7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with Vegan/Vegetarian Alternatives)

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Our very first family backpacking trip was a HUGE success! We had so much fun (more on that in the next post!) that we are already planning our next trip (I’m thinking Zion). On our trip, our homemade dehydrated meals definitely stood out and made a huge difference on how awesome our trip was! I had spent the last couple months dehydrating all of the fruits, veggies, and proteins that we needed for this trip so that we’d eat healthy whole foods meals without all the icky additives. After seeing the ingredients on the tasteless packaged meals made for the trail, I knew I wanted to make our own backpacking meals instead, but with three different diets in our family, the tasked daunted me.

3 different diets in one household make things difficult

I know I can’t be the only one out there, that has to go to all the trouble of making several different protein variations for dinner, to support the many different diets that all of my family members eat! With a hubby that says he wants to eat paleo (emphasis on SAYS LOL!), a very picky son that seriously LOVES meat in all forms but not all veggies, and me struggling to eat mostly vegan/vegetarian, it can be difficult to put together meals that everyone enjoys. That’s why I started making meals that I can make separate proteins that can be added to the main meal when dishing it up! I figured that backpacking meals, individual meals, are the epitome of this idea and would be easy to customize all of our meals to our own likes and dislikes. With the kiddo’s meals, I can put only his favorite veggies into his meal, and not hear a single complaint about how he doesn’t like what’s for dinner because it has “insert any food here” in it. This strategy went over extremely well when we were out on the trail! We were all satisfied with the meals made just for us!

Dehydrating is the flavorful way to save money

Dehydrating your own food is one of the best ways to keep from wasting food and saves you a ton of money in the process! I love to dehydrate all the fruits and veggies that I don’t think we will be able to consume before they go bad, once a week. This helps me to cut down on what we throw away, and I am able to build up a store of dehydrated food that can be used in a variety of ways, including quick and easy dehydrated meals that can be used for backpacking, camping, emergency prepping, and even quick on-the-go meals in the office! I find that foods I’ve dehydrated myself are much tastier than the ones I buy at the store or on Amazon because they are far fresher and haven’t been sitting in a warehouse for months before arriving here. My favorite dehydrator is the King of all dehydrators, the Excalibur dehydrator! It has 9-trays, making it easier to make a lot more of my favorite dried mangos, and a timer so that I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to shut it off. I am madly in love with my dehydrator and it’s many awesome uses!

The Backpacking Chef is like my dehydrating foodie mentor

Never dehydrated foods before? Not sure how or at what temperature to dehydrate any of the ingredients in the recipes below? I felt the same way back when I first purchased my dehydrator! I had purchased the king of dehydrators with the intentions of wanting to put together dried meals for backpacking, on-the-go office meals, and even for emergency situations, but I had no idea how to use it. That’s when I found the BEST most informative website (and book) on just this topic, The Backpacking Chef. Chef Glenn blogs about making your own dehydrated meals for the trail, detailing how to dehydrate everything needed for his tasty trail meals. After pouring over his every blog post and learning as much as I could, I HAD to buy his book because I wanted more of his great wisdom! For the meals below, you can learn to dehydrate any of the ingredients below from him:

7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with vegan/vegetarian alternatives) - thehippyhomemaker.com

7 Healthy Dehydrated Meals For The Trail (with vegan/vegetarian options)

You can tailor any of these recipes to your own taste by substituting other veggies and/or meats in any of these recipes! I have taken the liberty of making these friendly for both meat eaters and veggies eaters alike so that you can tailor your meals to the people who will be eating them! These dehydrated meals store really great in a mason jar for cooking at work! I hope you enjoy!
7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with vegan/vegetarian alternatives) - thehippyhomemaker.com

Cheesy Chicken or White Bean Broccoli & Rice

Who doesn’t like a cheesy rice and broccoli casserole? This delicious dish was a family hit and I really enjoyed the creamy white beans in the vegan version! Either way you like it, this dish will deliver!

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS – AT HOME

  1. Combine powdered ingredients in a smaller separate plastic baggy, this is your sauce mix. Combine rice, veggies, and ground chicken in a larger plastic baggy.
  2. Store the small powdered baggy in the larger baggy!

DIRECTIONS – ON THE TRAIL

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your pan with the water, to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Light your stove, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the sauce mix
  4. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS – MICROWAVE

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from microwave and stir in the sauce mix.
  3. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with vegan/vegetarian alternatives) - thehippyhomemaker.com

Beef or Mushroom Stroganoff

Stroganoff is pretty much one of my all time favorite dishes. I love to put lots of mushrooms in mine, it’s soooo good!

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS – AT HOME

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Dehydrate at 115 degrees overnight, until completely dehydrated
  2. Combine powdered ingredients in a smaller separate plastic baggy, this is your sauce mix. Combine noodles, veggies, and ground beef in a larger plastic baggy.
  3. Store the small powdered baggy in the larger baggy!

