Another MEC Dehydrated Meals thread - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2006, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, .
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Default Another MEC Dehydrated Meals thread

MEC carries a ton of dehydrated meals. Would people like to give their opinion on what meals they have tried and liked the best or did not like. Alpineaire, Backcountry Pantry, Harvestworks etc

Not really interested in the do it yourself stuff just interested in MEC dehy meals for this thread.

Let's hear your gastronomical experiences good or bad if you know what I mean.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2006, 08:37 PM
Summit Master
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC, .
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Not bad: Harvest Foodworks Beef Stroganoff, AlpineAire Sierra Chicken. Today I was in MEC and bought Natural High Kung Pao Shrimp for my next experiment; I will keep you posted.

One thing though: don't ever believe it when the package says, "Serves 2." After a day of hiking with a heavy pack, you can definitely eat the whole package yourself. A few times I've seen couples sharing one package between the two of them, and they always end up starving.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2006, 08:59 PM
High on the Mountain Top
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Interest: hiking, backpacking, scrambling, mountaineering, snowshoeing, snowboarding, AT skiing
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Backcountry Pantry "Beef Stroganoff": Thumbs down! [xx(]

Good for the first few mouthfuls. Then the beef taste became overwhelming in a synthetic sort of way. Struggled to finish!

Backcountry Pantry "Cajun Chicken with Rice": Thumbs up!

Tasty, filling, not spicy at all. Recommended!

"The ascent is optional; the descent is mandatory"
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2006, 10:53 PM
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Location: Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Skiing/hiking/kayaking/fishing/prawning, all things moto.
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Harvestworks is the best... Tandoori Chicken, Mulligan Stew, Maritime Pasta, and Oriental Sweet and Sour are my favs. $7.95 @ MEC each, feeds 2... I can barely knock 1 back by myself. Average H2O to add is 3 1/2 cups, and 10 minutes stove time. I'll even eat them at home if I'm low on groceries. All Harvest stuff only requires 1 pot.

Having said that, I just just bought a dehydrater tonight and am trying melon, apples, strawberries and bananas for the first time. I was really impressed with what some fellow hikers had dryed themselves on last week's hike. I'll attempt other dishes later. Lots of info in this thread for advice.

New favorite snack/meal: Ocean's Snack'N Lunch Tuna in Thai Chili, Tomato or Terryaki flavours. 85g per tin, 100 cals, 16 g protein, 350 mg sodium. Awesome! Sorry I got off the thread abit.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2006, 03:41 AM
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I wouldn't say that any one brand is consistently better than another - it all depends on the individual dishes.

If you like "healthy" tasting things then you will like Harvest Foodworks. If not, you might hate their stuff. As well, HF stuff comes in many little plastic bags so there is lots of garbage and you have to cook it in the pot, not in the bag it came in.

Another tip is to make sure you choose a flavour with a strong taste such as curries or Asian dishes. This makes sure that the spices overpower the bland freeze-dried taste.

I second the tip about not believing the "serves two". If I am using a MEC meal for two people I always add something to it (tuna, sausage, cheese, bagels, etc.) or have a large dessert as well.

Also, if you are making the ones that you can cook in the bag, add less water than it says to avoid making it too watery.

Some reviews of ones I tried recently (as part of an meal taste-off at work)

Alpine Aire Kung Fu Chicken - basically pineapple and orange chicken with rice. Very yummy. The dehydrated chunks of pineapple are really weird looking but they taste exactly as they should.

Alpine Aire Black Bar Chili - yummy chili with actual beef and lots of beans. I don't usually like chili but I actually like this. Not too spicy. A very popular item at MEC.

Backpacker's Pantry Chicken Cashew Curry - not recommended. The curry is strong yet still bland. You can't really taste the chicken too much either.

Backpacker's Pantry Jamaican BBQ Chicken - okay. Spicy, but still a little bland. Mostly just rice with spices.

Backpacker's Pantry Wicked Good Brownies (for the Outback Oven). They are WICKED good. Honestly, some of the best brownies I have ever had. They have M&Ms in them and they are nice and light and fluffy and quite chocolate-y.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2006, 03:47 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 6,120

Yuck ! Stay away from all of it and go get some Mountain House brand foods. The "Only One " I had that was truely disgusting were the eggs.
The rest are like eating in a restaurant.

"No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats". [}]

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2006, 09:53 AM
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For the same price as one dehydrated meal at MEC you can make three dinners using bulk pasta from SaveOn or StuporStore and Knorr soup mixes.

Thinking you are seeing, but not seeing. Thinking you know, but not knowing. This spring is full of a lot of such things.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2006, 04:33 PM
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If you HAD to eat one definately go to the harvest works, they are the realest (is that a word?) ones.

I agree with Dru, just get some dried food at IGA. I'm a big instant potato fan......ONLY when I'm backpacking only though

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2006, 03:35 AM
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I picked up Alpine aire Turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy it was very and filling

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2006, 11:04 AM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,127

I've tried 6 different MEC Dehydrated Meals, they all tastes terrible terrible terrible,I get nightmare from them. I'll never eat them again. I'm trying to make my own Dehydrated Meals, i'll post my recipe later

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