When camping, particularly in the BWCA, food tastes amazing! I think it is because all of your senses are engaged!
Vision: picture blue sky’s with white puffy clouds, an array of green trees, beautiful clear waters,great friends, and of course colorful food dancing before your eyes.
Smell: cool clean breeze, pine warming in the sun, wood burning in the fire pit, and food cooking after a long day of paddling.
Sound: the eerie call of a loon echoing across the lake, young eagles chirping overhead, the sound of friends laughing, fire crackling, knives chopping, waves crashing and trees whistling in the breeze.
Ahhh, I can picture it now; Quinoa tacos with everything one mango salsa on our last night on Gabbro Lake. We sat in a circle near the fire, reaching into the middle to dish the makings of our camping creation. We laughed endlessly while repeating the words: “this is SOOO good!”. Try it at home or in the woods!
This recipe serves approximately 4 hungry women.
Quinoa Taco “meat”
2 cup quinoa
1 medium onion finely chopped
6 coves garlic pressed or minced
1/4 cup chili powder
Everything one mango salsa
1 ripe mango
1 red pepper
1 medium onion
1 Tbsp garlic
1 jalapeno pepper
1 medium sized lime (or two small), juiced
kale or cabbage leaves (you could substitute with a soft shell tortilla wrap)
For the Quinoa Meat:
Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil, add quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer. If you are doing this on a one-man burner when camping what the heat closely so the bottom doesn’t scorch. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion (red, white or yellow – all are equally delicious). Mince or press the garlic and set aside. Briefly preheat a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon EVOO, then add the onion and some salt. The salt helps the vegetable to release some liquid and encourages yummy carmelization. When onions are soft, translucent and beginning to carmelize, get the cooked quinoa and the chili powder ready. Add the chili powder and sit into the onion oil mixture for about 30 seconds to help release the flavors of the chili powder. Push everything to the outside of the pan and add about 1 teaspoon additional EVOO, then the garlic. Press and stir the garlic for about 15 seconds, then combine with the onion mixture. Immediately, now – add the cooked quinoa and combine all ingredients well. Cover with lid and set aside off heat to rest for 5-10 minutes. When ready to serve fluff with a fork. (You can substitute chicken for quinoa)
For the salsa:
Finely dice mango, onion, jalapeno pepper (including seeds), red pepper and avocado. Add all ingredients into a pot or bowl and juice the lime(s) over top, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and gently stir. Let the combination sit for 10-15 minutes so the flavors combine. I found that this combination holds well in the refrigerator for one (or maybe more) day(s).
For the wraps:
Wash kale leaves, if they have a very thick center rib you can pull it out; however, I generally keep it in (it’s extra fiber). If using cabbage leaves, core the cabbage, cut in half and gently pull off individual leaves.
Now for the great part:
Grab a “wrap”, add a spoonful of “meat”, top with a generous spoon of everything one mango salsa, wrap the leave around the fillings so they don’t drop all over the place and gobble!