A la carte meals required for meths stove cooking

At £1.24 a pack in Sainsburys – I just had to buy 2 boxes of these tasty meals

OK – post title is a little extravagant. But what with all my trips out in the Peak District filming, budget for food and other essentials has come to the forefront of my mind and planning.

Purchasing a weeks worth of meals can prove to be quite expensive – especially where freeze dried or dehydrated meals are concerned.

The best freeze dried food I’ve ever had the pleasure of munching on are produced by Fuizion. Even so, they are quite pricey when I need to buy in bulk. And when it comes to the equivalent with other brands such as Expedition Foods or Be Well – I find the taste and texture somewhat disappointing in comparison.

Wet meals such as Wayfarers or Look What We Found – though very tasty, are inevitably bulky and heavy.

All said and done, as time has passed I’ve become accustomed to taking a mixture of the above meals for the sake of taste, weight, pack size and cost. But it all makes a dent in my pocket – and my budget can be quite tight at times.

So, inevitably I’ve come round to the idea of making my own meals for backpacking trips.

Now, I know there’s a great deal on this subject to be found online (unbelievable the concoctions some people come up with) but I want to keep things simple.

The aim for me is to produce hearty meals that don’t weigh too much (the lighter the better), reasonable pack size and require only my Trail Designs Caldera Cone meths stove with MSR Titan Kettle
for cooking.

And if I’m honest – I’d love to come up with a way of producing a good old fashioned english breakfast! Not a tinned version or the common ‘baked beans and sausages’.

So, for a first attempt at this malarkey – here’s a poor mans version of a Thai style meal:

John West Sweet Thai and Red Chilli seared tuna steak – 142g’s and 160kcals approx. Cost? £2

Asda Thai Style rice – 105g’s and about 300kcals. Cost? 75p
Meths stove on the go, water on the boil and rice thrown in. Good to know the rice only needs 5 minutes from cold water to simmering – handy for a meths stove.

Rice done in about 7 minutes, and the tuna steak is added – which you can eat cold by the way – but mixed in for a bit of a warming up. And job’s a gud’un!

So, calorie wise it’s not too bad – usually, I’ll have a chocolate drink or some nuts to bump up the energy – and the packs are slim and small and the total weight aint too bad. A little less than a standard wet meal but a lot more filling.

It transpired to be a bloody tasty meal and a cheap one, too!

So, every couple of weeks or so, I’m gonna post up a meal such as this that I’ve been trying to concoct and let you know if it was easy to make and tasted good etc.

Feel free to recommend any you have come up with or produce. I’m all ears – but it must stick closely to my aims and set up as mentioned above. That’s the whole idea to it all.

Oh, and before I log off and get packing for my next soiree into the Peak District (heading for the Upper Derwent Valley, Bleaklow, Kinder area for a few days) it’s worth noting that Look What We Found meals have now started producing their pouches with no labels on.

So, you can chuck the pouch into your pot and boil away knowing you can use the water for a drink afterwards with no glue or bits of paper etc mixed in.

I’ve only come across two meals in their range that have this set up – the others still have labelling on…..

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Moonlight Shadow says:

    Do you know what, this looks rather nice Terry! (to be read in a French accent…) 😉

    A possible option would be, if weather allows it, a portion of fresh pasta or gnocchi (very filling those little buggers)as they take very little time to cook once water is boiling (2min) and a a stir-in sauce that has bags of taste in small quantities like a pesto. If you like it spicy, Jamie Oliver Chili&Garlic pesto is a cracker which I'm been buying regularly (for meals at home), just 3/4 tea spoons packed in a small pill plastic container and you'll be farting hot the day after..Hell, I'm sure you can find room for tiny bag of grated parmesan too (for added calories..).

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  2. Mac E says:

    I tend to use cup pasta type packets, usually tomato and add sliced cooked sausage (Mrs Mathesons) or Pepperami and then add a little Parmesan. Obviously a whole Mrs Mathesons sausage is more than enough but any left over can be eaten cold later (or half eaten for lunch with the remainder kept for the evening)

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  3. That looks like a good tasty meal Terry, I think that I may have to give it a go. I find that the freeze dried food plays games with my tummy leading to a quick dash to dig a hole. not fun when the weather is poor!

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  4. Martin Rye says:

    I am too lazy to cook a meal. Fuizion all the way.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    my usual wild camp meal consists of 5 min rice, dried chilli, dried peppers/onions/peas (asda 35p per pack) and chopped up pepparmi bloody lovely it is as well…cheers |Terry see you in the hills some time when this dodgy knee sorts itself out.
    Craig

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  6. brendan says:

    Two meals I've used in the past are risotto and spaghetti with pesto.

    For the risotto, the arborio or carnaroli rice, uncooked, is obviously light-weight. I usually fry the rice grains in a splash of olive-oil first before pouring the water over the top. Add in a stock cube and some dried porcini mushrooms and sun-dried tomato strips and simmer until the rice is cooked (or boil once then transfer to a pot-cozy and wait 15 minutes, reheating if required). Total dry weight for a good sized meal is well under 200g, and adaptable enough for different flavours.

    The spaghetti is self-explanatory, and a handy low volume shape! I take half a jar of pesto sauce in a zip-lock bag for carrying and add in some spicy pepperami. Lots of calories with the fat in the oil and salami.

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  7. Moonlight Shadow says:

    I like Brendan already…That's the spirit! 😉

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  8. terrybnd says:

    @Mac E – I tend to do the same. Those sausages are well tasty and so I end up eating a whole one on the first night!

    @James Boulter – Mate, it was! And took it on trip last week and was very tasty and filling. Cheap too! Bonus! I'm also the same on occasion when it concerns freeze dried food.

    @Martin Rye – Fuizion are without a doubt the best of their kind. I just can't afford their meals in the numbers I require at the moment 😦

    @Craig – Good to hear from you, mate. Get in touch when ya ready 🙂

    @brendan – Thanks! 🙂 Do you cook all that on a meths stove??

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  9. What about making a batch of chilli then putting some in freezer bags….cheap and tasty.

    or something like this http://blog.chilliupnorth.co.uk/chilli-recipes/chilli-bites/home-made-spicy-noodle-pot/

    (sorry about the link)

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  10. terrybnd says:

    Nice one Andy! Thanks for that 🙂

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  11. Terry,
    One packet of french onion soup (the French do occasionally throw out some good stuff), water to boil, cook rice and throw in peanuts and hot sauce (always carry a little in a Nalgene). Tastes like an Asian stir fry.
    Glad you're doing well, off to Scotland for a couple of weeks.
    Fozzie

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