Jun 26, 2014 at 8:11 am #1318368
I'd like to make some mac n cheese for the trail and probably need to use powdered cheese to make it. I don't care for Annie's and want something with the least amount of chemicals. What are my options? Any brands out there that people favor? Is it possible to make my own?Jun 26, 2014 at 8:21 am #2114832
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Kickin’ Veggie Mac & Cheese
Serving Size 1
354 Approx. Calories
½ Cup Macaroni
¼ Cup Dried Cherry Tomato slices
¼ Cup Dried Mixed Bell Peppers
¼ Cup Onions
¼ Cup Mushrooms
1⅓ Tbsp Cheese Powder
1 Tbsp Powdered Milk
½ tsp Seasoning
1 – 2 Slices Optional – Dried Jalapeño Peppers
Pinch Salt & Pepper
1¼ Cups Water to Rehydrate
Use store-bought packets of taco seasoning OR make your own by combining 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder, 1½ tsp. Ground Cumin, ¼ tsp. Garlic Powder, ¼ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper, ¼ tsp. Dried Oregano, ¼ tsp. Salt. Makes 5½ teaspoons.
Combine and pack cheese, milk, and taco powders in a small
plastic bag. Enclose with other ingredients in plastic bag.
Variation: For a higher protein vegetarian meal, replace some of
the vegetables with dried black beans.
On the Trail:
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT: cheese, milk, and taco powders with water in pot and soak five minutes. Light stove, bring to boil, and place in a cozy for 5 min. Remove from cozy, stir in
cheese, milk, and taco powders. Place back in to cozy, wait ten minutes.Jun 26, 2014 at 8:21 am #2114833
Make elbow macaroni, then add Parmesan cheese at the end. Parmesan is pretty safe to take in a ziplock. If you dehydrate you can dehydrate the macaroni beforehand and just add boiling water, wait 5 minutes. Otherwise cook pasta as usual (8-10 min). Pour off excess water, if any, then add Parmesan and stir. Milk if you are a Mac&Cheess traditionalist.
Cheese powder indeed! So uncivilized. :-)Jun 26, 2014 at 9:12 am #2114849
You can buy a #10 can of it at Honeyville for $21. I love the stuff, and the ingredients list isn't too scary. I see they have powdered cream cheese, too! Yum!Jun 26, 2014 at 9:28 am #2114853
Wow…that Honeyville has lots of cheese to choose from. Also, thanks all for the recipes. I'm finding that rice doesn't do a thing for me, but pasta does and I wanted to change my menu up a notch.
I agree Marko, but it seems like powder is the most workable thing for hot hiking. I will try the parmesan though. Good idea.Jun 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm #2114902Jun 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm #2114911
You must be kidding, right?
Macaroni cheese is the easiest meal ever.
100g (3.5oz) pasta, simmer for 10min then drain.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil, then 100g (3.5oz) thinly sliced hard (real) cheese.
Put over a very low heat until the cheese melts, stir and eat.
700+ kCalJun 26, 2014 at 2:20 pm #2114917
Finally, a civilized chap! :-)Jun 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm #2114930
Not kidding. I KNOW!!! So sad, right? I'm just s sissy-fied city gal working her way to bushcraft neanderthal level. It's work, but I'm up for the task.Jun 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm #2114997
@nzbazzaLocale: New Zealand
Once you've sorted out the cheese, just add bacon to make it even better.Jun 27, 2014 at 1:40 am #2115073
I prefer rice based meals (Paella/Risotto) as I think pasta takes up a lot of space in my pack, but other quick-n-easy pasta alternatives are:
Pasta + pesto sauce + parmesan
Pasta + arrabbiata sauce + parmesan
Both sauces can be made from dehydrated (real) ingredients, no chemicals required.
Note: hard cheese survives quite well in the heat. It sometimes 'sweats' but this does not affect its edibility. There is good reason that it has been made/eaten for centuries (i.e. long before refridgerators).Jun 27, 2014 at 4:41 am #2115083
Stuart, thanks. For some reason, rice just doesn't give me the energy that I need the next day. I find my energy is low and I am really hungry. Pasta stays with me. I've used pesto, etc…but I'm tired of that combo and was looking for something a bit more on the cheesy side. I will look at the arrabbiata sauce. I will add other ingrediaents to the dish as well, but sometimes a good mac and cheese hits the spot.Jun 27, 2014 at 5:52 am #2115090
looked up a couple recipes … high yum potential, thanks Stuart.
