This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Nomad Life

Let me show you how I grind rice, lentils, vegetables and spices into a fine powdered mix which can be quickly cooked in camp for a delicious hot and hearty meal. It’s also light and compact in my backpack and feeds me for days… the perfect healthy vegan survival dinner!

Bulk Food Storage

As some of you know, my ultimate plan is to move from living in the truck to living off of the Rad Rover I modified into a Solar eBike. In order to pull that off I needed a way to store lots of food on the bike so that I could spend long periods of time in the wilderness.

As you can see, there’s lots of space in each of these containers, and the aluminum lining keeps the temperature under control. I found these on the Rad Rover website, so they fit the bike perfectly. All of the ingredients in this article are stored in these, with the exception of the 25 pound bag of rice…

Organic White Rice

White rice is a perfect survival food. Tons of calories can be packed into a small amount of space while weighing very little since the grains are completely dry, and it’s super cheap! I’m going to upgrade those advantages by grinding it into a powder.

A quick note about brown vs. white rice. Brown rice does have some more nutrients and fiber than white rice, but it can also carry a large dose of arsenic in the hull, along with other unpleasant compounds. Also, all that extra fiber can cause gas.

Here’s where I currently get my Organic White Rice.

Organic Red Lentils

Before I turned Vegan I stayed pretty far away from beans and lentils, and for good reason considering the amount of health harming lectins they contain. However, I need a good storable protein source which cooked quickly, and red lentils are the best thing I’ve found so far.

I’ve been experimenting with various beans and lentils to see how they affect me, since lectin types vary by bean and also effect everyone differently, and Red Lentils had no noticeable negative effect on me. Also, it cooks quickly dissolving into the hot liquid and has a wonderful flavor!

Here’s where I buy my Organic Red Lentils.

Organic Dehydrated Vegetables

Vegetables are arguably the most important part of our diets, and most of us don’t get nearly enough. Ideally I’d want fresh veggies with their structured water still intact, but when living nomadically sacrifices must be made.

I use Organic Freeze Dried Vegetables in this mix to get those much needed nutrients while out in the wilderness. The Broccoli and Corn are my favorites, but the Peas are pretty good as well.

Organic Spices

Spices are where the fun really begins because they unlock an unlimited combination of flavors for the same basic meal. I’ve only used the Salt, Pepper and Turmeric combination so far, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with more and hearing your thoughts on good things to try!

By the way, I don’t just use Turmeric for flavor, it’s also an incredibly healthy spice. One of the main reasons is its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, but there are plenty of other benefits.

Here’s where I get my Salt, Pepper and Turmeric.

Grind into a Powder

Once I’ve combined all ingredients into the storage jar, I pour it all into a blender and grind it into a fine powder. I do this with a very powerful blender using my solar panel and a power inverter, and it even had trouble with this, so be careful not to break your weaker blender.

I’ll probably convert to using either a battery powered coffee grinder or get a manual hand grinder at some point. While these will both require I spend more time in the grinding process, their packability will be key for when I’m on the bike 24/7.

Titanium Camp Pot & Stove

The little Camp Pot you see me holding in my hand is made of titanium, which means it’s super lightweight and extremely sturdy even when heated. It also contains my entire Camp Stove system as well, which relies on sticks and twigs available almost anywhere as fuel.

Organic Coconut Oil

Once the water is boiling, I add about 2 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Oil. This adds some healthy calories to the meal along with a nice flavor. It also coats the carbohydrates in the rice with fat which reduces its insulin response.

Add Powder and Stir

With the Coconut Oil melting in the water, I begin adding the powdered mixture one spoonful at a time. Mixing here is critical, as it can tend to get clumped up on the bottom of the pot, causing it to get charred and inedible.

I let it boil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, and then put the lid on and let it simmer for another 20 minutes or so.

Enjoy a Hot Hearty Meal!

That’s all there is to it! This quick, easy and healthy vegan meal will keep your belly full and warm on the trail or in a survival situation. You can even add it to a thermos and sip on it while you’re on the move.

Don’t forget to let me know if you discover any good spice combinations!


