Backpacking recipe: dehydrated pasta salad
One of my favorite things to eat on the trail is pasta salad. It’s absolutely delicious, refreshing, and doesn’t require cooking so it makes a great lunch meal. I make a version of Fresh off the Grid’s pasta salad recipe.
This is a “cold soak” recipe, meaning that it requires no cooking! You simply add water, wait an hour or two, and then the meal is ready to eat. I prefer to get the process started in the morning so I can eat the pasta salad for lunch.
First, begin with cooking some pasta. Cook the pasta until 1 minute before al dente, and then rinse in cold water.
Then, put the pasta the on the dehydrator trays and run it for about 6 hours. At first it seemed really silly for me to cook pasta and then dehydrate it. Isn’t pasta already dry? Why should I need to cook and make it dry again? Well, the internet tells me that I need to cook the pasta at some point, and that cold soaked raw pasta is gummy and awful. If you want to eat the pasta on the trail by soaking it in cold water, as is needed for this recipe, you need to cook it beforehand.
I prepared some cucumber for the pasta salad. Here is it fresh…
…and here is the cucumber after some hours on the dehydrator! Isn’t it cool how small it gets?
I then prepare a bag with my trusty vacuum sealer. I label each bag with date, the contents, and anything else I should know about the recipe. In this case, I put to add EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) to the recipe.
A small note on olive oil – we will be carrying a small bottle of EVOO on the trail at all times. Fats do not dehydrate well and are prone to spoiling, so you should limit fats as much as possible and add them in when you are preparing the meal. Olive oil has one of the best calorie to weight ratios, so it’s a popular choice for many backpackers.
For this recipe, I added tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and broccoli. Dehydrating takes forever and supplementing our meals with these dehydrated veggies from Harmony House has been wonderful.
In the morning, I put the pasta salad packet in an empty peanut butter jar with some water, and everything rehydrates in about an hour or two. Right before I eat it, I put in a true lemon packet and some olive oil.
Sorry I don’t have a final image of what it looks like! It takes a while to make, so I’m saving it for the trail.
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