She’s Baaaaaack!

 

cell phone pics 018Hello. It’s me…again. In typical fashion, I’ve changed my mind…again. I do realize this inability to make a decision and stick with it is a problem in my life, but I’m not sure how to fix it.

I blogged for a while on Trail Journals, and I met many nice and helpful people, but I’ve decided it’s not the right format for me. I’ve always been kind of a wallflower, and I felt really exposed on Trail Journals. Writing about my deepest thoughts and feelings comes too easily for me and it’s just not ‘safe’ to do sometimes in certain places. I deleted my Trail Journal, and in the interim, I’ve had several people indicate that they wanted to follow my journey, so I’ve opted to resurrect my hiking blog. I hope to continue blogging throughout my hike.

Yes, I’m still planning on hiking! I went through a slump, and though I briefly had ‘second thoughts’ (mostly based on fears and things that ‘might happen’), my excitement to fulfill this dream…this inexplicable call to the Appalachian Trail will not let up. It’s something I feel I am meant to do. I’ll do a post in the future about my reasons for wanting to hike the trail.

I have to admit, that an unexpected email from an online friend is probably the thing that pulled me out of my slump and helped me to get re-focused on this journey. This person I met through Trail Journals and her husband are extending to me my very first ‘Trail Magic.’  She is going to pick me up from the airport and drive me to the trail.

Trail Magic is an act of kindness on the trail: food or drink when you are on your last bit of food in your backpack or last drop of water, or help of any kind that comes when you least expect it, and most need it. Many times, a hiker will be hiking in the middle of nowhere and come upon a cooler full of water, sodas and snacks. Often, it will be an unlooked-for ride to or from someplace.

The benefactors are referred to as ‘Trail Angels.’  A Trail Angel is usually someone who has hiked the trail, in full or in part, who wants to give back the same kindness they have received while hiking the trail. It’s a ‘pay it forward’ kind of thing.

This hike suddenly became real for me when I finally purchased my plane ticket. The Trail Angel I mentioned is going to hike the first section with me. She is planning for a 2017 Thru-Hike. She’s a more experienced hiker than I am, and has offered lots of suggestions, and has prompted me to think about a lot of things that hadn’t occurred to me that I might need to think about. Consequently, I feel better prepared, and though I have a way to go in lightening my load, my backpack is much lighter.

Beyond the first section, I will be hiking alone, though the AT has so much traffic these days, they say you will never be completely alone, unless you want to be. In fact, they are predicting that the movie released this year based on the book, “A Walk in the Woods,” with Nick Nolte and Robert Redford will increase the amount of traffic on the trail even more.

If you want to follow me on my journey, you can sign up in the upper right hand corner of my blog to receive notices of my new posts in your inbox.

~The Hiker Formerly Known as Arkansas Traveler

 

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Why on EARTH would anyone want to hike 2,176 (some odd) miles on the Appalachian Trail?

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It’s usually the first thing on everyone’s mind when they find out that someone is going to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. They wouldn’t want to do it, and they just can’t fathom why any sane person would want to do something like this -especially ALONE- so they rummage through their brains and come to their own conclusions, often quite wrong! …so let me get this out the way, first.

1.) I’m happy in my marriage. All marriages have ups and downs, good periods and bad periods, but Bud and I have weathered them all, and we have come out on the other side. We are in a very good place, together. I love Bud with all of my heart, and my marriage is the happiest it’s ever been in our 22 years together. We’re not tired of each other now that he is retired. We’re both introverts and can be ‘alone together’ if we need to be. We fit together very nicely and we actually like each other. We enjoy spending time together.

2.) Bud is behind my hike 100 percent. He has been more supportive than I could have hoped. If he wasn’t FOR this hike, 100 PERCENT, I would not choose to go, because we are a partnership. When I brought up this crazy idea of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, it was HIS idea for me to do it this year.

3.) I’m not looking to ‘find myself’. After 50 years on this planet, I can honestly say I’m finally secure in who I am, and most importantly who God made me to be.

4.) THANK GOD, I can honestly say that I am content with my life as it is. I couldn’t always say that. I was always looking for the elusive ‘something’ that was missing. I’ve found it! …and it’s settled. “I” am settled. I love my home, in spite of all of the work it still needs. I could live here in a tent if I had to, and still be quite happy! We did that for weeks at a time when we first bought the place, before our house was ‘live-able’. I love it here that much. I enjoy my role as a housewife and I can’t imagine life without Bud. I don’t even want to imagine it without him in it. I’m content…RIGHT. WHERE. I’M. AT.  I don’t need to look for anything else.

