3 Calorie-Bomb Recipes to Keep You Going in the Cold

In winter, consuming hearty, nutrient-dense foods goes a long way toward keeping you warm. Stoke your inner furnace with these three energy-packed recipes.
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orzo pasta in pot

Mushroom and pea orzo

Cream Cheese Bean Dip

This Superbowl party favorite never lasts long in camp. Makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup instant refried beans
  • 6 Tbsp cream cheese powder
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream powder
  • 1.5 oz. cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 4.25 oz. bag of Fritos
  • 2 single-serving packets of salsa

At Home: Pack refried beans, cream cheese powder, and sour cream powder together. (You can dehydrate beans at home by mashing pinto beans with a fork, spreading onto dehydrator trays, and drying at 125°F until brittle.) Store remaining ingredients separately.

In Camp: Tear or cut cheddar cheese into small chunks and add it to the bean mixture along with 4 ounces of hot water. Stir, cover, and let stand to allow the beans to rehydrate and cheese to melt. Mix well, top with salsa, and eat with Fritos.

Calories 805 Protein 18 g Weight 5.9 oz.

Mushroom & Pea Orzo

This dish imitates creamy risotto but requires a fraction of the prep . Makes 2 servings

1 cup orzo, pre-cooked and dehydrated
4 Tbsp freeze-dried peas
4 Tbsp freeze-dried mushrooms
2 Tbsp freeze-dried onion
6 Tbsp butter powder
2 tsp chicken or vegetable bouillon powder
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup shelf-stable Parmesan
2 Tbsp olive oil

At Home: Cook orzo al dente according to instructions on the package. Spread cooked pasta evenly on parchment-lined dehydrator trays, and dry at 135°F for about 2 hours, or until brittle. Pack orzo and all other ingredients except Parmesan and olive oil together in a sealed container or bag. Store Parmesan and olive oil in separate leak-proof containers.

In Camp: Add 1 cups hot water to orzo mixture. Stir, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes, or until pasta and vegetables are rehydrated. Add Parmesan and olive oil. Stir and enjoy.

Calories 688 Protein 28 g Weight 5.5 oz.

PB Protein Shake

This meal-replacement drink is perfect for when you need convenient fuel on the go. Makes 2 servings

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole milk powder
1/2 cup peanut powder
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp chia seeds

At Home: Blend oats into a fine powder using a food processor or coffee grinder. Pack with remaining ingredients.

In Camp: Split drink mix evenly between two bottles or mugs. Pour cup cold water into each. Stir or shake until powder is dissolved. Let the beverage stand for 10 to 15 minutes, allowing the chia seeds to hydrate. (Additional water may be added to reach the desired consistency.) Stir again.

Calories 668 Protein 35 g Weight 5.1 oz. 

Aaron Owens Mayhew is a registered dietician and the founder of Backcountry Foodie.