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Navy salad
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PostFri Oct 13, 2017 3:17 pm 
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[Edited to add section regarding pre-cooking the potatoes]
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I really like a hot breakfast when backpacking and my favorite is a sort of omelette/scrambled egg dish  inspired from two different sources:
  • The book "Backpack Gourmet" ("BG") by Linda Yaffe (my favorite backpacking recipe book, even though it doesn't have pictures); and
  • The Youtube video series by the Hungry Hammock Hanger ("HHH") (that I previously posted about here)
This isn't going to be one of those detailed step-by-step recipes, but rather a general process you can follow to suit your tastes. There are two different approaches. In a nutshell, the BG approach is to use whole eggs, where you lightly cook them first (to kill off the bacteria inherent in almost all eggs, even organic) and then combine with your lightly cooked favorite additions, then dehydrate everything. The HHH approach is to assemble all your ingredients except for the eggs, lightly cook them, dehydrate them, then add powdered eggs (such as Ova Easy) at the very end.

I've tried both, and to me, the above alternatives taste pretty similar. The advantage of the BG method is it's less expensive and the mix doesn't seem to be as eager to stick or burn on the bottom of your cooking pot as the HHH method. The advantage of the HHH method is it's a little quicker (no need to pre-cook eggs) and there's about zero risk of contamination. You decide what works for you.

Step 1: Gather your favorite additions. I usually start with about what I would want in ONE serving, then multiply that by however many servings I'm making. I usually shoot for around 4-6 servings, otherwise the quantity of raw ingredients you'll be working with is a little unwieldy. Here are some sample additions to consider, depending on what you like (in no particular order):
  • Sliced Mushrooms (about 3 mushrooms per serving works for me)
  • Misc greens (such as spinach, kale, etc.). Obviously this won't appeal to everyone, but they add valuable fiber to your meal.
  • Jalapenos -- I use canned and put in about 1 ounce/serving (but note I like it spicey!)
  • Sliced red bell peppers (great, although a little pricey!)
  • Sliced green bell peppers
  • Canned green chili peppers
  • Misc herbs or spices, such as cilantro, parsely, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper flakes
  • Grated or mashed sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes, but I like sweets better). One or the other highly recommended.
  • Grated parmesan (I like about 1/4 cup per serving, but note this ingredient may make for more cleanup in camp since it likes to stick)
  • Vegetarian sausage (I used to use chicken or turkey, but they don't rehydrate very well, especially for breakfast where you probably don't want to spend a lot of time waiting for them to rehydrate -- but even with the veggie sausage, you'll probably want to slice them thin, like 1/8" to 3/16")
  • Garlic (I use about 2 cloves per serving)
  • Onion (I use about 1/2 onion per serving)
  • Tofu -- This is better than you might think, and as long as it's mashed up, seems to rehydrate fine. I use about 1/4 pound per serving.
  • Salsa verde (!) I learned about this from the HHH approach and he has won me over!
  • Regular salsa, if you prefer
  • Hot sauce -- if you like your eggs spicey, you may want to put in as much as double what you would normally use, since it tends to mellow out during the dehydration/rehydration process
  • Canned chopped tomatoes, drained (I get about 3 servings from one can)
Step 2: Precooking the eggs (skip if using HHH method, except for the part about sauteing the onions/garlic): Mince any garlic or onion you're including and saute for around 4 minutes, then add any sliced bell peppers and continue sauteing for another 4 minutes, then add beaten eggs (I figure 3 eggs per serving) and any spices (I like maybe 2 teaspoons fresh Cilantro(!) or basil or parsely, plus maybe 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes per serving.

You want to cook the eggs till they're just set (which happens at 165 degrees). Be careful: if you undercook them, you risk not killing any nasties like Salmonella; if you overcook them, they'll turn rubbery (or worse!). The goal I have is to get the eggs to 160-165 degrees for one minute. But if you're worried about it, the baking in the oven step (see below) should somewhat reassure you; also, you can dehydrate at 160 degrees for the first 30 to 60 minutes. Or you can just use the HHH method with powdered eggs.

Step 3: Pre-cooking any veggies. If you're using potatoes or other non-canned veggies, you need to pre-cook them. For the potatoes, the easiest way is to just peel, quarter, then either simmer until fork-tender or, if you have one, pop the quartered potatoes into a pressure cooker for 5 minutes. Once cooked, mash them -- but avoid adding any liquid. Another option is to grate them, but you'll have a mountain of grated potatoes that will still need to be pre-cooked. If you proceed this route, be sure to immediately plunge the cooked, grated potatoes (don't need to peel them) into cold water to halt the cooking process, then drain as best you can. I've done it both ways and it's much easier to cook the quartered potatoes than deal with all the grated stuff.

Step 4: Saute the sliced mushrooms (if using). I prefer the taste of sauted mushrooms, so I saute them in a non-stick frying pan. You could probably do this as part of step 2 if you're careful about timing.

Step 5: Combine all ingredients and mix well. If using the BG method, put into a suitable size casserole dish and bake in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees for 10 minutes to add one more measure of safety.

