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din dang!?


I've burned up all my ideas for trail dinners for my LT hike.

mac & cheese= covered

instant risotto= got it.

couscous (not a fave, but it serves a purpose).

ramen= taboo!

been there, done that, enuf said.

any ideas for healthy (preferably organic or natural) "instant" dinners?

brands &/or specific varieties= super helpful!

thanks kids.

:) 522




You might want to take a look-see at the "Lunch in the trail" thread below this one.

It is focused on lunch but has lots of good ideas that would work fine for dinner.

We're using Bear Creak packaged stuff from the supermarket lately, especially the rice dishes. I'll typically add some kind of meat to it and call 'em a meal. If you can find those locally you might want to try 'em.

We also make a polenta ( whole corn meal we grind ourselves at home ) / couscous mix with lots of spices and stuff thrown in. Cook it up with some cheese / sausage / chopped tomato or whatever is handy and it is good fuel.

First night out, how 'bout a big 'ol subway sandwich? Or a steak?

Lets see - Ya got rice and pasta covered, how 'bout some instant refried beans?  Your local walmart might have this -

Don't forget some cheese and tortillas!

Sometimes just slowly wandering the local supermarket will give ya some good ideas.






How about good ole instant potatos with olive oil for fat and rosemary for flavor?

along the lines of refried, maybe some bulk dehydrated black beans on tortilla? I'm personaly burned out on it at this point but Mary Janes flavored dehydrated black beans are good.


I'm a sucker for split pea soup; Allessi (my fav) and Bear Creek make some good ones.





I was gonna say...where are the instant potatoes...good as a thickener for soups as well as a stand alone dish:-)

Strongly suggest adding a little - operative word, "little" - bit of olive oil and seasonings into the instant potatoes. If you can do them on their own, power to ya, but I've found add-ins and mix-ins make them so much more palatable. Same could be said, really, for any "instant" food.

First night out is pretty much an open swim - provided it's not instantly perishable, there isn't much you can't take along.

This is also an easy chance to bring something pre-cooked and pre-made, saving you both cooking time and stove fuel. 

I would suggest looking at www.Packitgourmet.Com and break up eating those typical LDH meals..Packit gourmet is better than Mountain House and healhtier for you..I would say if you have a dehydrater and some time make your own to break up the ordinary meals....Just a suggestion and I don't think anyone is going to give you new idea's for you since you've Thru hiked the AT...

Hey 522!

Something I have been doing is taking my favorite meals at home and dehydrating them. Then I stick 'em in a mylar ziplock foil bag, add one of those freshness preservatives and heat seal the entire thing.

In camp, I just heat a cup of water and pour it into the mylar bag. Let it sit 10 minutes. Then eat.

Never as good as at home, but close (and much better than ramen).

This technique ensures my only dish to wash is my spoon, which I lick clean and dip in boiling water when I cook the next meal.

  • You should of course put something in your instant potatoes (I like my potatoes with dehydrated hamburger ["gravel"] + gravy + dried corn [get dried vegetables here:] ...and I pretend it is Shepherd's Pie).
  • For recipes and general trail food ideas you should check out this site:
  • Highly recommend PackitGourmet...I love their corn-chowder so much I stole it and make my own. The that it can get expensive.
  • If you do not have a dehydrator and like Thai food...rice noodles (use the thinnest noodles) + dehydrated vegetables (you can get them here: + powdered coconut milk is super yummy with Sriracha (which you might find here: Also...while you're getting coconut powder and rice noodles at your local Asian market...pick up some Pho soup base to go with the noodles and dried vegetables! I love these things with cilantro and lime juice...but dried cilantro is TERRIBLE...use mr. Green's straw idea (here: bring along fresh ingredients and condiments.
  • If you have a dehydrator my absolute favorite dish is Chicken or vegetable Biryani...I cook it some for dinner and throw the rest in the dehydrator (I generally just dehydrate left-overs like Goose)...I recommend using fat-free Greek Yogurt for extra flavor!
  • Going with the dehydrator theme again...make everyone jealous with Paella...I live in the mid-west so I get the assorted frozen bags of seafood and cook it up with some spices + canned tomatoes with chilies + Spanish rice. some...and dehydrate the rest!

I like packing dehydrated black beans, mixed vegetables, and tomato powder from Harmony house, quinoa, instant brown rice, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, peanut butter, powdered cheese, powdered milk, curry powder, chilly powder, cumin, pepper, salt, italian seasoning, tortillas, granola, oatmeal, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and a wee bottle of sriracha.  I can make a surprising variety of tasty, nutritious, high calorie, complete protein meals from this.  

Take the same basic ingredients, add cumin and chili powder, and you have chili. Instead, add cumin, hot sauce and peanut butter and call it thai. Or tomato powder and italian seasoning, and call it italian ...

Here's how to cook quinoa without draining yer fuel tank:

That trailcooking site is full of ideas for ya too.

Just get a dehydrated. $50 at Walmart.

In 2013, my week-long hike cost me $150 in food.

This year, by relying on dehydrated leftovers, I spent $37 on food, mainly on Fig Newtons, Snickers, Peanut Butter & etc.

So it totally pays for itself.

my oh my!

how I'm graciously feasting

on all of your wonderful entrée-like ideas & suggestions!



:) 522

Bill noted this website in his post above -

Sarah is a member of another site I belong to and has a lot of great "one pot" recipes on her site and in her book besides the quinoa recipe Bill linked.

I love a mess of instant potatoes with a handful of green olives and a wedge of hard cheese melted into it. If you try to take it away from me you will hear a roar the likes of which...

January 24, 2021
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