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Mac N cheese
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Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Mac N cheese on 06/26/2014 09:11:52 MDT Print View

I'd like to make some mac n cheese for the trail and probably need to use powdered cheese to make it. I don't care for Annie's and want something with the least amount of chemicals. What are my options? Any brands out there that people favor? Is it possible to make my own?


Locale: Western Michigan
Kickin’ Veggie Mac & Cheese on 06/26/2014 09:21:03 MDT Print View

Kickin’ Veggie Mac & Cheese
Serving Size 1
354 Approx. Calories

½ Cup Macaroni
¼ Cup Dried Cherry Tomato slices
¼ Cup Dried Mixed Bell Peppers
¼ Cup Onions
¼ Cup Mushrooms
1⅓ Tbsp Cheese Powder
1 Tbsp Powdered Milk
½ tsp Seasoning
1 - 2 Slices Optional - Dried Jalapeño Peppers
Pinch Salt & Pepper
1¼ Cups Water to Rehydrate

At Home:
Use store-bought packets of taco seasoning OR make your own by combining 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder, 1½ tsp. Ground Cumin, ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder, ¼ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper, ¼ tsp. Dried Oregano, ¼ tsp. Salt. Makes 5½ teaspoons.

Combine and pack cheese, milk, and taco powders in a small
plastic bag. Enclose with other ingredients in plastic bag.

Variation: For a higher protein vegetarian meal, replace some of
the vegetables with dried black beans.

On the Trail:
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT: cheese, milk, and taco powders with water in pot and soak five minutes. Light stove, bring to boil, and place in a cozy for 5 min. Remove from cozy, stir in
cheese, milk, and taco powders. Place back in to cozy, wait ten minutes.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Mac N cheese on 06/26/2014 09:21:30 MDT Print View

Make elbow macaroni, then add Parmesan cheese at the end. Parmesan is pretty safe to take in a ziplock. If you dehydrate you can dehydrate the macaroni beforehand and just add boiling water, wait 5 minutes. Otherwise cook pasta as usual (8-10 min). Pour off excess water, if any, then add Parmesan and stir. Milk if you are a Mac&Cheess traditionalist.

Cheese powder indeed! So uncivilized. :-)

Edited by millonas on 06/26/2014 09:24:52 MDT.

Heather Hohnholz
(Hawke) - M
Cheese powder on 06/26/2014 10:12:24 MDT Print View

You can buy a #10 can of it at Honeyville for $21. I love the stuff, and the ingredients list isn't too scary. I see they have powdered cream cheese, too! Yum!

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Cheese powder on 06/26/2014 10:28:41 MDT Print View

Wow...that Honeyville has lots of cheese to choose from. Also, thanks all for the recipes. I'm finding that rice doesn't do a thing for me, but pasta does and I wanted to change my menu up a notch.

I agree Marko, but it seems like powder is the most workable thing for hot hiking. I will try the parmesan though. Good idea.

Edited by leadfoot on 06/26/2014 10:31:05 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Cheese powder on 06/26/2014 14:25:20 MDT Print View

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Cheese powder on 06/26/2014 14:49:10 MDT Print View

You must be kidding, right?

Macaroni cheese is the easiest meal ever.

100g (3.5oz) pasta, simmer for 10min then drain.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil, then 100g (3.5oz) thinly sliced hard (real) cheese.
Put over a very low heat until the cheese melts, stir and eat.

700+ kCal

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Cheese powder on 06/26/2014 15:20:30 MDT Print View

Finally, a civilized chap! :-)

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Cheese powder on 06/26/2014 16:14:19 MDT Print View

Not kidding. I KNOW!!! So sad, right? I'm just s sissy-fied city gal working her way to bushcraft neanderthal level. It's work, but I'm up for the task.

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - MLife

Locale: New Zealand
Mac n cheese n bacon on 06/26/2014 20:00:48 MDT Print View

Once you've sorted out the cheese, just add bacon to make it even better.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Alternatives on 06/27/2014 02:40:52 MDT Print View

I prefer rice based meals (Paella/Risotto) as I think pasta takes up a lot of space in my pack, but other quick-n-easy pasta alternatives are:

Pasta + pesto sauce + parmesan
Pasta + arrabbiata sauce + parmesan

Both sauces can be made from dehydrated (real) ingredients, no chemicals required.
Note: hard cheese survives quite well in the heat. It sometimes 'sweats' but this does not affect its edibility. There is good reason that it has been made/eaten for centuries (i.e. long before refridgerators).