5.) For the first time in my life, I’m not running away from something. I’m choosing to go somewhere. No one but me can possibly understand the magnitude of that statement, nor the impact that simple choice has had on me, nor can they understand the indication of ‘progress’ in my life that it implies. Thank you, Jesus.

 

I read in a book called, “Appalachian Trials,” by Zack Davis, that a good way to face the looming challenge in front of you is to make a list of the reasons why you want to do the hike in the first place. This is a way to combat those times you are on the trail and it’s raining, you’re cold, hungry, bug-bitten and uncomfortable. You want to quit. The excitement wears off and you wonder why you ever wanted to do this crazy thing in the first place. That’s when you pull out ‘the list’…the reasons you wrote down when you were high on your dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail…to remind you why you need to keep going. Without further adieu (or rambling), here is ‘the list’.

Why I Want to Hike the Appalachian Trail

1.) It’s my dream. Mine. It’s something “I” truly want to do. I’m not following the dream or plan of someone else. It wasn’t suggested by someone else that I do it.  I’m not doing it to please or placate or satisfy someone else, nor does it matter to me whether they approve or not! It’s mine, and mine alone. That might sound kind of simplistic to most people, but for someone who has always ‘followed,’ and never had a dream that seemed impossible and followed through, it’s a life-altering thing, and a challenge I want to see through to the end.

2.) I want to experience life in it’s simplest form, with everything I need on my back…my food, shelter and clothing, all going with me; everything in my life being stripped to the lowest common denominator. I crave that simplicity.

3.) I once saw a video of Warren Doyle -who has hiked the AT 16 times- saying something to the effect of, “many people don’t finish the trail because they just can’t stand being with themselves.” He was implying that when all distractions are removed, it’s just ‘me, myself and I’ and one can’t escape themselves  anymore. I think people spend a lot of time thinking that other people, places and things are ‘the problem,’  when it’s really themselves  that are the problem. When you are alone, there is no one else to point at or blame. I have never experienced having all of those distractions removed, with only one goal for the day (to walk from Point A to Point B)…and I want to. I’m looking forward to that challenge very much…but you know, God will be there, too, and that is the part I’m looking forward to the most. Those everyday distractions also shut Him out too. If I’m honest, that is probably what I am afraid of the most, too.

4.) I’m not going to the trail looking for the trail to change me, but they say you can’t hike the trail and not be changed. That fascinates me. How will I be changed? I’m drawn to find the answer. I hope that I will come back a much better person, and a much better wife. Who doesn’t have thorns and flaws that are easy to mask with all of the trappings in daily life?

5.) I want the physical  challenge of the trail. I’ve been walking 6 miles a day with my backpack, and hope to start doing that twice a day before my hike. That is NOTHING compared to what I will face on the trail. The Appalachian Trail is not just a walk or a ‘footpath’. There are rivers to ford, boulders to navigate, and vertical climbs to conquer. I’ve never been an athletic sort of person…but there is nothing like the feeling of pushing yourself to the brink and feeling the effects of that physical exertion, knowing that you did that. YOU DID THAT! …that thing that seemed so insurmountable.

6.) I have a mild case of M.S. I have the lesions on my brain which cause symptoms, but I don’t have some of the other markers. There have only been a couple of times that my walking was really affected, but I have balance problems and other M.S. symptoms most of the time. The doctor said he doesn’t think it’s progressive, but M.S. is a progressive disease.  I’ve read of many people who have been told their M.S. is mild and they say, “It’s only NOT progressive until it IS.” I’m not getting any younger,  and now seems like the right time to do it, while I can.

7.) Though I guess I could be deceived, and I’m willing to be shown that if this desire is coming from the other side…I feel that it’s something I’m being called to do. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that it I feel deep within me that it is something I’m meant to do in the big scheme of God’s plan for my life. There is a saying on the trail, “Hike Your Own Hike.” I truly hope and aspire to Hike the Hike God wants me to hike, and to serve His purpose while on the trail, whatever that turns out to be.

