Hiker’s Savory Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheese

When you have a meal that is rather lean, with not much starch, it is nice to add a starchy vegetable as an accompaniment.  Trying to have an entree and mashed potatoes with gravy is not very likely, so making a stuffed baked potato without the skin to stuff it with, is an option. Here is my hiker’s recipe for un-stuffed mashed potatoes.

Unstuffed Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli & Cheese (1 serving)
1/3 cup Idahoan Original Mashed Potatoes
1 tbsp. Harmony House dehydrated broccoli
1 tbsp. Meyenburg goat milk powder
1/8 tsp. Wyler’s chicken bouillon
½ tsp. powdered butter
1 tbsp. Honeyville Freeze-Dried Cheddar Cheese shreds
1/3 cup or more water*

Combine mashed potatoes, goat milk, chicken bouillon and powdered butter in one packet and seal. Seal a packet with 1 tbsp. broccoli and another with 1 tbsp. cheddar cheese.

On the trail: Rehydrate broccoli first by adding water to the bag and allowing it to steep for about 15 minutes. Bring the 1/3 cup water to a boil. Stir in potato packet and remove from heat immediately. Add rehydrated broccoli and stir. Put pot in a cozy for 3 minutes. Remove from cozy and fluff with a fork. Top with cheddar cheese. *You may need up to 1/2 cup of boiling water, so prepare.

Hiker’s Barbeque Beef Sandwich (for lacto-ovo vegetarians)

BBQ Beef Sandwich (Adapted from Augason Farm’s Recipe)
1 cup Augason Farms Vegetarina Meat Substitute Beef
4 tsp. beef bouillon
¾ cup water (per serving) or more
Worcestershire sauce a few drops per serving
8 tbsp. Honeyville Freeze-Dried Cheddar Cheese Shreds
Divide beef substitute into four equal ¼ cup servings. Add 1 tsp. beef bouillon to each bag. Prepare four small bags with 2 tbsp. each of cheddar cheese. Seal one bag of meat, with one bag of barbeque sauce and one bag of cheddar cheese.

Barbeque Sauce Packet Adapted From Martha Stewart’s Spicy Barbeque Sauce: Makes 4 servings
3 tbsp. Harmony House Dehydrated Onion
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp coarse salt
¼ tsp allspice
10 tbsp. Harmony House tomato powder
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/8 cup dehydrated apple cider vinegar (Nuts.com. has this)
¼ tsp black ground pepper
Mix all the dry ingredients well and divide into four equal portions. Seal with an oxygen absorber.

Bring water to a boil. Add bouillon, barbecue packet and beef substitute. Lower heat to a simmer until meat is heated through. Top with Honeyville Freeze-Dried Cheddar Cheese.

**Lacto-ovo Vegetarians omit the beef bouillon.

Italian Lasagna for Hikers on the Appalachian Trail

Purchasing ready-made meals for long-distance hiking trips is prohibitive for most people. While some brands taste very good, others are less than desirable. I don’t want to find out which meal I have when I’m 200 miles in and very hungry. From a culinary standpoint, it just makes sense to create your meals at home, and try them first. Most of the recipes I have shared with my audience are my own recipes. Some, I adapt from other cook’s recipes. I will even post recipes and give full credit to other hikers who have done the same. The home-prepared meals are economical, delicious, prepare easily on the trail, and will make your mouth water in anticipation. Seal in fresh ingredients, and take the time to cook them on the trail. The effort is worth it.

While some hikers prefer to precook these meals and then dehydrate them, I don’t. I have tried it too, but you lose the savory aroma of the herbs. You need to add more salt for it to taste good. There is not much nutrition left in spaghetti that has been cooked, and cooked, and cooked again. The textures are unappetizing, and personally, when I first bagged up my cooked spaghetti with sauce that was dehydrated into a round mess, it looked kind of like garbage. My sauce was wonderful, but by the time it was processed, it even tasted like garbage….a dead thing…and was composted for the worms. Even when preparation takes a lot of time, the results are far superior to ready-made or precooked.

Hiker’s Lasagna for the Trail (very large serving or divide into two)
Sauce:
1/8 cup dehydrated ground beef
1/8 cup Honeyville freeze-dried sausage
6 tbsp. tomato powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp. Harmony House dehydrated onion
1 tsp. Harmony House dehydrated bell pepper
1 tsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. coarse salt
¼ tsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 ¾ cups or more water

Cheese Filling:
1/8 cup dehydrated cottage cheese
1 tsp. Meyenburg goat milk powder
1 tbsp. Parmesan
1/8 tsp egg replacer
½ tsp parsley flakes or dehydrated spinach flakes
Water for reconstituting

Topping:
1 to 2 tbsp. freeze-dried or dehydrated mozzarella
1 tbsp. Home-made dehydrated garlic bread croutons

Pasta:
2 ounces Mafalda pasta (looks like mini lasagna noodles)

Seal sauce ingredients in a bag with an oxygen absorber. Combine cheese filling well and seal in a separate bag. Seal small bags of the toppings. Finally put the pasta into a larger bag which will hold all the ingredients. Fill this bag with 1 sauce package, 1 cheese filling bag, 1 topping bag (or 2, however many bags you use for them) and seal, preferably with an oxygen absorber.

