Monthly Archives: August 2010

Food on the Trail

I had a request from Rae to show what my mum and I ate on our recent backpacking trip that I made these energy bars for. Our trip was five days long and we dehydrated most of our lunches and dinners, as store-bought backpacking food has a lot of added junk and has a very small selection of our allergy-friendly food. I thought that I would breakdown our meal plan for inspiration to other gluten free backpackers and provide a few things we learned about dealing with dehydrated food.

Note: All recipes were taken and/or adapted from A Fork in the Trail.

Breakfasts

Everyday we had cooked cereal with nuts and ripped up Sun-Rype fruit source bars and Kettle Valley dried fruit bars.

Lunches

Day 1 – We brought sandwiches from home

Day 2 – We had carrots, green beans and almond butter and marmalade sandwiches.

Day 3 – Almond butter and marmalade sandwiches with carrot-cabbage slaw with dried apples and almonds.

Day 4 – Almond butter with marmalade on Gluten Free Crispbread (from Sweden) with carrot-cabbage slaw with dried cranberries and toasted almonds.

Day 5 – Almond butter with marmalade on Gluten Free Crispbread (from Sweden) with carrot-brocolli slaw with raisins and sunflower seeds.

Dinners

Day 1 – Freybe European Wieners (pre-cooked) on toast with carrots and green beans.

Day 2 – Hungarian Goulash with brown rice noodles.

Day 3 – Italian sausage with peppers and mushrooms with brown rice noodles.

Day 4 – Cuban pork stew with rice and banana crisps.

(Sorry for the poor picture quality – I was very hungry and didn’t check whether to see if it was blurry or not!)

Of course, we had our granola bars for our daily celebratory afternoon snack!

What we learned:

(You can learn about food dehydration basics here and here.)

  • The breakfasts ended up being very heavy, so for future trips we are planning on using dehydrated fruit instead of dried fruit bars.
  • Add the cereal to the water at the beginning instead of once the water is boiling to save on fuel.
  • Grated carrots and shredded cabbage dehydrate and rehydrate really well. Using sliced carrots took a while to cut up and rehydrate.
  • With sauces you have to be a bit more careful about how much water you add (you don’t want tomato soup!) but with salads, it is easy to drain off excess water.
  • Dehydrating and rehydrating meat takes longer than sauces or vegetables. It’s easier to deal with and cuts down cooking times if the meat is dehydrated on a separate tray from the sauce and if you start rehydrating  it with cold water by adding it enough water to the ziploc bag it is in to cover the meat at the beginning of the day. Make sure that you double or triple bag it so that it doesn’t leak into the rest of your bag!
  • Don’t cook normal rice. Noodles are so much easier, take much less time to cook and don’t burn to the bottom of your pot.
  • Food for Life Rice Bread, though very tasty, is very heavy. Since it’s about 2lbs/loaf you can easily add a lot of additional weight to your trip. Instead, use crackers or make your own pan-fried biscuits. (For her latest trip, my mum  made pan-cooked hazelnut-rice biscuits for lunch.)

Do you have any food advice for backpacking regarding gluten free foods or how to manage the weight of your food? If so, I’d love to hear it!

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Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free August: Barbecue Bash

Do you love barbecue? We love BBQ around here, especially Mr. Bean. So, as part of Mr. Bean’s second anniversary present, I promised him that I would have a BBQ Bonanza dinner. Fortunately for me, this month’s theme for Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free is “Barbecue Bash” hosted by Chandice of Gluten Free Frenzy.

I wanted to keep our meal simple, delicious and for it to use some of the fresh produce I had bought at the farmer’s market earlier in the day. On the menu: chicken with Greek seasonings (for me) and Teriyaki steak, (for Mr. Bean) grilled zucchini, corn and bell peppers and grilled tomatoes with basil and mozzarella cheese.  It definitely delivered on all fronts.

Grilled Bell Pepper

Bell Peppers
Olive Oil

  1. Wash peppers and cut into thirds.
  2. Lightly coat peppers with olive oil.
  3. Cook on preheated grill on both sides until it is soft and has grill marks.

Teriyaki Steak

Steak of your choice
Wheat-free Soya Sauce
Lemon Juice
Honey
Garlic Powder

  1. In a container large enough for the steak(s), pour 2 about parts soya sauce for every part lemon juice.
  2. Pour in some honey and sprinkle some garlic powder. Put on lid and give it a good shake.
  3. Put steaks in container to marinate at least overnight.
  4. Flip the steaks over to ensure that both sides are marinated.
  5. Preheat BBQ and cook steaks to desired done-ness.

Grilled Corn

Sweet Corn
Olive Oil or Butter or Margarine
Kosher Salt
Pepper

  1. Shuck the corn and place on a piece of tin foil that is large enough to wrap each ear of corn individually.
  2. Drizzle on olive oil and spread it over the corn and the foil or spread margarine/butter over corn.
  3. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Wrap up corn in tinfoil.
  4. Cook on preheated grill (lower) until it looks cooked flipping it a few times.
  5. Take a knife/fork/tongs to rip holes in the foil so that the corn can caramelize.
  6. Once caramelized, remove from foil and enjoy!

Grilled Zucchini

Zucchini
Olive Oil
Fresh or Dried Oregano
Kosher Salt
Pepper

  1. Wash the zucchini and slice into ~3/4″ thick pieces.
  2. Put in a bowl and drizzle olive oil over pieces. Sprinkle on spices.
  3. Toss the zucchini in the oil mixture until evenly coated.
  4. Cook on preheated grill until soft and both sides have nice grill marks.

