I am SO enjoying this meal planning thing. Because of day 3 where I actually put together a one week meal plan, I was able to limit myself when I went to the store for just a few items because I already knew what I was going to eat this week. And last night’s dinner of orange chicken (from Paleo Indulgences by Tammy Credicott) with cauliflower rice and kale was not only delicious, it provided several leftover meals, too. Plus, I used it as an excuse to toss some of the cauliflower rice in the dehydrator to start stockpiling it as a base for meals like I did this last summer.
My email on Day 4 was all about grocery shopping. Making a master list of what I needed for the week, not shopping when I am hungry and planning my route through the grocery store. I guess I had already done most of this by the time I got my daily email so I could mentally check this one of my list (pun intended). As I mentioned above, when I ran to the store for the green onions and leeks for my planned meals, I knew I didn’t need to pick up much else because it wasn’t on the menu for the week. I did like how they talked about mapping out the grocery store as a good reminder that if you are eating healthy, most of your shopping happens on the perimeter of the store (just ask Michael Pollen about his Food Rules).
Tonight’s dinner of Creamy Lemon Ginger Sweet Potato Soup was just the perfect thing for a cold winter night and I was able to put 3 jars in the fridge for leftovers and 6 servings on the trays in the dehydrator. Work smarter, not harder, we like to say at work and at this rate I will have all the backpacking meals I need for the year ready to go by spring!
#sweetpotatoes #broth #ginger #lemonjuice #coconutoil #slicedleek #coconutmilk #seasalt
I put this soup on the menu not just because it is delicious, but because I wanted to use my new immersion blender I got for Christmas from my brother. I had used one at the community kitchen for the first time a few months back and LOVED it, so I had added it to my Santa list and crossed my fingers. Having to add hot soup to a food processor to puree it is one step I had decided I could do without.
I diced up the sweet potatoes and ginger together with broth to cover (I used chicken but vegetable works, too), set the stove to high to bring it to a boil and then reduced the heat to simmer until the potatoes were soft (20-25 minutes). This gave me time to drive over to the hospital and run a few stairs, then come home and sauté up a sliced leek (the white part) in coconut oil until translucent. If you plan to dehydrate this whole recipe, use water instead of the oil for your meal. A short while without refrigeration would be fine but if you want it to last a few months outside the fridge, it’s best to add oil on trail.
After boiling the diced sweet potatoes in broth until soft, I used the blender to puree the potatoes until thick and creamy. Then, I added the coconut milk and lemon juice from one large lemon. I wanted something to round out the sweet of the potatoes with a little zing. It was actually reminiscent of tomato soup which I love but can’t eat because tomatoes are a nightshade! I served the soup with the sautéed leeks on top. So good…
Then after dishing up a few jars for leftovers and filling two trays with soup, for fun I added a tablespoon of garam marsala to what was left (about half the soup). It smelled SO fragrant and tasted scrumptious. Two soups in one! I filled a few more jars for leftovers and another tray in the dehydrator (about 2 servings).
The soup took about 14 hours to dry on the fruit/veggie setting (135 degrees) until brittle and then I broke it up into separate servings. Like my other meals, I then added extra ingredients like chives and mushrooms. I can’t wait to try this on trail!
Editor’s note: I didn’t intend to dehydrate my leeks for the trail because I have a TON of freeze-dried chives to use up (from Costco). If you would like to do so, after sautéing in water to make them soft, add them to the dehydrator to dry 5-6 hours.
For more information about dehydrating food for the trail, visit my Dehydrating 101 page. For more great recipes, my Recipe Index will fix you right up! For the beginning of this series, read Meal Planning Boot Camp Preparation and Day 1.
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