Gourmet Bikepacking: Good To-Go Meals

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What happens when an award winning chef gets hungry in the backcountry?

Well, four-star NYC restaurant pioneer, Iron Chef winner, and part-time adventurer, Jennifer Scism decided to create her own company—Good To-Go Foods. The mission of the Maine based company that makes packable dehydrated cuisine is to provide outdoor enthusiasts with amazing meals… to elevate expectations of what trail food can taste like.

Jen started this entrepreneurial expedition while backpacking the wilds of Maine with her husband David. Unsatisfied with the lightweight backpacking meals that were available, she found herself preparing their backcountry feasts and making them rucksack friendly using a countertop dehydrator. Fortunately for us, her creations were so delicious, she decided to share them.

Good To-Go Foods bikepacking meals

I first read about the Good To-Go Thai Curry in an Editors’ Choice list by Backpacker Magazine. My salivary glands tend to go into overdrive anytime the word Thai is mentioned, so we decided to give it a try. Pouches of Thai Curry, Smoked Three-Bean Chili, and Herbed Mushroom Risotto were packed and good to go for the Huracan 300 route. Good To-Go packages their meals in easily stowable flat foil-based pouches, available in single (3.3 oz) or double (6.6 oz) serving sizes for $6.75/11.50 respectively.

Good To-Go Thai Curry

The Thai Curry preps easily… tear the bag, combine the coconut milk powder, add boiling water, seal the pouch, and wait feverishly for 20 minutes. Our initial reaction was consistent with what I had read, ‘wow’. The fresh flavor is indeed superior to that of quite a few Thai restaurants I have visited… and even a few meals that I had while traveling in Thailand. The body-warming curry has a flawless balance of creamy coconut milk and Thai chilies with a healthy portion of jasmine rice, green beans, peas, broccoli, and a simple list of natural ingredients.

Good To-Go Foods Thai Curry

  • Good To-Go Foods Thai Curry
  • Good To-Go Foods Thai Curry
  • Price (for 2 serving pack): $11.50
  • Weight: 6.6oz (189g)
  • Protein (total): 20g
  • Calories (total): 760
  • Contact: goodto-go.com

Good To-Go Herbed Mushroom Risotto

Our agreed second favorite of their four meal menu (updated in 2016) is the Herbed Mushroom Risotto. This is a nice rich and creamy risotto with a beautiful ingredient list: Arborio Rice, Cremini Mushrooms, Onion, White Wine, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Nutritional Yeast, Garlic, Sweet Rice Four, Walnuts, Basil, Kosher Salt, Thyme, Black Pepper. Unfortunately, without a watch, I jumped the gun on both the risotto and the Smoked Three Bean Chili, so the rice (and beans in the chili) came out slightly more al dente than intended. Make sure to take the time to let them ‘cook’.

Good To-Go Foods Mushroom Herbed Risotto

  • Price (for 2 serving pack): $11.50
  • Weight: 6.6oz (189g)
  • Protein (total): 26g
  • Calories (total): 820
  • Contact: goodto-go.com

Good To-Go Classic Marinara with Penne

The Classic Penne Marinara is delicious as well. The brown rice noodles have a meaty bite coupled with a slightly spicy and creamy marinara sauce. It’s worth noting that, probably due to the brown rice noodles, the Marinara has the highest calorie count of all four of Good To-Go’s meals.

The Marinara also has a mouth watering set of ingredients: Canned Tomato, Brown Rice Pasta (Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Water), Onion, Tomato Paste, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Nutritional Yeast, Agave Nectar, Kosher Salt, Dried Basil, Dried Oregano, Dried Thyme, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes.

Good To-Go Foods Classic Marinara with Penne

  • Price (for 2 serving pack): $11.50
  • Weight: 7oz (200g)
  • Protein (total): 22g
  • Calories (total): 860
  • Contact: goodto-go.com

Good To-Go Smoked Three Bean Chili

Although the Smoked Three Bean Chili was good, it was our least favorite of the group. Still, it’s hard to beat a nice helping of warm chili on a cool fall bikepack. I might recommend adding a little salt or hot sauce to turn it up a bit.

Here are the ingredients: Canned Tomato, Onion, Corn, Dried Beans (Small Red Beans, Black Beans, Navy Beans), Carrot, Tomato Paste, Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Ancho Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika Powder, Kosher Salt, Chipotle Chili Powder, Ground Coriander, Dried Oregano, Ground Cumin, Dried Thyme

  • Good To-Go Foods Smoked Three Bean Chili
  • Good To-Go Foods Smoked Three Bean Chili
  • Price (double serving pack): $11.50
  • Weight: 7oz (200g)
  • Protein (total): 32g
  • Calories (total): 680
  • Contact: goodto-go.com

Wrap Up

As is the case with most pre-prepared dehydrated camping meals, Good To-Go’s aren’t the most friendly on the dirtbag’s wallet… and perhaps a little moreso than the typical Mountain House or Backpacker’s Pantry. However, if you are a foody, enjoy treating yourself on occasion, or just need a break from Ramen and tins of assorted meat-like products, I highly recommend you give Good To-Go meals a try. You’ll be happy you did after a long ride through the woods. Also, we sampled the single serving packets, but as bikepackers who eat a lot after big rides, we’d recommend going for the larger double servings, or bringing along a desert. They can be a little big for even the hungriest of bikepackers, but having too many calories is often better than not on multi-day trips.

Good To-Go Foods Classic Marinara with Penne

  • http://www.team-virtus.com Lukas Lamb

    These sound amazing. Gonna try some on my next trip. How were the serving sizes? Is the smaller size filling enough for one person? With other brands I tend to need the double-serving size.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Yeah, I’d say go with the double… but i am a big eater when bikepacking. Also, it may help to compare weights of the brands you are used to…

  • Wilding 07

    Is it irony that outdoor folks are the top users of dehydrated foods. Naturally unnatural.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    These are pretty natural… they have just had all the life [water] sucked out of them temporarily.

  • Jesse A Covarrubias

    Did you pack enough for 3 squares or just for your dinner portion. The fuel is another area I’ve been trying to delve deeper into. On your long journeys, did you eat at inexpensive eateries? Curious in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Check out the 42 bikepacking tips post under the plog link (2 parts). I usually pack bars, nuts, oatmeal, etc. And just eat hot meals for dinners…

  • jcova58


  • David B

    A couple of years ago, my riding buddy and I tried all kinds of brands of freeze dried meals and kept coming back to Mountain House. It’s easy to find and I really like several of their choices. I haven’t seen this brand before though and plan to check it out based on your recommendation.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Yeah, Mountain House is a good one. Turkey Tetrazzini and Beef Stew are pretty solid choices, IMO.

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