was quite happy to see nearly no one.

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Lunch called and we found a spot to nosh. I worked with the boys, to show them how to put together a backpacking stove (in this case we had out the Giga SnowPeak) and had Walker pour in the water to boil.

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A couple of times a year the boys and I try out commercial meals. Always fun to remind the boys they have to find the desiccant packet before we add the water 😉

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Alpine Aire Rice Burrito Bowl…..with the newer wave of freeze-dried meals, the companies are at least trying to embrace more modern food tastes. And have upped the portions considerably. However….one must still read carefully: the calories and protein listed on the front are for the package, not a serving – and there is 2 servings. However, unlike many companies, the sodium level for the entire bag was only in the 800 mg level.

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The ingredient list is relatively clean by freeze-dried meal standards. No soy, no stomach cramping TVP added. The meal is gluten-free as well. No artificial coloring, flavorings, or preservatives. However, I had one issue: the level of cumin was overwhelming. I like cumin as a background flavor, and when I opened the bag, it was all I could smell. Looking at the ingredients, it is used twice. No wonder it was so strong. To me, cumin is like cilantro – you either love or hate it. It could have used a good half of it though.

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I served it as burrito filling on tortillas for the boys and I. We only ate half the bag – it was a lot of food.

Thoughts?

It had good texture, everything rehydrated well (nothing like soggy meat with a crunchy center), it made a great filling for burritos. It wasn’t bland tasting.  Con was the strong cumin flavor. Just keep in note that it makes a ton of food, even when eaten out of the bag. I probably won’t eat it again due to the cumin.

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

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