Loc: Berkeley, California
When it comes to food I am lazy...and not so choosy both at home and on the trail. I eat grits or oatmeal every morning, and I could eat Ramen every night on the trail...with instant potatoes with salmon a night or two and a few interspersed Thai entrees. My question is, does anyone have few simple vegetarian additions of things to put in the Ramen? I will not really use a dehydrator or do much prep. I pack the food cache buckets this weekend.
Also...it is really only lunch that really blows for me. Any non-cook vegetarian ideas out there? Nuts go stale after a few days (I discovered) and protein bars get old for me.
Peanut butter or Neutella on any kind of bread (bagels, tortillas, pita, etc...) Tuna fish sandwiches on bagels, hummus(instant kind) with carrots, cucumbers, and pita or bagel chips. Individaully wrapped cheese sticks last pretty well too. If you're willing to heat water, try curry powder mixed with instant potatoes and served as a sandwich on pita bread (should be chapati but most people don't have access to this Indian bread).
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?
Most places that sell freeze-dried meals also sell freeze-dried vegetables (corn and mixed vegetables are two I remember seeing - maybe at REI?)
I've also simply bought the Knorr spring vegetable or plain vegetable "soup and recipe mix" and added part of a bag to ramen or rice. You can usually find it with the instant soup or the gravy and sauce mixes.
Dried mushrooms are sometimes available in the grocery - though they're often the more exotic varieties: they're good, but very expensive. Tone's (the spice people) used to sell big jugs of dried, sliced button mushrooms - and also mixed vegetables - but I haven't seen them locally for quite a while. (Sam's Club was my source, with the institutional food.)
Finally, I've also had success with plain old dried peas - the ones you find in bags in the stores, usually somewhere near the rice and pastas. I take them in a ziploc bag, along with a short, wide-mouth container. A couple of hours before the meal, I put the amount I'd need for the meal into the container, add water, and let them rehydrate while I walked.
Later: I went to REI and looked - they have lots of veggies, including one "kit" that has 15 or 20 individual pouches, including green beans, peas, and a bunch of other stuff. Look under "side dishes" after going to the food page.
I do the ramen thing too...you can toss just about anything in and it's good, including beef jerkey. As far as vegetarian, I like to bring un-cut fresh vegetables with me. Carrots, potatoes,squash, sprouts, etc. They can all be eaten raw, cooked by themselves, or added to something else. In their un-cut state, they last a few days. Cut up finely, they'll cook in about the same time the ramen does.
My approach is different...I put Ramen in the food, not food into the Ramen.
Seriously, virtually all my hot trail meals are dehydrated and reconstituted FBC-style and I often use Ramen as a filler (it goes particularly nicely with chile). Peas, corn and Ramen is OK but a little light on calories...it use to be my regular Monday night meal intended to make up for the weekend's calorie sins.
These days I'm experimenting with doing without a formal lunch meal. I use to carry pepperoni and cheese but now I rely on the same gorp I snack on throughout the hike. It's heavy on mixed nuts, dried fruit and yogurt raisens. It doesn't have chocolate but often has bits of caramel. I carry it in baggies and neither it nor I last long enough on the trail for me to notice any off-putting staleness.
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution
Ramen? easy - my fave: dried portabello mushrooms, onions and sundried tomatoes from the grocery store (I don't own a dehydrator). enough boiling water to do the ramen and rehydrate the critter, a dribble of olive oil and some seasoning. I don't usually use the ramen packet. I usually use spaghetti sauce seasoning, or curry (both do well with that)
1) Block of parmigiano reggio. (it's bloody expensive, but my vegitarian hiking friends started carrying it, and exposed me to it on the trail. now I have to buy it.. darn veggie freaks moving me away from my landjaeger and pepperoni sticks.. it's supposed to work the other way, they don't eat tasty animals so there are more tasty animals for me to eat..) 2) bagels, pitas 3) instant dehydrated hummous (I find "Casbah" and "Fantastic Foods" brand at my local grocery store 4) dried mangoes, pineapple, bananna chips, etc. 5) clif bars, candy bars, etc. etc. 6) almonds. (I like smoked) (protien fat and oodles of fibre.)
Then again I just described my usual regaila of hiking lunch type stuff.
Loc: Washington State, King County
Like Phat, I appreciate a bit of olive oil in mine. I also like to add some sort of protein, possibly "appropriate" for the ramen flavor packet. This year I cooked up some ground beef and dried that along with some cans of chicken and vacuum sealed the results in several fairly small quantities, and store them in the freezer. Dried, vacuum sealed and stored in the freezer they last pretty well, so just once a season to do this work.
A fair chunk of dried ground beef in a beef flavored ramen along with a bit of olive oil makes this a massively nicer (and more like an actual) meal IMO. These are also good with Lipton/Knorr sides, and the result is about 1/3 the cost of a Mountain House or the like.
But after that much (even if just once per season) work I'm going to experiment this year with TVP .
I want to do well with TVP.. Badly.. in dried form it's light and handy. I've eaten it in lots of things and appreciate it. I even like the (better brands) of veggie burger, and buy the yves veggie taco and italian "meat" on a semi regular basis and like it a lot - this stuff tastes just fine to me...
Trouble is every time I try a field capable recepie from dry TVP it ends up tasting like I threw salty grape nuts into my pasta or potatoes - I just can't get rid of the "grape nuts" taste of it.. so I fail miserably and go back to using shredded moose jerky
I use TVP in all dinner meals. Like mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. I use regular TVP not the flavored stuff, thats only because i dont mind the taste. I plan on getting some flavored TVP and trying it out with different powdered soups.
Breakfast for me is the hardest thing to plan for meals. I grow tired of granola and oat meal. I am still experimenting constantly to find a breakfast i like.
Have not used Ramen on the trail but i lived off it for a while... you can create some killed food with that stuff.
Mix 1/2 cup of dried apples and raisins with a little cinnamon and brown sugar. Pack about 1/3 cup granola seperately. For breakfast rehydrate fruit FBC style and put just a little hot water in with the granola to soften it. After fruit is ready, top with granola for a delicious fruit crisp. Or add a small amount of alchol like brandy or amaretto for a great dessert.
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?