Review: Mountain House’s Pasta Primavera + Chili Mac with Beef

mountain house food 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.

Late night dinner... Some Pasta Primavera.

Late night dinner… Some Pasta Primavera.

The end result -- lighting courtesy of headlamps.

The end result — lighting courtesy of headlamps.

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?

Great views, okay food.

Great views, okay food.

Chili Mac with Beef, all cooked and ready to eat. What do ya think?

Chili Mac with Beef, all cooked and ready to eat. What do ya think?

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?!

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One response to “Review: Mountain House’s Pasta Primavera + Chili Mac with Beef

  1. Pingback: Hiking Sheep Canyon Trail at Mount St. Helens, Washington | Clean Spirit·

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