Eating paleo in the back country isn’t easy (or light). In fact, it takes a lot of hard work and preparation. But the rewards of eating clean, high quality and nutritious food during the high demands of hiking is well worth the effort. Besides, freeze dried meals are expensive and the ingredients are…. dodgy, and eating nuts, dates and jerky for several days is not ideal (and somewhat heavy to carry).
Among my favourite back country recipes is Jambalaya, ideal for a back country lunch or dinner. It’s similar to my regular Jambalaya recipe but the instructions will prepare it for dehydration.
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deviened, tail on
- 2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into ¼ inch cubes
- 1lb Andouille sausage, covers removed
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 small summer squash, diced
- 4 small carrots, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 habanero pepper, whole (so you can remove it before someone unwittingly bits into it)
- 2 tbsp Devil’s Dust
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons fat
- 2 bay leaves
- 12oz canned tomatoes
- 2 cups uncooked white rice
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil over medium heat, sauté onion, green pepper, squash and carrot. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until translucent. Once carrots begin to soften, remove from pan and set aside.
- Add chicken and sausage to pan and sauté until completely cooked. Remove from pan to large metal strainer. Rinse to remove all fat from mixture. Return mixture along with vegetables and habanero pepper to clean soup pot.
- Combine spices and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Add to pan and mix well
- Add minced garlic and tomato
- Stir in the broth slowly. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover tightly and cook until broth reduces by half. Remove and discard the habanero pepper.
- Once broth has been reduced, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place 1½ cups of cooled Jambalaya on the "fruit rollup" tray on your food dehydration. I use a 4 tray Excalibur.
Set the thermostat to the meat setting (155F-165F)and let it work its magic for about 8 hours. It should break into big chunks easily.
Once dry, let cool to room temperature, bag into zip locks or vacuum seal bags with ⅓ cup of home-made instant rice. I store all my back country meals in the freezer to prevent spoiling. Serves 2
Back Country Meal Prep
Bring 500ml (2 cups, 16 oz.) of water to boil. Pour the contents into the pot and boil for 5-7 minutes. Mixture should look like a thick soup. Let stand for 10-12 minutes.