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#126874 - 01/16/10 07:40 PM Can you beat this?
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
So my wife and I have been doing some experiments over the winter, trying different combinations to create our own menus for this summer's backpacking trips. The goal is to create meals that taste good, are very lightweight, and have a ton of calories. And ideally, they should be cheap, too!

Our average freeze dried dinner weighs in at about 6-8 ounces, and usually has about 350 calories or so per serving. It costs about $6-8, and is a bit big and clunky--we always repackage in baggies. That means they are about 100 Calories per ounce. And about a penny per calorie.

We want to beat those ratios.

Sound impossible? Maybe. But in working through the options, we found something that does a pretty good job of meeting all those criteria.

So check out the Slim Jim beef stick: 170 calories, and less than a buck.

That's 170 calories per ounce...and about 1.7 calories per penny.

Now we are curious. Can any of the foods in your backpack beat that?

_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#126875 - 01/16/10 08:25 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
1 oz. cheese stick, 33 cents, about 185 calories.

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#126877 - 01/16/10 08:36 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Oops. Cheese is only 120 calories. Sorry.

Nuts - walnuts 1 oz = 190 calories. $4/lb at Trader Joes = 25 cents per ounce
Margarine or butter= 1 oz=200 calories, about 10-20 cents
Peanut butter = 1 oz = 180 calories, 20 cents

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#126879 - 01/16/10 08:57 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Slim Jim yuck. eek I thought you were talking about food? confused
Sure used bacon grease, corn oil in a water bottle, need more? Honey in a tube, at least that's digestible.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#126891 - 01/17/10 12:31 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
I have friends who love those things. No way am I eating them - the smell alone is gagging sick Lol......

I am just not a preserved meat eater....
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#126899 - 01/17/10 10:04 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: sarbar]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
thanks for the suggestions--we've used Reggiano cheese and Salami in a similar way. Walnuts go in our oatmeal in the morning. Honey is an interesting idea--but maybe not for the main course at dinner...!

How does bacon grease keep on the trail? Do you take it in a tube? We use mini liquor bottles for olive oil...

Believe me, I am not a huge fan of Slim Jims--that's why I asked the question. What else can give this level of calories per penny per ounce?

We did try cutting up a Slim Jim into a dish with some rice and herbs, and that wasn't quite the same as trying to eat one of them straight from the package!



Edited by balzaccom (01/17/10 10:05 AM)
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balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#126941 - 01/18/10 09:36 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Have you looked at summer sausage?
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I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#126952 - 01/18/10 04:10 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
balzaccom:

I kind of shudder at what's inside a slim jim. Interesting tidbit in the story is that because of its sodium nitrate, ingesting 1,400 of the things (at one sitting?) can kill you. grin

Joking aside, one way to kick up the protein would be to chop up a slim jim -- or a healthier summer sausage -- into cubes and mix it with pre-cooked quinoa, black beans & corn, which has alot more protein than rice or pasta. You'd be lugging a little water weight, but not have to cook it, either. Great first or second day dinner.
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#126965 - 01/18/10 10:01 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: kevonionia]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Kevonia
have you ever cooked quinoa while camping? Don't you have to cook quinoa twice? How about black beans, have you cooked them from scratch while camping?

I used to cook pintos when I used a campfire before the days of readily available camp stoves. I would soak them overnight in a plastic jar with a tight fitting lid. Pintos are awesome if you're camped alone...
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#126967 - 01/18/10 10:31 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: kevonionia]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
As a kid, I loved Slim Jims. As I got older and looked closer, I'm pretty sure they simply drop the beef hide, hair, bones, private bits, and fat, in a giant food processor and let fly. Add salt, pepper, chemicals, and extrude. They do make excellent fire starters. grin

Summer sausage and string cheese (in the little space shuttle packets) are always in my pack. It can be eaten fresh cut, put in soups, melted with the cheese on tortillas, added to morning grits. I'll sometimes haul fresh eggs, so protein isn't hard to come by.
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#126978 - 01/19/10 12:23 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Jimshaw]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
Jim:

Quote:
have you ever cooked quinoa while camping?


No on the quinoa-while-quamping-cooking. It takes too long to cook (like rice), as Sarbar noted a while back. The thing to do is just go ahead and make it all up before the trip and haul the "salad" in a thin-plastic sandwich-type container (that's a 1/3 the weight of any tupperware-things out there,) and eat it early in the hike.

And I'm not sure, Jim, if a pinto and a black bean are the same thing. The black beans I'm talking about are the staple food of Cuba and in almost every dish I ever had in Miami (or served on the side), and they are addicting -- and good for you, too. The Cubans that stayed and hung in there with Castro (is he really still alive??) somehow survived on them (and little else) for 50+ years.

