Nothing builds up an appetite quite like backpacking. I don’t know if it’s the extra weight, mileage, or rugged terrain, but at the end of a trekking day we can put a serious hurtin’ on some hot eats. Before venturing into Ansel Adams Wilderness, our buddy Scott showed us this web site on semi-homemade backpacking meals. We tried a black bean and rice dish during that trip, and it turned out so wonderfully that we wanted to try our hand at another option.
Due to permitting situations (read: I didn’t reserve early enough) in Desolation Wilderness, we weren’t able to be in high country for the length of time we originally intended. As a result, we spent our first night in a sanctioned campground area, which was the perfect place to attempt gnocchi in an herbed cheese sauce. Our afternoon lunch had left us full, so we munched on a few snacks for dinner, then decided to call it quits on food for the day. Since you can’t leave extra food in your car in bear country, it was throw it away, give it away, or eat it up. We went with eat it up and whipped up our dinner at 9:00 am. Nothing says the great outdoors like coffee and gnocchi… right?
The recipe wasn’t difficult, but it did require a bit of advanced planning gathering spices and ensuring we had our kitchen bag stocked with the essentials. We boiled the water and had the meal cooking while we broke camp, and started our “leave no trace” sweep. In went the spices and shelf stable cheese, then re-hydrated peas in lieu of bacon, and a drizzle of olive oil to top it all off. It was a tasty breakfast and will be a smashing success as a post-hike dinner sometime. With breakfast sticking to our ribs we were sufficiently fueled up, and ready to take on the great wide open.