Skip to content
Since 1968, Colorado Springs' local outdoor store.
Since 1968, Colorado Springs' local outdoor store.
The cookbook "Dirty Gourmet Plant Power" by Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan.

DIRTY GOURMET PLANT POWER - Spicy Ranch Oyster Crackers - Outdoor Recipe & Review

"Dirty Gourmet PLANT POWER" is a book filled with recipes for the outdoors...on the trail, backpacking, and camping.  Authors Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nielson, and Mai-Yan Kwan have tested and perfected these "outdoor" recipes. 

The book is available at the shop and on-line.  

This "outdoor cookbook" offers a wealth of information, so much more than just the recipes.  You'll find meal planning for week-end or more extensive trips, how to convert your favorite recipes to be outdoor-ready, the Plantry (all about ingredients), how to dehydrate foods, Base Kit checklists for the variety of outdoor excursions you may take, cooking techniques for car camping and the backcountry, and much more.

A very valuable resource for all of us who love getting outdoors and want to make feeding ourselves delicious, nutritious and plant-based.

Buy the Book - $24.95


Here’s the first in our recipe review series!  We’ve set our sights on OUTDOOR RECIPES from “Dirty Gourmet Plant Power” penned by authors Aimee Trudeau, Emily Nelson, and Mai-Yan Kwan. This new book follows their prior one, the “Dirty Gourmet,” which also offers a treasure trove of culinary delights perfect for outdoor adventures.

Remember the backstory: our approach takes inspiration from the movie “Julie & Julia” where Julie Powell took on the challenge of mastering all of Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” recipes (count 524) in a year.  Our endeavor is far less ambitious, focusing solely on the delightful recipes rather than any cinematic drama.

Our journey begins in the “On The Trail” section with Spicy Ranch Oyster Crackers. And as is true with all the recipes from this section, these are made at home at least the day before your trip!  Much less daunting than cooking out in the wild.

This recipe was pleasingly easy.  A careful mix of spices, a measure of oil and a brief stint in the oven - and the petite oyster crackers were transformed into a delectable treat.  Too simple to go wrong!

Let me confess, I did hesitate a bit before firing up my oven on a near 90-degree day.  But, no worries, the required oven temp is a modest 250 degrees for a fleeting 10 minutes.  Thankfully, the kitchen stayed cool enough.

We’re left to select our own oil, and I went for Avocado Oil - neutral flavor, high nutritional value, good for high heat cooking (or so I understand).  It surely let the spices shine through.

For this batch, a slight tweak to the recipe — I opted for half the garlic powder, a prudent choice given our interactions with so many people throughout the day, with no detriment to the taste!

Using oyster crackers may feel like a culinary shortcut, but rather, it’s a genius hack for all of us time-starved adventurers, seeking to max out our time outside.  So, if you’re a fan of these tiny crackers, whip up a bowl - it’s a wonderful snack. 

The Crew at he Chalet gave their stamp of approval, although some mentioned it was a tad dry, but that’s the slight risk when we forego the soup!  (And yes, these toasted tasty crackers would certainly jazz up your bowl of soup.)

As mentioned, this recipe is targets a day trip on the trail or out to the crag.  But here’s something to mull over.  How to carry this tasty snack along with you without it turning to a crumbly mess?  Figure in some sort of protection…a lightweight tin?  A silicon bag?  Some of our crew dismissed my concern entirely!  (When we’re able to get out with it, we’ll file our trip log.)

And just a heads up, the savory spices could leave an imprint of flavor on your fingers, depending on how you consume it, but it’s well worth it!

For a zesty treat, (thoughtfully) pack this delightful snack, and ample water, for a day of glorious adventure outside.

Happy munching.


Spicy Ranch Oyster Crackers

1 tsp dried dill

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp lemon pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 c neutral oil

9-ounce package salted oyster crackers

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the dill, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper, and cayenne.  Whisk in the oil.

Add the oyster crackers and stir to completely coat.

Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.

Let the crackers cool and pack them up for your adventure.  




Buy the book - $24.95  

Thank you for your passion for the outdoors. 
The Crew at Mountain Chalet.


DIRTY GOURMET PLANT POWER - Tea-Infused Tofu Bites Review - Outdoor Recipe & Review
CLIMBING LOCAL Colorado Springs - Lost in Space in the South Platte