All of this got packed in Ziploc bags (the oil was in a bottle in a bag), which then went into the (required) bear can. One bonus of using a bear can is that things break less than if you just crammed them in your pack, which we particularly appreciated with the Wasa crackers. I haven't had any pre-packaged backpacker food recently, but my hiking partner attested that this was better, and it was cheaper and lower in sodium to boot.
Recipes (a bit rough since I didn't write everything down as I did it):
Coconut-milk latte (per 4-oz, single-shot serving)
1-1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder (a little more if you want it on the strong side)
1 Tbsp. coconut-milk powder (be careful that the kind you get doesn't have milk in it or lots of extra sugar. This kind lists glucose syrup as an ingredient, but it doesn't taste overly sweet in savory things.)
1/4-1/2 tsp. sugar (or more if you really like things sweet or skip entirely)
Combine in Ziploc bag. Add a scant 2 Tbsp. of mix to 4 oz. boiling water and stir. You'll probably want to mess with the proportions at home so you get the blend you like. My next project is coconut-milk hot chocolate...
Curried rice noodles with cashews and vegetables (enough for two solid person-meals)
100g rice vermicelli (We found ones pressed into 50g round "nests" that fit perfectly in our backpacker pot at the local Asian mega-grocery. You could also substitute 3.5 oz. plain couscous or instant rice, which would be faster and could be made in one pot.)
2 oz. (or less--we found that to be generous) freeze-dried mixed vegetables (half a tub)
1/3 c. to 1/2 c. coconut-milk powder (See note above.)
1/3 cup toasted cashews, coarsely chopped (salted or unsalted would be fine)
1 tsp. curry powder
hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 Tbsp. or more freeze-dried chives or green onions
2 packets Trader Joe's concentrated vegetable broth OR equivalent amount of other broth mix to make two cups OR 1/4 tsp. salt
Pack everything in a bag. If using noodles, boil them first (dump all of the mix into an empty pot, fish out the noodles to boil in a second pot, and leave the other stuff to receive the cooked noodles and some liquid later. This allows you to control the liquid level in the finished product, which would be quite soupy if you threw it all together. If you want soupy or are using couscous, just go for one pot). Use a fork to transfer the cooked noodles into the other pot with the remaining ingredients. While stirring, pour in water until you have a slightly soupy mixture. Cover and let stand for a few minutes to let the vegetables soak up the extra water.
If you want more protein, you can get freeze-dried tofu at some Asian groceries. I'm not crazy about it, as the texture is very much frozen-tofu texture, but it would certainly add protein. Or you could just have a Clif bar for dessert or something.
Backpacker tacos (enough for two solid person-meals)
The name for these is a stretch, but I wasn't sure what else to call them. Ideas?
3 packets instant grits
1 Tbsp. tomato powder (found in bulk at the co-op. You could sub a couple of finely chopped, non-oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes)
1-1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1/4 cup TVP granules (or lots more if you skip the refried beans or just want to up the "meaty" quality. If you add lots more you'll want to increase the spices.)
2-3 oz. freeze-dried mixed vegetables (If I had the whole menu to do over again I probably would have split the 4-oz. tub into 1.5 oz. for the noodles and 2.5 oz. for the tacos.)
1 Tbsp. freeze-dried chives or green onions
Hot pepper flakes to taste
7 oz. freeze-dried refried beans or black beans (We found 7 oz. to make too much for two of us, so feel free to repackage and take less to save on weight, or split over two meals. 5 oz. probably would have been plenty for two.)
Combine grits, tomato, spices, TVP, and vegetables in one bag and keep the beans separate in another. Alternatively, use whole freeze-dried beans and dump it all together. If you do them separately, add 2 cups boiling water to the grits mixture and 1-3/4 cups to the whole package of refried beans. Add a squirt of olive oil to one or both parts. Cover and steam for a few minutes, then eat.