Another MEC Dehydrated Meals thread - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2006, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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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, 09:37 PM
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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, 09:59 PM
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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!


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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2006, 11:53 PM
 
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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, 04:41 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, 04:47 AM
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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.


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2006, 10:53 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.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-10-2006, 05:33 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, 04:35 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, 12:04 PM
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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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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2006, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback so far.

Hello Mazegirl, which one's did you try from MEC? What didn't you like about them? Bland, cardboardy etc.

I am only planning like short backpack trips with my 14 yr old daughter. Like pack in Friday eve, scramble a peak Saturday and pack out Sunday. So just looking for maybe 3-4 meal packets.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2006, 10:35 PM
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Dru is right, it's much cheaper, and just as easy, and usually better-tasting, to pick up some regular pasta and add some Knorr soup mix. Obviously using less water than the package says, or it will be soup. Just don't drain all the water from your pasta; save some and add the soup mix. Avoid the soup mixes that contain anything crunchy that need to be cooked a long time to soften. You can add other stuff like cheese to make it taste better.

I just occasionally pick up the complete dehydrated meals for convenience and something different.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2006, 11:02 PM
Dru
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Yes I think I have used dehydrated meals once for mountaineering in 16 years. Pasta plus soup mix, Sidekicks, ichiban, even Kraft Dinner, are all "dehydrated" meals that you can buy in the regular grocery store for a fraction of the cost. Or spend a little more and get some boil-in-the-bag curry (like Taste of India or Tasty Bites) and have it with rice. Jazz any of those up with tuna, pepperoni or cheese and you have enough options for two weeks so you won't grow bored with it for weekend trips.

If need be hit up the bulk food section of Famous Foods where they have many bulk dehydrated foods you can buy cheap. Buy a couple in the portion sizes you need and for variety mix and match them.

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 09:31 AM
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We had a "Natural High" brand of Three Cheese Lasagna dehydrated meal, and for the love of little green gods, DON'T EAT THIS.

Even after hiking all day, it ended up in the fire. Truly disgusting.

I believe it was dubbed "One glop to rule them all, cast into the fires of Stove Doom where it was spawned..."

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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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This weekend we had the oppertunity to try out a few new dehydrated sides/meals from MEC:

Mary Jane's Farm Skillet Focaccia Bread w/ Parmesan Cheese:

Flavour: 3 *'s
All around this bread was great. We added a bit too much water, so the dough was a bit sticky at first, but it still cooked up well. I'm not a fan of caraway seeds myself, but the flavour wasn't too strong for me to stand.

Price: 2 *'s
$7 from MEC. Not a good value considering the bread wasn't really big enough for two people.

Mary Jane's Farm Peasant Tomato Soup:

Flavour: 3.5 *'s
Love it! No more Campbell's for this hiker. Again, we added a touch too much water, but the soup was still good.

Price: 3 *'s
$6.75 from MEC. Not a bad deal. Would make a lunch for two people if you had a bread to go with it.

Richmoor Hash Brown Potatoes:

Flavour: 3 *'s
Good, but definately needed salt on them, and ketchup would have helped.

Price: 4 *'s
$2.60. You can't go wrong with this one.

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