If there is one thing more beloved than ramen packs by frugal hikers it is Knorr® Pasta (and rice) sides. The long time favorite of thru hikers due to ease in finding and simple prep it is also seen as the step child to “real” trail food, disdained as franken food. OK, it isn’t the bastion of health food but if ramped up you can use it for a good base to a meal.
More so, you can often ignore the cooking time on the packages. It may say to boil the liquids, then add in the dry and cook for ‘x’ amount of time – but no, you can fudge it. You can bring the liquid and dry to a boil together, cook a few minutes and then cozy up for 5 to 10 minutes to finish cooking. As well, you can cook them without milk (when called for), add in dry milk instead and use oil instead of butter. There is no set rules!
So today I played with the Stroganoff Side and bumped it a bit to make it more filling.
1 packet Knorr® Stroganoff Pasta Side
1/2 cup diced freeze dried mushrooms
1/4 cup dry milk
2 Tbsp diced sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup freeze dried ground beef
1 Tbsp or 1 packet olive oil
2 ounces cream cheese (use a Philly foil packet)
Pack the vegetables, meat and dry milk in a sandwich bag. Freeze the cream cheese before leaving and let thaw as you hike.
Bring 2 1/2 cups water, the oil and the vegetable bag to a boil in your pot. Add in the pasta packet, stir well, bring just back to a boil and then lower the heat to a low simmer for time on package. Add in the cream cheese in the last minute and blend in till creamy. Take off the stove and let sit covered for a couple minutes to finish setting up.
PS: A small loaf of bread makes it even better – but you already knew that, right? 😉