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  1. Smitty

    Some good ideas Cahlen, but I differ on the oil and salt. They negatively impact our endothelium layer, the lining of our circulatory system. You can learn about that and other science backed factoids relating to living long healthy lives at:
    The distinction between opinion and ‘good’ science is an important one.
    Have you determined the savings on cook time between ground up rice and lentils versus whole grain?
    Also, always source California central valley rice for minimal arsenic levels. Lundberg is what we use, but no more than once a week.
    More on that at Dr. Greger’s site too.

  2. MineYourMind

    I am getting set up to do the exact same adventure as you. I’ve built my own e-bike and li-ion battery packs and am building a camper for my bike as well to travel across America. It will be complete with solar of course and I already live mostly off-grid and rather than being a consumer, I scavenge for a living and have mostly divested from the system.

    I use dehydrated emergency meal kits for my backpacking food, but never thought about grinding it into a powder. Thanks for that great idea. My meals will cook in a fraction of the time now.

    1. Cahlen Post author

      I’m encouraged to hear you’re on a similar adventure! I resonate very much with your profile description. How long have you been living divested?

      1. MineYourMind

        For about 8 years now I haved lived in an 18′ camper, fully off grid(when not at my home base, where I’m plugged in) with solar and a woodstove. I barter my skills for board and a place to park my camper and make a living scavenging not only metals and electronics, but building materials and even food, which has helped me to build a years worth of emergency supplies. I built my woodstove 100% from scavenged item’s.

        So, because I’ve adopted an older couple to care for( and they me), I have no bills and all meals are provided for me, so I consider myself to be 85% divested from the system and since I disagree with how the gov. Uses the peoples money, I don’t pay taxes other than minimal sales tax( I shop mostly online, where many times tax is not collected) and the gas tax.

        I take care of everything for the couple I care for, from plumbing to automobile maintenace to anything they need done and can’t do themselves, so I’m hardly freeloading. I’m a jack of all trades type.

        I plan to live on the road after my host couple pass.(they are 80 years old) I have traveled the country for months at a time primitive camping and scavenging(scrapping) to fund it very successfully quite a few times. So I’m physically, mentally and materially ready for such an adventure.

      2. Cahlen Post author

        We definitely have a lot of similarities. I live in the road, and have several places I stop along the way to assist with general maintenance, office work, video production and website design in exchange for food and shelter. The rest of the time I live in my truck in the wilderness with solar and a propane stove I threw together.

        I’ve only been doing this a year or so, and started because I was no longer willing to support the system. I hope to get completely out very soon, meaning no government or bank accounts.

        I’d love to learn about your scrapping process. Do you have other content beyond what you share on this site?

      3. MineYourMind

        I don’t have content elsewhere, but I’ll start writing about the art of scavenging. I don’t like to write really, so I don’t put out blogs very often.

        I will say this, your location(N.M., Nevada and Arizona) are not good states to make money this way.

        I was able to scrape by in Colorado, but the scrap yards are greedy. For example, when I was scrapping Colorado they were paying$45 a tonne for steel, Wyoming was paying $75, but in Omaha, NE they were paying $145. So location matters.

  3. pmd

    Awesome article! I like that you have inserted healthy advice in almost every paragraph, like info about turmeric, arsenic in brown rice etc.

    I would also add garlic and ginger to the mix.

    Wish I had read this 3 years ago when me and my girlfriend lived half a year in our campervan. But I bet this can still come in handy these days when our baby disrupts our meal plans 🙂

    Btw, do you know for how long you can store the powder? Days, weeks, forever?

    1. Cahlen Post author

      I’m happy you found the health information valuable. I will strive to continue this future articles.

      Both garlic and ginger sound perfect! I need to track down a good organic source.

      I agree with @mineyourmind, this food will last a very long time in the air tight storage container I use. Months at the minimum, but probably years.

    2. MineYourMind

      If you can keep everything sterile throughout the process and vacuum seal everything with oxygen absorbers, it can last for 2-25 years, just like the dehydrated emergency kits you can purchase.



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