Camp Food/Recipes

A large portion of planning for a canoe trip is dedicated to healthy food preparation. Whenever possible, fresh vegetables and fruit are purchased along the route. However, for lightweight and long–term travel, homemade dehydrated food is used and prepared in advance. Healthy foods packed with vitamins and minerals are like fuel to our bodies giving us the necessary energy needed to accomplish the rigours of the trek. The right food will eliminate our bodies from breaking down enabling us to stay healthy for months at a time. Below are just a few of our favourite recipes!

Fruits, vegetables and legumes will be dehydrated at home and vacuum-sealed to take with us and for friends or family to mail to us along the route. Fresh produce, along with other supplies that have multi-functional medicinal benefits, are purchased along the trek in bulk. Our diet consists of the following:

    • Unsaturated fats like avocados, fish, nuts, seeds or oils from fish and preferably unrefined, cold-pressed, vegetable oils like olive oil or sesame oil.
    • Ideal proteins for maintaining muscle and fat like beans and legumes, chicken, fish and shellfish, eggs and dairy, sun-dried tomatoes, seeds and soy.
    • Energizing complex carbohydrates like beans and legumes; grains like brown rice, buckwheat, oats and quinoa; nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables.

Excalibur Dehydrator

Whenever possible, we choose fresh local produce and herbs from our garden to dehydrate in our nine-tray Excalibur. What we like about the Excalibur is that it has a thermostat range of 105°F (41°C) to 165°F (74°C) with a 7 inch (18 cm) fan for excellent air circulation. It is easy to operate. It has 9 trays with 15 sq ft (1.39 sq m) capacity, user-friendly and thermostatically controlled warm air for continuous circulation.  The drying time ranges anywhere from 7 to 10 hours.

Helpful Tips

  1. When preparing dehydrated vegetables at camp, pour hot water over vegetables until just covered. Let sit, covered for 10-15 minutes or until reconstituted. Drain and preserve water for sauce, if applicable.
  2. To save precious fuel, food is cooked in a pot until it reaches boiling point and then the heat source is removed. The pot is placed in a Hot Pot Cookware Insulator (much like a tea cosy) leaving the food to cook/steam itself to perfection! (Note: brown rice or quinoa must be cooked a bit longer.)
  3. See more tips at our June 28, 2021 Blog!



  • 1-1/2 cup (180 mL) oatmeal (3-minute)
  • 3 (682 mL) cups water
  • 1/4 (57 mL) cup figs
  • 1/4 (57 mL) cup dried apples chopped
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) honey (optional)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) ground flax seed

At camp, combine the oatmeal, water, apples, figs, honey, and cinnamon in the same saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let sit/rest covered for a further 15 minutes. Add milk (powder milk/water mixture) if desired. Sprinkle with flax. Also great with prunes or dates.

Tip:  Alternate oatmeal with quinoa, millet or other grains. If available, serve with fresh fruit from the trail! Serves 2.


  • Unsweetened dried fruit such as apricots, apples, figs, dates etc.
  • Trail mix, energy bars, sunflower seeds
  • Chia seeds, dried ground ginger,  dried vegetable blend, or protein powder added to water.


  • Leftovers from the night before! Always served cold.


Pasta (a favourite!)

  • 2 cups (455 mL) (dry) spaghettini quinoa pasta
  • ¼ cup (57 mL) each of sun-dried tomatoes, dried cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and red sweet peppers
  • 6 strips of bacon (pre-cooked)
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) of extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) of dried basil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) of Mrs. Dash
  • freeze-dried parmesan cheese (optional)

At camp reconstitute dried red peppers, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm. Cook bacon and garlic in a skillet for 1 minute. Add vegetables and spices and cook until tender. Toss with pasta, parmesan cheese,  and olive oil until evenly distributed. Serve immediately.  Serves 2.

Chili (another favourite!)

