Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Trail Food: Vegetarian Chili & Tacos

Today for lunch, we sampled Whole Foods Vegetarian Chili Mix. In their bulk bins, Whole Foods offers a dehydrated vegetarian chili mix that needs only water to complete - about 2-1/3 cups water to one cup chili mix. The chili mix uses texturized vegetable protein in place of beef. Their bulk products brochure recommends adding chopped onions, drained kidney beans, and/or stewed tomatoes to make a heartier chili. Whole foods does carry sun dried tomatoes that could be chopped and added to the mix pre-trail.

As Whole Foods recommends reducing the added water to make a thick taco filling, we decided to start there. We added enough water for the mix to rehydrate to a thick paste consistency, smeared it onto a tortilla, and rolled ala burrito. The mix is tasty and has a bit of fire. We added a packet of Taco Bell's Fire sauce when rolling, but the sauce isn't needed, unless you want a Taco Bell flavor. Personally, the taco needed cheese, but was satisfying.

We next added more hot water until the chili had some "juice". We located a spoon and dug in. The texture was similar to a chili without beans, perhaps a bit chewier. As we make a turkey based chili at home, we found the texture almost identical. Again, the Whole Foods chili mix contains sufficient spices that no additional heat is really necessary, unless you just want to distract your aching feet by torturing your taste buds.

Overall, we thought the chili mix was a winner and we'll be including at least one ration on our trip. Perhaps two, as we are unlikely to find a similar product at our planed resupply point, Henicle's Market Caledonia.

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