Friday, September 26, 2014

Paleo meals to go

Tyler and Nika at Coffee Cup Lake overlook

Fast, allergen-free food

Paleo Meals to Go provides freeze-dried meals, free of allergens, additives

As an avid backpacker, I have found it impossible to find ready-to-go and easy-to- prepare meals that are free of allergens, additives and other ingredients that cause me issues. All that changed when I discovered Paleo Meals to Go, a company (https://www.paleomealstogo.com/) that offers freeze-dried meals that conform to the paleo diet.

The paleo diet is sometimes called the caveman’s diet because it encourages you to eat like our Stone Age ancestors. This diet excludes many foods that tend to exacerbate inflammation and allergies. The diet is a healthy balance of veggies at every meal, along with lean, hormone-free protein, and fats, such as avocado, olive oil and coconut, with nuts on occasion. The diet encourages choosing foods free of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.

I packed along pouches of Savory Chicken and Vegetables from Paleo Meals to Go on my most recent backpacking adventure, as well as on a biking touring trip. The meals were hearty, delicious and best-of-all, I didn’t have to do anything but pour in some boiling hot water and wait for the food to rehydrate.

Savory Chicken and Vegetables on campstove
In the past, I had to buy freeze-dried foods, such as meat and vegetables separately, and then assemble my own meals into heavy-duty Ziploc bags. The meals were filling but often bland and lacking in flavor.

 On the other hand, my husband was raving about the tasty freeze-dried meals he was eating from companies, like Mountain House and Backpackers’ Pantry. These meals were fine for him but contained all kinds of potential problem ingredients for me.

This last trip, I was the one doing the raving. The Savory Chicken and Vegetables filled me up and kept me hiking for hours without experiencing hunger.

I especially appreciated the option, available at Paleo Meals to Go, of customizing the meals, if needed, to eliminate foods from the master recipe that might provoke allergies or food sensitivities. I ordered my Savory Chicken and Vegetable meals without garlic, onions and mushrooms that cause me issues. To order custom meals, as I did, you must purchase a minimum of 10 of the same meals and order well in advance.

You don’t have to be a backpacker to enjoy these meals. They can be used biking, camping or traveling. I am eager to try the Beef Mountain Stew on my next adventure.

In the meantime, back at home, I am enjoying Berry Salad with Sunbutter Dressing.

 Ingredients:

1/4 red bell pepper, sliced thin (I didn't have any of these but they would be delicious.)
3-4 slices cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
2 baby carrots, grated
1 radish, sliced into matchsticks
handful baby spinach
3 steamed asparagus spears, sliced into matchsticks
3 strawberries, diced
Optional: additional berries, such as blueberries
1 /2 T. pumpkin seeds
shredded cooked chicken

For the dressing:

2 T. sunbutter, peanut butter or almond butter
3-4 T. olive oil
3 T. almond, coconut or soy milk
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
salt and pepper
dash of liquid stevia, to taste

Directions:

Cut and toss all salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Recipe makes more than you will need so save the rest in a container in the fridge. Toss the salad with your dressing and enjoy.

 Recipe contributed to: