This Salmon Pilaf with Apricots recipe is great for the Lifestyle Level of either the Strength Training or Cardio Endurance Program.
- 3 Tbs medium heat oil
- 1¼ cup parboiled rice
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2½ cups water
- 9 apricots, chopped
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 8 oz salmon or other protein
- Prep at home: Mix dried rice with spices in a little bag. In a separate bag, mix apricots and sliced almonds. Bring along oil packets and shelf stable salmon packets.
- When you're outside: Bring a pot to medium-low heat and preheat oil. Once warm, add rice/spices bag and stir until rice is coated and it starts to sizzle and become fragrant.
- Add water, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 7-10 minutes until rice is tender.
- turn off heat and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.
- Stir in almond/apricot bag and salmon and enjoy!
Parboiling rice reduces the cook time to about 7-10 minutes, which is ideal for being gas efficient when backpacking. Parboiling may sound sketchy and processed but it’s actually a very old technique that is chemical and weirdness free. What they do is:
Soak => Steam => Dry
Parboiled rice also has the added benefit of 80% more nutrients than brown rice. Brown rice is produced by simply removing the husk of the grain to expose the endosperm in order to make it edible. When parboiling, they leave the husk on throughout the soaking, steaming, and drying process and remove it at the end. Leaving the husk on during soaking and heating actually pushes nutrients into the endosperm and makes the end product more nutrient dense. Win/win for you backpackers out there!
Picking a Rice:
Basmati is the traditional rice used for pilaf. You can buy either white or brown basmati. If camping and not doing a lot of exercise intensive activities, use brown rice to maintain an even blood sugar balance. If you are on an intense backpacking trip that required a lot of exercises, use white basmati to refill your muscle glycogen stores to maximize recovery and boost performance.
What Oil and Salmon to Bring
Fat is a really hard macronutrient to get when backpacking because fat filled foods tend to spoil. That being said, fat is an important part of feeling full and satisfied. The easiest way to get that element is to bring along oil packets like this Marconi olive oil or Spectrum coconut oil.
The easiest and best salmon option to use is Patagonia Provisions salmon. Mainly because it was intended for this purpose and tastes like the smoked salmon you eat at home. But sometimes you’re strapped for time when prepping for a last minute trip. In that case, Epic Bar’s salmon bites are a readily available option.
For a great backpacking snack option, try this Red Lentil Trail Mix recipe!