Realistic non-cooler based menu planning

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.

Realistic non-cooler based menu planning

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:19 pm

So, I don't think that I want to even deal with a cooler.. or more like.. deal with ice or lack thereof. I'd much rather just go the canned/dry goods route and heat things up rather than deal with stuff spoiling, mucky swamp coolers, and the lines at Arctica to get more ice every day.

I'm flying in to Reno, and have to gather everything in one shot from what's available. I've heard Trader Joe's has some killer Indian food pouches or something? I know TJ's, but not totally familiar with the selection as FL is like the one state left that doesn't have one. FML.

I'm with a fully setup theme camp and kitchen, so stove and everything is available.

What are some suggestions for dry menu planning in the Reno area?
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Postby Theres Always One » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:24 pm

Are you planning just for yourself or for multiple people?

Have you considered MRE's? (Although I don't know if and where you would get them in Reno so close to the burn)
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:31 pm

Canned! You can get alot of really weird canned stuff at regular grocery stores.

I had good luck with bagels out there too, although alot of people say bread type stuff will either get moldy or dried out. Pop tarts work well too. :)
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Postby Theres Always One » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:35 pm

Poptarts! What a great idea!!!
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Postby junglesmacks » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:37 pm

Theres Always One wrote:Are you planning just for yourself or for multiple people?

Have you considered MRE's? (Although I don't know if and where you would get them in Reno so close to the burn)


Just myself..

..and yeah I've thought about MREs.. you can get a case of 12 off of Ebay for $65. But.. for $65, there has to be more creative options?
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Postby shroom » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:49 pm

I'm bringing some of those tuna salad mixes that come with crackers, power bars, granola bars, and some of the camping meals that just need hot water. None of that needs to be in the cooler.
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:59 pm

Oh yeah, pringles are great too. :) They don't get crushed in the cardboard tubes.
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Postby Theres Always One » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:33 pm

mudpuppy000 wrote:Oh yeah, pringles are great too. :) They don't get crushed in the cardboard tubes.


But I loooooove my Doritos.
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Postby Dork » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:55 pm

Campbells Chunky soups are a mainstay for me out there - leave them in the sun and eat right out of the can or at night you can heat it up a bit first. More favorites:

fruit snack cups
crackers
pretzels
jerky (if you can find something decent - many are too rubbery)
tuna pouches in oil
sardines
granola bars
peanut butter and honey
cheap bread (you want the stuff with preservatives)
any boil and eat dinner - if it calls for adding butter, you can use cooking oil instead

The main thing is to try everything out at home first! Heat it up on your stove and have it for dinner. If it tastes reasonable at home it will out there too. Keep in mind you won't need to eat as much due to the heat.

Grocery stores will have the same stuff they do where you live.
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Postby dewnorth » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:17 pm

Foil packed Indian food, like Tasty Bites
Tortillas & bagels worked great last year, and didn't spoil
Nuts
Dehydrated fruits--dried pineapple is great. Raisins are easy to find.
Dinty Moore style non-refrigerated dinners.
Cups of fruit and pudding

The outer packing can be left at home, and many of the containers stack well to make a small amount of garbage to haul out.

Has anyone ever tried putting water and maybe some oil in instant potatos and let them sit awhile, maybe in the sun? I wonder if that would work.
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Postby dr.placebo » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:43 pm

From both backpacking and playa experience, some additional likes:

-- to drink (VERY important, also must maintain electrolytes)
water (1.5 gallon/person/day)
dried mixes (like gatorade, emergen-c, others)
canned or plastic bottled mixers (most bars run short on mixers first)
not too much alcohol (your choice, some is fine, too much is dehydrating)

-- no cook
protein bars (most granola bars are dominantly sugar)
rice cakes (good to spread canned stuff on)
hard cheese lasts for days (but not a whole week) if kept out of the sun
salami and pepperoni (much better than jerky, IMHO)
granola (avoid added sugar, though)

-- boiling water
ramen noodles (add cut up dried stuff & sun-dried tomatoes)
soup mixes (especially after dark, it gets cold)
cocoa, freeze-dried coffee

-- basic pills
vitamins, ibuprofen
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Just because I already had them...