Step 6: Dehydrate everything. If using the BG method, I start at 160 degrees for 30' to 60', then reduce to 145 degrees until dry (the time will vary depending on how soupy it is from adding things like canned chopped tomatoes or green chilies, but probably will range from 6 to 12 hours). If using the HHH method, just keep at 145 degrees the entire time. Once it's all dehydrated, divide everything into individual servings (a scale that can weigh to tenths of an ounce is handy for this). I like to vacuum bag and seal each serving, and just to be extra careful, I store them in the freezer.

In camp, be careful with how much liquid you add! I suggest starting with less than you think it will take, then gradually add more as it is absorbed. Once I get the liquids right and fully up to temperature, I take my pot off the stove and slip it into a cozy and just let it sit maybe 15' to 20'

Enjoy!

PS: Referring to this as an "omelette" or even "scrambles" invokes a certain amount of poetic license!
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JeffreyH
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PostWed Oct 18, 2017 7:57 am 
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Thank you for sharing the recipe! It's pretty complex, I would say. I prefer simpler recipes.  biggrin.gif  Anyway, will give it a try (most likely at home though).
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Schenk
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PostWed Oct 18, 2017 9:54 am 
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I am already hungry!

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Token Civilian
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PostWed Oct 18, 2017 2:10 pm 
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Went on an 8 day trip and did scrambled eggs 3 of the 7 breakfasts.

Prepackage at home the following:

Bag 1:  Sausage crumbles (freeze dried), onion (freeze dried) and a mix of red / green bell peppers (freeze dried).  Include packet of salsa, hot sauce and packet of cooking / olive in this bag.

Bag 2:  Powdered eggs with a teaspoon of powdered milk per 2 eggs and a few grinds of salt.

In field:
Remove salsa, hot sauce & oil packets & reserve for later, and then dump bag 1 into pot, add water to cover.  Bring to boil or near boil and set aside.

Meanwhile add water to bag 2 and mix vigorously (seal and shake, while "pinching & smearing " any solid chunks that aren't dissolving).

Use oil packet in small fry pan.  Heat pan and dump in rehydrated egg mix.  Scramble over low / medium heat, being careful not to burn - backpacking stoves typically have fairly concentrated heat "spots" in the center.  When eggs are done, turn off heat (leave ever so slightly "moist" as they'll finish cooking / dry the rest of the way from the residual heat).

Drain excess water from pot with sausage / onion / pepper mix and add to eggs.  Stir to combine and evenly distribute the goodies.  Spoon into tortilla and add salsa and hot sauce.  Wrap up and and enjoy.


Notes:  Powdered eggs smell disgusting when in their powdered state and also when hydrated.  They cook up to a reasonable (not gourmet, not as good as real eggs) facsimile of the real deal from fresh eggs, especially if you add that bit of milk, salt and the other fixings.

When considering powdered eggs, one of the cooking tips I found was to insure a fully re-hydrated mix that had some froth / air incorporated to encourage cooking up light and fluffy.  At home, they recommended using a whisk or similar implement for this step.  Multiple sources also recommended the bit of powdered milk.

Ingredient sources:
beprepared dot com for the eggs and sausage.
Harmony house dot com for onion and the pepper mix.
Minimus dot biz for the packets of oil, salsa and hot sauce.
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RumiDude
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PostWed Oct 18, 2017 8:54 pm 
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I have followed Token Civilian's formula many times except I use OvaEasy eggs instead of powdered eggs. They just come out soooooo much better. YMMV.

I would also say you can add almost anything you like to an egg scramble like this. I much prefer freeze-dried to dehydrated as it just rehydrates better and has better taste and color. Again YMMV.

Rumi

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Navy salad
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PostThu Oct 19, 2017 11:56 am 
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JeffreyH wrote:
It's pretty complex, I would say. I prefer simpler recipes.

It does sound complex, but that may partially be due to the long list of possible add-ins. Most people will probably leave out most of these items.

Basically, it just boils down to pre-cooking those items that need it, combining everything together, then dehydrating.

In the field, it's not complex at all -- just add water, simmer until it's at full temp, then let sit a while in a cozy. But I get why people who want to keep things simple might shy away from this.

Token Civilian wrote:
Bag 1:  Sausage crumbles (freeze dried)

Interesting! I didn't even know there was such a thing as sausage crumbles! I'll have to try this!
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Jaberwock
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PostFri Oct 20, 2017 6:29 am 
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OvaEasy eggs  +1
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Token Civilian
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PostTue Oct 24, 2017 10:43 am 
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Next time I purchase eggs for backpacking I'll have to try those OvaEasy ones.
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BigBrunyon
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PostWed Dec 13, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Some of these cooking recipes sound like your gonna get a large bear coming into camp with a one track mind on food

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JeffreyH
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PostSat Dec 16, 2017 11:01 am 
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Navy salad,

Usually I'm very accurate with recipes. Have to make sure I have a true impression of a dish.   biggrin.gif
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Forum Index > Food & Grub > Backpacking omelettes/scrambles general recipe
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