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Alternatives on 06/27/2014 05:41:55 MDT Print View

Stuart, thanks. For some reason, rice just doesn't give me the energy that I need the next day. I find my energy is low and I am really hungry. Pasta stays with me. I've used pesto, etc...but I'm tired of that combo and was looking for something a bit more on the cheesy side. I will look at the arrabbiata sauce. I will add other ingrediaents to the dish as well, but sometimes a good mac and cheese hits the spot.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Alternatives on 06/27/2014 06:52:07 MDT Print View

arrabbiata sauce

looked up a couple recipes ... high yum potential, thanks Stuart.

Safe to assume that it dehydrates and rehydrates as well as most tomato based sauces?

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Arrabbiata sauce on 06/27/2014 09:15:54 MDT Print View

Safe to assume that it dehydrates and rehydrates as well as most tomato based sauces?

I should think so. I don't dehydrate at home, so I would make this in camp using:
Sun dried tomatoes
Tomato puree
Real chillies
Real garlic

The last two are UL vegetables :-)

Add sauteed chopped chorizio to the sauce.

Edited by Scunnered on 06/27/2014 10:37:56 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Alternatives on 06/27/2014 13:56:59 MDT Print View

Yes, the sauce dehydrates well.

Btw, whiles, yes, one can make a meal with pasta/olive oil/cheese (and yes it tastes good), it isn't quite what most expect with Mac and Cheese - which is typically creamy.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Alternatives on 06/27/2014 14:09:29 MDT Print View


from wiki -
"Pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded in cookbooks as early as the 14th century's Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest medieval cookbooks. It is an Italian dish of parmesan and pasta and was brought to England in the 14th century."

While "Creamy Comfort Food" from Kraft, may be "expected" by many north american anglos, pasta and real cheese is the standard for the rest of the world.

Edited by greg23 on 06/27/2014 14:11:44 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Putanesca Sauce on 06/27/2014 14:40:46 MDT Print View

Putanesca sauce dehydrates well, typical red sauce (i.e. onion, garlic tomato) with chopped Kalamata olives, capers, cayenne pepper (or any other choice of heat), and I like fresh basil. Touch of Anchovy paste if you are bold. Nothing scientifically planned for backpacking, just tastes good, and works well with any meat you want to add.

Greg - yes. Right after boiling water and making pasta I'd say adding cheese to the pasta is probably one of the most basic elements of cooking. :-)

Edited by millonas on 06/27/2014 14:47:17 MDT.

Just In Time
(ArcturusBear1) - F
Re: Re: Alternatives on 06/27/2014 20:19:06 MDT Print View

@ Donna, i wonder if that is because rice is easier to digest than wheat based stuff? I have a theory that a lot more people have issues with digesting gluten than most would think, even if they aren't true celiac as some are.

While rice based stuff doesn't give the energy or fullness that lasts, i find it's good for quick energy, like eating brown rice crackers before a more strenuous climb. Last time i was in the Whites (NH), i made the mistake of eating some things like cashews and other not so easy or quick to digest foods while hiking, and felt like crap when i was going up and down, up and down. One day, i decided to eat just a little amount of brown rice crackers--felt much better.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Alternatives on 06/28/2014 18:38:03 MDT Print View

A classic pasta dish is pasta, olive oil, red pepper flakes, maybe some garlic and Parmesan cheese. It is delicious. But that isn't what one thinks of as "mac n' cheese" in cooking.
A simple roux of olive oil or butter, flour and milk, seasoned with salt and pepper, maybe garlic, maybe mustard, hot sauce or whatever catches the fancy, and a ton of cheddar or similar cheese, folded in, and macaroni, now there is a classic dish. Go crazy, add in an egg for creaminess, maybe use heavy cream.....bake in the oven with buttery crumbs.
Two totally different kinds of meals. ;-)

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Alternatives on 06/29/2014 06:58:12 MDT Print View

@Sarah...When's dinner??? Yes, a classic yummy dish. I'm going to experiment with the recipe you have with cheese powder that was linked to our site. I found an organic brand via Vitacost that has no MSG or extra chemicals. I may even add a little butter or ghee, which would work as well. may be right. Recently I have given up lots of carbs, not quite a Paleo diet, but I need to alter that for hiking. I'm experimenting with protein powder on the trail too. I find I need morning protein to get me going. When in Glacier last year, I chomped on meat bar jerky for breakfast and that lasted a good protion of a long uphill day. I can use oatmeal, but the only kind for instant has to be no sugar or any other preservative and I find that works, surprisingly.

But a good trail mac and cheese is all I am looking for right now. Maybe what I need to do is after any rice meal, have a protien drink.