A dear friend and paddling companion, Roula Loukas, made us this simple but memorable dish on our final night of a nine-day wilderness paddling trip near the world’s largest old-growth red pine forest. Later that evening we enjoyed cedar tea around the campfire as we chatted about the pictographs, left by the Ojibwa people hundreds of years before us, across the lake from our campsite. This is my interpretation of Roula’s lentil meal, but it has been dehydrated to reduce weight and cooking time.
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) dried green lentils
- 2-1/4 cups (560 mL) water plus 1/4–1/2 cup (60 mL–125 mL)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-1/4 cup (310 mL) onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
Look over the lentils and remove any debris. Place the lentils in a large pot and cover with 2 ¼ cups (560 mL) of water and simmer until tender or about 30 minutes. Do not add salt at this time, as it can cause the lentils to toughen.
Drain and return the cooked lentils to the pot. Add the bay leaves, onions, garlic, and tomato paste. Heat through and then add enough water to just loosen the mixture; about ¼ to ½ cup (60 mL–125 mL). Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Measure the lentils and write this measurement on a sticky note. Pour onto lined dehydrator trays and dry for 5 to 8 hours.
Place the dried lentil mixture and the sticky note in a ziplock freezer bag. Pack the olive oil with any other olive oil that you will take with you on your trip.
Add enough boiling water to the lentils to equal the measurement on your sticky note. Be sure to account for and add your dried ingredients to the rehydration container prior to adding the water. You can always add more water if you need to. Once the lentil dish has rehydrated, stir in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil and reheat if necessary.
Yield: three to four servings.
Dehydration time: 5–8 hours
Recipe adapted from Another Fork in the Trail: Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes for the Backcountry by Laurie Ann March (TouchWood, 2011). Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved..