Sometimes nothing beats an egg. Make up some extras for a trail snack. Bring along a little squeeze tube of margarine or a container of butter for extra flavor, and don't forget the baggies of salt and pepper!
1 – 6 eggs
butter or margarine
salt and pepper
Carefully place the eggs in the cooking cup. Add water to cover completely. Turn on heat and bring to a boil. If you want them soft-boiled, turn off heat and let sit for three to five minutes. For hard-boiled, reduce heat to very low boil for five minutes, then turn off and let sit another five. If you douse the eggs with cold water first, they're easier to peel.
Packaged soups and pastas from Knorr and Lipton have been backpacker mainstays for years. Throwing in meat and powdered milk adds depth and flavor. Starkist sells tuna in a Mylar foil pouch which we like because there's no can to carry, and it makes a superlight drinking cup when you're done. Canned turkey, Spam, chicken, clams, or shrimp are all fine substitutes for tuna. If you're a vegetarian or minimalist, skip the meat and add a little fresh parmesan cheese, olive oil, or nuts.
2 cups water
1/4 cup powered milk
5 oz. pkg Knorr Pasta with Alfredo Sauce
4 oz. can of tuna
Bring water to a boil. Turn way down and add powdered milk and Alfredo Pasta mix. Simmer on super-low until cooked, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Turn off heat, add tuna, and stir. For variety, try salmon, sardines, or clams.
Jet Soup with Dumplings
Fresh bread on the trail is virtually unheard of, but dumplings are an easy and tasty substitute which takes your soup to new levels.
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water
Pre-mix the dry ingredients before your trip in a one quart zip lock bag. On the trail, add cold water to the bag, zip it shut, and knead it until you get a doughy consistency. You might have to add a little more water. Set this aside and make your soup, then turn off the heat. Spoon out penny-sized chunks of dough into the hot soup. Turn on the heat again, and simmer at lowest possible heat for a couple minutes while stirring continuously. Turn off heat and chow down.
Gordon's Rice and Avocado Burritos
This one is great for car camping. A delicious departure from bean-based burritos.
1 cup water
1 cup instant rice
salt and pepper
Bring water to boil, turn off heat, and add rice. Let stand for five minutes until rehydrated. Slice some cheese onto a tortilla, add a couple spoonfuls of rice to melt it, and cut in some avocado. Top with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Roll it up and chow down Gordon style.
Explain how to make tea? Preposterous, unless you're a Brit. Next time you take a chilly fall hike or winter snowshoe, bring along your Jetboil and surprise your friends at lunchtime. You'll be the hit of the party.
Bring water or snow to a fresh boil. Turn off heat, add teabag(s), cover, and let steep for three minutes.
Puttanesca is an Italian assemblage of funky and intense flavors, which is why we like it so much. Bring olives in a baggie to avoid the weight of a full can. Fresh garlic is best, but garlic paste is convenient. Amore sells garlic paste in a tube. Or just use garlic powder to save weight.
2 cups water
3/4 cup pasta shells or wheels
3 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
2 oz. can of anchovies with capers
1/4 cup chopped black olives or paste
2 cloves of chopped garlic
Bring water to a boil, turn down to lowest simmer, and add pasta. Allow pasta to cook (7-10 minutes, depending on the variety). Turn off heat, snap cover on tightly, and drain the water. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. For extra richness, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Top with parmesan cheese.
Ok, so it's not as good as fresh, but it's a lot easier to make and clean up after, and you'll appreciate the fresh stuff when you get home.
For an improvement on most instant coffee brands, try Medaglia D'Oro instant espresso. For an approximation of fresh taste, try the coffee singles (coffee in a teabag) from Folger's or Maxwell House. If this still isn't your cuppa, check out our Cowboy Coffee recipe.
Jet Beans and Franks
Ok, so it's not exactly lightweight but hey, you can't beat hot dogs and beans for car camping and short trips. We love this American favorite a la Jetboil.
12 oz. can baked beans
1 – 6 hotdogs
Open and pour a can of beans in the cooking cup. Stick in up to six hot dogs vertically, like buried phone poles. Start Jetboil and turn down to the lowest possible heat. Cover loosely and let the mixture heat for about five minutes to evenly heat the dogs and beans. Pull the dogs out and serve on a bun. Alternate recipe for speedier results: cut up the dogs into the beans, turn heat a tiny bit higher and stir continuously until warm.
No lightweight food guide would be complete without a rousing cheer for these noodles. Ramen is cheap, calorie-packed, fast-cooking, and uncannily satisfying. Even if you don't make any other hot food, you can feel satisfied that with Jetboil you have the world's fastest Ramen maker, and that's more than enough to make us happy.
2 cups water
one pkg Ramen noodles
Boil water, turn heat way down, add Ramen noodles and mystery spice packet. Stir. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for five minutes.
Another old Boy Scout favorite. If you get tired of it hot, make it cold and traditional, right in the cooking cup. Follow the directions on the packet, then set the cooking cup in a cold stream or snowbank.
For a change from hot chocolate, mix 1-2 tablespoons JELL-O in a cup of hot water for a fruity breakfast drink.