I'll post an image of this quinoa "dish" within the next couple of days.

(also, you don't have to cook quinoa twice, but wash it once before cooking. This Incan seed from the Andes has a natural bitter coating (to repel birds and high-altitude sunlight). You, in fact, may be washing it "twice" since all quinoa coming into the US from a reputable source is washed before packaging.)

Quote:
Pintos are awesome if you're camped alone...


I catch your drift . . . as long as I'm not camping downwind. eek



_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#126987 - 01/19/10 08:37 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
frank Offline
member

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Alameda CA
I do a (Veg) Black Bean Chilli with a recipe from "The Green's Cookbook" by Deborah Madison.

I cook it up and the dehydrate it.

I pre-cook the dehydrate my Ouiona.

Then on a trip I take 2 parts chilli to one part quinoa for a meal. About 5.5 oz

This will cook (rehydrate) with 1/2 oz of alcohol and 10-12 oz water with a Caldera Cone.


I do similar with Kidney beans but break them up a bit at the end.

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#126992 - 01/19/10 10:32 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: kevonionia]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
The precookingand drying of it gives "instant" Quinoa. Which is awesome of course laugh
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#126994 - 01/19/10 12:40 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: sarbar]
kevonionia Offline
member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
Dumb question, Sarah & frank, but how do you dry (dehydrate) it?
_________________________
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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#127000 - 01/19/10 05:39 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: kevonionia]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
I use parchment lined trays and spread a thin layer. Just like rice. I check it after a couple hours and break up any clumps smile It dries fast! 135* works well.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#127015 - 01/19/10 11:06 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: kevonionia]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Kevonia,
like how do you BBQ beans, don't they fall through the grate? eek

No - black beans and pintos are very different, black beans suck... on a camping trip where I forgot my coffee cup I had to use the paper cup that black bean soup came in. I hadn't tried it before and gagged down the soup, but let me tell ya, black bean flavored coffee is really bad... I almost hiked out early ending my annual fourth of July four day solo.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#127035 - 01/20/10 10:18 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Jimshaw]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
I hate kidney beans sick

laugh
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#127040 - 01/20/10 01:05 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: sarbar]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Real black beans, especially prepared Cuban style are delicious. The dehydrated black beans, not so much. In fact, I really don't like any commercial dehydrated bean product I've tried. Homemade is good, or use a bean that cooks quickly like Masoor Dahl, Chana Dahl, or good quality lentils.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#127427 - 01/26/10 06:45 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: sarbar]
frank Offline
member

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Alameda CA
Originally Posted By sarbar
I hate kidney beans sick

laugh


I cook an Indian dish called Rajma with my Kidney beans. There is a ton of other stuff in it. You can find recipes online.

I've also made Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

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#127428 - 01/26/10 06:49 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: thecook]
frank Offline
member

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 38
Loc: Alameda CA
When I do Dal in advance I use Taur (Toovar). Then I dehydrate the dish.

Masoor or Spit Mung are fast cooking Dals but for an alcohol stove and just boiling water dehydrated works best for me.

I would think French Lentils would cook fast also.

I'll have to give it a try.

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#127435 - 01/26/10 09:49 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: frank]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
What is funny is I will eat all other beans....even lima laugh Just something about kidney beans - the texture, smell and taste.
_________________________
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
www.trailcooking.com

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#127443 - 01/26/10 10:56 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: sarbar]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Well, I heard about a couple of crazies in Tasmania that decided to do traverse the arthurs in mid winter - took them 30 days unresupplied - They apparently were vegitarians, but taught themselves to eat *lard* for the trip. Apparently their food was
vitamin supplements and 11 kg of pure lard, each.

Waaaaaay too hardcore for me.

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Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#127497 - 01/28/10 12:19 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: phat]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
You can subsitute small red beans for kidney beans in many recipies.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#128581 - 02/10/10 10:43 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
jpanderson80 Offline
member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Memphis, TN
Hmmm... Does anyone know how much the MRE's weigh? I'm looking at the Emergency Essentials catalog right now. They list MRE Main Dish entrees for $2.60 each. How much food is it? How much does it weigh? It looks just to be a foiled package that you heat up. That may get close to your goal if the food has enough energy.

But, I'm not military, so my experience with them is little to nothing.
_________________________
I always forget and make it more complicated than it needs to be...it's just walking.

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#128585 - 02/10/10 11:44 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: jpanderson80]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

Hey JP, glad to see you back. Hope all is well.

Looks like you'll be hiking soon if you're looking at food.

Tango61
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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