Mountain Mama: Step-up Your Backcountry Cooking With These Recipes

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Dear Mountain Mama,

I’m taking my girlfriend on her first overnight backpacking trip and want to do everything possible to ensure she enjoys it. Normally, I don’t put much thought into food. I’m easy – my only request is no tofu. But my girlfriend is a foodie and I want to impress her.

Do you know of any good one-pot recipes for dinner and breakfast?

Thanks,

Backpacker

Dear Backpacker,

Aww, that’s so sweet that you’re putting so much thought into the small details. I’m a woman after all and it’s in my DNA to gush a little. If I’m vicariously thrilled by your effort, just imagine how pleased your lucky lady will be.

After a long day of hiking, this Gnocchi with Bacon recipe dishes up warm, comfort food. At home, combine ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of dried sage, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder and store in a zip-loc bag. Boil shelf stable gnocchi (sold at Trader Joe’s) until the gnocchi floats to the top, drain and add cheese mixture. Add shelf stable bacon as desired.

Breakfast burritos are a yummy way to fuel up in the morning. To minimize the pot scrubbing, put the eggs into a plastic bag (you can use the leftover zip-loc bags from dinner) and then boil into the eggs don’t run. Add avocado and shelf stable bacon, season with salt and pepper, and roll up using the flavored tortilla wrap of your choice.

Backpacker, just keep in that your girlfriend will expect good food on future backpacking trips, so don’t make the food too elaborate. And remember that so much of how food tastes depends on the dining experience. Set the mood by creating soft lighting.  Wrap your headlamp around a colored Nalgene bottle (length-wise), make sure the light shines through the plastic, and, ta-da, your water bottle is now a soft glowing lantern.

Bon Appetite!

Mountain Mama

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