Grilled Tomatoes with Basil and Mozzarella Cheese

Tomatoes
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Pepper
Fresh or dried basil
Mozzarella cheese

  1. Wash tomatoes, remove stem piece and cut in half horizontally. Remove most of the seeds and gushy insides.
  2. Brush olive oil over exposed tomato halves.
  3. Cook on a preheated grill face down until it begins to look grilled.
  4. Flip tomatoes over, sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil. Lay a slice of mozzarella cheese on the face of the tomato.
  5. Grill until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

What is your favourite thing to barbecue?

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A Very Sad Day

Lucky "Moo-Moo" or Dog

On Wednesday night my family’s dog was killed by a deer. It’s hard to describe Lucky other than to say that she definitely wasn’t very lucky but she had spunk and personality.

Lucky was a runt Boston Terrier born in a litter of five puppies. Even though she was the smallest, she was always top dog, even bossing around Labs and Dobermans when she once stayed at a kennel. She loved to play hockey, chase basketballs, and attack inner tubes. As a puppy, she was so fast that it took me, both my siblings, my mum and a basketball to catch her in my parent’s backyard.

Unfortunately, Lucky developed cataracts at the age of four. Since Boston Terriers are supposed to life 12+ years, we had her cataracts removed. Ironically, in the next month Lucky was playing at the cottage on Vancouver Island and ran into a dead bush, wrecking both eyes and causing both retinas to detach. We rushed home and my parent’s drove to Saskatoon to get her to an animal eye specialist as the specialist is Calgary was away. They were unable to save her vision but saved her eyes.

Despite not having eyesight, Lucky still loved to play fetch, play basketball, sniff through the grass and run around. My brother used to have something called cheese races, where he would put Lucky in her kennel, spread chunks of cheese all around the house and then time how long it took for her to find all of the cheese.

Lucky only really started to slow down when she began to lose her hearing about two years ago. Being without sight or much hearing is difficult, but she still loved to play with the basketball (despite it being larger than her), mooch bananas and greet people when they got home.

As I mentioned previously, Lucky loved to sniff around in the grass at the cabin. She could do it for hours and be content. Unfortunately on Wednesday, as she was sniffing around, she startled a deer and the deer trampled her. When my mum and sister found her, she was barely alive. They tried cleaning her off but she died shortly thereafter while my mum was on the phone with me.

We’re all really sad and shocked by how quickly things happened. She was almost 13 years old, so we keep telling ourselves that “maybe it’s better this way as we didn’t have to watch her slowly descent into poor health or have to put her down” and that “she died doing what she loved and looked very peaceful with her ears up,” but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Even though it’s only been a couple of days, it still is really weird. My parent’s house seems so empty and I’m still in denial as she couldn’t possibly be gone and I expect her to come and nance for me next time I’m over there.


Have you ever lost a pet? How did you deal with it?

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Another Post for the British Columbia Tourism Board

When I realized how many posts I have written about trips to British Columbia I have taken in the last two years, I joked that perhaps I hook up with the BC tourism board as I’m basically providing free advertisement on how beautiful and awesome the province is. But they have no idea who I am and what I’ve written about and I’m okay with that.

Have no idea what I am talking about?

Well, Mr. Bean and I went to Field, BC for our Honeymoon and our 6th month anniversary, we went to Radium Hot Springs for Mr. Bean’s birthday and I’ve been Vancouver Island three times in 2009: at the beginning of July, over the Labour Day weekend and in November. I’ve also gone hiking in the Rockies and returned to Vancouver Island (again) for my cousin’s wedding this summer that I haven’t blogged about.

But, my latest journeys into British Columbia have been a trip with my mum to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. Well, instead of babbling, I try to summarize our trip in a few “mosts” and photos.

The most beautiful view of Mount Assiniboine: Tie between the following three photos.

The most drastic weather change: the first day we had a freak downpour with ridiculously high winds and lots of rain and the next morning it was perfectly clear.

(Left: the best view on the first day, Right: the next morning.)

The most exciting new experience: riding in the front seat of a helicopter.

The scariest experience: Climbing up this section of the Nublet. (I am not a fan of heights or exposed slopes.)

A video of the view from the Nublet can be found here.

The prettiest meadow:

The most vibrant flowers I have ever seen: Indian Paintbrushes. This picture does not do it justice.

The coldest lake I’ve ever swam in: Cerulean Lake

The most educational experience: Pretending to by my mum’s geology field assistant. I got very good at making stations on the GPS when she found an outcrop.

The best view from a campsite:

The best back-lit photo:

The most entertaining and bizarre thing: A varmint stole one of my Teva sandals while we were hiking. The other sandal became the “decoy,” but no other critters took the bait, so I had to carry it out.

I’m not saying that either the Marmot or the Chipmunk stole my shoe, I’m just assuming that whatever stole it was some kind of animal that loves rubber. Or something.

The most amazing place: Wonder Pass

The tastiest food: wild strawberries.

The funnest destructive sport: Thistle whacking.

An amazing backpacking trip: This one!

What is your favourite place to visit?

Note: These photos were taken by either my mum or I – please do not use them without our permission! Thanks.

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Our Two Year Anniversary

Two years ago, Mr. Bean and I were married.

It’s been an exciting and interesting two years with lots of ups and downs. I’ve fought (and continue to fight) with depression, finished my internship, graduated from university, gone to Europe and a whole bunch of other places, discovered my love of decorating cakes, gone to many weddings and had a lot of fun! I’ve also grown a lot as a person and we have grown together as a couple. I’m looking forward to many, many more years with Mr. Bean and I’m excited and afraid to see what the future holds in store for us!

What’s the biggest thing that has changed for you in the  last two years?

In case you’re interested, you can see more photos from our wedding here.

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