Sunday, 19 October 2014

Where in the world?

Well hello from the sunny (well, sometimes!) South Island in New Zealand! We're currently in a campsite in a place by the sea that my mind resolutely cannot memorise the name of. These Maori names were made to fox me. What I can say is that my view is astounding - cliffs, golden sands and waves crashing in, plus the odd sea lion stopping by. Yes, my life is pretty heavenly right now, apart from the family next door having some kind of Mexican themed fiesta...


We're just under a week into our 17 day jaunt around the South Island in a camper van, so I thought now would be a good time to talk about meals on the road, something which is very topical for us right now. Our camper is pretty well equipped with two gas burners, a small fridge and a microwave, so I can't really complain. The microwave only works when we're hooked up to the mains, though, and were at the edge of the earth right now so definitely none of that. Tonight I managed to cook pan fried lamb steaks with mashed sweet potato (known as kumara here) and boiled brocolli and carrots. And it was great! 

Here are some tips, whether you're in a camper or just away from home for a while and trying to stay healthy:

Batch cooking

If you're getting the stove going, you best make it worthwhile and cook up a few meals worth. Not only is it economical, it means you have no excuses to grab fast food when you're all stocked up with the good stuff. Tonight I used our boiling water from the veggies to boil some eggs for a quick breakfast and snacks on the road. I also cooked extra veggies to add to my breakfast. Good times and a faster getaway in the morning. 

Keep it simple, Stupid!

No one wants to carry a tonne of food around, especially when you're only away a short while. Focus on the bare necessities. For our road trip this was decent olive oil and sea salt as a baseline. These make anything taste good. Then just make sure you plan ahead a couple of days at a time, but also take advantage of anything in season/on offer. John West's Pink Salmon for 50p a can? I'll take two. As we are by the sea in New Zealand, we've been stocking up on lamb and seafood. Makes sense, see. Buy veggies that will do double duty for dinner and lunch, like carrots you can add raw to a salad or boil for dinner. I've been having salmon and sardine salads and in the evenings we've had meat/fish simply cooked with veggies and rice or sweet potato. So easy, so fresh, so tasty. 

Treat yourself

We save treats for coffee stops, rather than stocking up. So if we're indulging in the famous NZ Flat White in a local cafe, maybe we'll grab a slice of cake to go with it. I find if I keep treats in the van or my backpack, they're gone in 60 seconds. Better to wait and savour something yummy and homemade in a cute little coffee shop. Same goes for alcohol! 


As sure as eggs is eggs

I know not everyone is a fan but keeping these in stock means you're ready for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cook them any way and eat them any time. Pick them up from a farm or the supermarket and get the perfect protein hit. God I love eggs. Can you tell?

It takes a bit of thought but cooking your own food on the road is so rewarding. Trust me, you soon get sick of eating out all the time, even if it is a meat and double carb fest in Bolivia! Food shopping in a new country is one of life's joys for me. Check out the local produce and make the most of it being cheap and plentiful. And yes, that can include wine ;)


Happy travels!

What's your go to on the road meal? 

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