On the trail, boil pasta first. While boiling pasta, rehydrate cheese filling with just enough water added to the bag to make a creamy, pourable filling. Pour the water from the pasta into another cooking pot and add more water to make 1 ½ cups. Add sauce packet to this water and boil, then simmer until meats and vegetables have rehydrated and sauce is heated through. Mix pasta with cooked sauce. With a spoon, open up spaces in the pasta mix to squeeze the filling into. Do this by snipping a corner of the bag, and simply squirting the filling into the pasta. Sprinkle mozzarella over it all and toss on croutons for your garlic bread. Voila! Hot Italian Supper on the Trail…

**While some people like to pour the starchy water off their pasta, I want to consume that starch for energy on the trail. Reserve the water for the sauce. If you want to drain away those calories, the herb Cleavers makes a very good colander in the wild. If you can find it, just curl it up into a bowl. It will stick together nicely and you can pour your boiling pasta right into it. Cleavers makes a very good tea as well.

Macaroni and Cheese on the Appalachian Trail

In my home, macaroni and cheese is a staple food and is sometimes the entire entree. It is so versatile. Add chicken, vegetables, or ham. Ummm. Top with sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, Parmesan and bake. Ummm. It is the ultimate comfort food. Ultra Gel is a gluten free, non-GMO cornstarch that can be directly added to any liquid, hot or cold, for instant thickness. Ultra Gel holds up to freezing, canning and refrigerating without weeping, thinning, or breaking down. It is used in this recipe because it is added while the liquid is hot so the powdered contents stir right in. You can use bacon on the trail if you buy Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits, but you must use the entire package that day, so start with a breakfast of bacon and Ova Easy Eggs and Mac & Cheese for supper so the bacon does not go rancid. Here is my adapted recipe. The original is from Chef Tess from Honeyville Foods:

Mac and Cheese  2 servings
7 tsp. Honeyville Powdered Cheese                                          2 tsp. Ultra Gel
1 tsp. chicken bouillon                                                              1 tsp Harmony House dehydrated onion
¼ cup Meyenburg Goat Milk                                                     1 cup elbow macaroni
½ tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning                                1 tsp powdered butter
Salt & pepper to taste                                                               ½ cup Honeyville dehydrated

3 cups water (for 2 servings)                                                   Honeyville Cheddar Cheese shreds

Mix powdered cheese, bouillon, milk, seasonings, Ultra Gel and butter. Divide evenly into two servings. Divide macaroni and onion into two portions and seal them into two bags. Divide dehydrated cheddar cheese into two bags. In a sealer bag, add one pkt. Of seasoning, 1 macaroni pkt., and 1 cheddar cheese pkt. On the trail, Bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil. Cook macaroni until tender. Add seasoning packet and simmer until heated through. Top with crispy cheddar cheese shreds.

Fresh Bread on the Trail

Hiking with fresh food is not a reasonable option unless you can consume that food in a day or two. Rhizopus stolonifer, aka bread mold can spoil bread very quickly. So how can you have bread on the trail? Simple. Masa Trigo… Make a flat bread. Two packed tablespoons of Masa Trigo in a small bag, turns into a large tortilla when a little water is added. Use your Nalgene bottle to roll it out on the back of one of your pans (I have Trangia bowls for that) and voila! you have fresh bread. Here is a breakfast recipe where a tortilla might come in handy:

Sausage & Egg Trail Burritos

2 packed tbsp. Masa Trigo flour tortilla mix + water for mixing
¼ cup Ova Easy egg crystals + 1/3 cup water for mixing
1 pkt. Each: salt & pepper
¼ cup Honeyville freeze dried sausage + ½ cup boiling water
2 1 tbsp. packages Honeyville freeze dried cheddar cheese.
2 1 ounce pkgs. Picante sauce

Mix tortilla mix with just enough water to make stiff, bendable, dough. Cover. Meanwhile add water to egg crystals, and water to sausage to reconstitute. Divide tortilla dough into two small balls and begin rolling them out into a 6” tortilla. Roll very thin. On a hot non-stick pan, bake tortillas until lightly browned. Set aside and keep warm. Pour extra water off sausage and put into skillet with 5 drops of oil. Stir, constantly over high heat until browned. Add eggs and allow them to set slightly before moving around in the pan to scramble. Add cooked eggs, sausage and 1 tbsp cheddar cheese to each tortilla. Top with salsa.