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Simple & Nutritious Dehydrated Meals
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Clifford Sax
(csax6364) - F

Locale: East Sussex
Simple & Nutritious Dehydrated Meals on 02/15/2009 20:33:25 MST Print View

I'm going to invest in a dehydrator. Not being a real gourmet I am looking for simple nutritious meals that can be prepared / rehydrated with my kit which consists of a titanium solid fuel stove and a Vargo ti-lite mug / cookpot. Breakfast and lunch is not an issue but I do like my evening meal to be warm.

My set up doesn't do simmering so well so simply adding hot water and waiting is the best solution. Ease of preperation is important as is nutritional value.Having used commercially prepared meals obviously i'm not THAT fussy when it comes to taste! What I want is just a few simple meals that I can alternate. The dehydrator does not represent a culinary journey of discovery whereby my meals become evermore exotic and complex - it represents cost-effective, lightweight, nutrition on the trail.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

N.B Tomatoes give me indigestion, apart from that I eat everything!

Timothy Foutz
(glad777) - MLife

Locale: Virginia
hamburger is the easiest on 02/15/2009 22:39:42 MST Print View

Dehydrate hamberger it is cheap and easy to start with. You can use it in all kinds of meals. Buy the leanest ground beef you can and cook it in water. Stain off the fat and water and then brown it somemore I mix in some Worstachire sauce at this point to taste. Once it is well cooked drain off all liquid a second time. Then place on paper towels and pat it dry. Put it in the dehydrator on medium heat setting and dry it. Break it up every hour and dry it for six hours or so more time is better. Place it in Zipper bag or plactic container and freeze it. Pack in plactic bags for trip.
I use it in almost every dinner on the trail as it high in protein and stores very well. It is also very easy to prepare just add hot water or add it right in with pasta or rice.

Edited by glad777 on 02/15/2009 22:40:32 MST.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Simple & Nutritious Dehydrated Meals on 02/15/2009 22:49:52 MST Print View

Look at getting the Freezer Bag Cooking cookbook. Tons of ideas there and they are all on the easy side of simple to make. If you don't want to do the freezer bag, all of them work as single pot meals just as easily.

There are recipies on the site for free, but many of the best ones in my opinion are only in the book.

Dehydrated ingredients wise here's a list of things I use regularly:
ground beef
pre-cooked pastas (3-10 minute rehydration depending on other ingredients)
Red/Green/Yellow Peppers
salsa (I just dehydrate store bought salsa)
spagetti sauce (I buy a store bought and add spices I like)
Peas (or other veggies for soups)
HashBrowns (use pre-cooked frozen and just dehydrate - works like a charm)
Fruit Leathers

Even though I have a dehydrator and vacuum sealer I sometimes find the store bought ingredients more convenient. For instance I prefer store bought pineapple and apples to my own dehydrated ones. Pasta wise, Ramen noodles are cheaper than my time is worth to pre-cook and then dehydrate angle hair pasta.

In other cases, I prefer freeze dried over dehydrated, which is not possible for home use. I use a lot of freeze dried shredded cheeses or chicken when I can find it reasonably priced. Freeze dried meatballs or hamburger patties are also an option for protiens and offer more of a solid texture since dehydrated ground beef is only shelf stable in dried tiny crumbs.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 02/15/2009 23:00:34 MST.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
RE: Simple & Nutritious Dehydrated Meals on 02/15/2009 23:27:10 MST Print View

I have to second the Freezer Bag Cooking cookbook and website. Lots of great tips and recipes, a list of drying times for different foods, and reccomendations on features to look for in a dehydrator. The author's name is Sarah Kirkconnell (sp?) and she's a member of these forums.

Clifford Sax
(csax6364) - F

Locale: East Sussex
RE: Nutritious Dehydrated Meals on 02/16/2009 04:27:31 MST Print View

Thanks for the suggestions. The Freezer bag Cooking website is a great resource! It answers all of my questions and more besides.

I've now got to find out what a 'Graham cracker' is - some of the desserts on the site sound delicious!

Clifford Sax
(csax6364) - F

Locale: East Sussex
Graham Crackers on 02/16/2009 04:32:42 MST Print View

So a Graham Cracker is similar to what we, in the U.K, call a 'digestive biscuit'. I don't think that the digestive was originally made to help reduce 'carnal urges'like the Graham Cracker was (!?) I wonder what Rev Graham would think about his crackers being used in a recipe replete with sensual delights like chocolate?

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: RE: Simple & Nutritious Dehydrated Meals on 02/16/2009 10:16:08 MST Print View

Yes Sarah is a member and her site is pretty darn good.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Simple & Nutritious Dehydrated Meals on 02/16/2009 11:36:19 MST Print View

When on the topic of backpacking food preparation, GramCracker is also a product - a solid fuel stove to be more precise. It's considered one of the lightest adjustable burn rate stoves for esbit tabs.


Also, when referring to the Graham Cracker - keep in mind that it is a very sweet cracker (often used for childrens treats), dispite similar appearances with some whole wheat crackers that are full of fiber. I've only seen them in the US. It is a key ingredient of the Smore - a traditional camping / backpacking treat that combines the cracker, chocolate and a toasted marshmellow.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 02/16/2009 11:39:35 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Lol.... on 02/16/2009 19:38:09 MST Print View

I am laughing hard over the graham crackers reducing "carnal urges" Hehheh!!!!

You can always use any crushable sweet biscuit (what we would call a cookie here) instead :-) LuLu brand is always good (and so tasty!)

Michael Wands
(walksoftly) - F

Locale: Piney Woods
"Simple & Nutritious Dehydrated Meals" on 02/16/2009 19:51:32 MST Print View

I went to New Mexico a few years back and survived for 3 days on beef jerkey (made from lean hamburger) and dehydrated pineapple. Yum.

The dehydrated pineapple that you get in the health food stores is more like candy. Real dehydrated pineapple is chewy and almost orange in color.