Fresh vs Canned and Dried
When we provision we plan for a variety of meals. Some require fresher ingredients and others we could prepare weeks out in a journey (if only we had that much water). We do not have refrigeration so this adds another level of planning. However, at this point in our trip, we've really never been more than 3 or 4 days away from a grocery stop.
When possible we like to buy fresh local ingredients from a farmer's market and then hit a grocery for the staples. Yesterday we were lucky enough to hit both in Santa Cruz. This farmer's market does not allow any arts and crafts, only food and music. They did however, have some very good looking locally caught fish which inspired a tasty dinner plan.
Many people have inquired if we fish. It seems logical right? We live on a boat on the water. We pass many, many fishing boats commercial and charter. We've even been yelled at for accidentally disrupting a chum line (we didn't know I promise and were honestly just trying to get out of the big, faster fishing boat's way, but who throws a fish?). Dave even has the cruising guide to fishing on his bookshelf, we just haven't bought any of the equipment nor have we purchased the license. Its on our to do list. Since we haven't done yet, purchasing the just caught yesterday albacore seemed just right.
On further exploration of the market we added fresh veggies for a salad, local baked whole wheat sourdough, and some tasty fruit. We then swung by the Trader Joe's for yogurt and a block of cheese (which do well in our cooler without constant refrigeration), tortillas (which are easy to store), canned tomatoes (which are good for a variety of meals), and sausages (which also stand up to our lack of refrigeration).
After our 30 minute row to the dinghy doc against the wind and current and mile walk to
the market we rewarded our efforts with a stop midway through our errands at 99 Bottles.
Per Dave, the selection on tap and in bottles rivaled our old neighborhood beer bar, Toronado.
Schlepping the groceries back, weaving in and out of tourists snapping pictures of Sal's cousins (sea lions) on the wharf we made it back to Crazy Love without dousing the groceries or each other. A small miracle really.
Dinner turned out to be one our best yet!
Albacore Tune with Fresh Salad and Bread
- Fresh locally caught albacore tuna steaks
- Olive Oil
- Montreal Steak Seasoning (not just for beef on Crazy Love)
While I coated the tuna steaks with olive oil and seasoned them liberally with the steak
seasoning Dave prepared the salad. I pan fried the steaks about 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
Turning the high flame down to low after 30 seconds on each side and squeezing the lemon over them as they cooked.
Served with the bread and butter (yes we keep the butter on hand) and balsamic vinaigrette for the salad too.
This meal is a prime example of using all fresh, almost all local ingredients.
Not always the easiest option. For days late in the grocery rotation we have meals like the following that require ingredients that could be found stored in that long lost bomb shelter and still taste delicious.
Almost Mom's Chili
- 1/2 cup dried beans
- 14 oz Canned Tomatoes (Chili ready)
- 1/2 Onion
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein) + 1/2 cup water
- Olive oil
- Chili Seasoning (Rosie's Mix)*
We keep a container of dried beans. Currently its a mix of Red Mill's 13 Bean and Red Mill's Black Beans and something I can't remember.
The dried beans are soaked at least 6 hours in water prior to cooking. Just a step to do after breakfast.
I cooked up some pasta in the pressure cooker (as a pot, not under pressure) prior to cooking the chili. Leaving it in the strainer in the sink.
The soaked beans are then added to the pressure cooker (pouring off most the water).
In the frying pan I sauteed the onion and garlic until soft, then added the TVP (rehydrated with the 1/2 cup water). This is then added to the pressure cooker with the beans and the can of tomatoes. These tomatoes just happened to be chili seasoned. Add Chili Seasoning, about 1 1/2 tablespoons or to taste. Then add just enough water to ensure that everything in the pressure cooker is covered.
Lock the lid, heat over high flame until it comes to 15 psi pressure then turn the flame to as low as possible to keep the pressure up for 20 minutes. Turn the flame off and let the pot naturally release the steam pressure. Open the lid, add the pasta, and serve.
We did have a few slices of kraft singles in the bottom of the cooler that were tasty melting over the top with a few crumbled ritz crackers. It's always good with a little sour cream on the top too, but we didn't have at the time.
Mom's chili growing up had chili seasoned pinto and kidney beans (canned) and ground beef instead of TVP and was seasoned without the cayenne pepper. But this is really close!
Chili Seasoning* - One of my pre-mixed seasonings
- Chili powder (3)
- Cumin (1)
- Cayenne pepper (a couple dashes)