Safe to assume that it dehydrates and rehydrates as well as most tomato based sauces?Jun 27, 2014 at 8:15 am #2115118
Safe to assume that it dehydrates and rehydrates as well as most tomato based sauces?
I should think so. I don't dehydrate at home, so I would make this in camp using:
Sun dried tomatoes
The last two are UL vegetables :-)
Add sauteed chopped chorizio to the sauce.Jun 27, 2014 at 12:56 pm #2115222
Yes, the sauce dehydrates well.
Btw, whiles, yes, one can make a meal with pasta/olive oil/cheese (and yes it tastes good), it isn't quite what most expect with Mac and Cheese – which is typically creamy.Jun 27, 2014 at 1:09 pm #2115228
from wiki –
"Pasta and cheese casseroles have been recorded in cookbooks as early as the 14th century's Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest medieval cookbooks. It is an Italian dish of parmesan and pasta and was brought to England in the 14th century."
While "Creamy Comfort Food" from Kraft, may be "expected" by many north american anglos, pasta and real cheese is the standard for the rest of the world.Jun 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm #2115239
Putanesca sauce dehydrates well, typical red sauce (i.e. onion, garlic tomato) with chopped Kalamata olives, capers, cayenne pepper (or any other choice of heat), and I like fresh basil. Touch of Anchovy paste if you are bold. Nothing scientifically planned for backpacking, just tastes good, and works well with any meat you want to add.
Greg – yes. Right after boiling water and making pasta I'd say adding cheese to the pasta is probably one of the most basic elements of cooking. :-)Jun 27, 2014 at 7:19 pm #2115321
@ Donna, i wonder if that is because rice is easier to digest than wheat based stuff? I have a theory that a lot more people have issues with digesting gluten than most would think, even if they aren't true celiac as some are.
While rice based stuff doesn't give the energy or fullness that lasts, i find it's good for quick energy, like eating brown rice crackers before a more strenuous climb. Last time i was in the Whites (NH), i made the mistake of eating some things like cashews and other not so easy or quick to digest foods while hiking, and felt like crap when i was going up and down, up and down. One day, i decided to eat just a little amount of brown rice crackers–felt much better.Jun 28, 2014 at 5:38 pm #2115593
A classic pasta dish is pasta, olive oil, red pepper flakes, maybe some garlic and Parmesan cheese. It is delicious. But that isn't what one thinks of as "mac n' cheese" in cooking.
A simple roux of olive oil or butter, flour and milk, seasoned with salt and pepper, maybe garlic, maybe mustard, hot sauce or whatever catches the fancy, and a ton of cheddar or similar cheese, folded in, and macaroni, now there is a classic dish. Go crazy, add in an egg for creaminess, maybe use heavy cream…..bake in the oven with buttery crumbs.
Two totally different kinds of meals. ;-)Jun 29, 2014 at 5:58 am #2115695
@Sarah…When's dinner??? Yes, a classic yummy dish. I'm going to experiment with the recipe you have with cheese powder that was linked to our site. I found an organic brand via Vitacost that has no MSG or extra chemicals. I may even add a little butter or ghee, which would work as well.
@Justin…you may be right. Recently I have given up lots of carbs, not quite a Paleo diet, but I need to alter that for hiking. I'm experimenting with protein powder on the trail too. I find I need morning protein to get me going. When in Glacier last year, I chomped on meat bar jerky for breakfast and that lasted a good protion of a long uphill day. I can use oatmeal, but the only kind for instant has to be no sugar or any other preservative and I find that works, surprisingly.
But a good trail mac and cheese is all I am looking for right now. Maybe what I need to do is after any rice meal, have a protien drink.Jun 29, 2014 at 6:35 am #2115701
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
Box of mac n cheese
Cook n dehydrate the pasta
put dry ingredients in correct amounts in ziploc bag.
on the trip, add water to the pasta and rehydrate, adding in extra for the powdered ingredients to turn to sauce. Cut up a cheddar cheese stick for extra punch. Add rehydrated peas, tuna, chicken, whatever you like.
If you don't like dehydrating – leave the pasta at home and sub in couscous, which is already a just add water food.
Whole foods has a variety of packets of cheese sauce, some of them vegan. Not all of them taste like cheese.
For a cheesy substitute, shredded hard cheeses melted over the top of the pasta – hard cheese packs well.
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