Postby karabrugger » Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:46 pm

We're going totally freeze dried from backpacker's country and mountain house foods. You can get them at REI or campmor or any camping shop really. I just happen to already have them so that's what we're eating.
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Re: Just because I already had them...

Postby mudpuppy000 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:35 pm

karabrugger wrote:We're going totally freeze dried from backpacker's country and mountain house foods. You can get them at REI or campmor or any camping shop really. I just happen to already have them so that's what we're eating.


I've had a few of those and they taste really good. Kinda expensive though. I like the breakfast (egg) ones. That'd be pretty tough to keep fresh eggs from spoiling out there.
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Postby Token » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:39 pm

Beef Jerky
Canned Chili
Canned fish, lots of.
Pickled foods, lots of.
Cans of bacon cheese whiz, lots of.
Hot sauce.

WWW guide and watch to find all the camps serving food.
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Postby geekster » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:43 pm

I find Asian markets to have the most interesting canned and dried stuff. Ranch 99 in the Bay Area must have a dozen different kinds of jerky.

One place I would check out in Reno is

http://www.yelp.com/biz/reno-asian-supermarket-reno

and I would also be tempted to check out:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/king-ranch-market-reno
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Postby Isotopia » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:46 pm

What are some suggestions for dry menu planning in the Reno area?


OK, you've asked your question before the Oracle of Delphi.

Behold, your answer: http://www.amazon.com/Man-Can-Plan-Grea ... 1579546072

or

http://www.mealtime.org/content.aspx?id=340

Here are a few recipe links: http://community.tasteofhome.com/forums/t/364099.aspx

NOTE: I recommend you pass on the Spaghettio Stir-Fry.

BTW, don't hate me for posting this. I mean, you did ask.
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Postby phil » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:27 pm

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Postby junglesmacks » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:27 am

Isotopia wrote:
What are some suggestions for dry menu planning in the Reno area?


OK, you've asked your question before the Oracle of Delphi.

Behold, your answer: http://www.amazon.com/Man-Can-Plan-Grea ... 1579546072

or

http://www.mealtime.org/content.aspx?id=340

Here are a few recipe links: http://community.tasteofhome.com/forums/t/364099.aspx

NOTE: I recommend you pass on the Spaghettio Stir-Fry.

BTW, don't hate me for posting this. I mean, you did ask.



Lol.. cute.. but.. the goal is to do no more prep work than walking through the aisle and putting something in a cart. I mean, we are (cave)men.. after all..
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:13 am

Tasty Bites are good. I was eating them IRL before playa. Be sure to remove the cardboard packaging.

Sit in the parking lot and remove as much packaging as possible.

bread (loaf of bread, bagels, crackers)
peanut butter
jelly
honey
raisins
apples
bananas
(all of which can be intermixed)
soup with pop-top lids to eat out of the can
oysters (put on crackers)

jars of salsas and dips
crackers

Like you, I want to take a quick walk through a store and get out.

If you're really not sure what all is there, go walk through your grocery store and make a list of ideas.



Those camping rehydrate things are OK - way too much sodium for me, but I"ve had the bacon and eggs and it was pretty tasty (except for the saltiness).
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Postby ConnieH » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:45 am

Our food for a week consists of:

Mountain House backpacking meals (lasagne and stroganoff are my favs)
Tasty Bites (peas paneer is my fav)
instant potato packets (4 Cheese - yummm)
Tuna or salmon foil packets (mix into the potatoes...YumYUM!)
canned green beans (mix into the potatoes and tuna - triple YUM!)
cereal
8oz shelf stable almond milk tetrapaks (don't try the shelf stable Horizon regular milk, it's disgusting, tastes like canned milk)
instant oatmeal
Clif bars or similar
salted peanuts
pickles (the only thing that I put in the cooler with our drink ice cuz I like cold pickles, but when the ice is gone, warm is ok too)
Sun-chips
Bugles with Easy Cheese
cheese sticks
powdered Crystal light type drink mixes
a few bottles of electrolite type drinks
Couscous is pretty good, think I'll toss in a couple boxes this year
Bear Valley soups might get in the box, too - tortilla and broccoli are my favs

