Three Vegetarian Backpacking Recipes
By Steve Gillman
The following vegetarian backpacking recipes are easy and
inexpensive. They reflect my own preference for less cooking
and cheaper foods. You might also want to see the page on vegan backpacking food
for options that have no animal products in them.
Pasta With Parmesan
I don't do exact quantities for these recipes. Mix it up to
suit your tastes. For this one start with pasta that is easy
to cook. Angle-hair spaghetti, for example, cooks fast.
When your pasta is drained, mix into it some olive oil, garlic
powder, and Parmesan cheese. In all but the hottest weather Parmesan
is a great cheese to bring, because it can last a long time without
refrigeration. You can also add oregano or other herbs and spices
to taste. This is a delicious dish to have while camping.
For a special treat add some wild mint if you can find it.
And if you are really lucky and backpacking in the southwestern
deserts at the right time of the year (autumn), you can add freshly
collected pinon pine nuts. Of course you can bring some of these
with you as well.
Potato Flake Soup
Instant mashed potatoes are one of the easiest things to cook
on the trail. All you have to do is add boiling water and stir
them up. With a little olive oil, garlic and salt you have a
delicious vegan dish, but non-vegan vegetarians can also add
that Parmesan cheese.
But for a simple meal that is even more filling and varied,
just add the flakes to instant soups. Thicken up a good instant
onion soup with the flakes, for example. Or create your own soup
with wild onions and potato flakes.
The Easiest Vegetarian Backpacking Recipes
Now a confession. Though I have tried the recipes above, I
just don't like to cook when backpacking. In fact, I can't remember
the last time that I even brought a stove with me. I truly prefer
to go light and skip the trouble of cooking and then cleaning
pans and dishes. So most of my backpacking food is vegetarian
simply because most ready-to-eat foods are.
Plain old trail mixes are my favorite vegetarian backpacking
recipes. Mix any of the following in any proportions that you
like: Raisins, dark chocolate chips, almonds, peanuts, mixed
nuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, dried papaya pieces,
cooked and dried oats, and pumpkin seeds. This is one of the
highest-calorie foods for the weight, and totally convenient.