Recipes from Darb – The Journey

So, what do you eat there? This is the question that more people ask me than how my career is going. People have high expectations of me as a former chef, but cooking is not something I enjoy anymore. Eating is something I enjoy a lot, and I’ve created some simple recipes that can be ready in 5-10 minutes to answer that question.

Hiking every day for 5 months is hard. Trying to eat enough calories to support that each day is even harder. Trying to load high-calorie foods into a low-weight form again, is still harder.

I often say sugar will get me to Canada, but I’m also trying to get the nutrition to give me energy, so when I’m not eating sugar I usually make a simple 3-ingredient meal.

The last stretch of the trail carried 7 days of food from Bishop to Mammoth. I underestimated the terrain and altitude so it took more than 7 days instead so I had to ration very carefully and break into my emergency meal.

Trying this hike has definitely changed my relationship with food and my body. Instead of always worrying about my weight and calories, I now use food to fuel my body with this amazing thing it does. How can I hate my body after it’s already gone over 900 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail? I became stronger physically and mentally. I get hungry sometimes and I might ask friends who have taken long trips for recommendations. Now I take a multivitamin and add olive oil to everything I can do.

Here’s what a typical resupply looks like before the wanderer’s hunger really begins:

It is very difficult to prepare 7 days of food with the hunger wandering in a bear can.

And so it comes to eating the foods I’ve been curious about. I’ve read a lot about Idaho mashed potatoes and all about peanut butter tortillas, but I never thought I’d be able to survive on them. Once again, my body surprised me.

There is usually something I buy a lot at every resupply. This is usually followed by not wanting to eat that food again. Once again it was the honey cakes, again the mint chocolate protein builders bars. At the moment, it is rice flour and single kraft.

Here they are, recipes from Scorpion Queen. By far, I don’t bring the best or most nutritious meals out on the road nor pretend to.

I recommend adding generous splashes of olive oil to it to increase the calorie and fat content. I also have a small amount of salt and pepper mixed together and add it to most things.

Carbonara Trail

Chicken broth makes this creamy
  • 1 cup angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup shredded beef
  • 1/4 cup dried Parmesan
  • 1/4 chicken broth cube

Boil a cup of water with chicken broth. Add the angel hair pasta and place in a warm bowl for 5-7 minutes. Add Parmesan pieces and bacon to serve.

Curry rice with cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups fine rice
  • 2 cubes of Japanese curry
  • 3 individual kraft slices

Boil an equal amount of water with the rice. Add rice and curry cubes. Put in a warm bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Advance by adding Kraft Single when needed.

Thanksgiving at Toaks

  • 1/3 can mix stuffed turkey
  • 12-pack Aidahuan (kids love red)
  • 2 teaspoons brown broth powder

Boil two cups of water and mix all the ingredients, stirring well. Keep it warm for 3 minutes.

Mac and Cheese Wrap

Basically an Italian meal
  • 1 extra package of Kraft Mac and Cheese Cream
  • 2 teaspoons brown broth powder
  • 2 tortilla rolls (or any amount you can spare)

Make mac and cheese as usual. Add brown broth for more delicious flavor. Serve in tortilla wraps and enjoy the carb delight.

Snickers oatmeal

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 mini Snickers bar
  • 1 bag of sugar taken from a hotel / gas station / mobile box
  • 1-1 1/2 cups boiling water

Bring water to a boil and combine with oats, peanut butter and snickers. Add a bag of sugar for an energy boost up the mountain.

postal mix

My friend Postal made an amazing looking calorie dense blend, so I had to mention this.

  • 3 km Oreo powder
  • M&Ms . Single Post Size Pack
  • 1 bag of salted roasted almonds

Mix them together. Put in ziplock bags and eat quickly until the weight drops.

What do others eat?

I would be very interested in some of the recipes others have been making on the long distance trails. I’m always hungry and always looking for what to buy from my resupply for the next section.

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