 

So there you have it…the rest of the story…the great mystery revealed…straight from the chicken’s mouth. 🙂

~The Hiker Formerly Known as Arkansas Traveler

 

Freezer Bag Cozy

DSC_0011Though I’ve heard of some people who never eat hot food on the trail, and choose to eat protein bars, peanut butter, jerky, etc. instead, I think the majority of hikers feel the need to have some kind of hot meal, if only once a day.  Dehydrated meals are the way to go, especially since it’s imperative to keep your backpack as light as possible.

There are basically two ways of eating your dehydrated meal while on the trail.

1.) Reheat the food inside your pot.

2) Put the food into a Freezer Ziplock and let it reheat in the bag.

If the meal is re-hydrated inside a Freezer Ziplock, you heat the water, pour the hot water into the bag, seal the bag and wait to eat it until it is re-hydrated.

The meal can lose a lot of heat while it is sitting if it is not kept warm. Since it contains boiled water, it’s too hot to hold with you hands. At some point in history, some ingenious person came up with the idea of the ‘Freezer Bag Cozy’ to remedy these problems.

DSC_0019I had bought a Freezer Bag Cozy at REI a while back, but it seemed bulky. A friend told me about one that she made, and sent pictures to me. I liked the idea and I thought it would be a lighter-weight option.

It’s made out of a windshield visor from the Dollar Store. Basically, it’s bubble wrap with a reflective coating on it. It is cut into shape, the edges sealed in duct tape, and then taped together to make the Freezer Bag Cozy (FBC).

DSC_0018I added a pleat to mine so that it would stand up while my meal was in there.  I’m not mechanically inclined, and am engineering-challenged. I had a hard time trying to figure out the best way to make the pleat. You can see in the picture above how I eventually decided to do it.It will fold out when the bag is inside.

DSC_0013You can add velcro, or an elastic cord to hold the flap down and hold in the warmth.

After I made it, I weighed both the one I made, and the one I bought. and surprisingly, they are both about 1 1/2 ounces. So…since the other one I bought is probably more durable and has a sleeve for your hand to hold it while you eat, I will most likely take that one…or none.

DSC_0020I  might find I like heating my meal in the pot, better than the FBC method. That’s the thing about this adventure…there are so many things I can’t know until I’m actually out there doing it!

I decided to go ahead and make a post about this with pictures, because it’s a cheap method of making one if you need one. Also, I’m going to use this same method to make a lightweight eyeglasses holder, and a Kindle cover.

~The Hiker Formerly Known as Arkansas Traveler

Cooking and Dehydrating Chicken for Backpacking Meals

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I’m going to be dehydrating many, if not most of my meals for my Thru-Hike. They will then be sent in ‘mail drops’ which I will then pick up along the way.

Thru-Hikers will burn around 6,000 calories a day! From what I’ve read, hikers are always hungry! Many hikers eat a lot of carbs for energy while on the trail, but I’ve learned that my body does not react well to lots of carbs or sugar. I’m hoping to go ‘Gluten-Free’ at the very least, because I feel so much better excluding it.  Good fat and protein are preferable energy sources for me, so my meals will have a lot of protein in them.

Most of the information I’ve seen about dehydrating chicken calls for buying canned chicken. They say that if you try to cook chicken yourself, it will not re-hyrdrate properly.

Canned chicken is sort of expensive, and I AM and WILL BE a hardcore meat-eater, even on the trail. This has led to me experimenting with a less expensive way of dehydrating chicken, and I’ve found a way that works really well for me.

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1.) Wash and dry a whole chicken, inside and out.

2)  Season with salt and garlic powder.

3) Place chicken in the crockpot, breast side down.

4) Cook on high for about 4 hours or so, until it easily falls off the bone.

5) De-bone chicken after it cools.

6) With the de-boned chicken in a bowl, take your kitchen shears, point the blades down into the chicken and snip away until the chicken is in small pieces. It will fall apart into small shreds.

7) Dehydrate in your dehydrator overnight on 145 degrees, or until completely dry.

When re-hydrated, I’ve found the chicken done this way to be very tender.

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*None of my chickens were harmed in the making of this blog post.

These Shoes Were Made For Walking…

 

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Merrell Moab Ventilators

I have finally found some shoes that fit and are comfortable!!! At long last, after much trial and error (thank you, REI, for your liberal return policy)…

I -HAVE- SHOES!!!!!

