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Need new lunch for long trips:
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Author:  HOOP_ [ February 6th, 2005, 11:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Need new lunch for long trips:

For long trips, I am sick and tired of my stock lunch: Bannock, peanut butter and jam. I bake the bannock every 4 days in the evening, and a loaf lasts me 4 days.

I need a new one. Recommendations welcome. My criteria for lunch is that it is quick and no fire required. For long trips it must be zero spoilage risk. When I say "long" I mean a month or more. It also has to be nutritious since it is a month or more.

Standard peanut butter is hydrogenated = trans fats, and they are now out. Natural peanut butter (which I eat at home) says on the label to keep refrigerated after opening. So it’s out unless someone has tested natural peanut butter for a month or more in the heat and confirmed it did not spoil. I could take small jars and use them up within a week to 10 days. The problem is that the natural peanut butter oil runs like crazy, and the jars don’t have lid sealing gaskets. I suspect in the heat the peanut oil would leak all over the place, which is about the biggest bear attractant risk I can think of. No, I am not convinced the natural peanut butter can travel well. If I transfer it to Nalgenes, then it has been opened and is susceptible to spoilage.

I make good bannock. Bannock mix is great tripping food because it packs well, and is totally dry, and will carry you far. But it is bland, bland, bland. It needs something on it to keep me interested for a month or more. I’m tired of peanut butter and jam on bannock day after day. I have been doing that for 10 years and its time for a change, and I won’t eat trans fats anymore. If I could find another bannock topping, that might be the answer.

Love crackers and cheese, but these are both out. Cheese turns to a pulpy oily gross mush as the oil oozes out in the heat. I travel in the arctic which is very hot in the summer. Often way hotter than the south. I have never been able to keep cheese together for more than a week. Crackers turn to powder quickly on long trips. Crackers are also airy and use up too much volume for their weight. On long trips volume reduction is just as important as weight.

No-refrigeration pepperoni pepperette sticks (not the preserved kind in the convenience store, but "real" pepperoni), last for about 2-3 weeks, and then they get moldy due to condensation from hot days and cool nights. Perhaps I should invest in a vacuum bagger for them. This might extend them, but I need additional food for lunch. I can only stomach 2 pepperettes per lunch.

GORP is good but not for lunch every day. It is only a snack.

Commercial jerky is OK for an occasional snack but it is laced with preservatives, salt, and other exotic chemicals, and smoke particles which are carcinogenic. I need some carbs and fat to carry me to the evening dinner.

So I am at a loss. I need non-crushable, nutritious, tasty, no spoilage, no fire/stove, light weight and low bulk, and low maintenance. Suggestions?

Author:  Gail R [ February 7th, 2005, 12:34 am ]
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Mec has 200 g smoke salmon servings, either have it with packet mayonasie with horsh radish and katchup or use powdered sour cream. Make pasta in the morning at lunch mix and add powdered sour cream with some watkins spice blend and add a package of shrimp. There's tubed Wasabi have this with foil packaged tuna on rye crackers. Dehydrated humus is readily available have it with carott salad. I personally like grated carrot, hot bbq peanuts and sunflour seeds with sundried and oregano salad dressing. These aren't space savers but if every 3rd day you had something outsied the bannock and peanut butter, it might work.
Not sure how this works for single servings, never packed for a solo.

Author:  Greg Allen [ February 7th, 2005, 12:38 am ]
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I can't wait to see the responses.

I too, take long solo trips - Mackenzie last summer and what I found was useing a 10 " aluminum dutch oven to bake up bannock and brownies and all the new Atkins products at night after dinner was the way to go. I would have a snack for the evening and a lunch for the next day.

It's tedious but after all it is said and done there is plenty of time in the arctic "night." But like Hoop I get tired off it on a daily level for a month or more.

I'm making my own jerky this year - it's enjoyable, and I will try a recipe for modern pemminican found here. In the old days we carried #10 cans of peanut butter and jam but now I use small jars. The problem is they are glass.

Sardines, cheeze whiz, and similar junk holds up well but...

Looking forward to any new ideas for long term stuff - a month or so.

