Packing fresh ingredients into the backcountry can be tricky. You have the weather to contend with… Will things go bad? Will they freeze? Will they turn to mush and get beaten upside my pack?
Planning a meal with fresh ingredients takes some forethought and consideration (and a bit of extra weight) but by using your thinker and your imagination, the possibility of having a delicious, non dehydrated meal is entirely possible… and I have just the one worth sharing: Cheese Quesadillas with fresh, trail-made guacamole. Hot, fresh, flavourful… delicious!
This is a recipe that I make on short camping trips, when I’m not concerned about lugging extra weight for food and really want to enjoy a good meal. I made these on day 2 of a 3 day summer trip (day temps about 75+, night temps 45+). I bought the ingredients a couple of days before so they would be pretty fresh before I took them on the trail. One thing to be mindful of is food spoilage in warm temperatures. Much like anything, use your own good judgement about food safety.
Here is what you need:
- 4 Large Tortillas, 4 Babybel cheese rounds, pat of butter (or oil), 2 avocados, 1 tomato (optional) AND 1 Pkg of McCormick- Produce Partners- Great Guacamole mix.
- You will also need a fry pan or pot that fits your tortilla and camp stove (or campfire).
Makes 2 large quesadillas with plenty of guac for two very hungry hikers.
How to make the guacamole:
Cut your avocados in two and remove the pit. Scoop the avocados into a bowl (or Ziploc bag for easy clean up) and mash. Add the guacamole powder and mix for a couple of minutes to get the power mixed in well. Dice a tomato and add to the guacamole. Give it one final stir and it’s ready to go.
How to make the Quesadilla:
Heat a small pat of butter in your fry pan. Place one tortilla in the fry pan and top with cut up cheese pieces. Add another tortilla on top of that. Brown the bottom tortilla and flip the entire thing over to brown the top tortilla. When browned and the cheese is all melted, serve with guac (on top or inside or just for dipping). Repeat again because one just wont do it, trust me 🙂 You could also add chicken, onions, peppers etc to this meal to jazz it up. The possibilities are endless.
- Don’t buy super ripe avocados, they will get mushy in your pack. I look for avocados which are near ripe (starting to brown and are not super hard to touch) because I know they will be ready in a few days when I do want to eat them. Obviously if you plan on eating them the day you buy them, buy ripe.
- Babybel cheese is easy to take in the backcountry. I find it holds up better to a wider range of temperatures and they taste great. As always, the choice to not refrigerate ingredients is a “do at your own risk” choice.
- I wrap my tomato and avocados in a paper towel and put it in my mug (or bowl or pot) to protect them in my pack during travel.
- Butter works best for frying but oil would also work fine. You can get single serve oil packages that are perfect for this: check out the packitgourmet store.
- The package of guac powder says for best results, chill guac before eating. I skip this step (because I have no refrigerator, obviously) and it’s always great.
Be warned: This dish is incredibly delicious. If you spoil yourself with it once, you may just want to make it on every trip you take.