I’ve blogged before about how much I like using dehydrated vegetables to enhance my trail meals. My dehydrated vegetable provider of choice is Harmony House, and they were nice enough to send a Backpacking Kit along to Nepal with Buckey and I while we thru-hiked the Great Himalaya Trail. While we added meat to many of our meals, I also have quite a few vegetarian backpacking recipes up my sleeve.
Let me just say that having access to healthy food during a thru-hike, or really any backpacking trip, is a total game changer. It’s so difficult to eat enough vegetables on any hike, let alone on a hike through remote Himalaya mountains. The local Nepali cuisine does usually have a curried vegetable portion. However, most of the time it’s potatoes, and maybe one other type of vegetable if I’m lucky.
Buckey and I were stoked to have a stock pile of dehydrated vegetables in our Kathmandu resupply bags that we could bring along on the Great Himalaya Trail with us. Since I’ve written reviews about Harmony House before, this time around I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite trail recipes.
While I’m no longer a vegetarian (I had a good 11 year run), I still like to show love to all the hiker vegetarians out there. I’ve decided to make a list of a few vegetarian backpacking recipes.
Vegetarian Backpacking Recipes
- Harmony House chili mix
- Dehydrated bean flakes or Harmony House TVP taco-flavored bits
- Cheddar (fresh or freeze-dried)
- Hot sauce
Boil some water and toss in the Harmony House chili packet. Put a little extra water in the pot, because the beans will go in later. Cook the chili all the way through, then take the pot off the heat. Stir in some dehydrated bean flakes or TVP taco bits and cheddar cheese. Give it a minute to absorb the water; it doesn’t take long. The chili mix is flavorful enough that you won’t need any additional seasoning.
Once everything is all gooey and cheesy, scoop a few giant spoonfuls onto your tortilla. Add a little hot sauce. If you have to ability to get your hands on some sour cream, it would be a great addition to this recipe as well. Tex-Mex is basically my favorite category of food ever, so I’m always happy to have this meal on the trail.
This recipe can also be vegan if you leave out the cheese.
“Chicken” Noodle Soup and Mashed Potatoes
- Harmony House Garden Veggie Chickenish Soup
- Ramen noodles
- Instant mashed potatoes
Once again, start cooking the Harmony House soup packet first. When the vegetables are about halfway done, add in the Ramen noodles. Let them all cook together in the pot until everything is soft.
Now comes the potatoes. I personally like to stir the instant mashed potatoes in with everything else. It comes out as a thick, soup-flavored, noodle concoction. However, you can also boil some water separately for the potatoes and eat them out of a different bowl. Your call. Either way, this recipe is delicious comfort food that makes me feel cosy on chilly afternoons.
I know the soup is called “chickenish”, but there’s no actual meat in it.
Veggie Fettucine Alfredo
- Harmony House vegetables: peas, broccoli, minced garlic, and carrots
- Lipton Sides Fettucine Alfredo
- A few spoonfuls of powdered milk
- A few squirts of olive oil
- Cheese (parmesan is ideal, but this is the backcountry so do what you can)
- Salt and pepper
Get the vegetables going first. The peas especially take a little longer to cook than everything else. Once things are about halfway done, add in the Fettucine Alfredo Lipton Side. If you’re not sure what these are, they cost $1 and are in the pasta section of pretty much every grocery store in the US.
Once everything is cooked, slowly stir in a few spoonfuls of powdered milk. It clumps together if you try to add it all at once. Stir in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then top everything with cheese.
If you’re feeling really fancy, you can opt out of the Lipton side and instead get regular fettucine noodles and butter. Follow the same basic recipe.
These are just a few suggestions I have for incorporating dehydrated vegetables into your backpacking meals. Really though, the options are endless. Harmony Houses vegetables make a good addition to Ramen or Lipton Sides. The soup packets are a fantastic flavor base to get creative with other meals.
What are your favorite backcountry dinner meals? Leave your recommendations in the comments.
*Opinions about Harmony House are my own. I’ve been using their products for years and love it.