Chicken Breast and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes
Hormel Compleats- MRE’s for civilians?
For years I’ve been packing lots of food requiring lots of cooler/refrigerator space that
took an hour or more of me and Carols time to prepare and then even longer to clean up.
From time to time I’ve scored some real MRE’s from my USMC contacts. Military
MRE’s are the new gourmet foods for our military and a generations above the old CRats from the 60s and 70s. MREs are lightweight, have a long shelf life, lots of variety
and are actually quite tasty. But let’s face it, few people have the opportunity to obtain
real MREs and when you can find them for sale online (questionable on the legality of
buying or selling them) do you really know if or how far they are past their expiration
Freeze dried stuff is lightweight and easy to pack but other than the freeze dried ice
cream which I love to snack on dry, I’ve never been 100% satisfied with the taste or
even the variety of freeze dried foods. However freeze dried foods do have their
advantages. Besides being lightweight and easy to pack, they have a very long shelf life.
Much longer than MREs.
Some time ago one of my good friends in Jeep Expeditions decided to experiment. Jim
brought along several Hormel Compleats meals for one of our weekend camping trips.
He said they were great, I think I saw him sharing them with his huge Rottweiler, Baron.
Chicken Breast and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes
This isn't a bad meal IF you mix the gravy well with the mashed potatoes. The chicken
and gravy is tasty for sure, the mashed potatoes when eaten with just gravy covering
them are not very good at all. My experience with any of these meals containing mashed
potatoes is that the potatoes are only good if thoroughly mixed with the gravy.
SPAM & Sausage Jambalaya
I was a little apprehensive with the name SPAM, after all, I hadn’t had SPAM since I was
a kid or perhaps in the Chow Hall and didn’t remember if I liked it or not. Well the
votes are in and I love this one! In addition to SPAM it also contains Andoulle Sausage
in a mildly spicy sauce with rice, tomatoes, celery, green & red bell peppers and garlic.
If you are looking for a quick trail meal with a bit of kick this is the meal to pack along.
Actually pack two, especially if you have a big appetite!
Swedish Meatballs with Pasta in Cream Sauce
Carol and I both liked this one. Tiny meatballs with small lasagna style noodles in a light
cream sauce that I though was very similar to a stroganoff type sauce. The taste was
surprisingly delicious and one that we’ll pack again on future trips.
Dinty Moore Beef Stew
The last time I had Dinty Moore Beef Stew I think I was 13 or 14. My mother was on
visiting relatives in Italy and my dad was left at home with me and my brother to fend for
ourselves. After about the 4th night of having canned Dinty Moore Beef Stew my
brother and I complained that we wanted something different. Being the great dad my
dad is, he said he would make something different that night. He did, Dinty Moore Beef
Stew with green food coloring in it. It was the last time I had Dinty Moore, until now.
So how is this version of Dinty Moore? It is excellent. Hearty gravy/broth, nice sized
tender chunks of beef, carrots and potatoes. Makes for a very good camp meal and even
better if you butter up some bread to soak up all the gravy when you are done. My
favorite so far!
Sausage or Bacon Breakfast Scramble
I really like sausage, bacon, fried potatoes and scrambled eggs. If you do too, don't buy
either of these. The scrambled eggs were every bit as bad as the old canned C-Ration
eggs and ham. To give both of them a fair shot, I ate every last bite but the taste and
texture was not of my liking. The eggs were on the dry/crumbly side and that just made
the rest not very appetizing. Don't waste your time or money on this one!
Both the Sausage and Bacon breakfast meals look really good on the packaging, but.....
This is what it looks like when you peel off
the top after cooking, and..............
What it looks like after you stir it
up a bit.
Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal
A little on the wet/gooey side, once this was stirred up it looked pretty good and the taste
was a surprise.
A step above that dry "pour in the hot water" instant oatmeal for sure
with both better tasted and consistency. I would buy this one again for my breakfast
but you need two to get your motor running.
It not only looks tasty in the picture but it really is !
What you have when you pull off
And after you've stirred it up a bit....
SPAM with Red Beans and Rice
Ok, call me spoiled. I love Popeye's Red Beans and Rice. Unlike most other Hormel
Meals, I didn't care much for this entree. I did eat it but it is not something that I would
get again. The SPAM didn't do anything for it other than putting some "meat" in the
recipe and it wasn't very "Louisiana" to me at all.
The Long and the Short
The Hormel Compleats Dinty Moore Beef Stew doesn’t skimp on the beef or vegetables.
All of this in a thick and rich gravy ready for dipping with that buttered bread or roll you
have packed with your food. And that is just how I ate it, using my buttered bread to sop
up every drop of gravy. Now I think about how I’ve actually missed this treat for the last
40 years because of green food coloring (are you reading this dad?). Very tasty, very
satisfying and a good hearty meal at the end of a long day of Jeeping.
From now on Hormel Compleats will be the primary dinner food I’ll be taking on most of
my trips with Jeep Expeditions. They have a great variety, need no refrigeration, have a
shelf life or a year or more (just in case you have a few left after that next trip), require
little or no prep time, are delightfully tasty, light weight & compact and very convenient.
Just drop one or more dinners in boiling water for 8 minutes, let them sit for a minute and
you are ready to eat. Clean up is a simple as dumping the water from your pot and
throwing everything else away or you could burn the plastic and paper in your campfire.
EASY one pot cooking on a compact Butane stove
You can cook 2, 3, 4 or more in one pot.
Butane is hot burning and easy to store