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Backpacking Foods- Making Your Own Dehydrated Meals- Recipes


Page 1: Commercial Meals and Making Your Own
Page 2: Resources
Page 3: Recipes- Breakfast, Side Dishes
Page 4: Recipes- Dinners and Main Dishes
Page 5: Recipes- Single Pot Meals
Page 6: A New Look at Snacks and Backpack Meals

Dinners and Main DIshes

Rice and Beans

This staple dish is simple to make and tends to rehydrate well. It will require about 2 cups of water, depending on ingredients you use and how soupy you want the final product. I start with about 1 1/2 cups of water. After about 5 minutes I add a second helping of boiling water, another 1/2 cup or so. The second addition of water helps with the rehydration of the TVP.

A note about TVP- TVP, or texturised vegetable protein, is a protein rich, soy-based meat substitute. It is light weight and readily accepts the flavors of most recipes. TVP is available at most natural food stores such as Whole Foods. TVP comes in chunks or granules. When using TVP, be sure to add enough water- it uses more than you might think to rehydrate. Dry, crunchy TVP is no fun. If you find that you have problem with the TVP, it can be packaged separately in a snack size Ziplock bag. These bags are also strong enough to accept boiling water. If I use this method I add 1/2 to 3/4 cup boiling water to a bag of 1/2 cup TVP. If you have the time, give the TVP at least ten minutes to rehydrate before you add water to the quart size bag of the main ingredients, using about 1 1/2 cups of water for the main bag. After another 10 or 15 minutes, pour the TVP into the main bag. Alternatively, all of the ingredients in most recipes can be poured into a pot and cooked normally on your stove if you desire.

  • 2/3 cup dehydrated pinto beans, or dried Fantastic Foods refried beans
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup chunk TVP
  • 1/3 cup instant rice (Uncle Ben's for example)
  • 1/4 piece of an 8 ounce can dehydrated tomato sauce leather (I dehydrate this as I would if I were making fruit leather- see Marrone's book for more details)
  • 2 tablespoons dried green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • dash of salt and black pepper

Lentils and Couscous

This is another hearty, filling dish. It rehydrates well. Package the currants in a separate snack size bag- they are moist and can cause clumping of the ingredients. Package the TVP separately as noted above, if desired. Start with 1 1/2 cups boiling water for rehydration. After 5 minutes, add another 1/2 cup.

  • 1/2 cup instant lentil soup mix- Fantastic Foods brand recommended
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup chunk TVP
  • 1/4 piece of an 8 ounce can dehydrated tomato sauce leather
  • 1 tablespoon each dried green pepper, red pepper, onion flakes, carrot, celery
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable broth powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • pinch of garlic powder, chili powder, salt
  • 1 tablespoon currants in separate snack size bag

TVP Tomato Curry

This is a spicy, very filling dish. The basic ingredients for the dish are listed. Again, I package it in a Ziplock bag and just add water at meal time. This dish needs to stand at least 15 minutes to rehydrate properly. I start with about 1 1/2 cups of water. After about 5 minutes I add a second helping of boiling water, another 1/2 cup or so. The second addition of water helps with the rehydration of the green beans and TVP. The TVP can be packaged and rehydrated separately as well. Please see not about TVP above.

  • 1/2 cup instant rice
  • 1/2 cup chunk TVP
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon or so curry powder (To taste, and depending on type of curry powder used.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dried green beans (An item I dehydrate myself, I use canned green beans as they tend to be more tender, but they can still be a bit crunchy in the end. They can be packaged and rehydrated separately to avoid this.)
  • 1/2 piece of an 8 ounce can dehydrated tomato sauce leather
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Ramen Vegetable Soups

While not the healthiest food for you, there is just something about ramen that is hard to get away from. Ramen noodles rehydrate well without cooking, they are filling and lightweight. Ramen dishes can be great tasting and nourishing if you add the right ingredients to them. The following recipe and its variations are some of my favorites at the end of long day of walking. You can add as much water as you like to these dishes, adding extra water if you want a soup-like consistency. Ramen dishes need to stand for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the vegetables you choose to add.

Vegetable Ramen

  • one package ramen, broken up to take up less space (throw away the flavor packet)
  • 1 tablespoon each- dried green pepper, dried red pepper, dried green beans, dried carrots, dried celery
  • 1/2 cup dried potatoes (You can buy boxes of sliced potatoes with au gratin or sour cream and onion flavorings at any grocery store. Save the flavor packets for other recipes.)
  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • dash of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon spike (An herb and spice mixture available at most grocery stores.)
  • optional- 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder or curry powder if you like it spicy
  • optional- a tablespoon of dried mushrooms, dried peas, dried corn, or other dried vegetables of your choice

I have made a number of variations of this recipe, including the following:

Tomato Vegetable Ramen - Vegetable Ramen with the following changes:

  • 1/2 can tomato sauce leather
  • add oregano, rosemary, thyme, black pepper
  • leave out spike, chili powder and curry powder

Sour Cream Ramen - Vegetable Ramen with the following changes:

  • 1/8 cup sour cream and chive mix from boxed potato dish
  • black pepper to taste
  • leave out spike, chili powder and curry powder

Vegetable Rice Soup

Another rice based meal, this dish tastes great with the addition of nearly any kind of dried vegetables. The potatoes and green beans tend to be the toughest vegetables to rehydrate in this dish. But with plenty of water and an occasional mixing of the ingredients in the bag, they will rehydrate well. Give at least 15 minutes for this dish to rehydrate, adding about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of boiling water.

  • 1/2 cup instant rice
  • 2-3 teaspoons vegetable broth powder
  • 1 tablespoon each of the following dried vegetables: green pepper, red pepper, carrot, green beans, onion, celery, corn, green peas
  • 1/4 cup dried potato slices (from boxed potato dish)
  • dash salt
  • dash garlic powder
  • black pepper to taste
  • optional- dried mushrooms



Back to Top
Page 1: Commercial Meals and Making Your Own
Page 2: Resources
Page 3: Recipes- Breakfast, Side Dishes
Page 4: Recipes- Dinners and Main Dishes
Page 5: Recipes- Single Pot Meals

Page 6: A New Look at Snacks and Backpack Meals



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