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Vegetarian and non-vegetarian sharing dinners
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Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Vegetarian and non-vegetarian sharing dinners on 03/26/2010 09:54:54 MDT Print View

I'm a non-vegetarian, planning a long trip together with a vegetarian.

In the past, we've handled this by trying to eat our protein as snacks in the daytime (salmon/turkey jerky for me; soy jerky for her). I am thinking of bringing a salami instead of jerky next time.

But that also means our dinners together don't have much protein. Lentils and rice are good, but we get sick of that.

Any ideas for joint dinners where we can cook the dinner together and then somehow add protein individually to each of our dishes? We'll each have mugs, so I suppose we could each rehydrate/reconstitute some kind of meat (for me) and soy protein (for her) in our separate mugs?

We eat healthy and don't like the cook-in-a-plastic-bag approach, Mountain House, etc. We love putting the meal together jointly.


Michael Cockrell

Locale: Central Valley, Lodi-Stockton, CA
menu ideas on 03/26/2010 10:06:20 MDT Print View

Use this site:

You can carry your own foil-packed chicken, tuna/salmon, soft-jerkey, etc. to add to a meal.

Couscous is a nice alternate to rice.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
protein on 03/26/2010 10:12:47 MDT Print View

I don't know if you dislike protein bars... but sometimes I will just eat my protein in the evening in my "dessert".

I'll have something like miso soup and pita bread or naan for dinner... and then a protein powder mixed with powdered milk and water, or just a protein bar. Clif builder bars taste pretty good, especially the chocolate mint one and they have 20g of protein. If you are not into commercial ones, you can make your own pretty easily. I use this recipe and add protein powder. Generally I leave out the espresso powder and add dried fruit and nuts. They are a bit sticky so I wrap bars in parchment paper and ziplock.

I'm a big fan of soup and bread for dinner. Quick and easy clean up. And yummy. I have been dehydrating a lot of soups lately.

Or an easy option is couscous with dried veggies and herbs - you can add a packet of salmon, tuna or chicken - she can do rehydrated tofu. Same deal goes for asian noodles.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
seperately? on 03/28/2010 00:08:48 MDT Print View

No need to add protein separately, unless you're a psychosomatic eater.

Have you considered vegetarian protein sources like TVP, Seitan, Tempeh?

Seriously, unless you have a really closed minded palate, or your vegetarian friend is a half-ass veggie cook, you might get turned on to some nice new flavors.

Don't think of them as meat substitutes, that's how my mom made me hate vegetarian food as a kid with her unseasoned new age recipes. Think of them as new ingredients entirely.

I'm taking my carnivorous friend hiking this coming week for a couple of days. We'll be having tempeh fajitas (dehydrated filling before hand), and maybe chickpea cutlets, or bulgar burgers the next night. He's flying down from NY and going hiking mostly because he knows how good I'll feed him, the hiking is the cost he's willing to pay for the good eats.

Honestly, vegetarians get to have all the fun on the trail, if we like to cook that is.

P.S. If you're really desperate for something easy, just buy TVP (textured vegetable protein), it's dehydrated, absorbs any flavoring, and is super light. Otherwise, PM for some recipes.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Dehydrating tempeh on 03/29/2010 10:12:59 MDT Print View

Thank you, it never occurred to me that we could bring dehydrated tempeh. We love tempeh. I have a dehydrator; any tricks I should know?

I used to be a vegetarian, and back in the 90's my friend and I used to cook with TVP. That ended when she noticed that TVP gave her indigestion.

After doing a lot of further research on soy and soy (over)processing, I mostly eat only tempeh and miso. Tempeh and miso are minimally processed and they are both fermented, so they provide probiotics for our digestion, much like yogurt does. (The other soy products, including tofu, are NOT fermented.)

While still a vegetarian, I moved away from TVP entirely and reduced my intake of soy jerky and soy sausage links (even though I think both are yummy) and even tofu. Three reasons:

1. They are not fermented - like tempeh and miso

2. They are WAY OVERPROCESSED, so nutritional value is questionable. I remember reading one nutritionist who said that TVP in particular is processed/overheated in such a way as to completely denature it and make it unavailable.

3. I'm concerned about overreliance on soy in the diet. Too much estrogen. Even if you're not concerned about the estrogen, too much of anything is simply not good for a balanced diet.

I'd be really into more tempeh and miso ideas, though...


Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
vegetarian on 03/29/2010 12:18:31 MDT Print View

Elizabeth... do you have a food dehydrator? If so, you can dry great meals with items like quinoa in them and therefore provide a complete protein for dinner that both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian will feel good about and satiated. I'd be more than happy to share a couple of the recipes from my new manuscript with you.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Dehydrating quinoa? on 03/29/2010 21:34:51 MDT Print View

I do have a dehydrator, but I've only ever used it to dry veggies and fruits.

This notion of dehydrating tempeh or grains opens up a whole new world for me!

And, Laurie: Please say something more about your manuscript...You're publishing something on this topic?


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Dehydrating quinoa? on 03/29/2010 21:46:27 MDT Print View

I bought a box of quinoa, cooked it according to instructions on the box, and then put it into my food dehydrator overnight. The finished stuff was pretty rough and lumpy, so I beat it up a little with a rolling pin over a towel. Then it had more of a rice-like consistency. Throw it in some hot soup or water, and it rehydrates well. Treat it like rice, only it has a bit more flavor.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: protein on 03/30/2010 05:02:05 MDT Print View

what kinds of soups do you dehydrate?