“What’s so hard about finding shoes?” you might ask. I can’t remember ever having trouble finding a pair of shoes that fit and were comfortable…but then, up until recently, I don’t think I’ve ever walked 6-8 miles daily, either. Often, shoes will feel great in the store and walking for a short distance. It’s only after you go the distance with a shoe, that the character and nuances of the shoe can be ascertained. Wow. I kinda sound like I know what I’m talking about, don’t I? One thing I’m learning is that if you do anything day in and day out, you quickly become an expert on that subject, at least as it pertains to you.

In this quest for shoes, I’ve learned that everyone’s feet are different, and it seems that different shoe manufacturer’s cater to certain kinds of feet. My feet are wide at the ball of the foot, and narrow at the heel. I’ll spare you the details of the shoes that I’ve tried, and just give you my review. (If you want to know the details, ask, and ye shall receive!)

MY REVIEW:

The Merrell Moab Ventilator is comfortable right out the box-exactly what I wanted. I’ve had no blisters or hots pots, and I’ve had no need to wear double socks or sock liners, which I really wanted to avoid. I wanted a roomy toe-box, so duplicate socks would just nullify the extra room, and make me feel claustrophobic.

This is a very light shoe. In trying shoes, it was amazing how much difference the weight of the shoe made in the difficulty of the hike. Some of them made me feel as if I was dragging stones on my feet, and wore me out! This shoe feels like a trail runner shoe.

The sole of the shoe is sturdy, and I no longer feel the gravel under my feet. The sole also has great traction. It has adequate support for my high arches on the inside, in fact, it has something called, “Q-Form Alignment Technology.” Basically, it compensates for the alignment of a woman’s body, which causes them to tend to roll their feet inward when they walk, and can eventually cause knee problems. The ‘Q-Form’ support prevents that from happening by forcing the foot to keep more to the outside of the shoe. I’ll be honest–at first I didn’t like it. I was VERY aware of it on the first day. It was less noticeable on the second day, but by the third day, I didn’t notice it at all!

This shoe has plenty of ventilation (hence the name) and my feet have not felt stuffy and hot, yet even on the coldest days, my feet have not gotten cold. I chose not to get the waterproof version. I’ve read numerous warnings that you should not get waterproof shoes for a thru-hike. Apparently the waterproofing is good when it works, but if you should happen to get the waterproof shoe saturated, it takes forever to dry out.

I also have to add that this is the first hiking shoe I’ve had, that I actually like the way it looks! Isn’t it a handsome, sporty-looking shoe?

I can’t tell you what a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, as the time quickly ticks away, that I can check this bit of important gear off of my list! One less thing to worry about. *sigh* I hope this honeymoon period doesn’t wear off!

Thank you, Red Panda, my wide-footed friend, for taking the time to give your opinion, and leading me to these awesome shoes!

Conquering the Fear of Looking Like a Nerd

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I have been training for my hike since last Summer. I walk on a gravel road that runs by my house. We are basically out in the ‘sticks’, but you would be surprised how much traffic a gravel road out in the sticks can have at times.

I was very hesitant to start hiking with my backpack. Why? I was afraid of looking like a nerd. I would no longer be just someone out for a walk on a gravel road out in the sticks (which garnered plenty of attention on it’s own,) but walking around in these hills with a huge backpack on my person just seemed even more conspicuous. I’m a wallflower, and I don’t like to be noticed. I just want to do my thang, and get it over, without a lot of hullabaloo.

We live on the road, and we are in the minority here in our ‘hood. Most people live off of the road a piece. When we first started looking for houses, I didn’t want to live on the road…it was too conspicuous for this introvert; however, it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We’ve met a lot more people than most who live out here, simply because people stopped by to meet us…since we were on the road. In fact, I know more of my neighbors on this rural road out in the ‘sticks’ (even though the closest ones live 1/4 to 1/2 mile away) than I knew in my house in the ‘burbs where we were packed in like sardines.

I have met so many MORE of my neighbors (and some people ‘just passing through’) by walking on my gravel road. Often, we just wave, but I found that more people stopped to talk during my walks when I started wearing my backpack. It’s sort of a ‘conversation piece,’ and gives them a reason to stop when driving past. It has been a great confidence booster. I forget, sometimes, that not everyone wants to (or can) strap on a heavy backpack and walk these hills. Walking these hills without a backpack is a feat in itself. These hills are not for the faint of heart (or the ‘out of shape’.)

