A few years back I developed some recipes for a friend who did intensive backpacking trips yearly. He’s now a climate scientist with a PhD who specializes in NASA research in Greenland. But then….he was spending his summers exploring Alaska, chasing a never before seen waterfall in the Olympic Mountains (he did find it, plot spoiler) and remote islands in B.C., Canada. He was fun to write for, creating recipes that he could make easily on cold nights. He rewarded me with some photos, so there was that.
These two recipes are great for both backpacking, camping, prepping and long-term food storage meals to have on hand. I have included the three cooking methods. If you want to do long-term storage, pack into mason jars, and store in a cool/dry area.
In a quart freezer bag or sandwich bag:
4 ounces cooked and dehydrated pasta (small shapes)
2 Tbsp cooked and dehydrated hamburger or freeze-dried hamburger
2 Tbsp diced dried bell peppers
1 Tbsp cooked and dehydrated pinto beans
1 Tbsp freeze-dried corn
In a small bag:
1/4 – 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried diced garlic
1 Tbsp or 1 packet olive oil
1-ounce cheddar cheese or shelf-stable (such as Laughing Cow wedges)
Salt to taste
Add 2 cups of near boiling water to the bag. Make sure all pasta is covered. Seal tightly and put in a cozy for 15 minutes. Drain off any remaining water carefully. Shake in spice packet and add oil. Mix well and top with diced cheddar. Let melt a bit and stir in.
One pot method (w/dehydrated pasta):
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in your pot. Add in the pasta bag ingredients and stir well. Mix in the oil and seasoning bag. Turn off the stove, cover tightly and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. In cooler temperatures use a pot cozy. Stir well and add in the cheese.
One pot method (with uncooked pasta):
Bring 2 cups water and the oil to a boil in your pot. Add in the pasta and cook for time on pasta package, at a gentle boil. Turn off the heat, add in the seasoning blend and cheese, stirring well.
The amount of chili powder is up to you; I like it spicy, others don’t. Add in a couple of salsa packets for an extra kick. Cheddar cheese carries for a few days in a backpack, look for single serving sticks by the string cheese in stores.
Cook 8 ounces small pasta of choice, cutting the cooking time short by a minute and drain.
Meanwhile, mix up in a bowl:
1 15-ounce can diced Italian seasoned tomatoes
4 green onions, thinly sliced (or 2 Tbsp diced onions)
2 minced garlic cloves
12 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste, if desired
Toss together. Spread on parchment paper lined trays and dehydrate at 135*. Stir every hour to break up clumps. When dry, split in half and measure each portion in a dry measuring cup. Note on the two quart freezer bags how much each one is.
Also take for each bag:
1 Tbsp or 1 packet olive oil
2 Tbsp shelf stable Parmesan cheese (green can or packets)
Add a 1:1 ratio of near boiling water to pasta mix. Add oil; stir well, seal tightly and put in a cozy for 15 minutes. Toss with Parmesan cheese.
Insulated mug method:
Add a 1:1 ratio of boiling water to pasta mix in your mug along with the oil. Stir well, cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Toss with Parmesan cheese.
One pot method:
Cover the dry ingredients with a 1:1 ratio of water. Bring to a boil, turn off your stove, cover tightly and let sit for 15 minutes. Toss with Parmesan cheese. In cold temperatures place in a pot cozy.
Serves 1 per bag, makes 2 bags.
A 1:1 ratio works well for many dried foods, you may need to add a bit more water, depending on your personal taste.
Adding in crumbled dried mushrooms, diced toasted walnuts, dried beef, “beef” TVP, or shredded beef jerky is a nice addition as well.