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Alex, I'll take "Foods that don't have to be cooked"

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Alex, I'll take "Foods that don't have to be cooked"

Old 03-08-21, 09:28 PM
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robow
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Alex, I'll take "Foods that don't have to be cooked"

So what do you like to pick up and eat when you'll be in need of a meal later on but you won't be cooking ? Just curious as I'm always looking for new ideas of things that I can easily throw in the pannier that will be good for a couple days and won't need to be cooked but provides a decent meal (not just for snacking, hope this makes sense). As always, thank you for your input.
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Old 03-08-21, 10:24 PM
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I usually have a can of "chef boyardee" ravioli for back up. It's usually eaten by 5pm. Buy a new one each day.
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Old 03-08-21, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
So what do you like to pick up and eat when you'll be in need of a meal later on but you won't be cooking ? Just curious as I'm always looking for new ideas of things that I can easily throw in the pannier that will be good for a couple days and won't need to be cooked but provides a decent meal (not just for snacking, hope this makes sense). As always, thank you for your input.
(hard) Cheese, dry Salami, muesli bars, trail mix, jerky, canned tuna, hummus and crackers, dried fruit,
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Old 03-09-21, 12:25 AM
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Pretty sure anything in a can may be eaten as is. My go to's are beans and a bag of corn chips or alpha-gettis. Gourmet dining it is not
I usually take a small jar of peanut butter and a spoon. Bagels or crackers are good.
Last year I learned how to make old fashioned hard tack. I will take a supply of that on trips from now on.

Speaking of cans and beans.

Last month (February) I did a challenge where in I only ate beans for a month. Breakfast, lunch and supper.. nothing else.
It can (pun intended) be done.


Last edited by Happy Feet; 03-09-21 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 03-09-21, 05:46 AM
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Fruitcake, ain't light but covers all food groups. Usually you can't find it at local markets. I have played with different recipes and use a lot of nuts. Nuts and beans are my go to foods. Both can be eaten cold, prefer hot beans though.
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Old 03-09-21, 06:44 AM
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Old 03-09-21, 07:12 AM
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There's getting to be quite a selection of soft-pak (foil pouch) & seasoned tuna & chicken available(looks like T-MSN and I were posting at the same time). They're easy to pack and slip in about anywhere. Easy open too. Bagels last a couple/few days and are filling..though may get a bit chewy as time goes on. Peanut butter and honey never spoil. Restaurant supply places sell peanut butter, honey, jam in small one serving packets. Easy to pack, easy to open.

One unplanned experiment I ran last year..a mixed blessing of sorts.. We went camping last spring(salvage trip after a long trip was canceled) and took along a pack of flour tortillas. You know..the kind you see huge stacks of in your local grocery and they make "wraps" out of in most sandwich shops. When we got home from the trip I cleaned out the truck as usual. Summer hit, hot weather, truck parked outside. I was working on something and pulled my tool box out of its normal spot on the rear driver floorboard. Somehow that (opened and resealed zip lock) pack of tortillas had slipped off the truck rear deck and tucked in next to the tool box. That pack of tortillas had been in the truck for two months..in hot weather, in the truck with closed windows. How hot does it get in a closed truck, in summer..100* plus..easily. That pack of tortillas(still had 8-9 in the pack) looked in perfect condition. Not a hint of any spoilage. Not discolored, not dried up on the edges, no mold..looked/smelled perfect as if it was just purchased. So the "challenge" was on. Just how long does it take before they go bad? I hung the pack on a nail in on the garage wall for the rest of the summer and into early fall. The closed garage gets plenty warm in the summer. The tortillas never went bad. They looked/smelled great right up into September. I took a couple and tossed them in the yard for the birds. Birds didn't eat them. They laid in the yard for a few days..nothing touched them. I finally ran over them a few times with the lawn mower..the pieces may still be out there...

