Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures

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“An excellent cookbook, with a huge range of flavors. You’ll find recipes like shiitake rice balls, Dutch oven sticky buns, lentil farro salad, hot chocolate oatmeal, buffalo cauliflower wraps and pecan praline fondue. Perusing this book is sure to give you ideas for your next trip―and make you hungry.” ―Washington Trails Magazine


  • More than 120 deliciously modern recipes for day trips, car camping, and backcountry adventures
  • Offers a fun and easy approach to planning and prepping camp food
  • The Dirty Gourmet authors were recently featured in Sunset magazine and other national media

“Dirty Gourmet” is really a lifestyle, one that celebrates delicious food, warm company, and outdoor fun. It emerged as a website and blog when friends Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan joined forces to share their love of wilderness, outdoor education experiences, and knowledge of backcountry cooking through classes, workshops, catering events, and easy yet exciting recipes.

Now, their new book, Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures, extends their mission to get more people to eat well outdoors and have fun doing it! It emphasizes healthy eating with fresh ingredients, efficient techniques, and global flavors. Breakfast, trail meals, sweet and savory snacks, dinners, appetizers, side dishes, desserts, even refreshing camp drinks―it’s all here! Camp cooks can choose recipes based on the type of activity they are pursuing―from picnics, day hikes, and car camping to backcountry adventures by foot, bike, or paddle―as well as find recipes perfect for large groups.

Recipes are organized by activity:

  • Car campers can relax around the fire with Ember Roasted Baba Ghanoush and Mason Jar Sangria before diving into One Pot Pasta Puttanesca and Grilled Green Bean Salad, with Maple Syrup Dumplings for dessert.
  • Day hikers will want to take a break on the trail with Spicy Tofu Jerky and Curried Chickpea Salad or maybe a Pressed Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Pesto.
  • Backpackers can start their day with Fried Grits Scramble with Greens, Leeks, and Bacon and recharge in the evening with Soba Noodles with Sweet Chili Chicken and a Hibiscus Chia Cooler.

To simplify packing and planning, each section offers a base kit checklist of needed supplies along with tips on getting organized, preparing ingredients, and cooking with different methods. Complemented by full-color photos, each recipe features insights from the authors, any additional tools needed, quick-reference icons, step-by-step instructions for what to prepare at home and in camp, plus creative variations.

From the Publisher

Tofu Scramble, Recipes

Tofu Scramble, Recipes

Vegetarian Sandwich, Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

Vegetarian Sandwich, Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

BBQ sandwich, BBQ bombs, Recipes

BBQ sandwich, BBQ bombs, Recipes

Veggie Tofu Scramble

Wes has been vegan for about twenty years. When I met him, several members of our extended family were working through different levels of vegetarianism, practicing how to reduce or eliminate dairy and eggs with delicious and effective substitutes. Those who haven’t made the transition are now more open-minded about eating meals that are free of animal products, and it is nice for all of us to exist in an environment where food opin- ions are not always at the center of conversation. This recipe is one of the original Wes contributions, and if he’s on the camping trip, he’s sure to be whipping it up in the morning. It’s a pretty simple recipe, and mimics a frittata or omelet. We add a bit of turmeric to color the tofu so the egg eaters don’t even flinch.

Lemony Kale & Avocado Sandwich

This recipe evolved from a salad I make all the time at home. I tend to crave greens on the trail, and hearty ones like kale hold up even after sitting dressed in your bag all day. You can certainly eat the kale as a salad, but piled onto a sandwich roll with smashed avocado elevates it to a hearty trail meal. The kale won’t wilt or bruise easily and it actually gets better over the course of a day or two in a salad or sandwich like this one.

Barbeque Pie Bombs

Aimee, Emily, and I take our birthdays seriously. Every year we plan something for each other, and the birthday girl gets to make specific requests. The best part is that it forces us to block out time to go on adventures. After years of ambitious ideas, we learned to keep it simple and focus more on the quality together time—a good rule of thumb for any outdoor adventure. A couple years ago, on a lovely birthday backpacking trip to Mount Pinos just outside Los Angeles, I took the lead for lunch on the trail with a very loose idea of a “hand pie” with a filling of sweet potatoes, leeks, jalapeños, sausage, and goat cheese.

Cooked Peppers, Mini Pepper Recipe

Cooked Peppers, Mini Pepper Recipe

Pineapple Sake Cooler, Recipes

Pineapple Sake Cooler, Recipes

Orange Olive Oil Cake Recipe

Orange Olive Oil Cake Recipe

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

This is a variation on the very first recipe we ever posted on Dirty Gourmet back in 2009, and it still holds up. The idea came about on a recipe testing camping trip in San Clemente where we ended up making fourteen dishes. The only problem was that there were only the three of us to eat all the food! Feel free to experiment with the filling. You could try using cream cheese, ricotta, or a mixture of whatever cheese you find in your fridge, and then go crazy with herbs and spices.

Pineapple Sake Cooler

I’m not ashamed to say that one of the best things about car camping is daytime drinking. Once the madness of planning, packing, and setting up camp is done, it’s time to relax! This Pineapple Sake Cooler is a refreshing cocktail for hot days when ice is still aplenty in your cooler. (If you keep ice in the bag it comes in rather than pouring it into your cooler, it lasts longer and you’ll have clean ice to put into your drinks.) Sake is Japanese rice wine with an alcohol content similar to wine made from grapes. Paired with a lot of fresh lime juice, mint, pineapple juice—and great company—this summer cooler gets the afternoon started just right.

Olive Oil Orange Cakes

There’s a classic campfire dessert recipe for making brownies in orange peel cups. Despite not being a baker, I decided to try it. I was not impressed. The most disturbing part of the process was the pulpy orange soup aftermath created by scooping the fruit out of the orange peels. However, using an orange peel as a baking vessel remained in my mind as a good idea, so I decided to try it again while resolving the orange soup problem at the same time.

Olive oil cake showcases the orange flavor well, and the orange coring instructions will leave you with intact oranges that you can actually snack on. For the win!

Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor AdventuresDirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures

Black Sesame Cashew Granola Brittle

(Energy snack to make at home and take on your outing)

The first event we did as Dirty Gourmet was an art fair. Not so outdoorsy, but people were ‘hiking’ around looking at and purchasing all sorts of art—and they got hungry doing it. We made several products to sell there, but the main thing people wanted to buy was our granola. We offered two flavors, and both sold out.

This recipe is one of those two flavors. The texture is much like brittle, starting off as big, irregular slabs. It is easy to eat like a bar, but it’s not a big deal if it crumbles in your pack. —Aimee Trudeau, co-author.


1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup cashews

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 cup black sesame seeds

Dirty GourmetDirty Gourmet

Yield: About 5 cups.

Prep Time: 10 minutes.

Cook Time: 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, oil, honey, and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, cashews, coconut flakes, and sesame seeds. Add the sugar mixture, stirring to coat.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is golden (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Butters, RecipesButters, Recipes

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