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A warm and spicy lunch for a cold day hike

Posted by Emma Hughes on

This Friday saw the first cold, sunny day of the winter, so we packed up our kit and headed to the highest place we could find. We discovered a landscape of heathland, scots pines, and frozen pools and cooked up a tasty hot lunch in the forest on our hiking stove. Why not try this next time you’re out for a winter hike and let us know how it goes?


Black Down Landscape

One thing we always try to do when out on a day hike, rather than just boil some water and rehydrate a freeze dried packet, is to prepare something hot and delicious for lunch, particularly when it's cold. Not only does it lift the spirits when energy is getting low it also provides warmth and a chance to sit still and take in the surroundings. On this trip we made spicy couscous with tomato, olives and sultanas with a side of pitta bread. Super tasty and really easy to make providing you put in a bit of prep work before setting out. We'll show you how below.

Ingredients for hiking lunch.
Cooking lunch at black down.
Snow Peak stove and pitta bread
Cooking couscous on a tree stump
Couscous and Adventure Spoon
Eating lunch from Snow Peak mug
Hiking lunch of couscous, pitta and humous

Spicy Couscous with Tomatoes, Olives, Sultanas and Pitta (Serves 2)

Kit List:
Snow Peak Titanium Trek 900 Cookset
MSR Micro Rocket Stove
Beech Adventure Spoon

You will need:
200g couscous
A handful of sundried tomatoes (chopped)
A handful of sliced olives
A handful of sultanas or raisins
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon
Ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
Olive oil
Pitta Bread
Humous (optional)

Firstly, you'll need to prepare some bits at home before heading out to make cooking and prep easy and mess free once you are in the outdoors. Mix all the spices and seasonings into the dry couscous and put it into an airtight container. Chop and slice the tomatoes and olives and add them to another air tight container along with the sultanas. Pop a couple of pieces of pitta bread into some foil or a ziplock bag. If you are taking humous, put this into a small container too. Put all your ingredients into a dry bag to keep them all in one place in your rucksack, this will make things much easier when it comes to cooking.

Once you are ready to cook:
Find a stable bit of ground for your stove and boil up a pan of water (you will only need a small amount to make the couscous, save the rest to clean up or to make tea). Once the water has boiled add enough to the couscous to just cover it, don't make it too wet as it'll end up sloppy. Wait for about 5 minutes for the couscous to cook and then remove the lid. Add the other ingredients, including a squeeze of olive oil (we take some in a small nalgene bottle) and mix them in, fluffing up the couscous as you do. That's it! Add a dollop of humous and scoop it up with the pitta bread. Simple, spicy, warm and delicious. 

You can add anything you like to the couscous of course. If you needed more calories for energy then chickpeas, chorizo or even nuts would be a good thing to throw in to bulk it up.

Enjoy! Let us know if you try it or if you have any ace hiking recpies of your own we could try out too.


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