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Old 15-06-2016, 10:04   #1
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Make ahead meals for a passage

I'm not there yet, but we are close enough to start thinking about it.

Here in the Pacific Northwest the weather can be predictably unpredictable. I'd like to have at least two days worth of meals ready before we head north. I will be cooking if weather permits, but want to have an ace in the hole in case one of those 3 day blows comes up. I have refrigeration but am open to pressure cooked/home canned ideas. I'd also like the meals to be simple enough to be eaten out of a bowl, if it gets rough.

I've seen what the cookbooks have, I'd like your ideas. What worked and as importantly, what didn't work. Our tastes run to plain but high quality food, right now we eat no canned food at all, but aren't snobby, I like baked beans, etc., too.

As ever, thanks.

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Old 15-06-2016, 11:42   #2
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

i found when the winds pipe up and seas get rough that hand eaten foods are best and no one wants the meal food.
tuna sandwiches, pan baked muffins with extras in em-i call handicakes, and other hand held no mess foods are best for upset seas even if not seasick. yer busy, so it is a lot harder to schedule food times.

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Old 15-06-2016, 11:53   #3
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

We cook daily no matter what. (We = my genious partner).

If it is that rough, we will only have pasta with sundried tomatoes in olive oil, with garlic, alcaparras, parmesan, some fresh herbs, etc. and a glass of white. Then it is one hot meal a day only. Morning/evening we have sandwiches from the bread we bake bi-daily: bread, butter, cheese or what one might wish for. Tea. We never skip our coffee pause at around 11-noon.

If you expect survival conditions or when you go single-handed, take a couple of freeze dried ratios. These take just boiling water to make a 'meal'. Not tasty but takes minimum time and effort and keeps you going for 4 to 6 hours or so.

As two of our friends got nasty burns from pressure cookers onboard, we do not carry one. But we do abuse our oven in heavy weather: toss anything in, wait 30 minutes, eat. Tasty, simple and risk-free. Remember to remove spare vhf and gps first.

Have fun cooking/sailing,

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Old 15-06-2016, 11:58   #4
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

Soup in a sippy cup mug if the weather is chilly. There are many one pot meals that work well. Penne noodles with meat sauce (cause i cant spell bolonaise). Chicken and dumplings, etc. Precook and just reheat.

Consider using a dog bowl to contain your food. The high sides hold the food in and are easier to grip than plates or soup bowls.

If the weather is rough though you might not feel up to meals. Stash some snacks like cheese, boiled eggs, fruit, so you can eat small.amounts.
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Old 15-06-2016, 12:20   #5
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

Although just about anything can be made in a well set up galley, on a passage of only 2-3 days I tend to avoid anything elaborate.

Breakfasts are easy - we generally have the usual cereal with fruit. Oat porridge made in a wide mouthed thermos is excellent (add boiling water and leave 40-60 min) served with dried fruit, nuts and a drizzle of honey. Nothing really needs to be made before setting off.

Lots of snacks are good - hard boil eggs before the passage, and as Zeehag mentioned make savoury muffins with fillings such as corn & tuna.

Bake a cake beforehand to have with frequent mugs of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, and have plenty of chocolate stashed away. Treats are always appreciated.

Dinners with the main component such as Bolognese sauce premade and sealed in glass jars, can be dished up easily. Food that can be eaten with just a fork or a spoon is best, leaving the other hand to grip the serving bowl (bowls are better than plates).

When you are tired and hungry just about anything tastes like gourmet food .

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Old 15-06-2016, 12:26   #6
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

This is a great idea... fill the FRIDGE with frozen pre cooked ready to eat meals... in portion size. You want things that don't require knife and fork... like stews and cassoroles. I have order such things from hotels... and buy frozen "meals" from places like Trader Joe's. You can freeze will act as ice for things like juice and milk... and when it thaws... cook them with some garlic and olive oil and spice and serve with rice.
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Old 15-06-2016, 12:55   #7
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

Green chicken curry with rice. One pot meal. Beef stew also a one pot meal. Curried chicken and asparagus pasties. Thermos of soup.

These are our staples. All except the pasties can be made while underway in our thermal cooker.

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Old 15-06-2016, 13:18   #8
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

Noodles in a cup are what keeps me going if it's going to be a rough trip

(ignore the fact that's probably what I'd eat anyway even if I was in an apartment on land)

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread though - as what to eat while singlehanding is often pretty tricky while underway.
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Old 15-06-2016, 13:54   #9
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

Some can handle cooking even in the roughest conditions, most of us have our limits. I've found great success with pre-made meals that just need to be heated in the oven or microwave...frozen lasagna us one of our favorites. Also, gumbo and chili have worked well to provide a substantial meal that can fit in one bowl and be defrosted/heated without much difficulty even in rough seas.

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Old 15-06-2016, 14:10   #10
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

We usually make some form of one pot meal to have for suppers. Ranges from "glop", a vegetable enriched sort of spaghetti bologonese, served over pre-cooked pasta, that one warms up in the sauce. Another, lasagne, but with vegs added. Sometimes corned beef cooked in the pressure cooker, with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes added. Sometimes beef stew. Some friends always liked to start a trip with a big vegetable soup.