‘Support’ for my hike has come from the most unexpected people. We have a strong ‘Plain People’ presence in our community and in our ‘hood. ‘Plain People’ is a catchall term to describe the different religious sects of people who dress plainly. They can be Mennonites, Amish, Quakers, etc. Though their religious beliefs vary, they all believe in living and dressing plainly.

The Plain People in my neighborhood have been among the MOST supportive of my hike; two ladies, in particular. They are also among the few who I’ve seen actually walking these roads. They always ask me lots of questions about my hike, and though they have the same concerns as most people (mostly for my safety) I think they think it’s a good thing.

I have even been invited to stay with the relatives of one lady (who are also Plain People) when I get to Pennsylvania. They have farm that is very close to the Appalachian Trail. She said I could stay overnight, get a shower and have a home-cooked meal. I have the utmost respect for these people, so the thought of getting to stay with them was quite  a treat. I said, “Are you SURE? …because I would LOVE to do that!” She said, “Are you kidding? An Appalachian Trail hiker? It’s not every day that they have a chance to host someone like that.” She said it in such a way that said I would be viewed with celebrity status simply for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Now, I have a contact number and plans to stay there. I know she thinks enough of my hike, that she has mentioned talking with other relatives about it, and mentioned that they, too, would like to do a thru-hike someday.

What has surprised me the most in hiking around here, is the admiration I have amongst the men-folk. One of the men I’ve talked to was born and raised here, and he was full of questions. When I first started walking that far toward his property, he would pass by in his beat up old truck EVERY time I went walking. We would just wave, and he would look at me with suspicious eyes. You have to understand that strangers are looked at with a wary eye in these parts, and people really watch over their property out here. There are no strangers around here, and if you are a stranger, you shouldn’t be here.

After I started wearing my backpack to walk, he finally stopped when driving by and started asking paranoid questions about my backpack. Once it was established that I was a neighbor from down the road, and I was going to hike the Appalachian Trail (and this was confirmed to him by a neighbor close to us who knew us well), he loosened up a bit and started asking lots of questions about the hike. He was in amazement, and said he would never do something like that. He asked if I was afraid. He said HE would be afraid. He asked if I was taking weapons, if I was going alone, if I was going to sleep in the woods, was I afraid of animals, etc. Several walks later, I saw him, and he mentioned that he and his wife had rented the movie, “Wild,”…probably because they knew I was going to do something similar. This is a good thing, I think, because it never would have occurred to me that a woman could do something like this if I had not read the book. (Still haven’t seen the movie.)

There is an ex-military guy who did a tour in Afghanistan, who lives out here. He has stopped to talk when driving by. We’ve compared notes about hiking with backpacks, and I even picked up a few tips from him. He, too, has the utmost respect for what I am doing, and he even had a military friend who has hiked the Appalachian Trail.

Starting conversations ain’t easy for us Introverts, and doing something that draws attention to us is even worse. I’m so glad, though, that I’ve conquered the fear of looking like a nerd, because it has truly been a blessing for me to have opened up the chance at meeting new people, especially my neighbors that I probably wouldn’t have met (or had an excuse to talk to) otherwise. It has also been a blessing to find support in the most unlikely places. Several of the above have encouraged me to write a book about the experience because they want to read about it.

The moral of this story is: Release the nerd within. Do everything you do with confidence, even if you look like a freak. Don’t apologize for being different or coloring outside the lines. It’s good practice for ‘hiking your own hike.”

Taj Mahal Chicken Curry

DSC_0034It is possible to ‘re-supply’ along the Appalachian Trail with absolutely no mail drops at all; in fact, many people think mail drops are just too much trouble, not to mention expensive.

At home, we try to eat ‘Paleo’ as much as possible. I feel the best on this diet. When I get too far off of it, I start to feel bad, and my symptoms flare up. This is why I’ve chosen to dehydrate many of my meals and go with mail drops.

Though I’ve read about some people who have done a thru-hike completely Paleo, it’s really hard (and expensive) to do, especially if you don’t want jerky and meat to be the bulk of your diet. It’s really hard and heavy to pack out and keep fresh veggies.  Canned veggies are too heavy.

