Yes, the bar is being raised as we speak!
Actually, here are a few old-time suggestions you might like:
From Erin: Another idea we’ve used while multi-day backpacking and tent-camping is powdered coconut milk (available at the Asian Market in Boulder). You can mix it with water, bouillon cubes, curry paste, freeze-dried vegetables and even a small amount of canned or pre-packaged meat if you’re so inclined. Voila – gourmet curry from very light ingredients! Cook some rice in the curry for a one-pot meal.
The drying option: A friend of mine freeze-dries her own homemade meals for backcountry adventures – it’s simple (home dehydrators are also pretty inexpensive) but does take some time and preparation.
Something else to try: I am experimenting with drying meat jerky style. But on the first batch I didn’t cut the beef thinly enough or marinate it long enough, so I used it in chipped beef gravy over rice to see how it would taste re-hydrated. It was great. Jerry thought it was something real special! So I think that has some possibilities for getting some protein into backpacking meals.
As for veggies, last fall I also dehydrated zucchini (because they are really easy to slice.) Added that to a Namaste gluten free Mexican pasta mix and was amazed at how good that tasted.
Here’s a comment that came from one of our hut trip companions, skier extraordinaire Morgan: “Mary, Let your friend Jenn know that an awesome cookbook for backpacking food ideas is the “NOLS Cookery.” It involves everything from ration planning, to caloric intake depending on the season and activity, as well as a nutritional guide and many recipes specific to bulk rationing backpacking cooking!” Thanks, Morgan.