Veggie Exotic Couscous (Freezer Bag Cooking)

This is a surprisingly tasty meal. I always use this in my cooking demos and people are always a bit suspicious until they taste it. Then they want seconds. For a purely vegetarian (even vegan) dish, use vegetable bouillon instead of chicken bouillon.

On a whim, I threw in dried apricots and I was really happy with that addition. If you can get them, use local Blenheim apricots rather than the cheap stuff. Once you’ve had Blenheims, the Turkish apricots taste like cardboard. Trust me.

In a quart freezer bag, put:

3/4 cup couscous
2 Tbl Craisins (dried sweetened cranberries)
2 Tbl golden raisins
1/4 cup diced dried apricots
4 tsp diced dried carrots
4 tsp dried onion
1 Tbl low sodium chicken bouillon
1 Tbl tsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Also take:

4 Tbl diced toasted almonds (toasted pine nuts or pistachios are good, too)

In camp:

Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir well and place in cozy for 10 minutes.
Add nuts and serve.
Serves 2.

This is from Sarah Kirkconnell’s first cookbook Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple.

You can leave out the dried carrots if you don’t have a dehydrator, but it is worth getting some, because you can add them to nearly anything. Harmony House sells 4 ounces of dried carrots for $2.95.

If you have a convection oven that can be set as low as 125º (or near that), you can dehydrate carrots with that. Slice them thinly, blanch them, then dry for 6-10 hours. I would also expect canned cooked carrots to dehydrate well. See this for steps for dehydrating carrots.

You can make this at home, too. Saute 1/4 cup diced onion and 1/4 cup diced carrot in a savory oil, maybe peanut oil, add a clove of minced garlic, then continue with the recipe, using chicken stock instead of the bouillon and water.

If you want to dive more into freezer bag cooking, I’d recommend starting with Sarah’s latest cookbook, which has even more recipes and is nicely organized: Trail Cooking: Trail Food Made Gourmet. It does not have this recipe, but then, you already have it, right?

This recipe is republished with the generous permission of Sarah Kirkconnell.


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