The pack continued to hang on the wall into the winter...they looked great..store fresh. Mid winter a mouse finally found them and was able to climb the wall-stud to get them. I noticed them when they were half gone and pitched them out in the yard. Not sure what happened to the mouse.

So...you can pack flour tortillas with no fear.

(I no longer eat flour tortillas..organic or otherwise)

Last edited by fishboat; 03-09-21 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 03-09-21, 07:16 AM
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Old 03-09-21, 08:33 AM
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first of all, great topic, and great intro too.

Happy, "beans, beans, the favorite fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot" (great photo btw)

Fish, thanks for the morning chuckle about the tortillas. Your story really connected with me, because those smallish bags of tortillas were a fav of mine to always have in my pannier on my Latin American trips, thin so fit in easily, I could put any old thing I felt like or had access to buying onto and into them, and they generally were an easy carb thing to have in the pannier if a lunch place didnt turn up, or as part of an emergency cache in the bottom of the pannier for a end of day meal if a town was just too dodgy to go out for supper, and/or for breakfast if limited stuff was available.
I began to notice that some brands kept a lot better than others, seems to me that the corn ones would get dried out and fall apart fairly quickly, so they were really best eaten very soon. Some of the (I guess) flour ones, like you found out, seemed to not be in the least bit perturbed by being in a frickin hot pannier for days, and still look and feel reasonable. I too forgot I had some a few times and found them a long time later, and at a certain point would decline to eat them, and just replace the bag.

They certainly had the advantage of being readily available, cheap, and not horrible even after a few days, but then, I'm not a fussy eater and when biking, I think all of us aren't fussy if we need gas in the tank, who cares what octane it is or if it comes out of a pump or sold in pop bottles at the side of the road (classic out of the way Latin American sight)

I'm sure I'll see some other good ideas here.
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Old 03-09-21, 08:38 AM
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What are (do I win anything for that?) muesli (rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit), tortillas (they pack better than most other bread), nut butter, fresh fruit and veg, more nuts and dried fruit. These are available in most stores. Instant mashed potatoes (soaked in cold water) and dry ramen noodles work in a pinch.

Almost all my camping is stoveless. My wife and I have been doing it successfully for nearly two decades. We eat a plant-based diet. Packaging weight and volume are a concern for most of our trips, mostly long distance backpacking.
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Old 03-09-21, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
So what do you like to pick up and eat when you'll be in need of a meal later on but you won't be cooking ?
Whenever possible, we encourage the hospitality industry (i.e. restaurants) for dinner. Lunch on salami/ham + cheese or something similar.

Otherwise, we've been known to survive a few days on GORP (nuts and dried fruits) (and oatmeal for breakfast). We usually have cheese/salami with us, More usual to rely on boiling water gastronomy (oatmeal in the morning; boiled eggs; ramen; rice + tuna in tin can)
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Old 03-09-21, 09:04 AM
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I like to have a hot meal, but I carry tuna and tortillas for lunch, and have had it for dinner when cooking would is inconvenient (late camp, weather). I tried PBJ on tortillas, tuna is much better. Those tuna and cracker mix meals are OK too, but need something else too... usually fruit and cheese.

If weather is not too hot, a sandwich or pizza for lunch, then leftovers for dinner is good.
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Old 03-09-21, 09:05 AM
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Bagels, summer sausage or sopresatta, canned herring and sardines. That foil packed tuna (there is also salmon) is light and compact. (I cook with it regularly.) When breakfast items are lacking and Ill be in a remote area Ill try to pick up fig bars.
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Old 03-09-21, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post