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Re: protein on 03/30/2010 06:33:14 MDT Print View

Pretty much any type of soup that is thicker. Also, I blend them in the blender before dehydrating.

Black bean
sweet potato

etc! lots and lots of beans!

If I can dig up the recipes easily enough I'll post a few in a separate thread.

edited to add: for miso soup I just use packets.

Edited by AngelaZ on 03/30/2010 06:33:50 MDT.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Re: protein on 03/30/2010 06:59:56 MDT Print View

Great. I like soups as well. I will give them a try. I never thought of blending them first. Good idea!

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Dehydrating quinoa? on 03/30/2010 11:05:20 MDT Print View

"I do have a dehydrator, but I've only ever used it to dry veggies and fruits.

This notion of dehydrating tempeh or grains opens up a whole new world for me!

And, Laurie: Please say something more about your manuscript...You're publishing something on this topic?


Elizabeth... the dehydrator is a wonderful tool for whole meals. I already have one book out that has some vegetarian options but Wilderness Press will be releasing my second book next year that is completely vegan and vegetarian with gluten free lifestyles taken into account as well. It's hard to plan trip menus when you have people with special dietary needs so my goal was to make recipes that everyone would love negating the need for heating up two different meals.

I was vegetarian for many years and then I married a meatatarian and my eating lifestyle incorporated meats. To go back to my vegetarian ways was very interesting especially to see how he would react to exploring vegetarian/vegan foods for the first time. Much to my surprise, he was very open to many of the foods and things like quinoa, tempeh, and tofu have become things that he actually asks for quite often now - at home even. Go figure.

Here is recipe for Chana Masala that was featured on Get Out. The potato pieces need to be much smaller than what you see in the photo (I'd say about 1/2 of an inch) before drying or you'll have a longer dehydration time. Of course, one would have to be into Indian flavors to appreciate this dish.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 03/30/2010 11:07:14 MDT.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
convert to vegitarianism! on 03/30/2010 12:12:36 MDT Print View

No problem. Just convert to vegitarianism!


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: convert to vegetarianism! on 03/30/2010 12:38:32 MDT Print View

The first step to conversion is to learn to spell vegetarianism correctly.

(Heh heh, just giving you a hard time, Mike -- my non-TP comrade in arms). :)

Edited by ben2world on 03/30/2010 12:39:39 MDT.

Tony Pearson
(tactics) - MLife

Locale: Dallas, TX
Re: convert to vegitarianism! on 03/30/2010 12:43:52 MDT Print View

Convert said friend into an omnivore I say! I don't know if I can trust someone who doesn't eat meat.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Dehydrated Tempeh on 03/30/2010 13:16:14 MDT Print View

Well, since you've moved away from tvp based jerky to avoid the tvp, you're in for a real treat with dehydrated tempeh! It makes the absolute best jerky.

Just dehydrate it just "this side" of dry, and it's chewy, and way more filling. This stuff got me off the mountain alive on my last trip out.

Here's my tip: Marinade, then dehydrate.

This is my recipe (no exacts, all guestimates) for tempeh bacon, which tastes awesome dehydrated as jerky, thrown into the water for soups, or rehydrated and fried in oil/butter for facon.

1/2c tamari
1/2c rice vinegar
2 Tbps liquid smoke extract
1 Tbps molasses or brown sugar
1 clove garlic minced
a dash of any robust flavored oil, like EVOO, toasted sesame, etc.
1-2Tbps something spicy, like Sriracha or just cayenne

mix that up, slice the tempeh 1/4" thick or however you like it, marinade for 1+ days, drain, dehydrate.

Easy peasy, worth it's weight in gold.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
and gluten-free too? on 03/30/2010 13:23:47 MDT Print View


You people have a lot of exciting ideas. Thanks.

Laurie, I'm going to check out your book(s) for some of your gluten-free recipes as well. Though I'm not gluten-intolerant, I've met enough people like me who are avoiding gluten purely for health reasons, and they swear they feel much better. (I'm going to experiment with that in 'real life' not just on the trail!)


Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: and gluten-free too? on 03/31/2010 04:01:26 MDT Print View

I agree, Laurie. That dish looks really good. I am trying to move to vegetarian but not sure how satisfying after a long day food such as this would be. Do you find having to add a protein supplement necessary? Carbs are easy to add.

john griffith

Locale: Southeast U.S.
Healthier Dehydrated meals on 03/31/2010 07:08:40 MDT Print View

I understand your aversion to packaged meals, but in case you are interested, Mary Jane's outpost offers dehydrated meals with far less sodium and non-food chemistry in general than I have seen from other companies. Most if not all of their offerings are vegetarian (dang, hope I got that right since the spelling police are out!). In addition the package is recyclable, but you are still pouring boiling water into the container. That concerns me, but thus far I have been willing to put up with it since the only time I am exposed to that sort of thing (as far as I know) is when I'm on the trail.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Re: and gluten-free too? on 03/31/2010 09:07:48 MDT Print View

I tend to stick with more natural sources of protein for my dietary needs... nuts, legumes mixed with grains, quinoa, etc. There are many ways to get a good balance out there without supplements.

Example... if I were having the chana which has a bit of protein from the chickpeas as my dinner then I might have some nuts or a quinoa bar as "dessert" or even better I might make a flatbread at home (or perhaps a bannock on the trail) that utilizes quinoa flour as an accompaniment. Bean based flour is a great way to thicken soups and such and add protein as well.

Sometimes I add a grain to the dish - say brown rice that I've made "instant" by pre-cooking and dehydrating it. I make a Quinoa and Lentil Soup that's fairly high protein too.