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Monday, July 26, 2010

Eating Well While Camping

It is a little known fact that your dining expectations do not need to be lowered when you go camping.  With a little extra preparation, a sturdy camping stove and a will to eat well, you can have plenty of delicious and nutritious meals to enhance your wilderness experience (backpackers, you may have a more difficult time with this one).

This is what was on our menu last weekend when we ventured into the beautiful Manistee National Forest, nestled in the dunes overlooking Lake Michigan:
  • Veggie sausage with smashed potatoes;
  • Bean and vegetable soup, cooked beforehand and frozen into ice blocks for the cooler (and reheated on the stove at lunch time);
  • Couscous salad;
  • Fajita recipe (posted 7/5/10), fillings wrapped in tin foil, cooked over the fire, and served on warm tortillas (see picture right); and
  • the recipe I'm including today, Soba noodles with a tangy ginger dressing and grilled tofu.

Zesty Soba Noodles with Grilled Tofu
I boiled the soba noodles the night before, and the dressing was also pre-made (by my kind and loving mother), the afternoon before we left.  I know it looks like a long list of ingredients, but it's not as much work as you might think.  All the flavors come together wonderfully.  Sadly, this is the one dish I do not have any pictures of due to unfortunate circumstances (which may or may not have involved the tragic loss of my car keys in the wilderness).

  • 8 ounces soba noodles (dry), and cooked per package instructions
  • 1 modest drizzle of olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup shoyu sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu, sliced into 1/2 inch slabs
1) Toss the cooked soba noodles with a pinch of salt and just enough olive oil to keep them from drying out or sticking together.  Set aside.
2) Whisk together the lemon juice and zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, salt, vinegar, shoyu sauce, and the oils.  Set aside until ready to serve.
3) Rub the tofu slabs with a bit of olive oil and salt.  Place on a medium-hot grill, cooking each side until golden brown (about 7 minutes per side, but this depends largely on the heat of your grill.  Monitor closely!)
4) Toss the noodles with plenty of dressing (but save enough for the tofu)
5) Serve tofu on top of noodles, with remaining dressing drizzled on top.

Will serve 2 for lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks.

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