For when the weather is too awful to cook at all, we have found that pre-cooked potatoes, with salt and pepper make a filling tide-me-over. We both like pickled eggs, too. Hardcook the eggs, peel, and then place in hot jars, pour over boiling pickled onion juice, or make up your own. You can also make red eggs, pour the boiling pickled beet juice over the hardcooked eggs, seal the jars as if canning. Let them wait 2 or 3 days, and they will keep up to 2 weeks, either way. Use small eggs, more fit in a jar, and we tend to eat eggs as if they are a complete entity, regardless of size.

Copious dried apricots and also, almonds for snacks. Some like muesli bars.

Redhead, by now, you are seeing that what everyone likes is highly individual. You'll find out what you guys like, by experimentation with what you already like.

If you get into doing your own baking, you can introduce a lot of nutritional value into breads, and many can be satisfactorily cooked on the stove top.

Keeping hydrated is important.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 15-06-2016, 14:34   #11
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

I think having a hotmeal each day is a significant safety factor. Getting some hot food in the belly is a key way to avoid fatigue and the mistakes that come with it. As others have said single pot meals are what you want - easy storage and easy reheat. What goes in the pot is really a personal preference. One man's treat, like pickled eggs, is another man's barf bag. We precook meals in the pressure cooker and stick them into the frig in Tupper ware. For us it is curries and rice, pasta, stew, vegie Soup.
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Old 15-06-2016, 14:57   #12
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

I tend to use a three level system for cruising. The first level is the fresh food I have refrigerated. The second is the very large meals I cook for a couple of weeks before I start my annual cruise and freeze the extra 3 or 4 meals in plastic, one meal sized containers. The third is preserved meals I store in Mason jars, like chicken, chilli con carne, curried chicken, meat balls and hamburgers in gravy etc. I also carry dried lentils, red beans, rice, dried peas etc as dry stores. If I had to I'd probably be good for a month or more holed up somewhere and two or even three months if I rationed.

One of my favourite quick and easies is boiled rice with a small can of smoked tuna mixed in, tasty and easy to prepare.
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Old 15-06-2016, 15:24   #13
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

My meals fall into three categories.
1 almost no prep
2 Minimal prep
3 takes time


1 )cheese and pepperoni on crackers. bananas and peanut butter. Apples and hard cheddar. Gorp... Which can be a mixture of any kind of dried fruits, peanuts, nuts and chocolate like MNMs. Basically anything eaten cold out of the can but cold beans and crackers can be pretty good when you're really hungry.

2) if you have a pressure cooker I highly recommend that you get a stainless steel container (with a lid) that can fit inside of it. You put a couple of inches (or only an inch if you have a newer style pressure cooker )of water in the bottom of the pressure cooker then you can put rice and a sweet potato (depending on its size either whole or cut in half ) in this container at a little over one to one and a half ratio(more water) rice to water and in 12 - 13 minutes you have perfect rice and a perfect sweet potato. The lid is so you can put the leftovers in the frig. You can reheat anything that has a container that can take the Heat, home-canned meals are easy to heat this way. Also things that just take a few minutes to make in a skillet like grilled cheese, fried or scrambled eggs, pancakes, frozen food heated in the skillet.

3) now there are a lot of meals that take long to make that you eat right away but that's not what you're asking about. the things that take long prep but are ready to eat instantly or with a short heat up

A) home-canned Foods. my favorite is a mixture of potatoes, sweet potatoes and chunky meat. maybe some onions, garlic or bell peppers but they can get a little mushy. I also Sprout beans then put them 50-50 with chunky meat and they come out awesome.

B) homemade breads with dried fruit or cheese or pepperoni or cinnamon and butter. bread rules if it's homemade. But I confess I don't do that too often. Muffins and Cornbread are easier.

C) Home dehydrated foods like jerky, dried fruits and mushrooms. You can also dehydrate vegetables that you can sprinkle over the rice with a little extra water before you cook it . And almost forgot kale chips.

Edit I can't believe I forgot hard boiled eggs.
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Old 15-06-2016, 17:49   #14
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

Before embarking on a passage, Gaby prepares cold cuts wrapped in plastic ready for a hoagie roll. Just add mayo and cheese if you like. She also prepares fresh fruit in plastic containers, hard boiled eggs, fried bacon, and Jonny cakes. We also are fans of dried fruits with nuts to snack on. On long hauls, she pre prepares single serve meals vacuum sealed that can be stowed in the freezer and simply heated in boiling water like chicken enchiladas, lasagna, or my favorite, Domi nican pasteles. No large meals are prepared while circumnavigating. Oh.. One favorite slipped my mind. Potato salad with stuff in it.. It travels well.
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Old 15-06-2016, 18:16   #15
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Re: Make ahead meals for a passage

For bad weather I'm partial to dried peas and or beans. In the pressure cooker with water or chicken stock. Add some meat. Run it through a few cycles of pressure when you have time.
It warms you up and fills you up. Plus helps keep you hydrated.

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