  • water – approximately 4 cups (909 mL)
  • 1/4 cup (57 mL) red quiona
  • 1/3 cup (76 mL) of the folllowing dehydrated ingredients: red kidney beans, chick peas, brown beans, black beans, corn, mushrooms, sweet peppers
  • 1/3 cup (76 mL) dehydrated tomato leather
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) of chili pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) each of salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) of garlic
  • TVP, ground beef, or dried sausage  (optional)

At camp boil the quinoa for 7 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients bring to a boil and let rest for 20 minutes or longer.  Serves 4.

Warm Green Lentils

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (57 mL) each of dehydrated finely diced onion, carrots and parsnips
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (227 mL) green lentils
  • 2 cups (455 mL) water
  • ¼ cup (57 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • l tsp (5 mL) turmeric
  • 3 tsp (15 mL) dried parsley
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) sherry vinegar (balsamic or red wine vinegar if sherry vinegar not available)

At camp reconstitute vegetables. Meanwhile, cook lentils until just tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.  Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the reconstituted onions, carrots and parsnip to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and turmeric and cook for 2 more minutes. Add vegetables to lentils.

Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the ¼ cup (57 mL) extra virgin olive oil with vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the dressing to vegetables and lentils. Serves 4.

Coconut Curry Rice

  • 1 cup (227 mL) of brown rice
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 cup (227 mL) chopped sweet onion or 1/2 cup (118 mL) dehydrated
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp (15 mL) curry powder
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (227 mL) sodium-reduced vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup (76 mL) dehydrated tomato leather
  • ½ cup (114 mL) dehydrated garbanzo beans
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) coconut milk powder
  • ¼ cup (57 mL) instant skim milk powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch

At camp blend broth with the coconut milk powder, instant skim milk powder, and salt until smooth. Set aside. Reconstitute vegetables. Set aside. Meanwhile, cook brown rice. Set aside. Heat oil in a sauté pan. Add the onion to cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the curry, chilli flakes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until spices are fragrant. Stir in coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil. Add corn starch and reduce and simmer until thickened. Serve sauce over rice. Serves 4.

Tip:  Make this also with freeze-dried chicken and vegetables such as sweet red peppers. Substitute lentils for garbanzo beans. Add chilli flakes for more heat. Great also with added vegetables like mushrooms and sweet peppers!

Shepherd’s Pie

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 cup (227 mL) dried vegetables – i.e. cabbage, onions, carrots
  • ½ cup (114 mL) of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Mrs. Dash
  • instant mashed potatoes

Reconstitute vegetables. In a frying pan or small pot, sauté vegetables and garlic in olive oil until tender. Set aside. Prepare instant mashed potatoes according to package directions. Set aside.


  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (76 mL) powdered milk
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) Mrs. Dash
  • 1 cup (227 mL) water

Add olive oil to the frying pan or small pot, heat, and gradually add flour/milk mixture, stirring to form a smooth paste. Stir briskly and slowly add water. Serve sauce over potato/vegetable mixture. Serves 2.

Tip:  Add freeze-dried chicken, fish or beef to the sauce if available. Make twice the amount and eat for lunch the next day.

Coconut Curry Soup

  • 1-1/2 (341 mL) cup of potatoes (fresh or freeze-dried)
  • ½ cup (114 mL) dehydrated mushrooms
  • ¼ cup (57 mL) each of dehydrated: onions, sweet peppers, leeks, cabbage
  • 4 cups (909 mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (57 mL) coconut milk powder (add additional to taste)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) curry powder
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Mrs. Dash or your favourite seasoning
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 package of Salmon

Reconstitute vegetables. Place olive oil in a saucepan and sauté vegetables for 5 minutes. Add all seasonings to the vegetables. Sauté for 1 minute further or until fragrant. Add water to the pot. Mix the coconut powder with a little water and add. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add salmon including juice; turn off the heat and let sit covered for an additional 15 minutes or when vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip:  add wild rice, chickpeas, corn instead of potatoes. Substitute any of the vegetables to make your own delicious blend!

Here’s how we dehydrate food in pictures:

Fresh chopped cabbage
Dehydrating process
Two cabbages dehydrated
All that good stuff vacuum sealed