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Great Lakes Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice with Mushrooms: Trail Food

This is a super easy recipe that requires minimal effort but provides a delicious and nutritious cold weather comfort food. Like wild rice and mushrooms?  Then you are going to love the taste of the two together.  A marriage made in trail heaven! 

Trail Backpacking Survival Food
Great Lakes Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice with Mushrooms

I tend to eschew most grains for several reasons: 
  • Carbohydrate-rich grains cause a big blood sugar spike and crash, leading to a feeling of  sluggishness shortly after eating (plus, the same blood sugar overload can lead to type 2 diabetes).  Personally, when I eat a carb heavy meal, I am starving about two hours later.
  • Factory farmed foods are deleterious for the environment and controlled by big agribusiness.  
  • A lot of grains are empty calories, having very little nutritional value for the amount of calories.

Trail Backpacking Survival Food, Freezer Bag Cooking
Freeze Dried Chicken, Dried Wild Rice, and Dried Mushrooms

One grain I make an exception for is wild rice. Chewy and full of flavor, wild rice offers body and nutrition to a meal, unlike the bland white rice in most backcountry recipes. Plus, wild rice is the only grain native to, and grown in, the Great Lakes region of North America.  Native Americans harvested the grain by threshing the tops of the semi-aquatic grass seed into canoes, a practice still used today.

Gram for gram, wild rice has about the same calories of white rice, but has more protein, fiber, and minerals than white rice.  Additionally, a study published by the University of Manitoba found "the antioxidant activity of wild rice was found to be 30 times greater than that of the control white rice."

Some notes about this recipe, and tips for shortening prep time:
  • I am still working on a "healthy" substitute for store bought cream soups in powder form, so this recipe will be a work in progress. The cup-a-soup packets do not meet my standards for adequate nutrition, but for now is the easiest thing I have on hand :)

  • While I am a huge fan of dehydrating most of my own foods, freeze-dried (FD) meats rehydrate much better than home-dehydrated meats.  Buy #10 cans of FD chicken, beef, and italian sausage and once opened, store in mason jars for freshness. A #10 can will provide me with about 20 dinners worth of meals, but I am a chick who doesn't eat a ton. YMMV

  • Buy mushrooms when they are on sale and dry several racks at a time. Store in mason jars for future use.

  • Whenever cooking up grains to use in a recipe at home, cook up a double batch and dry the extra.  I do this with wild rice, barley, quinoa, and other grains.  This way you only have to grab the dried grains out of your pantry when you put any recipe together.

  • I include several packets of Trader Joe's soup broth concentrate in my food bag whenever I go on trips and need a little extra flavor in my meals.  Personally, I don't think this one needed it, but I'm not a big salt/spice fan.

Great Lakes Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice With Mushrooms

(Makes one serving.  Double for main dish or hearty appetites)

1/4 cup freeze dried chicken
3 T dehydrated cooked wild rice
2 T dehydrated mushrooms
1 packet Lipton's Cream of Chicken soup mix
1 packet Trader Joe's Low Sodium chicken broth concentrate (optional)

At Home:

Place all ingredients in Ziploc quart-sized freezer bag.

On the trail:

Add 1/2 cup boiling water to bag, just to cover ingredients plus a little extra. Place in cozy for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. 

That's it.  One of the easiest trail recipes ever!  Hope you enjoy it, and feel free to give me some feedback.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 141 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Trans Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 
Vitamin A 1%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 4%Iron 11%
Nutrition Grade B+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional Analysis

Good points

 Happy Hiking!  <3  ~ Demeter


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