Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tomato Couscous, Freezer Bag Cooking style

Tomato Couscous turned out to be my favorite new freezer bag cooking recipe of the trip. (My BF's favorite new recipe was the Ramen Salad I featured yesterday.) We didn't eat it on the trail that day because the trails we chose to do--the East and West River trails along the Presque Isle River--were within walking distance of our campground and the hike itself was pretty short, so it didn't really require much refueling on the trail. A quick trail mix snack did that trick. So, we waited until we returned to camp and then boiled water for a hot afternoon lunch (although this dish could be made with cool water, too). The sun-dried tomatoes and nuts were a perfect compliment to the Fantastic Foods whole wheat couscous I used for the recipe, which is from the Freezer Bag Cooking book.

Tomato Couscous Salad - serves 1

1/4 c. couscous
3 tbsp. finely chopped toasted almonds
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tbsp. finely diced sun-dried tomatoes

Combine all the dry ingredients in a sturdy plastic freezer bag. On the trail, add 1/2 c. water, stir, seal and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes before eating!

If you're ever in the Porcupine Mountains area of Michigan, and can only do one or two hikes, I highly recommend the East and West river trails, especially if you're not an avid hiker yet want to get into the woods for a bit to experience some nature. The trails are fairly easy and include a long boardwalk section that runs along the river near a series of waterfalls. Even if you didn't want to do the entire hike, the boardwalk is accessible via wooden staircase from the parking area. But if you do chose to hike the entire length of the trails, do know that there are about 2 or 3 places where the trail is pretty steep, and you either have to ascend or descend these areas carefully. A walking stick or set of trekking poles is highly recommended to make maneuvering easier. If those steep areas don't scare you away, then the remainder of the hike is just pure pleasure. A very pleasant walk through the woods. We took a little break on the beach at the tip of Presque Isle. Not only is this a beautiful spot to sit for awhile, it's also great for wildlife viewing. This is where we witnessed a bald eagle fly by. What a sight to see it soaring along Lake Superior! We also heard from the rangers, and then a couple we met along the trail, that a black bear cub was hanging around the area, too. We didn't see it the entire time we spent in the area, but the couple we met along the trail said they said it in a ravine near the parking area when they first arrived for their hike. Even though we missed out on the cub, we still managed to see a wild black bear before leaving for home--the dude (or maybe it was a dudette?) ran across the road in front of our car in the early morning hours as we were leaving the Porkies area. What a sight! I've been in sooooooooooo many situations where a crowd of people spot a bear and then close in on it, young children in their arms, as if it's their family pet. Helllllllo people, wild animal! I just don't understand people sometimes!


Holler said...

What great photos, I am very jealous! Isn't it true, that a camera is never to hand at the key moments?
I also love couscous for lunch!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Great idea, I've been reading all about the freezer bag cooking thing... pretty cool!

OK, I'll admit, I'm not a hiker-camper-sorta person so much, but they STILL look good.

Kumudha said...

So many wonderful food while camping.

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nora said...

This post was delicious. I found this really helpful for my homemade granola recipes.