Although we loved the Backpacker’s Pantry meal we had a couple of weeks back, we decided to stock up on a TON of Mountain House meals during REI‘s big anniversary sale — all Mountain House meals were 25% off! We pretty much got every “flavor,” or at least every one that seemed semi-edible. During our Sheep Canyon Trail trip, we brought both the Pasta Primavera and Chili Mac with Beef. The Pasta Primavera is vegetarian and as you would expect with a meat-less meal, it’s not big on protein, or at least when compared to the meat-filled ones (the Pasta Primavera packs 8 grams, as well as only 210 calories per serving). It does pack a variety of freeze-dried veggies though, including zucchini, broccoli, red peppers, yellow peppers, and green peas.
The spiral macaroni cooked surprisingly well and the parmesan cheese sauce helped give the illusion of a “real” meal. It wasn’t bad, just not very flavorful. This definitely needed to be doctored up with salt, pepper, and some dried herbs! On a scale of 1 to 5, I’d give this a 3. Would I buy it again? Probably, but mostly because I’m a huge cheese fan and this sauce (though bland) would be a well-appreciated treat after a long day.
The next day, we set up a little kitchen by one of the trail’s treasures, Sheep Canyon Falls and pulled out the Mountain House meal we were most skeptical about — Chili Mac with Beef. Its protein content of 12 grams did a good job of convincing us to buy (and eat) it though!
This meal was pretty much exactly what you would expect from its name… Beans, elbow macaroni noodles, and freeze-dried beef pieces, and with an very unappetizing physical appearance. 🙂
I’m a huge chili fanatic, so (unsurprisingly) this didn’t meet my expectations. It was watery, not thick like your usual home-cooked batch. The broth, in combination with the beef, reminded me of a knockoff Chef Boyardee. But again, it wasn’t that bad. Colin said he wouldn’t buy it again, but to be honest, I would probably eat it again! I’m ranking this 3 out of 5, the same as the Pasta Primavera, because it didn’t wow me but I also would happily eat a full bag of it. Can you tell I’m the least pickiest eater?
ALSO… We brought along a Mountain House Chicken Fried Rice while camping in Mt. Hood National Forest this past week. I would tell you how it was, but I couldn’t eat it!
Before we got to cooking, I just happened to look more closely at the ingredients and thank goodness I did… There’s oyster sauce in it which is no bueno when you’re severely allergic to shellfish like I am.
I wish I had thought to look at the bag beforehand, but I didn’t think to check on something so harmless as “Chicken Fried Rice.” Even the bolded allergy section neglects to mention shellfish! Oh well… It was a boring dinner of Clif Bars and nuts for me.
What Mountain House products have you tried? And more importantly, which ones do you recommend?!