This is a recipe that I learned from a fellow thru hiker, Karim on the GR11 in Spain. For me it ticks all the boxes on what I look for in a thru hiking meal. This lentil recipe is delicious, affordable, calorie dense and most importantly, super delicious!
What I am publishing here is a very basic version of the meal that can be adapted in any number of ways. In some cases Karim and I would cook this meal and add sun-dried tomatoes or dried mushrooms which can both be found in small stores along the trail. This will add some extra texture and calories to the meal, but it really doesn’t need it! This basic lightweight thru hiking meal is plenty tasty enough as it is, and still high in calories thanks to the olive oil.
Serves one person.
Contains at least 569 calories if these quantities are used. Feel free to add more or less depending on what you need.
Total Macros (see breakdown below for more info)
Calories: 569 •Carbs: 65g •Fat: 105g •Protein: 37g
Curry Lentil Recipe
550-650 ml of water
½ cup of red lentils (red lentils cook much faster than other types)
¼ cup TVP ´soy chunks´ (optional)
1 tbsp of olive oil
½ cube vegetable stock
2-3 tbsp curry powder (1-2 for less punch)
1-2 tbsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp chili powder (depending on how spicy you want it)
Sea Salt/Himalayan salt to taste (avoid iodised salt if possible)
Step 0 – Pre soaking. The best practise to cut down on gas usage and cooking time is to pre soak the lentils for around half an hour beforehand. I would generally do this as I was collecting my water for the night before making camp. I used an empty peanut butter jar as a cold soaking container. This is an optional step.
Step 1 – Bring approximately 550 ml of water to boil in your cup or pot, place the lentils in as soon as you can. The longer time they have in the water, the sooner they will soften up and be ready to eat.
Step 2 – Once you’ve added the lentils and the water is warming up, add your stock cube and the TVP (soy chunks) so that the stock can begin to flavour the lentils and the soy.
Step 3 – Now you can begin to add the spices. The amounts I’ve recommended above are fairly conservative and are dependent on how much heat you can take.
Step 4 – Once you’ve added the spices and given it a good stir, place the lid on the pot, turn the heat right down and let it simmer.
Step 5 – Occasionally take the lid off to stir. Ensuring that the curry isn’t burning on the bottom of the pot. This often happens with lightweight titanium cookware.
Step 6 – Once the lentils are completely soft and you’re happy with the balance of spices and flavours, then it’s ready to serve!
Red Lentils, 0.5 cup (100 g)
Calories: 330 •Carbs: 56g •Fat: 0g •Protein: 25g
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Calories: 884 •Carbs: 0g •Fat: 100g •Protein: 0g
TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), 0.25 cup
Calories: 120 •Carbs: 9g •Fat: 5g •Protein: 12g
I haven’t included the macros for the spices and the stock because it’s negligible.
Calories: 1334 •Carbs: 65g •Fat: 105g •Protein: 37g
INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO GR11
The main ingredients (red lentils and TPV) are less common in small stores along the trail but they can be found in the small boutique store in Parzan as well as some of the larger supermarkets in towns like Puigcerda. If you wanted to use this recipe I recommend starting the trail with a full pack of red lentils and a full pack of TVP between two people. That will likely make 8-10 individual meals.