Greg Allen

Author:  Tonycc [ February 7th, 2005, 7:16 am ]
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Just a quick note (I have to get to work)

Ramen noodles make for an easy pasta salad. To rehydrate just put a cup of water and a package of noodles in a nalgene, will hydrate within 30 minutes without cooking. Add Italian dressing. You can also top with many other dried items, veggies, grated romano cheese, pepperoni slices, etc.

Don't forget to break them up and remove them from the celophane before leaving on your trip. Saves space and guaranteed leaks of the package.


Author:  Boneli [ February 7th, 2005, 8:20 am ]
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How about the quick Lipton products? Boil and serve for cooler days!

Some vegetables will stay fresh if packaged properly to add to your lunches.


Author:  Krusty [ February 7th, 2005, 10:24 am ]
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There were discussions here last year on preserving cheese. Last summer we had unusually hot weather and our dehydrated cheddar was greasy, but still edible on day 15. A food barrel in the sun all day can get surprisingly hot inside. Try and keep it shaded, even in the boat.

We also had sausage on day 15. I’ve had it get moldy as you described, but not since we’ve had it vacuum packed. We get a particularly dry, not too spicy “Hunter’s” sausage made by a local German butcher, and he vacuum packs it for us. It’s heavy, but contains little water and lots of calories.

A little bit of a desert can add variety: a piece of hard candy, a couple of carmel candies, a piece of dark chocolate (higher melting temp.), a few M&M’s etc. Try it – you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll look forward to this treat.

Plan your consumption to use up the riskier, less trusted but more varied stuff first, and save the boring but trusted fare for the end of the trip.

Author:  frozentripper [ February 7th, 2005, 10:41 am ]
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The problem with jerky recipes is that there's not enough salt in them to preserve the meat. There's typically some salt in soy sauce, etc. but after awhile there'll be mold appearing on a longer trip. Salting the jerky liberally, then washing off surface salt and redrying when needed might work for adding some variety to the food. Probably best to try at home first to find something that'll work for sure over the long haul.

Author:  hovdeboj [ February 7th, 2005, 10:42 am ]
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Assuming you don't want to give up the PB altogether, hydrogenated doesent necessarily mean trans fats, unless my jar of skippy is misrepresenting with 0g of trans fats on the label.

Another option is Nutella, mmmm chocolait and hazelnut, no need to refrigerate, 0 trans fats, world wide outsells all brands of PB combined.

Middle eastern/north african/indian foods are probably a good option, try and hit an ethnic market or import isle at the supermarket. By their nature many of these foods resist spoilage and in addition they have long shelf lives and light packaging because of the costs associated with importing them:

Hummous is awsome, never tried it dried and rehydrated but definitely worth looking at.

Cous cous, use an instant broth soup (chicken/beef/onion) or boulion instead of water to prepare in the morning or night before bulk up with meat in a pouch. try adding a handfull of fresh berries if available.

Falafel mixes just add water and a bit of oil

As an alternative to bannock I picked up a "just add water" mix for Indian Nan bread the other day (Sharwood's i think), havent tried it yet but if its half as good as some of the recipes I've tried it should still be great, especially after a month in the bush.

As for raman, all are not created equal, the Sapporo Chow Mein brand are light years ahead for taste and texture, although they do take a little longer to cook/soak. Also look for Japanese Udon style noodles which have more substance to them.

Black bean spreads and dips are also a good option with a little more protein. Some of the folks/recipes here have mentioned the PC instant black bean dip although ive never been able to find it.

Hope this helps, interested in other suggestions as well.

Author:  Mac [ February 7th, 2005, 2:46 pm ]
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How about taking in some flat breads instead of bannock. They make nice sandwich wraps and seem to last for a while out there in reseable bags.

Also, I notice some Cloverleaf single serve spread products in the canned tuna/salmon section of the grocery stores. Yeah, I know, you end up with a little wee aluminum can that you need to wash out and flatten with the back of your axe, to carry it out, but that isn't a problem if what was inside it, was tasty.

You could also consider making up dried slaw salads, with dried apples, raisins, nuts , dried radishes,dried carrots etc. These things usually rehydrate in a few minutes and taste great with oil/vinegar for a dressing. especially after you have been out there for 3 or more weeks. If you cut the cabbage up finely before drying, it compacts better and doesn't come out looking like a pile of random laid sticks, that consumes a lot of volume in your pack.

