Backcountry meals you can make at home
Whether it’s your first summer with Adventure Treks or your fifth, the meals you make on your trip will be memorable. We are known for delicious food! Everything we make outdoors can be made in your kitchen as well. Here are three beloved AT recipes to whip up at home and share with your family while you tell stories of epic adventures.
Please use all the same caution while cooking at home that you use at AT! Don’t know how to work the oven or stove? Ask someone! Wash your hands before cooking, use knives only on secure cutting boards, and be especially careful with hot water and cookware. It is always OK to ask for help! If you are cooking any meat, make sure to follow the directions on the package to ensure it is cooked properly.
Breakfast: French toast
Had you ever made French toast before your first AT trip? It’s the perfect fun and delicious breakfast, whether you’re waking up in a tent to start an awesome adventure or rolling out of bed for a lazy weekend.
- 1 loaf sliced bread (can use gluten-free bread)
- 4 large eggs
- ½-1 cup milk
- Ground cinnamon
- Toppings: sliced strawberries or bananas, blueberries, apples, chocolate chips, peanut/almond/sun butter, maple syrup, vanilla yogurt, and anything else you can imagine!
Directions: In a wide bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk with a fork. Sprinkle some cinnamon in the mix. Warm up some butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Dip a slice of bread in the egg
mixture, coating both sides, and then place it on the pan. You can cook two or three slices at once depending on the size of your pan! Use a spatula to check the bottom of the toast–when it is golden brown, it’s time to flip! Serve French toast warm with tasty toppings.
Tip: if you’re cooking for a group, set the oven to 300 degrees and store your cooked French toast inside on a cookie sheet to keep it warm until you’re ready to serve!
Lunch: chicken Caesar wraps
Gather up the following ingredients to put together a fun and tasty wrap for lunch (especially easy when you have leftover chicken from dinner last night). Add extra veggies, sauces, hummus, or even croutons to spice things up!
- 1 cup cooked chicken
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 1 cup shredded lettuce or spinach
- 1 tomato sliced
- Caesar salad dressing
Directions: Easy! Spread all your ingredients into the center of a tortilla, tuck in the ends, and roll!
Dinner: mac & trees
Why is macaroni and cheese so delicious at AT? Partly because it’s usually consumed after a long day of backpacking, laughing, and maybe swimming, but we also add a few special ingredients that add both protein and flavor! Mac and trees is an easy staple that covers a lot of bases and is perfect for new chefs, first semester college students, and everyone in between! Broccoli florets (the “trees”) add color and vegetable goodness. This is the most versatile recipe around!
- 2 boxes macaroni and cheese
- 6 oz. cream cheese
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 4 servings of sausage of your choice, sliced into bite-size pieces
- Extras! (see below)
Directions: Chop your broccoli into bite-size pieces. Warm up a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat, then add the broccoli and a pinch of salt. Stir the broccoli around—it’s finished cooking when it turns bright green and smells good! Small crunchy or slightly burned spots actually make it taste better. Slice up your sausage and cook them in a frying pan the same way. Cook the macaroni according to the instructions on the box. Add a little extra water or milk to the sauce, then stir in the cream cheese. You can add your protein and veggies straight into the mix, or serve them on the side!
Extras and substitutions:
- Macaroni: If you’re trying to stick as close to the AT classic as possible, we recommend Annie’s brand white cheddar mac and cheese, but whatever your favorite is will work. Gluten free and/or vegan boxed mac and cheese (brands to try: Annie’s, Daiya, Banza) is just as delicious.
- Veggies: I love to throw onion, peas, sweet potatoes, and zucchini into my mac and cheese for an especially fancy meal. Try out anything you like! Carrots, asparagus, tomatoes, etc.
- Meat/protein: Classic AT mac and trees uses Lil’ Smokies sausages, but feel free to get fancy here! Italian sausage, grilled chicken, crumbled bacon, or even lobster can add flavor. If you’re vegetarian, you might be familiar with Field Roast sausages, which come in a variety of flavors to best suit your pasta tastes.
- Spices: If you’re one of those AT students obsessed with hot sauce, this recipe is a great one for it! Your favorite Cholula or Frank’s Red Hot will suffice, or you can add sliced jalapeno peppers, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce for an extra spicy experience.
- Crunch: Has your AT trip ever added crushed Cheez-Its to the top of your mac and trees? A crispy topping adds a little excitement to dinner! Cheese crackers are easy, or look up a crunchy panko topping recipe to impress your family.