Since Bill and I are both rather proficient in the kitchen, neither are interested in proving we can plan and prepare meals in the wild. As a result, we have migrated into a minimal effort style of meal preparation and cleanup.
Breakfast: Hot instant cereal, hot chocolate/coffee, honey and raisins for cereal, juice. we carry in a 24 pack of bottled juice for out 8 day 7 night trip. Each gets 12 to drink whenever we want.
Lunch: Gorp, food bars, beef jerky, fruit from a bag or a fruit cup. We take a case of fruit cups for lunch/dinner enjoyment. Gorp is the preferred lunch and is eaten every other day.
Snacks: Alternate day from lunch for gorp, crackers with jelly, and peanut butter as desired. We each bring one box of cookies for our own enjoyment.
Dinner: MRE and other heat in bag fare, fruit cup, Hunt's pudding,
For trip in the first day: one liter of bottled water. We do not have to worry about having a source of water while we are setting up camp or should the day be hot and hydration potential problem. At camp, each has container to fill from the Sun Shower. We do not use the shower head to fill from, we have the head that easily pulls off which means little wasted water in that transfer.
There can be no doubt that this menu is easy to prepare and is not as tasty as fully cooked meals, but we actually like the meals well enough to think it is worth it by saving on ease of preparation, time for process, and cleanup. A little hot water rinses the cooking bag in the evening and a hot rinse for the utensils ends the cleaning process. Hang the trash bag and all is well.
From member markaroberts:
Our groups go both ways. Some like the "astronaut food" where you just add hot water.
My group goes all out on food. Breakfasts are biscuits/gravy, blueberry pancakes, breakfast burritoes, breakfast caseroles. Dinners are pizza, casseoles, brats, steaks, etc. Then we have hot muffins around the camp fire each night.
To do this we bring a reflector oven, two dutch ovens, a two burner Camp Chef high velocity stove, and a couple of MSR style backpack stoves.
All the food comes out of bear vaults, and trash goes back in the vaults. No trash bags.
"Such sights as this are reserved for those who will suffer to behold them." -Eric Sevareid