My husband is currently deployed and while this is his 4th or 5th deployment, his previous ones were on large aircraft carriers or in the desert where there was an ample food supply with many choices he could modify. This deployment is different. He is on a smaller boat with a bunch of Marines and if they miss a port call, then the food supply gets very thin. He has emailed several stories of having a choice of grilled cheese sandwich or mac and cheese for dinner, with no protein or veggies offered. Breakfast one day was Captain Crunch or Lucky Charms Cereal with room temperature milk. I sent him off with several packages of Mrs. Mays snacks, but didn't expect him to make that his meal if need be. I have already sent one box with some nuts and jerky to fill in the areas around the stuff he forgot or didn't think about taking with him prior to leaving.
Now I am putting together a box of just food. I found a bunch of tuna pouches on clearance at the commissary, so those will be sent. I am also making some grain free granola from the Eat Like A Dinosaur book, but I was wondering if anyone had any other links to recipes that might hold up fairly well in the mail system. I have a food dehydrator and also a vacuum sealer. I don't want to send just nuts and jerky, since that gets so old after a few days, plus too many nuts give him heartburn.
Any suggestions are much appreciated!
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If you have a dehydrator, you can make him all sorts of veggie chips. They will hold up if you use the vacuum sealer to make up packages.
I also dry fruit--strawberries work really well and you can slice them evenly with a hard boiled egg slicer before drying (now's the time--strawberry season!). I line the shelves of the dehydrator with baker's parchment. For fun, wrap the inner packages in the baker's parchment. The strawberries leave red stains on the paper that look like hundreds of kisses! ;o)
I saw an idea I'm going to try soon, to make "pizza trail mix". It's dried tomatoes spiced with garlic, oregano, and basil, dried veggies you would otherwise put on a pizza (mushrooms, peppers, etc.), even pepperonis if you eat those (I think the original recipe had dried parmesan cheese, but that's not paleo and may not hold up well in the heat). That would be a fun treat for him. You can make all sorts of creative "Trail mix packs" riffing off that idea.
If you search the net, you can find some instructions on how to dry your own bone broth for homemade bouillon. With that and a package of dried veggies, he can have a nourishing homemade soup without all the yucky additives of instant soups and commercial bouillon cubes.
I second the jerky. My dad also requested nuts, cacao nibs, seasnax, dried fruit, coconut flakes, dried plantain chips and hemp heart seeds.
I'd experiment with different types of spices/ marinades and jerky, since at least to me; I would enjoy the ability to pick it up and eat it, or leave it for awhile without having to worry about it spoiling...a real versatile food.
Also, the biggest treat you could send me would be letters...hand written, time taken, with a hint of your perfume, and write the most mundane day to day things about your life that I would be missing, because it's all those little things that guys miss...Well that and knowing you hate taking out the garbage or cleaning out the gutters and especially...killing a spider who’s wondered into your territory…
Jerky and letters…what real relationships have been made out of for millions of years
Dehydrated soup is beautiful if you have a dehydrator tray that has no holes or you can figure out something to line it with. Also, I think these might ship fairly well if they were sealed properly. I just made a batch of them in a muffin tin and they are so good. The chocolate is a little strong but without the chocolate, they'd be delicious vanilla. Still a win in my book.