A friend of mine is a big shooter, and he has to pack his meals around the competition circuit, so he’s always on the lookout for something better to eat. I traded some of my homemade bacon for a couple of these dehydrated meals from Good To Go and prepared it with a few pieces of pancetta.
Of course, I’m a skills and knowledge kind of prepper, so why not dehydrate your own? Sure, you can do that, but then you have issues like packaging, labor, and skill in cooking — or the lack thereof. These meals from Good To Go are cooked up by a professional chef who is also outdoorsy, and the one I tried is quite tasty. The portion is about right, the price is reasonable, and it’s very easy to prepare.
A lot of other companies freeze-dry their ingredients and then combine them into a package, which is then rehydrated by the end-user. These meals are different in that all the ingredients are prepared as a meal and then dehydrated (not freeze-dried) before packaging. This makes a remarkable difference in taste and texture. Another factor in the taste is, of course, the use of fresh, quality ingredients. You can tell from the label that all of the nutritional value in the package is derived from actual food. There are no synthetics, no preservatives, and while it is not certified organic, they do claim to source primarily non-GMO ingredients from the USA.
They claim a 2-year shelf life, which makes it a viable supplement to your long-term food stock. Knowing something about commercial food preparation and accelerated shelf-life testing, it’s my guess that this is a conservative estimate; I think it will keep longer than two years, if stored in a cool, dark, dry location.
I prepared the Herbed Mushroom Risotto with a little pancetta added. It came out soupy, but I had forgotten an important step: You’re supposed to stir everything as soon as you add the boiling water, before you reseal the package and let it set for 20 minutes.
So here are the instructions:
- Open the package and remove the enclosed oxygen absorber (which prevents oxidation and rancidity).
- Add 300 mL of boiling water and stir.
- Reseal the package and let sit for 20 minutes.