... but then, I'm not a fussy eater and when biking, I think all of us aren't fussy if we need gas in the tank, who cares what octane it is or if it comes out of a pump or sold in pop bottles at the side of the road...
Ya, I agree, but the experiment has given me a new..view..of these things. I'm hesitant to eat something that even bacteria, bugs and beasts avoid. But, if push comes to shove, without other (better) options, on a tour, I'd eat them as they are palatable and go well with nearly anything,..and don't even require a plate or cup. They don't come out looking like tortillas, so they must be digestable and have some sort nutritional value. All that said, I'm still not sure they are actually "food".
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Old 03-09-21, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
Ya, I agree, but the experiment has given me a new..view..of these things. I'm hesitant to eat something that even bacteria, bugs and beasts avoid. But, if push comes to shove, without other (better) options, on a tour, I'd eat them as they are palatable and go well with nearly anything,..and don't even require a plate or cup. They don't come out looking like tortillas, so they must be digestable and have some sort nutritional value. All that said, I'm still not sure they are actually "food".
I hear you, its like that Big Mac and Fries experiment, wasn't that in "Supersize me" or something. Darn stuff didn't change after ages and ages.....

oh, loved the line about the unknown condition of the mouse.
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Old 03-09-21, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post

oh, loved the line about the unknown condition of the mouse.
Mice eat paper towels if they are hungry enough..soo..not a ringing endorsement.

The mouse..I'm thinking it was about the size of a tennis ball, awkwardly laying on its back, feet toward the sky, eyes rolled back, mouth agape.
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Old 03-09-21, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Last month (February) I did a challenge where in I only ate beans for a month. Breakfast, lunch and supper.. nothing else.
It can (pun intended) be done.
How am I the first to ask- why?
And did you eat any dried beans, or were they all canned? Random question, but Im curious since my family only eats dried due to my wife having celiac. Canned beans often have a wheat byproduct added in.
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Old 03-09-21, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
How am I the first to ask- why?
And did you eat any dried beans, or were they all canned? Random question, but Im curious since my family only eats dried due to my wife having celiac. Canned beans often have a wheat byproduct added in.
Well.. seeing as you asked

First, a quote from the Architect of the Matrix: "There are levels of survival we are willing to accept"

Each year in Feb I do a food challenge of sorts to a. have something to talk about with the residents where I work, b. learn about my relationship with various food, c. break up the boredom of deep winter.

It all started about five years ago when I would ask residents a question to stimulate conversation: If you were shipwrecked on a desert island with an unlimited supply of only one meal - what could you eat forever? Only two rules. It has to be the same meal each time, and it has to keep you alive. It can be a meal like spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef and yorkshire pudding or borscht and brown bread (all answers that were given). This was a great way to get residents to tell stories about their favorite foods from the past and even survival in Siberia! My answer to the question was always veggie burgers, as I love them. Or so I said...

That Feb I decided to put my money where my mouth was and try to eat only veggie burgers for a month. I did it pretty easily; four burgers a day, no problem. It gave us a lot to talk about for a month anyways

The next year I decided to up the challenge and try to eat only eggs for a month. I must have just watched Cool Hand Luke. Actually it was eggs and spinach as I was worried about getting constipated but it turned out I did not need the spinach. I ate about 13 eggs a day for a monthly total of about 354. Without thinking about it I went into pure keto with a 70/30 protein/fat split and no carbs at all and I learned a lot about that as it went. Half way through I experienced some electrolyte imbalances and started taking a supplement as well as a daily multi vitamin, which I do for all my challenges now.

The next year I tried only raw, unprocessed foods (like some vegans) and I lasted only a week that time. The prep work of sprouting various grains and oats etc... was just too much and, while I could eat the food, I found no redeeming value to the diet. When I started I found out just how much food has some form of processing, either chemical, thermal or mechanical. Peanuts, coffee, instant oatmeal... even the dip for raw veggies as well as butter, oils and juices.

The next year I opted to eat the same three meals each day: 1/2 cup dry oatmeal for breakfast, 4 hard boiled eggs for lunch, beans and rice for dinner (1/2 cup dry rice and 1 can black beans) with two homemade hardtack biscuits for snacks. That also went well and I learned a lot about long term expedition meal planning/calculating along the way. I could track all aspects of what I ate. Weight, Volume, Calories, Cost... I could calculate and supply a group eating that basic diet (which gave me plenty of energy) for a year (as an example) very accurately. And the food cost budget was very minimal, which I found interesting in a socio-economic way. It was really a challenge to develop a long term sustainable and calculable diet.

