Glen, I use Knorr Sides a lot for my longer trips. I generally go solo so I only take about half to two thirds of a pouch and add freeze dried meat to it. It takes a bit of experimentation to get the amount of water to your liking. I started making them on the soupy side and reduced from there. The rice sides can be cooked freezer-bag style but the pasta sides are better cooked and simmered in a pot, unless you like crunchy pasta. Here you risk a potentially scorched pot bottom. I take a 2-cup screw-top plastic storage container and use that instead of freezer bags for rehydrating. It weighs less than 4 freezer bags. I cook in either a small IMUSA cup or in a MSR Titan Kettle (the larger of the two). I use a Snow Peak Giga stove which sorta simmers.
I use very little in the way of commercial backpacking food. I prefer the roll-your-own approach cause it's cheaper and more varied. Sometimes the variety ranges from good to bad but that's life.
For those that call for milk I either ignore it or use Nido dried whole milk. Again, a bit of experimenting is in order here.
May I walk in beauty.