Someone mentioned using pasta salads. These are great for lunches.
I usually cook the pasta in the morning after breakfast and put it a Nalgene bottle.Then add a package of pasta mix at lunch time.

If you have a vacuum packager you can separately vacuum package just enough cheese for each meal. If it starts to go a bit oily in the package,then stick it in some cold lake/river water to chill it. Also you could keep them wrapped in a towel in the centre of a pack/barrel so they stay cooler during the day .Or if the water is warm let them cool down at night in the chilly air.

Pepperoni, the Bridgeford type that isn't refrigerated, can be vacuum packed with an oxygen absorber, in suitable single serving amounts and it will keep for 4 plus weeks that way.

I have carried peanut butter in the summer for periods of 4 weeks with no problems. I put it in a clean , Nalgene jar and have never had a leak (touch wood) or got sick from it not being refrigerated for that time period. I think almost everything we buy these days tells us to "refrigerate after opening" and indeed that is probably necessary for some things.

Also, you can buy peanut butter powder. It doesn't taste too bad as a spread with jam after rehydrating , but it is mostly used for baking.

I am sure there are lots of lunch ideas out there. It will be interesting to see what comes out .

Author:  Been Digging [ February 7th, 2005, 7:41 pm ]
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I don't know if this is enough of a change from bannock, but I have made corn bread in a frying pan, and it's generally turned out pretty well. I've had trouble with burning over an open fire, but I need more practice.

I usually eat the natural type peanut butter; not sure how long it keeps - 6 days is probably the longest I've had it out. Like someone earlier said, you may want to look further into how long it keeps unrefrigerated. It is just peanuts, which will keep for a long time. I currenty have a jar of Woodstock Farms organic pb; I can't find any "refrigerate after opening" language on the jar. (BTW, I think it's a smart move on your part to get away from hydrogenated oils.)

Another idea may be the dense breads collectively known as Logan bread. There are many recipes out there. I've never made one, but maybe you could try making some up ahead of time, and seeing if it is compact enough.

Author:  jjanosik [ February 7th, 2005, 8:23 pm ]
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In our LONG trips Pork fat rules! :roll:

Author:  maddogbob [ February 7th, 2005, 8:46 pm ]
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One of our favourites is hummus. IMHO it is an excellent alternative to Peanut Butter. It is simple to make, nutritious and dehyrates/rehydrates easily - especially if you put through the blender after it is dried. It tastes good on anything bread or cracker-like.

For variety, you can mix it with salsa, another healthy food that dehydrates easily.

It's one of our staples.


Author:  Hillbilly [ February 7th, 2005, 9:05 pm ]
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I make banock with white flour and yellow corn meal. You need a little more water than with just a white flour mix. I make sandwiches with banock . I used a dried sausage, summer sausage or some of the Italian dried sausages and edam and/or gouda cheese which lasts for weeks in the heat as long as the wax is kept on and it stays dry. The wax is a good fire starter when the cheese is gone. Experiment with dehydating things like Manwich and other sandwich fillings. They can be re-hydrated by adding the needed water befoe you leave camp in the morning and will be eady to eat at lunch.

Author:  wotrock [ February 7th, 2005, 9:26 pm ]
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maddogbob wrote:
One of our favourites is hummus. IMHO it is an excellent alternative to Peanut Butter. It is simple to make, nutritious and dehyrates/rehydrates easily -

you can sometimes find dehydrated hummus in supermarkets as well

Author:  John S [ February 7th, 2005, 9:44 pm ]
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We like Wasa bread. Actually very large and thick crackers. They come in a bunch of flavors. They go well with Peanut buitter and chesse and pepperoni.

As to Pepperoni, whats wrong with the long thin ones that are in the store unrefrigerated? They must last months.

As to cheese, how about the round ones are are packed in wax? At what temperature would the wax packing melt? They should stay fresh for a very long time if the wax packing stays solid.

You can get tuna in foil bags these days. Bring some individual packets of mayo like the little ones at fast food joints.

Another great treat is brown bread that comes in a waxed cardboard can. Great with honey, jelly or PB.

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