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Wise Old Owl
01-01-2014, 19:01
While we are all down for the holidays I went shopping at the food store and I always find something that I would like to try on the trail - but will do it at home first to see if will fit my needs... This week I tried these two items.

Marie Callenders "Easy Sides" 4 minutes Yes this works with a cozy! Cooks in pouch - It's a step above ramen, the noodles are small and taste better - but the product doesn't match the picture on front.. its a salty chicken flavor bullion. The sauce can be fixable with a tablespoon or two of Nido. Makes two servings or 480 calories. The pouch, is 4.2 ounces, needs 10 ounces of boiled water. Adding a few dried vegetables would also improve this, overall I think this product is workable. Also note some of the bullion gets stuck in the corners.

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Alessi Raviolini in Brodo (chicken Soup Cheese Ravioli)In the past I noticed a few recommend this for the trail... at 4.1 ounces and 15 minutes of cook time, already it was awkward.. the real cook time is a soft boil and 20 minutes. Taste? The ravioli small and chewy at 15 minutes - at 20 minutes its cooked but tasteless. the broth is salty chicken stock with a few peas and carrots... Well nobody in the family would touch it. This was a huge "not going to happen" for the trail.

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Hope that helps.... Feel free to add some items that you have tried and like on the trail!

Feral Bill
01-01-2014, 19:44
The Alessi lentil soup is good too, cooked (carefully) with reduced water.

Dogwood
01-01-2014, 19:59
Cook time with the Alessi Soups was one of my issues with that brand and/or some of their varieties like their Sicilian Lentil soup variety. Bear Creek and Cuginos varieties cook faster and are bit cheaper. Cuginos single serving size soups(.85-1.07 oz and about 110-120 cals per package) can be found in Walmarts for about $1; they also have the 5.3 oz multiple portion size packages of Cuginos. I find I like to have a small side soup with my main meal on the trail when it's cold outside. I just picked up a few of the 9.3 oz Bear Creek soup varieties at Christmas Tree Shops for $2.99. I split up one 9.3 oz package into about 3 @ 3.1 oz servings but tweak the cals/oz and total cals higher/meal by adding ingredients like hemp/sunflower seeds, nuts/nut butters, EVOO, dried butter flakes or ghee, coconut/dried coconut milk/coconut oil(solid), cheese, fatty wild fish like sardines/Yellowtail tuna/mackeral/salmon in EVOO(when you can get these items in EVOO/olive oil, this is a nicer healthier oil in the world of cooking/eating oils IMO and raises the cals/oz ratio compared to these items packed in water), venison/elk/tuna/Primal Strips(meatless jerky, try it you might like it) jerky, etc

This is a good soup website and orders $75 > are free shipping. http://www.soupsonline.com/c-52-lentil-soup.aspx

What I like about soups, and where I've expanded my ideas on soup, is that they can be the base for an entire hearty meal that may not eventually be a soup. And, as a base, I'm not breaking the bank considering how many nights annually I eat on the trail.

I also like Trader Joes TASTY and very good cals/oz ratio Roasted Coconut Flakes as a rare treat on the trail

Wise Old Owl
01-01-2014, 20:04
FB I have a few down in the basement as I keep 3 months of food that I rotate in case of being snowed in. But this one didn't make the cut.

Have you tried this? I posted a thread about a year ago on this product as a clear winner for the trail

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Dogwood Trader Joes is one of my favorite places to score food for the trail... The fruit roll ups are awesome and the price is outstanding..

Wise Old Owl
01-01-2014, 20:11
Dogwood are you breaking up the pacakges for FBC or single servings?

http://www.cuginos.com/wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/Classic-Soups-Combo.png

Dogwood
01-01-2014, 20:50
I don't FBC but I do break down larger bulk packages of foods into individual meals, snacks, etc. I'll also go the other direction and combine two or more single servings size packages into one larger serving.

What do you pay for those McDougal's soups? One is nothing but an appetizer or side for me so I have to combine two of those cup size portions you listed to make one meal. Even w/ two I'm not getting my targeted total cals or cals/oz ratios I'm looking for in a dinner. And, at around $2-2.50 a pop......? They don't make a bad side or quicky w/ warm water snack though.

The Old Boot
01-01-2014, 21:33
Cugino's 'Red Wine Baked Onion Soup' (I think that's the right name - no package handy right now) is wonderful even without adding the red wine!

I was car camping so I used fresh onion but for backpacking dehydrated would work. Add a pack of grated parmesan, a crusty roll (or 2) and enjoy!

Dogwood
01-01-2014, 23:31
Cugino's 'Red Wine Baked Onion Soup' (I think that's the right name - no package handy right now) is wonderful even without adding the red wine!

I was car camping so I used fresh onion but for backpacking dehydrated would work. Add a pack of grated parmesan, a crusty roll (or 2) and enjoy!