This year I pre-tested eating only oatmeal by first doing so for a week. Again, I could do it easily enough mentally but found it too hard to consume enough calories to make a realistic long term challenge feasible.
Instead I ate only beans for a month. Any kind of beans, canned or dried, as long as all the calories came from beans (legumes actually) and not sugary sauces. Baked beans, lima beans, navy beans, lentils, back beans, broad beans... It went well. I got a little bored in the last week because I knew I was going to make it but otherwise had good energy and no cravings. I mountain biked and trail ran throughout.

And that's the story about that. My next goal, something I've been working on throughout, is to make a vegetarian equivalent to pemmican. Early polar explorers and other expeditions relied on a basic diet of pemmican and hardtack and I've always wanted to make a similar food source I could take on wilderness trips.

An interesting side note though is that, when I did my egg challenge I gave up sugar (so I wouldn't get sneak calories) and since then have not started back up. Except for rare occasions no more sweets, sugary drinks, sugar in oatmeal or coffee.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 03-09-21 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 03-10-21, 12:34 AM
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Another thread on the same topic: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/3...king-free.html

I got to my local natural foods store and buy dehydrated foods to pack. My 2 favorites are dehydrated refried beans and hummus. The beans can be used for dinner and the hummus is good in a sandwich. For a store bought lunch, I buy fresh bread, avocado, and cheese for a sandwich and potato chips, peanut and cookies for snacks. I have also found that pesto sauce in a small jar is good on bread (until it isn't, anymore!).
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Old 03-10-21, 02:57 AM
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Bread and baked goods
Fruit
Raw Veg
All kinds of dairy products if you pick them up en route
Tinned meat
Cereal

It's really quite easy!
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Old 03-10-21, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
...
Each year in Feb I do a food challenge of sorts to a. have something to talk about with the residents where I work, b. learn about my relationship with various food, c. break up the boredom of deep winter.
....
You must have amazing will power. But looking at some of your past diet experiments, I think I would not enjoy a bike tour with you.
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Old 03-10-21, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Well.. seeing as you asked

First, a quote from the Architect of the Matrix: "There are levels of survival we are willing to accept"

Each year in Feb I do a food challenge of sorts to a. have something to talk about with the residents where I work, b. learn about my relationship with various food, c. break up the boredom of deep winter.


An interesting side note though is that, when I did my egg challenge I gave up sugar (so I wouldn't get sneak calories) and since then have not started back up. Except for rare occasions no more sweets, sugary drinks, sugar in oatmeal or coffee.
Oh my. THIS could be a topic on its own!! Impressive to say the least. I love beans, but not that much. Maybe pizza

Sugar, I hear ya. I gave this up 7 years ago and it is like a drug, at least to me. Once I was over the addiction part I never looked back. I will nibble on it once in awhile but never have the strong urge to consume it. Feel much better. I do eat natural sugar like fruits. Now when I do eat sugar, it's too sweet for me.
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Old 03-10-21, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Tinned meat
Can't believe this was not specifically mentioned erlier:


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Old 03-10-21, 10:44 AM
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Do you eat Spam cold ? We always fried it when I was a boy.
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Old 03-10-21, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You must have amazing will power. But looking at some of your past diet experiments, I think I would not enjoy a bike tour with you.
Haha 😄 I'm not really that bad.

I do have the ability to toggle between seeing food as enjoyment and seeing it as fuel. And I have a strong interest in the science of expedition/survival foods so I use myself as the experiment. My son says I should rent myself out to researchers because most people wouldn't eat the same thing for so long.

One big question for example, is how to equip a Mars voyage of several years with limited payload capacity.

Nerdy I admit.
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