I cook better than I write

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Camping Chili

This recipe is rather fuel-consuming because of the cooking of beans and potatoes.
There are several ways of reducing the cooking time:

- Use canned beans (increases the weight and the trash, but significantly reduces the cooking time)
- Use instant rice and mung beans which are smaller and take less time to cook
- Use instant beans (I’ve personally never tried it but can’t see why it wouldn’t work)
- Use dehydrated cooked beans.

I like to cook chili on the first night of our trip. I usually soak beans for ~24 hours before the trip, rinse them, put in Nalgene bottle and cover with water. The beans still have time to soak during the first day of the trip but I don’t have to be extra careful about rinsing them.

Potatoes could be substituted for by using instant mash potatoes which would decrease the cooking time and the fuel consumption.


1 potato or sweet potato
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves (when camping use “tubed” garlic paste – the wonderful invention)
~1/2 cup pre-soaked beans (from my experience, black beans are the best, they cook the fastest)
1 tomato (either fresh or dried. If you are using dried tomatoes you can add some “tubed” tomato paste)


You can use the vegetables of your choice – here are my favorite:
Zucchini (dehydrated or fresh)
Peppers (dehydrated or fresh)
Mushrooms (dehydrated)

Powdered/”cubed” vegetable broth
Chili powder

Ground cumin
Thyme (if you like it)
Ground coriander
Salt/pepper/cayenne pepper
Half a pack of “fake meet”. I use Yves Mexican or Original “Ground Round”.

Fry onion and garlic. Add some cumin and any other spices while frying.
Add diced potatoes, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms. Fry until the vegetables (peppers and zucchinis) get slightly soft. Add tomatoes and fry a bit more. Pour water and add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, add chili powder and beans. Simmer until beans are tender. Add “meat” and cook until thoroughly hot.

Serve topped with corn chips, guacamole, cilantro, and/or green onions.


1 avocado
1/2 tomato
1/4 onion (green onions)
Lime juice (optional)
Garlic paste (optional)

Mash avocado, add diced tomatoes, onion, and couple of drops of lime juice. Stir well until combined.


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