A Ditched Life and Legacy Premium Meals

When we first started traveling, I wasn’t much of a cook. I shopped the “inside” aisles, where the highly processed meals are shelved. Hamburger Helper. Campbell’s Chunky soup. Great Value frozen meatballs.

Six years later, I don’t mind cooking a full course dinner. There are times, though, when a quick meal would be handy. I don’t want to return to those highly processed meals. I’m wanting to try some healthier options.

I think I found a solution.

Not Just for Emergencies

A couple months ago Legacy Food Storage contacted us and asked if we’d like to see if their freeze-dried meals would fit our ditched lifestyle. I quickly agreed, and they provided us with one of their meal kits for review.

A week later we received the package containing several meals. As I looked at the ingredient lists on a few of the meal pouches I realized these meals could fit my desire for healthier quick meal options:


If you’re not up on this, GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. Basically, scientists inject foreign genes (bacteria, viruses, chemicals or non-plant sources) into the DNA of a plant. This process has produced foods that are less nutritious, increase food allergies, and increase our risk of cancer and other diseases.

Mike and I have actually talked about this issue quite a bit. That is why I was pleased to find that these Legacy meals are Non-GMO.

Ingredient list

Have you ever read the ingredient list on a Kraft Mac-n-Cheese box aloud?

Maybe if you’re a scientist you can pronounce and identify all of the ingredients. But for the standard person, those words are foreign.

I much prefer to read items like Pinto Bean, Black Bean, Tomato, Corn, Onion, Celery, etc. that are in Legacys’ Classic Chili Mix.

Serving size

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Most of the processed boxed meals I used to prepare had a serving size of up to 1 cup. That was fine when my children were young. But when they became teens, that didn’t cut it.

The Legacy meals are 1 1/2 - 2 cups of food per serving. This is plenty of food for my family of 4.

Now to see if the meals fit into a “ditched” lifestyle.

After a Long Travel Day

When we traveled as a family of 4, we’d leave early (8:00am at the latest), drive up to 4 hours, set up camp and eat lunch at noon. That was the ideal. It didn’t always go that way. Sometimes we’d arrive at a campground mid-afternoon and everyone would be hangry.

When we were making our way back to Michigan this summer, we made one of those long drive days. We were all tired and hungry by the time we stopped. I decided it was a good time to try our first Legacy meal, Enchilada Beans and Rice.

While Mike and Miranda shuffled around Miranda’s things to make room for us to all sit in the camper van, I prepared the meal by boiling some water, whisking in the Legacy meal packet, and cooking it for about 15 minutes. By the time they had things straightened out, the hot meal was ready to eat. 

One of the benefits of cooking the whole package for only 3 of us was that we had leftovers for lunch the next day. Enchilada Beans and Rice served on tortillas with added salsa. Yum!

The bucket of Legacy Premium meals we are sampling.

The bucket of Legacy Premium meals we are sampling.

Grilled foil packet meals are the go-to this summer.

Grilled foil packet meals are the go-to this summer.

Preparing Pasta Alfredo to complete the foil packet meal.

Preparing Pasta Alfredo to complete the foil packet meal.

Deconstructed Tuxedo Chicken, one of Mike's favorite dishes of the past.

Deconstructed Tuxedo Chicken, one of Mike's favorite dishes of the past.

Last Minute Community Dinners

A few winters ago we spent two months with several full-timing families and singles. Memories of that time together make me smile. We played on the beach, watched rocket launches, scheduled Tuesday night poetry slams, searched for buried treasure, and ate meals together.

The community meals were often the best time for honest conversation. The food was always a hodge-podge of dishes. And it didn’t matter how many people we had in attendance, there was always enough food.

I learned from that experience. I like to have quick meals to put together when those opportunities arise.

Like it did a couple of weeks ago when our son (and friends) texted to say they were going to stop by for a visit. I invited them to eat dinner with us.

I browned a pound of ground beef while preparing a Legacy pouch of Stroganoff and 1/2 pouch of Chili Mac (I wasn’t sure how hungry these boys would be). I added some of the cooked beef into both dishes. I did set out salt and a seasoned salt in case someone wanted it. A couple chose to add it to the Stroganoff.

And just like I learned in the past, the mix of the foods doesn’t matter. The number of people doesn’t matter. A hot meal and conversation that takes place over the dinner table makes the last-minute meal worthwhile.

Completing a Meal

Lately we’ve been experimenting with foil packet meals cooked on the grill. Earlier this week we put together a packet that included zucchini and marinated chicken.

While it was grilling I prepared Legacy’s Pasta Alfredo. The ingredients were all selected to mimic a meal Mike used to order at a Holland restaurant (which sadly is now closed). All we needed to add were some heirloom tomatoes and a bit of seasoning to the noodles to closer resemble that meal.

So, Do Legacy Meals Work for a Ditched Life?