Nothing gourmet here, but food is really low on our list, we simply don't get that hungry on the playa and I don't want to cook. Plus someone in camp is always grilling up burgers or eggs or somesuch and giving it away because they have too much - and we have Bacon Camp with us :)

Last year I brought a largish cooler thinking we'd need to keep ice for something, we never used the thing. This year I'm just going to bring the smaller personal sized cooler that fits one bag of ice just about perfectly - for drinks.
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:49 am

Sorely lacking in fruit and vegetables...if you go this high sodium/carb packaged route, get some vitamins or something, too...
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:00 am

ConnieH wrote:Our food for a week consists of:

Mountain House backpacking meals (lasagne and stroganoff are my favs)
Tasty Bites (peas paneer is my fav)
instant potato packets (4 Cheese - yummm)
Tuna or salmon foil packets (mix into the potatoes...YumYUM!)
canned green beans (mix into the potatoes and tuna - triple YUM!)
cereal
8oz shelf stable almond milk tetrapaks (don't try the shelf stable Horizon regular milk, it's disgusting, tastes like canned milk)
instant oatmeal
Clif bars or similar
salted peanuts
pickles (the only thing that I put in the cooler with our drink ice cuz I like cold pickles, but when the ice is gone, warm is ok too)
Sun-chips
Bugles with Easy Cheese
cheese sticks
powdered Crystal light type drink mixes
a few bottles of electrolite type drinks
Couscous is pretty good, think I'll toss in a couple boxes this year
Bear Valley soups might get in the box, too - tortilla and broccoli are my favs

Nothing gourmet here, but food is really low on our list, we simply don't get that hungry on the playa and I don't want to cook. Plus someone in camp is always grilling up burgers or eggs or somesuch and giving it away because they have too much - and we have Bacon Camp with us :)

Last year I brought a largish cooler thinking we'd need to keep ice for something, we never used the thing. This year I'm just going to bring the smaller personal sized cooler that fits one bag of ice just about perfectly - for drinks.

WOW! Besides for the Couscous, I'd say you were stoking us at the grocery store!

Though We typically do make a couple meals during the week. Every so often I will get really hungry, and need a full meal.
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Postby junglesmacks » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:06 am

C.f.M. wrote:Sorely lacking in fruit and vegetables...if you go this high sodium/carb packaged route, get some vitamins or something, too...


That totally goes without saying. Personally, every day I take 50g of whey protein + full serving of All-One vitamin powder (like 2000% RDA of everything) + creatine powder. I plan on making up small snack size ziplocks of a daily dose for each day.
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Postby illy dilly » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:22 am

junglesmacks wrote:
C.f.M. wrote:Sorely lacking in fruit and vegetables...if you go this high sodium/carb packaged route, get some vitamins or something, too...


That totally goes without saying. Personally, every day I take 50g of whey protein + full serving of All-One vitamin powder (like 2000% RDA of everything) + creatine powder. I plan on making up small snack size ziplocks of a daily dose for each day.

Go to your local smoke shop. Get 2"x2" bags fill with your vita-mix and hassle air port security when they try to give you grief!
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:28 am

I'm not sure I want to try and take my Vitamix with me.

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Postby teardropper » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:37 am

...though it makes delicious Margaritas.
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:38 am

So does this weed whacker

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Postby kiuney » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:45 am

We still take a cooler but have been moving towards more canned goods...

Canned chili
Canned rice and beans
Pickles
Olives
Little Debbies Brownies 8)
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Postby viajera80 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:57 am

Just a note on the more popular items like Tasty Bites and other packaged Indian food. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods ran out of them very quickly last year. :roll: So keep your options open. Check out the local Grocery Outlet in Reno. They have some fun things and good fruits and veggies.
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Postby teardropper » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:09 am

I have a refrigerator and still tend to easy food. Oriental soup cups, chicken salad in a can and crackers, Knorr noodle and pasta dishes w/canned chicken, cold cereal with shelf stable milk, canned things.

A word here on shelf stable milk. Doesn't need refrigeration, comes in one portion boxes and is good. Perfect for cereal and coffee.
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