Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Warrior Sisters Camping Trip

Most of my friends are amazing women. Women who inspire me every day with how strong they are, both mentally and physically. For example, two of my friends, Rachel and Sam, started a free, all-women's self-defense non-profit organization called Warrior Sisters. They created it from the ground up without even knowing that much about self-defense before they started. Now in it's third year, Warrior Sisters trains about 20 women each week at their regular ongoing women's classes, and has regular 6-week cycles for teens. The organization has also expanded and has active chapters in Tulsa, New York, and British Columbia. Sam, Rachel, and I, along with two of our other friends, Elizabeth and Becky, all volunteer as organizers and trainers. It's an overall amazing, community-oriented organization and has helped so many women transform how they carry themselves in this world, and armed them with the ability to defend themselves verbally and physically from the daily onslaught of patriarchy that we as women always face. If you feel so inclined to participate or donate, please follow the link above!

These are badasses.

In addition to training together, we also love just hanging out together because there's something so powerful about being with a group of strong women. Last June, before I took off for my summer job, we were all able to get out for an overnight camping trip together at Fall Creek in Oregon. It was the end of the school year (3 of us are also teachers) and it was that time! Time to head out side, get rained on, change a tire in the mud, have a mouse eat through your food that you thought was safe in the truck, attempt to go barefoot running in the rain on gravel, and do some dipping in some pretty frigid early-summer water. We got a little bit of sun, too. And we had some really great fires and delicious food!

Pineapple Chicken Casserole over rice
For dinner one night, I brought along one of the meals I'd dehydrated a while ago and stuck in my freezer. A new recipe, too! It's a Pineapple Chicken Casserole and it's the most elaborate recipe I've created myself without basing it off another recipe. And it turned out just how I wanted it to! We ate it over rice to stretch it a little further since there were five of us, and the recipe I made was only for four people. But if you follow the quantities in the recipe it should be enough for 4 people to eat without rice. Everyone loved it! 

Pineapple Chicken Casserole

I love pineapple. It adds a perfect type of sweet to a savory meal to make the flavor more complex and more satisfying. Eating well in the backcountry is all about packing in the flavor where you can so you don't go crazy eating the same flavors over and over again. The coriander also adds a nice complementary flavor. 
It's always a little difficult to not eat the entire pan while I'm putting it on the dehydrator trays!
For 4 people (or 2 meals for 2 people)
3 TB coconut oil
1 large white sweet potato, diced
1 large onion, diced
5 large carrots, peeled and grated
2 cups green beans, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground chicken (or turkey) breast
1 14-oz can crushed pineapple in juice (no sweetener added)
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1 TB ground coriander

Preheat oven to 350.
If your coconut oil is not already liquid, put it in a large (13x9) casserole dish and put it in the oven while the oven is heating to melt it. This will make it easier to coat the veggies with it.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables, remembering that smaller pieces means easier to dehydrate and easier to rehydrate.
Once the oil is melted, take the pan out of the oven, add the sweet potato, onion, carrots, green beans and garlic, and stir to coat with the oil.
Return pan to oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until all of the veggies are mostly soft and cooked through.
When veggies are mostly cooked, add ground chicken, crushed pineapple with about 1/2 of it's juice, coconut aminos, and coriander. Stir to break up the chicken into smaller pieces.
Return to oven and cook another 15 minutes, or until all of the chicken is cooked through and you can no longer see any pink meat.

Let cool about 20 minutes, then spread on dehydrator trays covered in parchment paper and dehydrate 8-12 hours at 150 F, checking several times during this process to break up clumps and turn over. More dehydrating directions found here.

To rehydrate:

Throw it all in a pot, add water until just covered, and let it soak for as long as you have. When ready to cook, bring to a boil (you might have to add more water after soaking) and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pot with lid and let sit for another 5-10 minutes. Open and enjoy!