|Rehydrated by adding cold water. Doesn't look like much but it was delicious!|
Curried red lentil stew -hearty and satisfying. I doubled the spices.
Roasted vegetable soup -roasting the veggies enhances the flavor. I omitted the white beans, and sometimes substitute sweet potatoes instead of squash. One of my favorites!
Moosewood mushroom curry -a tad sweet and tangy. I doubled the spices here too. I also dehydrated jasmine rice to go with it, and topped it with unsweetened shredded coconut. When I make it for home, I like adding tofu, but tofu takes longer to rehydrate so will omit it next time.
I cooked these recipes using less water and half the oil which helps for dehydrating. Be sure to cut everything up into small chunks. The recipes are very forgiving so feel free to make substitutions. The important thing is the rich flavor, and adding plenty of spice. Spread them thin on the dehydrator trays to dry overnight. Then once they were totally crispy, I repacked them into ziplock freezer bags and added some freeze-dried chicken.
|Roasting the veggies for soup|
|Red lentil curry is done when it is brittle and crispy.|
I still go stoveless (yes, even in winter!) and these meals rehydrated in less than 4 hours with cold water. I just eyeball how much water to add to reconstitute my meals, but it’s a good idea to check to make sure you added enough water about an hour before you want to eat, just in case it was an underestimate. Stews are forgiving because if you add to much water, its just more soupy.
I keep the rehydrating meals in the "warming" pouch of my hoodie (i.e. the front pocket) when it is below freezing to help them rehydrate and to prevent them from freezing in my pack (or thaw them if they already froze in my pack cause I didn't realize how cold it was out!). I made sure to double bag them or put them into an opsack to prevent them from spilling all over my clothes. Sure glad I didn't meet anyone out on the trail because this is what carrying dinner (plus my water) in the pouch of the hoodie looked like...
|Rainpants complete the look.|
I’ve also been experimenting with various protein sources, and I found that adding freeze dried chicken to all of these dishes was easier than cooking them with added chicken, and then dehydrating that all together (I tried it both ways). The freeze dried chicken soaked up the flavor quite nicely and reconstituted well in cold water. But if you can't find the freeze dried stuff on sale, either way works fine.
I also add freeze dried cheese to various dishes like chili, and it also fully hydrates in cold water. Of course there is also no reason not to carry fresh cheese when the weather is so cold.
|Freeze dried cheese added to a dinner, then vacuum sealed (for longer storage).|
Having extra calories right before bed helps me stay warm over the course of the long dark nights of winter. Look for higher fat instant pudding like this “Greek yogurt” style and mix it with some Nido milk powder. Then in camp, just add cold water (don’t add too much- add it little by little!), stir or squeeze the bag vigorously, and it will set quickly (especially in the cold).
|High calorie dessert to stay warm|
|Making the pumpkin pie pudding|