News / Slider / June 3, 2020

Trek Chef: Alpine Couscous

by Wendy Hecker

Couscous is one of the best grains to bring into the backcountry. It’s so easy to cook and it yields a lot food in a short amount of time. Inspired by the NOLS cookery book, this couscous dish has complex carbs, protein, fats, salt, and fiber. The stuff we all love in the backcountry.

Alpine Couscous

2/3 Cup couscous (you can use bulk couscous or different box flavors!)

1 Cup water

½ (or more…) cup sharp cheddar –grated or cubed.

1/2-2/3 cup roasted and chopped almonds

½ cup dried cranberries

Salt and pepper to taste

Before you head up to the mountains, chop and roast your almonds. You can do this on a fry pan (make sure to keep almonds moving so as not to burn them), or you can roast them in the oven (again, keep an eye on them, those suckers will go pretty quickly.)

When it’s time for dinner, take out your cheese and cut it into small cubes (the smaller the cubes the easier they will melt) and pull out your cranberries, chopping them as well if you so desire.

With all your other ingredients prepared, bring your water to a boil. When the water is boiling, pour in couscous, stir, and then remove from heat. Keep that puppy covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir in cheese almonds and cranberries. Huzzah! Your dinner for 2 is complete with melted cheese and tasty almond/cranberry goodness.

To minimize mess, eat this meal straight out of the pot, the cheese causes a lot of greasiness. Don’t be afraid to play around with this meal, add more or less of the ingredients or add in new ones like TVP for a little added protein, pine nuts for a different nutty taste, or parmesan instead of cheddar. Customize this meal to your taste buds!


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Billy Brown
has a hard time standing still. A few years ago he combined his passion for the active lifestyle with his love of toys and somehow made a job out of it as a journalist specializing in outdoor sports and adventure travel. An avid runner, climber, crossfitter and snowboarder, he has tested gear around the world, from canyon running in Jordan to ice climbing in Chamonix. He writes for Outside Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Wired, and Backpacker, as well as on websites like Gear Institute and Contact him at [email protected]

1 Comment

Jun 05, 2020

This looks absolutely delicious! Definitely trying this out on my upcoming hike!

Thanks Wendy!

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