I’ve been working out menu options for a 30 day solo trip from NC to Mobile, launching June 13th. I plan on carrying all I need and I’m looking for menu ideas. I get a little tired of my own standards and menu. Requisites…
- Easy. I’m doing about 35 miles a day and don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking and prep.
- Hearty and filled with calories.
- Can it be dehydrated? If it can be pre-prepared with off the shelf ingredients is a plus. I have a dehydrator, but don’t have a lot of time to make complicated things.
I’ve been trying to some of the asian/indian food curry pastes and packets with mixed results. I’ll have ground beef and jerky dehydrated and chicken foil packets. Tried a Brazilian made “rip and ready” roast beef and gravy which was good with mashed potatoes, but it wasn’t dehydrated and heavier than I like. Other ideas are appreciated.
I’m looking at using a 5-7 day menu and rotating it throughout the trip. Post what your best 5-7 day menu’s have been and a quick ingredient list if you can. Thought I’d put it out to the crowd here and see what simple, but tasty stuff you guys can put together. Thanks in advance for the ideas.
If you’re trying pouches
give the Kashi pilaf pouches a try.
They’re not loaded with sodium like many of the asian and Indian or rice-a-roni pouches.
I find them pretty tasty just on their own, or with chicken added.
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1. Smoked Salmon (pouch), alfredo sauce (pouch) and dehydrated corn with parmesan . Serve with pasta.
2.Knorr side dishes. I like the teryaki. Add dehydrated meat and veggie.
3. Shrimp Ramen. Add to cup o ramen extra dehydrated veggies and a pouch of shrimp. Garnish with sliced almonds.
3. Spaghetti sauce. Pick your fav and dehydrate it. Add lots of portobello mushrooms(dried) and veggies to cook it up over of course spaghetti.
4. Fake shepherds pie. Instant mashed potatos, instant veggie soup or onion soup with dehydrated meat and dehydrated corn. Top with brown gravy (pouch)
5. Hamburg Helper or other helper. These work fine on trips. Just add dehydrated beef or turkey or chicken and veggie.
6. Mac and cheese. Add no cook bacon and dried tomatoes and a little tobasco for kick.
Whole Foods has a lot of dehydrated veggies..Saves on your electric bill.
Dont forget your calcium and dehydrate non fat yogurt!
Also fruit..I like peaches and pineapple. Fresh is best but canned works.
like Kashi for sure
Spag, mac n cheese, Shep Pie, both with veggies are there as well.
Need to try the Knorr stuff. Whats the best brown gravy packet you use?
Freezer bag cooking
Check out this site for a few interesting recipes. http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/index.htm
Some suggestion . . .
1/3 c oat bran or oat meal in snack size ziploc bag, 1/3 c raisins, 2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs dried whole milk, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Cooks in 5 minutes
PBJ. Peanutbutter is cheap, high in calories and protein. Grape jelly also cheap and high in calories. Whole wheat bread will keep at least a week. If you keep an unopened loaf it will last even longer.
In 2 cups water, Ramen noodles, can of chicken, 2 bullion cubes, small can of mixed vegetables, Tobasco, salt and pepper, to taste. Cooks in 3 minutes
Macaroni and cheese in box (cheap stuff $0.38/box), 1/2 stick of margerine (again cheapest stuff available), 1 tbs dried whole milk. Margarine will keep practically forever without refrigeration. Lotsa calories. Cooks in 6-8 minutes depending on how chewy you like you pasta.
hadn’t seen this yet
Looks like what I’m looking for. Great variety from the short time I looked.
Store brand but
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the gravy makes all the difference. If you can afford to carry a can of really good gravy, all the better. I can't take cans.
I can take whole wheat wraps for two weeks and no mold. Curiously, peanut butter, honey, raisins and dehydrated bananas in that make a yummy sandwich.
More (trip-tested) supermarket ideas
I take freeze-dried meals and a few supermarket combos, with items purchased for small size and crush-resistance as well as flavor and versatility.
