Yikes! This is embarrassing; it’s been almost three weeks now since I’ve posted… Which is way far too long! I don’t have too much of an excuse either. The first week and a half of that absence was busy, with about half of those days spent in the backcountry, but the last week or so, I’ve just been enjoying some more relaxed time. Work here in Kennicott is starting to pick up, and we’re all getting ready for the busy season through July and August.
When I wrote my last post, I was getting ready to head out on a personal three day trip with Joe, and planned to post a recipe from that trip. However, with a combination of circumstances, including the incredibly disappointing factor of my camera dying the first night of the trip, neither of those recipes is going up yet.
Instead, I’m sharing a recipe I made for a trip that I guided out in Skolai Pass, which is an amazingly beautiful area of the Wrangells, accessed by a bush plane flight. On this trip, I spent two days exploring the area with Greg & Sylvia, a wonderful couple from Poland. We didn’t have the best weather throughout the whole trip, but made the best of it. The above picture is Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier, which is one of the more incredible places I’ve been. On our second day at Skolai, we hike out towards Hole-in-the-Wall and sat there for a while, just watching the clouds move in and out around the ice and rock. Thankfully, as we hiked back to our campsite above the airstrip, the clouds decided to clear and let the sun shine out on us for the last four hours we had before our flight back to McCarthy.
It was great getting to know Greg and Sylvia throughout the trip; they were both great hikers and had awesome attitudes even in the cold & rainy weather! We enjoyed this wonderfully warm curry while staying nice and dry inside our cook tent the first night of the trip. I got to hear about food in Poland, and am excited to try Sylvia’s recipe for pierogis sometime in the future!
I love one pot meals when I’m in the backcountry, and so something where I can cook a protein source and carbohydrate source together is ideal. For this dish, I used quinoa as the carb (which also gives some protein!), and a sprouted bean mix for my protein source. The sprouted bean mix (made by TruRoots) was a new cooking adventure for me; it was something the company had in the backcountry food stores, and I thought it looked worth trying. It’s a mix of lentils, adzuki, and mung beans, which have all been sprouted and then re-dried. Turned out great! The beans cook a little faster since they’ve been sprouted, and have that extra nutritional value.
This is a yummy and very filling dish. Besides the obvious physical comfort of holding a steaming warm bowl when it’s cool outside, the combination of spices also does a lot for warming and energizing you internally. I’m giving the directions here for taking the meal into the backcountry, but this could also be made just as easily (and enjoyed almost as much) at home. All of my measurements are approximate, as I had neither a measuring cup or measuring spoons when putting all my ingredients together. So feel free to mix it up and adjust according to your taste!
1 cup sprouted bean mix (lentils, adzuki & mung beans)
3/4 cup quinoa
about 2/3 pack of coconut milk powder
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
‘lil cayenne, depending on preference
salt & pepper
Before your trip, measure the beans and quinoa into two ziploc baggies. Mix together all of the spices in a small bowl and put in a small ziploc.
When ready to cook dinner, bring about 3-4 cups of water to boil. Add the bean mix, and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the quinoa. Stir the quinoa in, reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 15 more minutes, or until quinoa and beans are almost done (add more water if needed). At that point, add the spices and coconut milk powder, then season as needed with salt & pepper. Let cook until everything is tender.