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As I discovered this summer, gluten-free dehydrated meals are extremely hard to find and very expensive (unless you want to live on jerky and spongy freeze-dried scrambled eggs). But good food doesn’t need to be expensive or unhealthy – here are some of my favorite recipes that I tried out this summer. I bought most of the dehydrated ingredients on Amazon.com, where you can get good deals if you’re prepared to buy in bulk. Harmony House Foods now has a backpacking kit filled with dehydrated veggies (though we just bought the ingredients separately). Since the food lasts nearly indefinitely I didn’t mind the fact that I ended up with way more food than I needed.
All of these meals are non-gluten-free husband endorsed (he swore we ate better on our trip than we did at home). Many are dairy-free, soy-free and vegan as well.
Carrot Cake Oatmeal
– 1/2 c Gluten free oats (Bob’s Red Mill has certified GF oats), whirled in blender until 1/3 of original size.
– 2 tbs dried carrot, also whirled in a blender until it approximates shredded carrot. (I used Harmony House Foods for my dried vegetables.)
– 2 tbs raisins or other dried fruit
– 1 tbs Coconut Milk Powder (a wonderful find on Amazon!)
– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
– salt to taste (1/8 tsp)
In campground: add boiling water to cover, stir well, let sit tightly for 5 minutes. Reheat if necessary. Serves 1-2.
Blueberry Almond Quinoa
– 1/3 cup instant Quinoa Flakes (found at PCC)
– 2 tbs dried blueberries
– 2 tbs slivered almonds
– 1 tbs Coconut Milk Powder
– 1 tsp sugar, or to taste (1 tsp is mildly sweet)
In campground: add boiling water to cover, stir well, let sit tightly for 2-5 minutes. Reheat if necessary. Serves 1-2.
Blueberry Mango Oatmeal
– 1/3 c GF oats, whirled in blender until 1/3 size.
– 1 tbs dried blueberries
– 1 tbs dried mangoes, chopped
– 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1 tsp brown sugar
– 1/8 tsp salt
In campground: add boiling water to cover, stir well, let sit tightly for 5 minutes. Reheat if necessary. For a calorie-dense breakfast in the backcountry add 1-2 teaspoons of oil (light olive oil or other cooking oil). Serves 1-2.
Lunch & Dinner
– 1 cup instant rice
– 1 7-oz pouch of canned chicken (a little hard to find, but I got mine at QFC)
– 1/3 cup Dried bell peppers (also Harmony House)
– 1/2 cup Dried mushrooms
– 1 cup unsalted cashews
– 2 tsp garlic powder
– 2 tsp ginger powder
– 1 tsp crushed red pepper
-1/2 tsp cumin
-3 tbs cooking oil.
In one plastic baggie mix cashews and spices, mix rice and veggies in another bag. Keep oil chicken in the pouch until at the campground.
In campground: “saute” cashews and spices in 1-2 tbs oil (careful! it burns quickly!). Add chicken pouch and 2 cups of water – bring to a boil and add rice/veggie mix. Cook until water is absorbed. Delicious! Serves 2-3.
Mashed potatoes & jerky (husband’s favorite recipe)
– 1 2 oz package instant mashed potatoes (I used Edward & Sons Organic Mashed Potatoes)
– 2 tbs shelf-stable parmesan cheese
– 1 tsp parsley flakes
– 1 tsp dried sage
– 3-5 strips gluten-free beef or elk jerky, torn into small pieces
In campground: combine with ~ 2 cups boiling water (until covered), stir well and enjoy. Also extremely tasty. Add black pepper to season if desired.
Sun dried tomato pasta
– 1/2 cup GF spaghetti (I like the corn spaghetti the best), packaged separately from sauce ingredients.
– 4 tbs dried tomato powder (Harmony House again)
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
– 2 tsp basil (preferably freshly dried and fragrant)
– 1/2 tsp oregano
– 1/2 tsp thyme
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– Parmesan cheese to taste
In campground: cook GF spaghetti according to manufacturer’s directions. For sauce: add boiling water to tomato mixture to rehydrate, add to spaghetti and mix well. I noticed this turns out to be more of a pesto-like texture rather than a sauce, but still quite delicious. Serves 1-2.
Chicken chow mein
– 1 cup rice noodles, broken in 1/3’s (use thin noodles for fast cooking)
– 1 7-oz pouch canned chicken
– 3 tbs dried shiitake mushrooms
– 2 tbs dried mixed vegetables
– 1 tsp GF chicken of vegetable bouillon (this can be tricky to find, I ended up using a vegan bouillon).
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp ginger powder
– crushed red pepper to taste, OR sliced dried hot pepper (like you find in Mexican markets).
In camp: bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil, add noodles and vegetables, simmer until noodles are cooked. Add chicken and heat through before serving. Serves 2.
Well folks – tell me what you think!