The joy of backpacking meals gets pretty boring if all you've bought along those are packaged dehydrated meals. Some are good, some are so lacking in flavor that I'd probably eat the packaging itself.
Over the years we've learned how to create wonderful meals while backpacking without much fuss, extra weight or prep time. And we're still experimenting but here is one of our favorite dinner meals for your review and hopefully it will inspire even more creativity if you've never gone beyond the basic dehydrated meal planning.
We like to serve a stir fry over rice made with sausage for the meat eaters and tofu for the vegetarians. Here's how we do it.
Prep beforehand: Wash and cut your veggies and seal them well into zip lock bags. Use harder veggies which will stay fresher and keep their shape longer such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onion and a bit of garlic, celery and other root vegetables. We do bring peppers with us but cut them into larger pieces.
We bring up salami which will also keep longer than softer meats and we'll marinate it in a favorite sauce before placing it inside another ziplock bag. The same for the tofu. And we look for the premarinated tofu (teriyaki is the current favorite) that is already packed up in a sealable bag.
A small container of olive oil for seasoning the pan along with smaller containers of salt and pepper.
The rice. Here you have a choice. Bring it dry to save on weight and cook it first. It'll keep warm for a while as long as you do not remove the lid. You can stir fry up the rest of your meal while the rice is waiting.
Alternately, you can pre-cook your rice and place in a freezer bag. Prep a pot of hot water and place the pre-cooked rice in its zip lock bag directly into the pot of hot water. While it's warm up you can stir fry the rest of your meal.
Start by softening your veggies first for a few minutes and then add your meat or tofu for a couple of minutes more. When everything is warm through open up your rice bag or remove the lid from your pot of cooked rice and place the rice in your bowls or plates. Spoon the meat or tofu and veggies on top and you've got one delicious and nutritious stir fry meal out in the backcountry.
For added dining pleasure you could even chop up some of your snacking nuts and sprinkle on top.
Bon Appetit and Happy Hiking!