If you’re in the comfort of your kitchen surrounded by wonderful utensils, a ton of spices and foods, and a nice electric or gas stove, cooking isn’t an issue. However, if you’re huddled under a tarp or a rock ledge on the run or even just trying to live off-grid without a power source, you’re going to have to take some extra steps to prepare meals.
Especially if you’re hiding, you want to keep your fires low or non-existent. You can also only carry so much food with you, so it’s possible that you’ll have to forage. For this reason, it’s critical that you know about food sources available in your area. You should also have a small camp stove in your bug-out supplies.
Just a note: when I portion out my dehydrated veggies for camping, I always toss in a wrapped bouillon cube in case I want to add some flavor.
Now, we’re going to give you six off-grid recipes that you can prepare with little to no heat.
1. Off-Grid Ramen Casserole
Though you’ll require a bit of water and heat to make this, it’s quick and will provide plenty of carbs and nutrients that will provide energy.
- 1 pack of ramen with seasoning
- 1/4 cup dehydrated vegetables
- 1 pack dried tuna, chicken or salmon
- 1 1/2 cups water
Build a very small fire or use your camp stove. Combine all ingredients except the tuna, chicken or salmon in a coffee can or small camp pan/skillet. Set over the fire and bring to a boil. This should only take 5-8 minutes.
As soon as it boils, test the noodles and veggies. They should be done or nearly done but may need an extra minute or two. Remove from fire and stir in tuna, chicken or salmon and enjoy.
Be sure to turn off your stove as soon as the noodles/veggies are done to conserve fuel. If you’re using a fire in a touchy situation, extinguish immediately. If you want hot water for coffee, use the same fire to heat your water for it. Two birds, one stone.
2. Loaded Baked Potato Stir
This one is quick, delicious and packs plenty of carbs to keep your energy up. To add a bit of protein, you can always stir in a bit of unflavored protein powder. I recommend carrying this in a baggie just in case because it’s light and can be mixed into just about anything to add emergency protein.
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup instant 3-cheese mashed potatoes
- 2 tbsp. dried broccoli
- 1 teaspoon bacon bits
- 1 tbsp. unflavored protein powder
Bring water and broccoli to a boil and cover. As soon as broccoli is rehydrated, remove from heat and stir in instant potatoes, bacon bits and protein powder. In a pinch, you can actually make this without heat as long as you have time to let the broccoli rehydrate (or just skip it) and don’t mind eating it cold. It’s actually really good either way.
3. Tuna Salad
Yeah, this one may sound like a no-brainer but it’s a basic in my survival kit. I’m including it because it’s a bit creative, nearly free except for the tuna, and tastes better than just dipping your tuna from a can with a cracker.
I pick up all ingredients except for the tuna from local restaurants/fast food places when they put too many in the bag. I may also grab an extra pack or two when I’m buying food, but don’t be a jerk and steal a handful.
- 1 pack tuna or chicken
- 1 pack mayo
- 1 pack pickle relish
- 1 pack salt
- 1 pack pepper
- 2 single-serving pack crackers (2 per pack)
Combine all ingredients except crackers, salt and pepper in the tuna pack. Squish to combine. Use the salt and pepper to taste. Place on crackers and eat.
4. Chicken and “Dumplings”
This is an odd take on chicken and dumplings but you can make it with very little heat.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/3 cup chicken gravy mix
- 1 single-serving pack chicken
- 2 packs single-serve saltines
- 1 tbsp. protein powder, optional
Stir the gravy mix and water together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the chicken. Allow to thicken. Break up the crackers into big pieces and stir into gravy/chicken mix along with the protein. Enjoy. I’ve never tried to make the gravy with cold water so I don’t know if it will thicken without heat. If you have the answer to this question, tell us in the comments section below.
5. Jerky Scrambled Eggs
Packed with protein, this is a quick meal that requires very little heat. You can use your camp cup to make it.
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup powdered eggs
- 1 strip jerky (this will vary – just use enough to add about 2 tablespoons to your eggs)
- 1 packet salt
- 1 packet pepper
I combine all of the ingredients into a baggie except for the water. Don’t open the salt and pepper packets; just toss them in the baggie unopened. Crumble up your jerky and put it in the water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the powdered eggs. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Foil Fish
I’ve recommended on several occasions to carry aluminum foil with you in your survival pack. If you throw some packs of spices or lemon butter in single-serve packets, you can easily season and cook any fish that you may catch.
Just put your seasoning on your fish, wrap it in the foil and place it over your fire. It cooks quickly and is packed with protein and omega 3’s. All you need to catch a fish is a hook and some filament or a strand of paracord. Use a bug as bait if you don’t have anything else.
I also recommend throwing marshmallows into your bag because they’re extremely versatile. You can use them as a fishing bobber, to start a fire or to sweeten your food. Plus they make delicious s’mores!
There are many different types of instant foods available on the market today that require very little water and heat to prepare. Instant oatmeal abounds in a variety of flavors and is quick and easy to make. You don’t even have to heat it as long as you don’t mind cold oatmeal. Soup mixes abound and you can add a pack of chicken to it if you want.
These are just a few recipes to get your creative juices flowing. If you have any additional recipes to share, please do so in the comments section below.