While hunting alone last week, I brought a variety of items up for food. Most of my needs were met by a loaf of bread and jars of peanut-butter and jelly...but for dinner, I wanted something more. I brought a few frozen items, and at my wife's recommendation, I brought a few packets of Mountain House freeze dried entree's...you know, to rotate our stock.
I only had two packages during the week I was hunting...one of Noodles and Chicken, and one of Pasta Primavera. Quite surprisingly, the Pasta Primavera was the better one.
For all intents and purposes, the 'Noodles and Chicken' might as well have been a cup of noodles soup...but, it was a good one. I also learned that when they tell you to add the hot water and stir well...you need to Stir Well...the bottom 1/3rd of the pouch was much more flavorful than the top.
The Pasta Primavera actually impressed me. I was somewhat suspicious of it, because it contained no meat...just zucchini, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans, with a cheese sauce. The cheese sauce was described as 'parmesan'...I felt it was more like a cheddar flavor...but it was still pretty good...and hearty for something not having meat.
Now...so...taste was good for the Pasta Primavera, and acceptable for the Noodles and Chicken. Both of them were convenient to prepare...just open the package, pull out the desiccant, and add boiling water. My only reservation was serving size...and calorie count.
Each entrée pouch is listed as being two servings...but I'm here to tell you that I was able to finish both of them myself without feeling like a glutton. I think if you are splitting it between two people, you better have a great side dish to go with it...and that is just from a full belly perspective. Calorie wise, the two I tried were listed as 220 calories per serving. If you are a hunter, or a backpacker, you are probably going through more than 2000 calories a day, meaning if you are looking forward to you end of day meal being your biggest meal of the day...even if you eat a full pouch, you are probably not eating as many calories as you are burning.
Which is fine if you are only going 2-3 days at a pop like I was doing...heck coming home 3-4 pounds lighter than I left was nice. But...if you are doing a week of back-country hiking, you might start feeling a little weak and hungry after a few days.
All in all, while I was satisfied with the Mountain House stuff...it's not an MRE. It is lighter than an MRE though, while taking up roughly the same cubic footage. So...if you are worried about weight, the Mountain House might make sense...if you are worried about not going hungry, than the MRE might be the better choice.