Yeah, that's a good one. Cugino's Burgundy French Onion. Best flavored French Onion dehydrated soup mix I've tasted. Sometimes, I use it to flavor 1.5 packs of ramen(after discarding the salt and MSG laden "spice" packets)or 2 oz of SOBA Buckwheat Noodles(NO gluten in Buckwheat). Sprinkle w/ a good amt of fresh green onion or ramps and some Parmesean cheese(I usually get free packets from Pizza Hut along with Red Pepper flakes).

Those McDougals Soups WOO mentioned are tasty(although some disagree, look at the reviews), come in a wide asst of varieties, and, most of all, are made with the idea(could be some marketing involved with them though) on being better nutrition with ingredients that at least the consumer has a good idea of what the heck they are eating. I like McDougal's Black Beans w/ lime, Spring Onion(some would prolly find this one bland though), Pad Thai, and Lentil Bean Soups.

http://www.amazon.com/Dr-McDougalls-Right-Foods-1-9-Ounce/dp/B000FFLTDM/ref=pd_sim_sbs_indust_4

I like Miso Soup. One of the best dehydrated brands I've had is from Edwards & Sons with NO MSG(gives me a headache and affects my sleep) The green boxed one has wakame seaweed and Tofu pieces. They have small packets that make for a tasty something different type of side soup to a main dinner. I also use a packet of this to flavor other foods like Ramen(in place of the "spice" packets) or in SOBA Buckwheat Noodles.

http://www.edwardandsons.org/?p=609

Dogwood
01-01-2014, 23:43
Here's another something different that I like that is hearty and a bit healthier(at least IMO), COOK SIMPLE Cowboy chili w/ quinoa and cinnamon: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cooksimple-Cowboy-Chili-with-Quinoa-and-Cinnamon-6.1-oz-Pack-of-6/27617877#Specifications Usually cost about $3-3.50 at WallyWorld. I divide the 6.1 oz box into two dinners and then add some hempseed/sunflower seeds, a bit of chopped dried tomatoes(1 or 2), maybe a TBSP or two of dried rice(like from a Knorrs Rice Side) and throw some cheese or EVOO on top to each dinner to up the cals/oz ratio and total cals. If ya really like cinnamon sprinkle some more of that in there, comes out to about $2 - 2.50 a dinner.

Dogwood
01-01-2014, 23:51
It really amazes me that so many hikers still don't know how to cut their trail food costs while also mixing up the variety of flavors and nutrition. I still notice quite a few weekend warrior type hikers that go for trail food bags full of the pricey name brand outdoors store dehydrated meals and quite a few of seasoned hikers(long distance ones included) that subsist ONLY on ramen, mashed potatoes, and Knorrs Sides. Grocery stores, the larger the better, are chock full of trail food options that don't cost as much and with a little creativity and innovation can provide healthier alternatives.

Odd Man Out
01-02-2014, 01:46
I'm partial to Zatarain's REd Beans and Rice. Not sure it is FBC compatible. I've made with a beer bottle - type alcohol stove. Boil until the fuel runs out (10 min?) then pot in cozy about 10 minutes. 8 oz package could maybe be divided into two meals. Add a slug of EVOO and summer sausage for calorie/flavor boost. Comes in a lower sodium version.

cliffdiver
01-02-2014, 04:37
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Libby-s-Spicy-Seasoned-Beef-Crumbles-6-oz/24705059

pipsissewa
01-02-2014, 07:10
Subscribed. Thanks everyone. Please keep the suggestions coming! :)

Traffic Jam
01-02-2014, 09:54
Yeah, that's a good one. Cugino's Burgundy French Onion. Best flavored French Onion dehydrated soup mix I've tasted. Sometimes, I use it to flavor 1.5 packs of ramen(after discarding the salt and MSG laden "spice" packets)or 2 oz of SOBA Buckwheat Noodles(NO gluten in Buckwheat). Sprinkle w/ a good amt of fresh green onion or ramps and some Parmesean cheese(I usually get free packets from Pizza Hut along with Red Pepper flakes).

I have some of this in the pantry but haven't tried it, thanks for the endorsement.

Dogwood, I want to make sure I understand...you just mix the package of soup with the ramen? (Sorry, not enough coffee this morning).

Tuckahoe
01-02-2014, 10:24
I'm partial to Zatarain's REd Beans and Rice. Not sure it is FBC compatible. I've made with a beer bottle - type alcohol stove. Boil until the fuel runs out (10 min?) then pot in cozy about 10 minutes. 8 oz package could maybe be divided into two meals. Add a slug of EVOO and summer sausage for calorie/flavor boost. Comes in a lower sodium version.

I am partial to Zatarain's Jambalaya. At home I will prepare the Zatarain's, add in things stewed tomatoes and then put it in the dehydrater.