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Looking for instant food ideas.
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christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Looking for instant food ideas. on 03/14/2012 18:47:43 MDT Print View

I admit it. I'm a lazy backcountry chef. I like having a compact bag full of dry ingredients, adding hot water, waiting 5 minutes for it to cook, and then being able to throw the whole thing away afterwards with no dishes to do.

Mountain House gets old, so I'm looking into making more of my own instant meals.

What's everyone's favorite "instant" meal recipe?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Looking for instant food ideas. on 03/14/2012 19:17:14 MDT Print View

Ramen and a meat packet (tuna or salmon) is one of my fav.

Chris Wheeler
(ChrisW) - MLife

Locale: Stratford, Ontario
Re: Looking for instant food ideas. on 03/14/2012 19:35:12 MDT Print View

My favorite instant comfort food of instant mashed potatoes and humus.

2/3 cup Instant Idahoan Mashed Potatoes
1/3 cup Instant Humus (ground chick peas)
1/4 cup Instant Nestle Whole Milk Powder
1 tablespoon of Soya Protein Powder

Add this to boiling water then add.

1 tablespoon of Olive oil
1 ounce Grated Parmesan cheese

A popular recipe for thru hikers, that you can make with hot or cold water.
Use just enough water to give the consistency of regular home made mashed potatoes.
A variation is to use Instant Pinto Bean Fakes.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Looking for instant food ideas. on 03/14/2012 19:50:37 MDT Print View

"What's everyone's favorite "instant" meal recipe?"

For simplicity and speed, you can't beat dehydrated soups like split pea, black bean, corn chowder, etc. If you live near a Whole Foods, or local open bin coop you can usually find a selection. Whole Foods is the only place I have found corn chowder, which is my personal favorite. Heat water, pour over soup and stir, add goodies like cheese, dried garlic, olive oil, jerky, etc, cover, wait 5 minutes, and eat. Easy clean up, too.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Looking for instant food ideas. on 03/14/2012 19:59:08 MDT Print View

> Ramen and a meat packet (tuna or salmon) is one of my fav.

+1. I add potatoes. What I call Ramen Pot Pie.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Looking for instant food ideas. on 03/14/2012 20:11:45 MDT Print View

Tom mentioned corn chowder. That's one of my longtime favorites.

My backpacker food bag for dinner consists of at least two things. One is a bag of dehydrated cooked quinoa, and I use 4-6 ounces for one meal. The other is a stack of instant dehydrated soups like Tom mentioned. If I am in a hurry for a hot meal, then these two things with some hot water and I'm ready.

Then, if I want to splurge, I have bags of Hormel Bacon Pieces, Hickory Farms Mini Beef Sausage Snacks, and a block of hard cheese.

If I want to super splurge, I also carry olive oil, dehydrated chopped spinach, dehydrated onions, and dehydrated green bell pepper.

For a hot breakfast, there are two items. One is a bag of dehydrated cooked quinoa (as above) or else Cream of Wheat. The other is a bag of freeze-dried fruit that has been chopped for size. Those get mixed with hot water. If I want to splurge, I pour one packet of GU with the hot water.


christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Great ideas on 03/15/2012 00:50:12 MDT Print View

I'm going to start experimenting with some of these ideas. Thanks!

Also I'm hearing that Easy Mac can be easily rehydrated as well. Anyone have any experience with that and have ideas on how to spice that up?

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Looking for instant food ideas. on 03/15/2012 01:10:11 MDT Print View

If I go on a longer trip, I carry more than quinoa. One bag will have the dehydrated quinoa, one will have instant rice, and one will have couscous. I can mix them together or keep them separate. Some are a little more instant than others. Instant mashed potatoes are OK, but they need to be augmented with some margarine or olive oil, some salt, and typically other flavorings.

Start by going to a large supermarket to check out the dehydrated soups. Some of them are packaged in a paper cup, and some are packaged in a foil and paper envelope. Buy some of each and test them out for taste. Note that some have a limited shelf life. For the ones in the paper cup, toss the cup and carry the dry stuff in a ziplock bag. If your food is too stinky, then the forest animals will pester you for it.

When you are out in the field, you never quite know how hungry you are going to be, so it is nice to have extras to add in as necessary. You never know when your stove or water boiler is going to fail, so it is nice to have some food that can be eaten without any cooking or boiling at all.


Addison Page
(Nihilist_Voyager) - F

Locale: Down the Rabbit Hole!
Re: Great ideas on 03/15/2012 04:10:28 MDT Print View

Yeah, it's pretty Easy (lol)

Get your water to boil, add in easy mac (I use Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles, mmmm, cheeseburger...), bring back to boil, then let sit for like 5 minutes while the sauce thickens. viola!

That stuff is my staple dinner food.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Looking for instant food ideas. on 03/15/2012 09:38:46 MDT Print View

You might look at my posts - over the years I have posted many of my recipes - I am the one behind FBC (freezer bag cooking). What do you like to eat? Let me know and I can point you to ideas you might like!

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
A big step up from Ramen on 03/15/2012 11:19:54 MDT Print View

I like the Nissin brand Chow mein noodles, the Teriyaki beef flavor in particular. Cost like 80 cents repackaged weight 4 oz and 520 calories 20 gr. fat thats 130 cal per oz. The directions say to microwave but they cook fine adding boiling water and only take 1 cup. Now the neat part is the 1 oz bowl they come in if you leave it packaged that way and eat this the 1st night it works as a bowl for the whole trip. Is the bowl durable? well just try to break it. You can sit on it stomp it twist it and stomp on it some more and it straightens back out and does not leak. Now I know a little bird is going to chirp in here about the sodium levels being high and they are so if you need to watch your sodium levels this may not be for you. They are great to add flavored tuna packets to or eat with a fresh caught trout but the tuna packed with it really cuts the calories per oz for your UL pack weight. And I love the old movie line "I dont know why they call it hamberger helper it does just fine on its own" BTW available by the ramen noodles in your local walmart. Ive tried other brands of the same thing and the bowl aint as tough. Edit: I just noticed you dont like dishes these cook in a bag fine but I think they take close to 10 minutes

Edited by mtmnmark on 03/15/2012 11:23:42 MDT.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
easiest stuff that I'll eat on 03/16/2012 10:18:59 MDT Print View

I like using Knorr side dishes with TVP to add protein. I've seen some folks opine that they don't rehydrate well using the FBC approach, but it's fine for my standards, at least. Idahoan brand instant potatos with anything added as desired is good too; I find TVP doesn't work as well with that as it's competing with the potatoes to get the needed moisture to hydrate. I used to shred jerky into my potato mix, but now just eat the potatoes and then eat the jerky.

Lots of options of quick and easy things to grab in town for the first one or two dinners to add variety.

Simple tuna and crackers is good. Again, I used to try to put the tuna on the crackers to eat; got to be too messy and too much of a hassle so now I eat the tuna and crackers separately.

Easy is good. Most of us don't hike that many days between times we're "in town"; you can always go gormet in town. On trail I'm not that concerned about the perfect mix of flavor and nutrition.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
noodle or rice side dishes on 03/16/2012 10:32:57 MDT Print View

i'm a fan of dressing up side dishes with foil pack meat. Spanish rice with a chunky chicken and black beans is a quick and yummy dinner that is pretty easy to clean up.

i have added bbq sauce foil pack chicken to drained ramen for a nice original meal.