Therefore, I’ve made a few compromises as far as my diet. I do okay with a little bit of rice. I like to avoid most grains, including oats. Therefore, if I have either of those things in the recipes I post in the future, it’s just an addition, and not the main course or bulk of the recipe. I’ve also read that rice here in the U.S. contains a lot of arsenic. Here are a few links if you are interested in knowing more:

How Much Arsenic is in Your Rice?

Arsenic in Rice: Should You Be Concerned?

Some of you might think, “Why bother…what’s a little gluten or arsenic going to do?” Well, if you’ve noticed a correlation between eating it and feeling bad, it’s a no-brainer to avoid it as much as possible. Quite simply, I know if I don’t stay close to my diet, I will not finished the trail.

DSC_0026I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting, and I’ve determined that I just don’t like the meals I’ve tried where you dehydrate all of the ingredients and then add them all together after they have been dried. The recipes like that which I’ve tried have been very bland, and I can’t imagine eating them at the end of a hard day of hiking.

I decided that cooking the entire meal, and then dehydrating it is the way to go. So I went my favorite Paleo cookbooks…cookbooks full of recipes that are packed with flavor, and Paleo compliant. “Well Fed,” and “Well Fed 2,” by Melissa Joulwan.

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Melissa Joulwan’s Website

This recipe I’m sharing is incredible, and I know I’ll be the envy of every hiker in the near vicinity when I re-hydrate this meal in the evening. Don’t be put off by the applesauce and raisins in the recipe. Everything melds together so that you can’t really detect these things in the recipe. This recipe is very spicy!

The following is an adaptation of her recipe. Recipes I post here are not an exact science (which I know drives some people crazy)…I’m constantly fooling around with the original recipe to suit my needs. So here’s  a link to her original recipe, followed by how I did it for my Thru-Hike. If it intrigues you, ‘hike your own hike’ and adapt it however works for YOU.

Taj Majal Turkey Curry

DSC_0024And finally…the recipe which is inspired by the genius of Mel Joulwan:

~.~

Taj Mahal Chicken Curry

2 Cups Chopped Chicken Cooked This Way

1 Large Onion (About 1 Cup)

1 Large Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, Diced (About 1 Cup)

2 tsp. Salt

4 Cloves Garlic or (4 tsp. Minced)

3 TBS. Curry

1 tsp. Dried Thyme

1 TBS. Tomato Paste

1/3 Cup Raisins

1 (14.5 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles (Do not drain.)

1/2 Cup Applesauce

1/2 Cup Canned Coconut Milk

1/2-1 Cup of Chicken Broth (or more, depending on how thick you want the sauce.)

1 Cup Cooked Rice

Directions:

  1. Saute onion and bell peppers in a large skillet until tender (about 5-7 minutes.)
  2. Add Canned Tomatoes, Broth, Raisins, Apple Sauce and Tomato Paste.
  3. Add Seasonings and Minced Garlic.
  4. Stir until combined and bring to a boil.
  5. Add Chicken to skillet.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens (15-20 minutes,) adding more broth if you need it.
  7. Add Coconut Milk.
  8. Add Cooked Rice. Stir to combine. Let simmer 5 minutes.

My Tips:

*Leave out the rice or add more if you like to stretch it further.

*Add more or less broth or tomato paste to suit your taste and texture preferences. I find that the using chicken cooked in the crockpot makes the recipe require a little more broth.

*I have used frozen multi-colored bell peppers in the recipe, and they work great.

*I’ve never used the bay leaf the original recipe calls for, but feel free to throw one in if you are feeling adventurous. It tastes great without it!

*You could easily add some oriental veggies to this for more veggie power.

*For less ‘heat’, use regular Diced Tomatoes, without the Green Chiles

TO DEHYDRATE:

  1. Spread mixture on Dehydrator Trays.
  2. Dehydrate on 145 degrees overnight. I’ve never really timed how long this takes. Let it go until it’s completely dry. Over-drying it a bit won’t hurt anything.
  3. Pack into freezer ziplocks in the serving size you think you will want. I usually do 1 cup or 1 1/2 Cups for a serving.
  4. To re-hydrate, Add an equal part of water into the freezer bag, and let sit until re-hydrated. You can also add the water to the pan and re-hydrate in the pan if you prefer.

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