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Backpacker's Pantry Three Sisters Southwestern Quinoa & Beans

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Backpacker's Pantry Three Sisters Southwestern Quinoa & Beans vegetarian entrée

Yet another decent but ultimately unsatisfying vegetarian meal.

Pros

  • inexpensive
  • good portion size
  • spicy
  • vegetarian

Cons

  • vegetarian
  • inconsistent rehydration

What compels a person to continually try new meals in spite of knowing one's preferences and having a strong catalog of known good options?  You never know when you're going to find a new treasure.  This meal has a lot going for it, but the sum is not quite equal, nor yet greater, than its parts.

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Preparation

This being the first time with this meal, I followed the package instructions exactly.  1.5 cups of water and 15 minutes waiting, with a stir in the middle.

This wasn't quite enough...either time or water.  The beans remained a bit crunchy, and the corn was very chewy.  The rice, quinoa, and zucchini all fully rehydrated.  Perhaps another quarter cup of water, and an extra 5 minutes?

 

Nutrition

Decent.  470 calories in the full bag is reasonable fuel for a midday meal.  Likewise for a breakfast.  It might be a little light, calorically speaking, for a dinner.  Sodium is pretty low at 32%, and there is zero cholesterol.  Fat is practically non-existent, carbs are moderate at 33% rda, and fiber and protein are both solid at 18g apiece.

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Taste and satiety

This was a good-sized meal.  Not a gut-buster, but not noticeably light on a midday mid-hike.  It hung around and kept me satisfied for the couple hours needed to complete my hike.  Flavor was good, with a nice hatch chile kick.  Lime came through pretty strongly at the start but blended into the background by the time I finished the bag.  Nothing else particularly stood out.  Texture was pleasing and toothesome, excepting some of those under-hydrated beans and corn.
I ate about half the bag, and then added roughly a tablespoon of butter.  See, I know my palate - I know that fully vegan and vegetarian meals just aren't quite my bag.  Adding a little more fat, especially animal fat, tends to render a somewhat bland vegetarian meal much more satisfying to me.  This remains true of this meal.

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Recommendation

This is good.  It is good value.  I suspect that it would serve best as a side dish, split and shared with a partner and a larger carnivorous meal.  Especially if this is to be your dinner, after a long day of packing and ahead of another such day.  I don't think it will absolutely become a staple of the rotation, but I will eat it happily.  With the addition of a little butter and a little more water and time.

Background

Joshua has been hiking, backpacking, and car-camping for more than four decades. He is based primarily in the Pacific Northwest, but has hiked throughout the US, with forays into Hawaii and New Zealand.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $10

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Specs

Price Current Retail: $9.00-$10.00
Historic Range: $9.00-$10.00
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