I believe they do:

  • RVing families can appreciate Legacy meals for a hot meal after a long travel day (as well as not taking up precious fridge space).
  • Sailing families can prepare one of these freeze-dried meals and pack it in their dingy as they make way to another boat for a community dinner.
  • Homesteading families can serve a Legacy dish alongside their home-grown vegetables and beef.

An Invitation

If you are interested in healthier, convenient, and quick-cooking meals, take a look at Legacy’s Premium meals.

And, next time we run into each other on the road, let’s talk over a meal. I know what I’ll be fixin’.

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11 Comments A Ditched Life and Legacy Premium Meals

  1. Picture of Jenni KeiterJenni KeiterAugust 15, 2017

    This would work for our post-ditched life too.  We find ourselves quite often doing some last-minute unplanned hospitality involving dinner.  I would love having these options around when 10 interns are going to arrive hungry in 45 minutes and I’ve been homeschooling all day.  Same holds true for camping.  We do a lot of that with visitors and interns and it’s become a part of what we are known for here - the Keiters will show you the best spots in CO and food is pretty much a given.  But those last-minute camping and hiking trips often stress me because I really want decent food to eat while we are out enjoying the mountains, and packing and prepping it all, the chopping, measuring, loading it into baggies and containers…..UGH.  It takes me HOURS.  I’d love to be able to grab several packets and some frozen meat and be out the door.

  2. Picture of Andrea ElkinsAndrea ElkinsAugust 17, 2017

    Have you tried Thrive or Mountain House freeze-dried foods yet?  Like all pre-packaged foods there’s too much sodium, but they are nice to keep on hand for a quick fix. The freeze-dried foods are a little pricier, better for backpacking I think.

  3. Picture of  Jerry and Shar Stapleton Jerry and Shar StapletonAugust 19, 2017

    We have been “gypsies” since we were married 59 years ago (and separately prior to that). Some of our happiest times were spent on horse and mule pack trips into the High Sierras in the 60’s and 70’s. Way back then we used Dri-Lite Freeze-Dried food…very good even back in the dark ages. Finally in 2014 we decided since we were now in our 80’s it was time to make the big change…sold the dream home we built and are now full time RVer’s.

  4. Picture of kaykaySeptember 03, 2017

    Sounds easy and convenient.  How does it taste?

  5. Picture of kaykaySeptember 03, 2017

    ... maybe on a scale of 1 - 10.

  6. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkSeptember 03, 2017

    Hey Kay -

    Varies depending on the meal. We liked the Chili and ChiliMac (the latter could be served over noodles for a Skyline Chili knockoff).

    Others needed some added seasoning and then were fine. We’ve never been big on cheese-based foods so those we didn’t care for as much.

  7. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkSeptember 03, 2017

    @andrea - Missed answering your question. No, we haven’t tried those brands of freeze-dried foods.

  8. Picture of anonanonSeptember 04, 2017

    Wow. I think this is the first sponsored post I’ve seen you do? A little disappointing. They always read like sell-outs when I read them on other blogs. You guys never felt like corporate people.

  9. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkSeptember 04, 2017

    Hello “anon”. Since you didn’t provide a real name or contact information I can only hope you get this response.

    First, let me say I’m glad the font size on our web site is large enough to be read from the height of that horse you are on.

    We publish the blog, a podcast, a weekly newsletter as well as maintain all of the content in the resources section - lists of apps, profiles, classified ads, and more.

    It takes hours each week - at least a part time job if not full time.

    It’s a good thing I’m a web developer and fair hand at photography, graphics, branding and writing - and have help from MsBoyink. We couldn’t afford to hire us otherwise.

    And - we have bills like you do.

    We are - slowly - trying to get Ditching Suburbia to a point where it at least covers the cost of the time it takes to maintain.

    This isn’t our first sponsored post. We also have sponsors to help with editing costs for the podcast. And we sell t-shirts, stickers, and an eBook. And we have plans for other ways to earn an income from the site.

    But we are mindful and incredibly picky. What you don’t see are the many offers we turn down each week for crap products. Or requests for “shout-outs” for products that have nothing to do with the topic of the site or have any value for our audience. Or constant reminders “support us on Patreon”.

    I’m sorry you are disappointed, but an effort like this is ultimately not sustainable if it doesn’t provide an income.

    If you feel otherwise I encourage you to start your own blog - I’d love to learn from you how to do it otherwise.

  10. Picture of Michael BoyinkMichael BoyinkSeptember 04, 2017

    You can read our advertising policy here.

    And if you feel like introducing yourself and having a real conversation about the matter, feel free to contact us directly.

  11. Picture of TevisTevisSeptember 04, 2017

    Hey guys! Read the comments on your use of sponsors in your blogging.  You have always let us know you have sponsors and that you are picky about who you contract with.  We understand and feel you are a trusted resource so no complaints from us. We learn a lot from your posts. Please don’t let an anonymous complaint get you down.  Enjoyed your calm response to the complainer also! —Tevis Scout

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