DIRECTIONS – ON THE TRAIL

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your pan with the water, to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Light your stove, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the sauce mix
  4. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS – MICROWAVE

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from microwave and stir in the sauce mix.
  3. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with vegan/vegetarian alternatives) - thehippyhomemaker.com

Curry Chicken or Lentils

I can not resist a really good curry and the spices in this dish are also awesome after a hard day’s hike! Ginger root is not only known for its ability to settle digestive issues, but is also a great anti-inflammatory that is fantastic at reducing pain! The turmeric in the curry is also a star healer!

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS – AT HOME

  1. Combine powdered ingredients in a smaller separate plastic baggy, this is your sauce mix. Combine rice, veggies, and chicken (or lentils) in a larger plastic baggy.
  2. Store the small powdered baggy in the larger baggy!

DIRECTIONS – ON THE TRAIL

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your pan with the water, to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Light your stove, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the sauce mix
  4. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS – MICROWAVE

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from microwave and stir in the sauce mix.
  3. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with vegan/vegetarian alternatives) - thehippyhomemaker.com

Chicken or Veggies & Dumplings

Who doesn’t love chicken (or veggies) and dumplings? This comfort food is one of my favorites and after a long day of climbing mountains and hiking through brush, sitting down to a tasty bowl of chicken (or veggies) and dumplings is a totally satisfying experience! Didn’t think you could make dumplings on the trail? Read through the instructions and be prepared to be wowed by the awesome trick I use to make dumplings anywhere!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup dehydrated chicken or dehydrate organic canned chicken (or 1/4 cup dried mushrooms and broccoli for vegan version)
  • 3 Tbsp. dried vegetables (peas, carrots, onions, bell pepper mix)
  • 1 tsp. dried soup base or 1/2 bouillon cube (chicken or veggie depending on the meal)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered milk (or coconut milk powder for vegan version)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (for dumplings)
  • salt and pepper to taste (for soup)
  • 1 1/2 cups water for soup + 1/4 cup water for dumplings

DIRECTIONS – AT HOME

  1. Combine powdered ingredients in a smaller separate plastic baggy, this is your dumpling mix. Combine dried chicken, veggies, soup base/bouillon, and salt/pepper seasoning in a larger plastic baggy.
  2. Store the small powdered baggy in the larger baggy!

DIRECTIONS – ON THE TRAIL

  1. Add chicken, dried veggies, and 1 1/2 cups water to your pan.
  2. Light your stove, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add 1/4 cup water to dumpling mix in the plastic baggy, seal, and mush around with your fingers until thoroughly mixed together.
  4. Cut a small slit in the corner of the ziplock baggy and squeeze out small amounts of the dough mixture into the boiling soup.
  5. boil for another minute or two before removing from heat.
  6. Cover/insulate and let sit for a few more minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with vegan/vegetarian alternatives) - thehippyhomemaker.com

Chicken or Veggie Pasta Primavera

I have always been a big fan of pasta primavera and this recipe is no exception! I love to jam pack veggies into this dish, for a hearty end to my day. The nutritional yeast version of this recipe is so good, even normal cheese fans will find it tasty!

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS – AT HOME

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Dehydrate at 115 degrees over-night, until completely dehydrated
  2. Combine powdered ingredients in a smaller separate plastic baggy, this is your sauce mix. Combine noodles, veggies, and chicken in a larger plastic baggy.
  3. Store the small powdered baggy in the larger baggy!

DIRECTIONS – ON THE TRAIL

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your pan with the water, to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Light your stove, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the sauce mix
  4. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS – MICROWAVE

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from microwave and stir in the sauce mix.
  3. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with vegan/vegetarian alternatives) - thehippyhomemaker.com

Beef or Black Bean Taco Mac

This dish is a family favorite! We love anything remotely southwest or Mexican flavored, and this does not disappoint! I sometimes like to add black beans to the meat version as well, for an even heartier version.

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS – AT HOME

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Dehydrate at 115 degrees over-night, until completely dehydrated
  2. Combine powdered ingredients in a smaller separate plastic baggy, this is your sauce mix. Combine noodles, veggies, and chicken in a larger plastic baggy.
  3. Store the small powdered baggy in the larger baggy!

DIRECTIONS – ON THE TRAIL

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your pan with the water, to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Light your stove, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the sauce mix
  4. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS – MICROWAVE

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from microwave and stir in the sauce mix.
  3. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

7 DIY Dehydrated Meals For The Trail Or On-The-Go (with vegan/vegetarian alternatives) - thehippyhomemaker.com

Mexican Chicken or Black Beans & Rice

Just like the Taco Mac, this dish stands out because of it’s tasty Mexican flavors! You can even add a bit of salsa leather to the dish if you want to add extra flavor and depth to this dish!

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS – AT HOME

  1. If you aren’t using instant rice, dehydrate your rice following these directions.
  2. Combine powdered ingredients in a smaller separate plastic baggy, this is your sauce mix. Combine rice, veggies, and chicken (or black beans) in a larger plastic baggy.
  3. Store the small powdered baggy in the larger baggy!

DIRECTIONS – ON THE TRAIL

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your pan with the water, to soak for 5 minutes.
  2. Light your stove, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the sauce mix
  4. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

DIRECTIONS – MICROWAVE

  1. Add all ingredients, except the sauce mix, to your microwave dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from microwave and stir in the sauce mix.
  3. Cover/insulate and let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!
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Christina