Thursday, March 24, 2011

Moroccan Delight - Dehydrated Super Food

My love of couscous has inspired me to experiment with various different sauces in an effort to include it in more of my backpacking menus. After much trial and error, this one got the nod from the entire family, and it has quickly become one of our favorite backcountry comfort foods. With just 6 main ingredients, it is super simple to make and packed full of spicy bold flavor.

1 package Hot Italian Sausage
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
3 cans chopped tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 medium onion
2 green bell peppers
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups couscous

Heat EVOO in large pot on high, squeeze sausage out of casings and drop into pot, discarding casings. Brown sausage for a few minutes until firm.

Chop browned sausages in your food processor or blender, then return to pot to continue browning. Finely chop or puree bell peppers and onion (I like to puree them in the food processor), then add to pot along with tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water.

Add some of your favorite spices...salt, pepper, oregano, bay leaves, some crushed red pepper to make it even hotter, and stir. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for an hour or two, stirring occasionally. Stir in couscous, turn off heat, cover, let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.

If you can save enough from your hungry family, or if you make a batch just for hiking, now is the time to dehydrate it. I use parchment paper to cover the dehydrator trays, but you can substitute plastic wrap as well. Spread out on tray, set at 145 degrees F, and let it go over night.

When it's done it will be crispy and break easily. A entire batch will fit into a gallon zip top bag...break it up so it will travel and rehydrate better.

When you're ready to eat, simply add a cup or two to your pot, cover with water, and heat for a few minutes. This method really saves on fuel consumption vs freezer bag cooking.

At 109 calories per ounce, 53% carbs, 28% fat, and 15% protein, this is one UltraLight power packed meal!


  1. I typically don't like couscous recipes but this looks really good. Thanks.

  2. This looks great. I've never tried dehydrating foods like this, but maybe I've try it now. Thanks.

  3. John, I will have to try this one night...

    Would you recommend blending this once it is dehydrated like you did the Delight Sauce?

    And just to be sure, when you say add some in a pot and cover with water and heat, is that really all?

    Sorry if the questions are silly..

  4. Stick,
    The smaller you make dehydrated food, the easier it rehydrated. I just put it in my pot, cover with water, bring just to a boil, then turn off and wait about 5 mins.

  5. John, nice recipe. Just tried it and its great. I was wondering if you know how long the sausage with last dehydrated. when i rehydrate it it seems really oily still. and now thats its been a week or so it doesn't really smell bad but just very strong smelling. usually dehydrated meals are a little bland smelling.


  6. That sounds really good and I will try it. Thanks

  7. How many will this recipe serve?

  8. And a further note. If you take 1/4 cup of fine breadcrumbs and blend with the sausage before you cook it, it rehydrates much better!

  9. John, how many servings would you say this recipe makes?

  10. Just made my second batch of this meal/ I love it!!!! I dehydrated this batch and re-hydrated it for dinner, to try it out. This will most definetly be on for dinner during my JMT hike this summer. At least 2 -3 meals. I did add some back beans to the second batch I deghydrated because I thought they would be a good addition. Have not tried it yet, but can't wait.

    1. How did the black beans come out? I was thinking the same thing! -Crystal

  11. I ate this for half my dinners on my recent West Coast Trail trek and really loved it. It is tasty, light, high in calories, and easy to cook. Other hikers were jealous; thanks for posting!

  12. Dried foods are very easy to store, and they contain essential nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy. Although you can find them at every store, dried foods tend to be very expensive. By using a food dehydrator, you can save a lot of money in the long term and avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store.

  13. Wow.. looks so cool. I'm going to try this recipe with my best food dehydrator soon.

  14. Water in foods grown from the ground, and meat causes fast maturing and possible rot because of the compounds and microscopic organisms. When you expel the water through lack of hydration or coursing dry, hot air through the nourishment thing it contracts it down in size and rot causing dampness is wiped out. Website

  15. John, I've been using the sausage part of this recipe (sans the cous cous) for two years. We love it mixed with ramen noodles, cheddar cheese powder and dried milk. It rehydrates very well simply bringing 6 oz of water to a boil or even just simmer and pouring the water in the food saver bag with the ingredients, let sit 15 min and done. We use a homemade individual cook kit with an enclosed alcohol stove and titanium pot for water so we never simmer or cook our meals. The food bag with the meal and water are put in an insulated small container to hold heat. We eat right out of the food saver bag. No clean up! I also mix the Moroccan Delight with scrambled eggs and either brown rice or potato flakes for a tasty breakfast. I have adapted both meals mentioned here from Glen McAllister's Recipes for Adventure recipes.

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