While physically still trapped in out small apartment, our thoughts are with new overland adventures which will hopefully take place at least in the summer if not before. Finally I found the time to write a little bit more about how and what we cook on our road trips and over and travels – here is a post about which food we stock up on before we leave and what we buy along the way.
NON-PERISHABLE FOODS & INGREDIENTS WE STOCK UP ON
OIL, VINEGAR & SAUCES
Although the bottles take much precious space, but we can´t live without olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. We usually also carry a small bottle of home made ketchup, mustard and Tabasco as well.
HERBS, SPICES & SEEDS
Besides salt and pepper, we carry loads of different spices and herbs – depending on the season and where we are located, but preferably we dry them ourselves before we leave. We usually have rosemary, oregano, thyme, chilli, turmeric, nutmeg, lemon grass and and and. We also carry a jar with seeds which we usually sprinkle over salads.
Having a little bit of flour is always a good idea – we use it to make pancakes, tortillas, crumbles and such. Better to keep it in a jar to avoid a huge mess in the car if the paper bag gets torn.
PASTA, RICE, QUINOA, CHICKPEAS, COUSCOUS, POLENTA
We are really not one of those who can eat pasta every day, but we can´t deny it is probably one of the most convenient and quick hot meals you can cook. So we always carry some spaghetti, tortellini and rice as well. In smaller amounts we also have some quinoa, couscous, polenta and similar. We often cook more of it for a hot dinner meal and use the rest for a cold salad lunch the next day.
CANNED AND PICKLED VEGETABLES
Fresh vegetables are always better but sometimes you simply cannot buy them as you go. We stock up on cans of beans, corn, olives and peas. We also have a couple of pickled vegetable jars, like pickles or onions. Already cooked beetroot in vacuum bags is also great for a quick salad.
Another must for us. It´s probably not the healthiest fish you can eat but it is very convenient as you can use it in so many ways. We put it in pasta sauces, in a sandwich or on different salads.
CANNED TOMATO SAUCE, CREAM AND COCONUT MILK
We use these 3 ingredients to make sauces for pasta and risottos. Coconut milk is more expensive so we save it for special occasions when we feel like eating something more exotic.
HONEY, MARMELADE, AGAVA SYRUP, NUTELA & PEANUTBUTTER
All of the above might come in handy – we eat it with pancakes, on bread and in the worst case just like that, with a spoon out of the jar.
PESTO & CHUTNEY
We often prepare our own pesto (with herbs or rocket, parmesan and seeds) and chutney (my favourite being chilli – raspberry and chilli – mango) at home and use it on pasta and rice or a side to steaks on the road.
NUTS & DRIED FRUITS
There are so many different nuts out there and it´s good to have a couple of bags ready for snacking or for sprinkling them over pasta, risotto etc. We usually have peanuts and cashew nuts, from dried fruits we sometimes have plums, figs, dates or apricots. I have to add I´m a huge fan of dry tomatoes, I can eat those with bread or chop them in pasta sauces as well.
Parmesan is great because it doesn´t get spoilt so quickly and it really adds lots of flavours to any dish. We either grate it over pasta and risottos or eat it just like that with bread or salads.
Since it is not always easy to get fresh bread, we always carry rice or other bread crackers. They last really long if you pack them right and are great with cheese or salads.
Another thing we do at home before we leave – our own cereals. You can of course buy them as well. We usually eat them on top of a greek yoghurt, as a dessert or breakfast.
DRY SAUSAGES, PROSCIUTTO & SAUSAGES
I´m not the biggest fan of processed meats but I have to confess, sometimes I can´t resist little bites of prosciutto or those dry French saucissons. A pair of vacuum packed sausages can be a life saver for my hungry boys.
They are surely not healthy, but sometimes they can really save you. Especially when not feeling too good or when it is freezing outside, it feels good to fill your stomachs with something warm.
CHOCOLATE, CHIPS, POPCORN & MARSHMALLOWS
Some days are of course spend less healthy. And we can´t resist snacking on either chocolates or chips during longer drives when there is sometimes also no time to stop and cook. We love bags of corn for popcorn – they don´t take much space and it´s easy to do it on the BBQ. We usually also carry a bag of marshmallows for the evenings around the fire.
COFFEE, TEA, WATER & ALCHOHOL
We both run on coffee so this is a must for us in the morning and we always have secret stocks of it in our car. We also have a couple of bags of tea, we have drinking water in the water tanks and there´s always a can of beer somewhere, sometimes a bottle of wine and (depending on the destination) sometimes also a bottle of whiskey, cognac or similar.
FOOD & INGREDIENTS WE BUY ON THE WAY
It all depends on the destination, because not everything is available everywhere, but in general we always find EGGS (for omelettes, salads, pancakes and such), BREAD (always pick the one which stays good longer), LOCAL FRESH VEGETABLES & FRUITS (again, depends on the location and the season, but we usually find something. Potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic stay good for a long time), FISH and MEAT (1-2 times a week unless it is cheap or we catch fish on our own), MILK (we don´t drink it but I need a drop in my morning coffee), GREEK YOGHURT, BUTTER, different SPREADS and so on.
For short-lasting food we have a smaller fridge in our car. It´s plugged onto the second battery which runs on the solar panel on the roof. It is really convenient and I can´t imagine a longer trip without it, so if you are organising / designing your own vehicle, I highly recommend putting in a fridge. We hide the fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs etc in a shady and dry place. Cans, drinks, flour and anything we don´t need on a daily basis we store in the storage space under our bed. But every car, van or motor home is different so you have to figure out the best storage solution for yourselves.
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