GOAL: To give rock climbers practical sport nutrition for at the gym or at the crag.


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Feb 25, 2009

Culinary Camping

New Recipes from the Desert

I just got back from an awesome trip to Hueco Tanks, Texas! I thought I’d share some of my new recipes with you.

In general, I think these recipes will feed 2 very hungry climbers, or 4 lazy climbers.

Feel free to switch up or add any other vegetables to the recipes. This past trip, we often grated carrots just with a knife and added them to many pastas, sauces, and stir frys.

Mark’s Favourite Desert Jambalaya
First of all, this isn’t exactly Jambalaya. Another climber at the campsite said that’s what our dinner looked like, so it stuck! This dinner creation came from needing to use leftover pasta sauce and rice.

Note the CACTUS in the recipe!!! Go to the Vista Mercado. Walk to the back of the produce section, and look on the refrigerated shelves of produce. You’ll find bags of local farmed cactus!!! They are pre-sliced and taste SO GOOD!!! Like cucumber and kiwi combined. You can eat them on their own (like fruit), or you can fry them up for dinner (like vegetables).

2 cups dry rice
Water to make the rice
½ can/jar of tomato sauce
1 can kidney or black beans
Bell peppers, sliced
Cayenne pepper
Cilantro (optional)
Cheese (optional)

1. Make rice in one pot.
2. In another pot, fry cactus and bell pepper until soft.
3. Add sauce to fried cactus and bell pepper.
4. Drain and add beans to sauce and add as much spices as you want. Heat covered until sauce bubbles.
5. Add cilantro to sauce just before eating.
6. Mix sauce and rice together.
7. Top with cheese for extra goodness!

Impressive Mushroom Pineapple Cream Sauce
This looks really impressive camping, but is really easy to make. Put it on top of rice or pasta.

Vegetable oil
Garlic cloves, minced
Small onion, chopped
1 can mushroom soup (condensed)
1 can pineapple chunks/tidbits
1 can of meat (tuna, chicken, etc)
Broccoli, chopped

1. Heat oil in pot and fry garlic and onions until the onions are soft.
2. Add can of mushroom soup.
3. Add just the pineapple juice (not the chunks) into the pot and mix.
4. Add can of meat and mix.
5. Add broccoli.
6. Heat until sauce is bubbling, stir often.
7. Eat pineapple chunks on the side or mix in right before eating.
8. Place on top of rice or pasta.

** This goes well with carrots on the side.

More then just Pasta and Cheese
If you like tomatoes and cheese, this pasta is for you.

Garlic cloves, minced
1 can (540 ml) diced tomatoes, drained
¼ cup (1 handful) of skim milk powder
¾ cup (or as much as you like) parmesan cheese

1. Prepare pasta in a pot. When pasta is almost ready, add in broccoli (broccoli only needs to boil for about 5 minutes).
2. Drain cooked pasta.
3. Add in all other ingredients, and mix well.

** This goes well with fried zucchini (or any other squash) on the side. We also fried canned chickpeas (until soft) with spices (basil, thyme), and had it with this pasta.

Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup
I know you can buy a can of soup, but this tastes better and makes a lot.

2 cups (500 ml) water
1 can chicken broth
1 cup (8 oz) small pasta (macaroni, shells, etc.)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1 can chicken
1 can mixed vegetables, drained

1. In a pot, bring to boil water, broth, pasta and spices.
2. Add chicken and vegetables.
3. Ta Da! It’s done.

** This goes good with a potato and cheese. At the Hueco Rock Ranch, they have a microwave. Spear your potato a few times with a fork or knife before microwaving.

Double Stuffed Potato
Because the Hueco Rock Ranch has a microwave, I was able to make my favourite potatoes! They take extra effort, but I love them ☺

Vegetables, chopped

1. Microwave potato until soft on the inside (about 10 or more minutes).
2. Cut potato in half.
3. Scoop out the insides (leaving 2 potato skin shells). Careful, the potatoes will be hot on your worn fingertips!
4. In a bowl, mash the potato insides and add chopped vegetables, such as chopped broccoli, carrots or spinach.
5. Line the potato skin shells with cheese.
6. Fill the potato skin shells with the mashed mixture and top with more cheese.
7. Put back in microwave to melt the cheesy goodness.
8. Enjoy!

** At home, I do the same but bake them in the oven.

Hueco Lunch at the Boulders
At the Vista Mercado, you can buy avocados for cheap!! You can also buy fresh made whole-wheat tortillas. Here’s a delicious wrap to pack for a day in the park.

Whole-wheat tortilla
Dried apple

1. Line centre of tortilla with cheese.
2. Slice avocado centre into strips and line on top of cheese.
3. Add dried apple pieces on top (seriously, this tastes REALLY GOOD!)
4. Fold, pack, and go!

** You can also put these sandwich fixings on regular bread.
** Be sure to bring some fruit, snack bars, jerky, juice, and other snacks. You want to stay fueled during the day. Also, bring plenty of water! In the desert, the day may get hotter then you think!

On the Fly Sports Drink
When we got to the Vista Mercado, we could not find Gatorade powder. So, we made our own sports drink for our climbing days.

Fruit juice powder

1. Whatever the juice powder container says, put HALF of the powder measurement listed, in the same amount of water.
2. Add a pinch of salt (we found a salt shaker in the cooking shack at the Rock Ranch).
3. Shake and go.

** Note: the amount of juice powder you use may depend on your tolerance. Even some people can’t tolerate full strength Gatorade, and must dilute it.

Stay Tuned!!!

The first question I ever got on my Onsite Nutrition Facebook group page was about Protein Powders, and how much is too much. Since then, I have been searching and preparing a blog post on protein and climbing.

Just this January, new research was published on maximum amounts of protein needed for muscle! I contacted the researcher and now have more resources to use for the protein blog post.

Because protein is a large topic, another nutrition and rock climbing buddy of mine is helping me write the posts: there will be a series, of maybe 3 posts, coming in the near future.

So stay tuned!

Krystal Merrells