- Dried tortellini (pasta section). Pan-crisp some real bacon bits (small unrefrigerated packets are usually in the salad dressing and crouton section) and toss those in with the cooked tortellini. (I added some diced tomatoes also.) Top with onion ring crisps (the same stuff immortalized by Green Bean Casserole). Onion crisps are very high calorie.
- If you want it simpler, mix the tortellini with pesto made from dried packets and a bit of olive oil. You could add whole pine nuts for more flavor, texture, calories, and protein.
- Couscous is very easy to make. Add chicken, currents, pistachios, and dried cranberries for a one-pot meal. (There is one boxed brand I like that already has the currents and pistachios plus natural seasonings in it.)
- A local company’s natural dried soup mixes were excellent when rehydrated and cooked with foil-pack roast beef added.
- A good stuffing mix with some freeze-dried or canned chicken added is tasty–but try to get a mix that is not crazy-high with salt content.
- Individual and 2-serving packets of instant mashed potatoes are easy (no measuring, no mess). “They” call them 2-serving and 4-serving packets, but “we” know better. Mix with anything you like.
- Justin’s Nut Butters are available in small squeeze packets as well as jars. Cinnamon peanut butter, maple almond butter, mmmmm. A nice snack alternative to energy bars and GORP.
- When I was bike-touring (hostels), I like to mix box mac-and-cheese with a small can of deviled ham and a small can of corn. You could substitute some rehydrated dried corn kernels for the latter. Or substitute foil-pack or canned tuna for the deviled ham.
- For the first night of a trip, I bring a regular cooked meal that I prepare in advance and then dehydrate, vacuum-bag, AND freeze. I transport it in a cooler on the drive to the launch. When paddling, I wrap the frozen food in some newspaper that will be burned in a campfire; the stuff sits on the bottom of the hatch so the water helps with cooling. If you are going to be in cold waters in a cool climate, you might be able to carry 2 days’ worth of food like this.
I make a meat-and-veggie spaghetti sauce for the above. Pasta gets cooked at camp while the meat sauce is rehydrated and heated.
I’ve cooked foil-wrapped packages of ground beef, onions, carrots, and thin-sliced potatoes over hot coals. While I never took this on a paddle-camping trip, there’s no reason it could not be done for the first night of such a trip (transported and wrapped as described above). You will have plenty of time later to enjoy your dried and freeze-dried meals
That’ll keep me going
I think my stale menu has just been upgraded. Thanks everyone for the info and suggestions…exactly what I was looking for.
You can cook oatmeal for breakfast the nigh before by boiling water and putting it in a thermos with the oatmeal the nighte before. Lots of grains can be cooked that way and you get the benefit of the better tasting regular kind instead of the instant kind.
Then clean your thermos and add more boiling water and noodles for lunch or dinner. You use less fuel this way and save some time and be able to eat things that you otherwise would not have time to cook.
Try it at home first. Since there is no evaporation from the thermos the amount of water needed is less. I use a stainless thermos.
I want to get this name out there
as the best book on the subject I have recently read. At first I turned my nose up at it. It took a sale price to get me to even pick it up. But now I know why the classics are classic–they’re good!
A handbook of provisions and recipes
Second thermos cooking.
Stainless big mouthed soup thermos. Heat up breakfast, while you’re eating breakfast, heat up water for lunch and let it rehydrate while underway. As an added bonus, you don’t have to put in and break out the dishes at lunch time.
Also, I’d vote for daily bread. I’ve had great success with the bannock recipe here (just add water). I use 1 part whole wheat flour to 2 parts bread flour though. Make extra during breakfast and stash them for lunch and/or dinner. It’s great with soups, stews, gravies, hommus, pizzas, hearty sandwiches, or even the infamous Euroesque boxed wine, hard cheese, and cured meat meal.
Instead of butter/margarine I pack olive oil. Better taste, high in good fats, and travels well in a stainless whiskey flask.
Another good one
Wilderness Cuisine by Carole Latimer. Her spiced sun dried tomato recipe is killer.