BWCA Food — State Fair Style


There are a few things that are synonymous with Minnesota: The Boundary Waters, Prince, and of course, the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

The Minnesota State Fair is the largest of state fair in the country, and as you may know, it’s all about food. Pickled pizza, buckets of cookies, walleye-on-a-stick and so much more. Each year, millions of adventurous people map out a plan to sample the oddest, perhaps most delicious, food at the fair.

In this spirit, Friends’ of the Boundary Waters’ communications director Pete Marshall appeared on Fox 9’s morning program this Monday to share two surprisingly delicious (and easy) meal ideas you might want to try on your next Boundary Waters trip.

And if you won’t be in the BWCA again this year, there’s no reason you can’t make and enjoy these meals in the comfort of your own home.

Here they are!

Boundary Waters Curry Chicken

This recipe will give you new respect for the humble, often dismissed packet of ramen! It incorporates fresh vegetables and shelf-stable packets of chicken. It’s likely that this will be the best packet of ramen you’ve eaten, either on trail or at home!

Serves 2-3 people


  • 4 pkg chili ramen
  • 2 pkg chicken
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 2 peppers
  • Oil for frying

Curry Sauce Ingredients

  • 1½  cup coconut milk powder
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 chili ramen spice packet


  1. Bring water to a boil and while that is happening chop the veggies
  2. In a separate bowl stir together the ingredients to the curry sauce
  3. Add the ramen once the water reaches a boil
  4. Scoop out about 2 cups of boiling water and add to curry sauce ingredients
  5. Remove ramen from stove and drain
  6. In a separate frying pan, sauté veggies and chicken for 2-3 minutes. Then pour the curry sauce into the pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes
  7. Add the curry sauce, veggies and chicken, and ramen in a single pot and mix

Chili Mac with a Twist

This backcountry classic combines two quintessential comfort foods, macaroni and cheese, and chili. A pot of chili-mac is one of the best ways to end a day on trail. A reward for all those portages! In the spirit of the State Fair, this recipe has an unual, some may say delicious, twist to it: the addition of peanut butter. Strange, perhaps, but undoubtably delicious.

Serves 2 people


  • One box of Velveeta shells and cheese or any generic variety. Just make sure it comes with a creamy cheese packet rather than powder.
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 packet readymade chili in a pouch, such as BeanVIVO Three Bean Vegan Chili
  • Peanut butter
  • Optional: Summer sausage, dehydrated hamburger, etc.


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the shells/ macaroni noodles. Boil until the noodles are soft and drain.
  2. Add 1) the packet of cheese 2) the packet of chili 3) a dollop of creamy peanut butter. Stir until it is evenly mixed.
  3. Add additional taco seasoning to taste.

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