Tenacious flickers of fading sunlight cling to the last moments of day. A supermoon creeps slowly into the eastern sky. With a billowing of campsite dust I drop my pack one last time and shift my focus to the solitary request my weary body has been making for the last hour: DINNER!
After hard miles existing on snacks, a satisfying dinner around a campfire is something to be taken seriously. For those desiring a meal more sophisticated than a ramen bomb but are reluctant to pack in cast iron cookware, there is Good To-Go. Founded by a professional chef with over two decades of experience and ten years of top rated restaurant ownership, Jennifer Scism makes backpacking meals that are delicious enough to eat at home.
The Mexican Quinoa Bowl is made with traditional ingredients like raw organic cacao powder, ancho chiles, cinnamon, coriander and cumin. It is brimming with butternut squash, tomatoes, corn, gluten-free quinoa and black beans. Quality ingredients make it high in protein as well as a great source of antioxidants, magnesium, and iron— all while remaining vegan and completely gluten-free. Best of all one only needs to add boiling water to enjoy this hot and hardy meal.
What I Loved About the Mexican Quinoa Bowl by Good To-Go
Hit the spot - Even for an unreformable carnivore this vegan bowl was very filling. By the end my appetite was more than satisfied and it provided the right fuel to make camp and help me stay warm in my hammock all night long.
Ease - It is a lightweight dish that only requires stirring in boiling water and waiting 15 minutes to enjoy.
Flavors - The spices are just right. It has enough kick on its own without needing to be doctored up. However, toss it into a tortilla with a packet of Tapatio and it makes a mean burrito.
Perfect portion - Unlike other brands that are full of nutritionless fillers, one serving of this substantial dish is enough. There's no need to choke it down repeating “food is fuel” and no feeling of being left wanting more.
What I Didn’t Love
Tad too much salt - Yes, high sodium foods are critical on trail but regardless there is more in here than I prefer in a single serving.
Excessive packaging - Good To-Go packages are made to allow rehydration right in the bag but several meals take up a lot of space. I was forced to repackage mine into ziplock bags to fit enough food in my pack. It is extra waste I don’t like to create.
No jumping the gun - It is super important to wait for maximum rehydration. Dig in too soon and the beans are hard enough to crack teeth. The corn will get irretrievably lodged between molars as well. 15 minutes is not a suggestion.
A hot meal at the end of a long hike is one of the trail’s simple pleasures, so why waste it on subpar brands that are the nutritional equivalent of fast food? If you want food that fuels your adventure and tastes as good as something you make at home, Good To-Go has got you covered. They are lightweight, easy to make, and quite enjoyable. Pick up some of their delicious options for your next adventure and you are good to go!
Mandy Esch is an international pro skater turned avid outdoorswoman who enjoys backpacking, camping, fly fishing, cliff diving and passing on what she learns along the way. In her backpacking blog, Mandy shares video trail reviews and trip planning guides. Follow her adventures at www.backcountrydirtbag.com.