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favorite recipes


tmountainnut
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tmountainnut

I do mostly freezer bag cooking, which involves a lot of pasta, rice, instant potatoes, and other dehydrated, quick cooking food. i was wondering if anyone has any favorite recipes that kinda follows this idea. i use 1 quart freezer bags and a bag cozy from trailcooking.com for most of my recipes.

My favorites are taco tuna rice, thanksgiving dinner, wasabi salmon, and fettucini alfredo.

taco tuna rice is pretty simple. i use one can of tuna (starkist solid light in olive oil), one bag of boil in bag brown rice, and ~10 packets of your favorite taco bell flavoring packets (i like the verde salsa and the smoked pepper ones). just cook up the rice, drain, and then mix all the ingredients in a ziplock bag to keep the mess to a minimum.

thanksgiving dinner is one package of instant stuffing, one foil package of chicken, some dried cranberries, and some instant mashed potatoes. pre-mix the instant mashed potatoes with some powdered milk and some butter flavoring, then in two separate bags, make the stuffing with chicken and cranberries and the mashed potatoes. some instant gravy might work too but I've never tried.

wasabi salmon is just instant potatoes pre-mixed wasabi powder and dried milk and a foil package of salmoon. after adding boiling water to the freezer bag, add the salmon. this also works with mrs. dash seasonings too.

lastly is pretty simple. get one of those packages of instant alfredo sauce and some dried milk and some whole wheat thin spaghetti. boil the spaghetti till tender, then partially drain and add the alfredo packet, dried milk till you get the consistency you like.

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Aaron Zagrodnick

I'm definitely going to give that wasabi salmon recipe a shot - That sounds pretty good! My favorite recipe right now is the Chicken Enchilada Recipe we featured in Issue #1. This is good enough that I eat it at home - And we all know that things always taste better on the trail. My favorite part are the crushed chips added at the end...They kind of serve as your dehydrated potatoes, cheese, and sour cream all in one while adding some crunch. We haven't yet converted to to the freezer bag dark side, but I'm sure the recipe could be adapted. :D

We're using foil pouches for our meat as well, but I had a conversation recently with Wallace from www.HikeBikeDale.com who is sold on buying freeze dried in bulk and then repackaging. While definitely a way to save weight, I always thought this would be prohibitively expensive. However, today I ran by the store and price-checked a foil pouch of chicken - It came out to about 1.5 cents per calorie. Mountain House currently sells a #10 can of chicken for $48.39, which comes out to around 2 cents per calorie. (All pretax and shipping) So basically while the 7oz pouch of chicken cost me $3.79 the equivalent amount of freeze dried chicken would run about $4.90. While the chicken pouch has a net weight of 7oz, the equivalent amount of freeze dried would only weigh 1.75oz. So while it's a personal call, at the prices used in this example you'd save 5.25oz in net weight for every $1.11 spent...Not including packaging weights.

The only concern I have is that while the #10 cans (Equivalent to about 10 pouches calorie-wise) have a 25 year shelf life when unopened, Mountain House suggests using the contents within a week after it's opened. (Not sure how important this is)

Edited by Aaron
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tmountainnut

I really haven't tried any freeze dried food that's not easily obtainable at the grocery store. I’ve been contemplating buying the harmony house backpacking kit to get some more vegetables into my recipes, but some freeze dried chicken and beef would really help with the calories per weight in my pack. I normally just get foil packets except for the tuna because I really like the starkist solid light in olive oil, and they don't make foil packets of it without marinating it and making it taste gross. Unfortunately that means i have to carry the empty tuna can, so i tend to substitute salmon for that recipe when I'm backpacking for more than one night.

Where are you shopping to find bulk freeze dried meats?

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jeepingetowah

I just read this over. I made my meals for the AT over a year ago. And they are still fine, even without oxygen absorbers. I would not worry too much about the meat staying "good". It will be fine. At least try it and see for yourself. Then again you could use a vacuum sealing system with oxygen absorbers, and that might help, I guess. If I was going to do this on a regular basis I would use that vacuum lock system.

My personal preference for a GREAT VARIETY AND TOPY QUALITY is HERE! - = - = - = - > SHELF RELIANCE

Wallace

Hike, Bike, Dale!

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Aaron Zagrodnick

Ted,

We have several cabinets full of various Harmony House vegetables - They're all really good. The freeze dried offerings definitely have a taste more closely matching what you would expect from fresh and rehydrate a lot easier, but the dehydrated stuff is good too.

After crunching all those numbers last night I found the Mountain House #10 cans on sale over at CampSaver Here using coupon code SPRING-2947 ...They're currently running a 20% off promotion and free shipping for orders over $50. This makes the freeze dried option almost identical to the pouches from the grocery store, and a lot lighter. I ordered a can of the chicken and ground beef - I'll report back with a taste test after arrival.

Edited by Aaron
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tmountainnut

well it looks like they're out of the chicken now. maybe when it gets closer to the summer they'll have them back in stock and another coupon will come out.

with rei having their 20% off coupon right now, i think im going to get that harmony house kit. maybe i can use it to figure out some new recipes that are a little more varied and lighter.

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Aaron Zagrodnick

I think I may have snagged the last of the chicken - Sorry about that! :D Let us know how the Harmony House kit works out. Do you think that your cozy works better than one that fits around the pot itself?

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tmountainnut

The cozy is only suppose to fit around the quart sized ziplock bag.

I try not to cook much more than water in my pot so i don't have to clean up or regulate my stove output, since i normally use a bush buddy woodstove when i go backpacking. if im just boiling water, then i can stoke the fire as much as possible, and when its finished boiling i let it burn out while im eating out of the baggy. then the next time i get out my bushbuddy, i'll burn up the trash from the previous meals and whatnot, meaning i don't have to carry much trash around either. when i am cooking pasta, i'll cook that in the pot, and then mix that with sauce, meat, etc. in a ziplock after its cooked.

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So far some of my favorite recipes have been those from Hawk Vittles... :) Great stuff I tell ya...

I am not much on making my own meals and of all the "commercially available" meals I have tried, I have found the Hawk Vittles to be the tastiest...

I to enjoy boiling water (with alcohol) and adding it to a Ziploc so I end up with a very easy to prepare meal and very little clean up at the end. But I will say that I have been wanting to get a SideWinder from TD to use with my 0.9L Evernew cook pot for a while now simply because I am very interested in the multi-fuel use with the system (despite the extra weight).

Also, thanks for the tip tmountainnut on burning up the trash from the night before the next day in the wood burners...that is awesome! Kind like carrying around fire starter...

Edited by Stick
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tmountainnut

i like making and cooking my own meals. that way i can regulate what im eating to get rid of some of the processing, additives, excessive salt, etc. that most of the commercially made meals have. the commercially made ones are tasty though, and i throw one or two in my pack if im going on a long trip to vary my meals a bit.

what i need to find or create is a good beef stroganoff recipe once i get a can of that mountain house ground beef. that would be fantastic!

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