It is no secret that we love to cook! Next to camping and traveling by bicycle, we love ending a long day of bike travel just to set up camp and cook a tasty meal together.
Travel With The Basics
Our food bag is the single largest and heaviest bag between the two of us. Mehedi graciously carries it as a trunk bag on the back of his bike. We carry the BioLite CampStove and KettlePot, a large bag of herbs and spices, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds as we are traveling in remote places. We also carry an extra pot, wooden utensils, small cutting board, Opinel knife, and a water filter. We use our PowerLight Minis to light up our on-site kitchen.
The tips to cooking well are to have a constantly-rotating artillery of the following staples. There is no need to carry all of these, but 2-3 from each category will do the trick:
HERBS & SPICES
Sweet & savory herbs: cinnamon, anise, turmeric, paprika, garlic powder, curry, chile, cumin, salt
Dried herbs: thyme, oregano, dill and basil
GRAINS & LEGUMES
Oatmeal, quinoa, rice, pasta, amaranth, chickpeas, lentils
Onions, leeks, tomatos, peppers, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, spinach, chard, beets, preferably dehyrated.
We believe the key to a good savory dish is an onion and a tomato or two
Bananas, apples, oranges, berries, mangoes or a papaya, preferably dehydrated
NUTS & SEEDS
peanuts, almonds, cashews, chia, sesame and flax
savory: lime or lemon, fresh cilantro, basil or parsley
sweet: coconut oil, honey, shredded coconut, chocolate chips or peanut butter
Good food is born of good ingredients
We try to buy organic and closest to the farmer whenever possible. Better yet, directly from the farmers themselves. Following the recipes below we can cook up great meals that take almost no time at all while we are camping. They are healthy, filling and keep us fueled up for a long day's ride! We are also 100% vegetarian, though any of these recipes can be altered to add meat or remove dairy, depending on your diet.
SÚPER RICO COCONUT PEANUT CURRY - 15 minutes - Makes 2L
3 tbsp curry powder, 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tbsp cumin
1 large onion, ½ head of broccoli, 1 large carrot, 1 bell pepper, ½ sweet potato, 3 cloves of garlic
dice vegetables into small cubes for even, fast cooking
1 PACK RICE NOODLES
or substitute two cups of steamed rice
1 CAN OF UNSWEETENED COCONUT MILK
3 TBSP COCONUT OIL
2 TBSP PEANUT BUTTER
2 tbsp+ of fresh cilantro, juice from 2 limes
handful of crushed peanuts
Heat coconut oil and all spices in the pan on a low burn for about a minute. Add onion and bell pepper and sautee until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add coconut milk, broccoli, carrot, sweet potato and garlic. Add pouch/can of coconut milk. Bring to a simmer. Add peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Add pack of rice noodles and cook until noodles are tender. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime. Salt to taste. If soup is too tart, bitter, or spicy, add a dash of honey or more peanut butter. If it is too sweet, milky or bland, add more lime, salt or hot sauce! We are garlic fiends and usually double the garlic. Fresh garlic is also great for garnish!
EL MEJOR CHAI DEL MUNDO - 10 minutes - one can never have too much chai
The secret to brewing an amazing pot of chai is a lot of ginger, good black tea (Assam is our favorite), fresh organic milk, and quality organic honey. We have encountered a lot of highly-processed sugar syrups throughout our travels in Latin America, so it is always good to make sure you are buying pura miel de abeja. The other stuff is not worth buying.
one large thumb per mug, grated
one bag per mug or three bags for every two cups
two ounces of milk per mug
SPICE IT UP
1 teaspoon per mug of ground cinnamon
3-4 cardamom pods
1 star of anise per two mugs
dash of nutmeg
Boil water with grated ginger and spices for one minute. Remove from heat, add black tea. Let steep for three to five minutes (brew five minutes or longer for strong chai). Remove spices and strain off tea and ginger. Add milk and bring to the brink of boiling, then remove from heat. Do not over boil! Serve with honey (one tablespoon per mug produces a wonderfully sweet, warming and spicy drink).
SWEET OATMEAL BREAKY - 10 minutes - makes 1.5-2L
OATMEAL or OATMEAL/QUINOA BASE
1 teaspoon cinnamon, cardamom or nutmeg
NUTS & SEEDS
peanuts, cashews, almonds, chia, flax, or sesame
FRESH or DRIED FRUIT
banana, papaya, mango, berries, raisins, cranberries
1 tbsp per serving
cacao nibs or chocolate chunks
scoop of peanut butter
splash of organic milk
drizzle of honey
A pretty straight forward recipe. Add quinoa or oats to your pot with adequate ratio of water. Quinoa is 1-2 parts water and oats being 1-1.5 parts water. A few minutes before pot is finished cooking, add chia - it needs a minute or two to soak up water. Then add desired seeds, nuts, spices, and fruit. Drizzle honey, coconut oil or chocolate chunks across each serving. Very tasty, quick, and a great way to start an active day on the bikes with a breakfast that packs a punch!
HEARTY VEGETABLE SOUP - 15-20 minutes - makes 2L
WHOLE GRAIN BASE
2 handfuls of lentils, quinoa or pasta
1 teaspoon of spices: paprika, turmeric, cumin, or chile
2 tbsp of a dried herb: thyme, oregano or basil
SELECT 3-4 FRESH OR DRIED VEGETABLES
1 large or 2-3 small onions
½ head of broccoli, 1 large carrot, ½ beet or 1 bell pepper
1 large potato or 1 small-medium squash and 3 cloves of garlic
Lime, cilantro, cheese, bread
Combine in one pot all ingredients. Dice any root vegetable (potatoes, beets, carrots, etc) into very small cubes so as to cook at a consistant rate. Add water and bring level 1 inch from top of pot. Cook until grain is soft (lentils 20 minutes, quinoa 15-20 minutes, pasta 8-10 minutes). If you need to cook longer, add more water. Garnish and enjoy in the mountains.
MEXICAN QUESADILLA FAJITAS - 15 minutes - makes 6 quesadillas
Our favorite meal to make in Mexico was quesadillas! (When in Rome, right?) This recipe can vary drastically in time depending on how hot your fire burns. We found a low-medium heat works best. High heat will burn your tortillas.
dozen corn tortillas
1 large or 2-3 small yellow onions
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium tomato
1 head of corn
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
8-10 ounces of white cheese/queso fresco
(Oaxacan quesillo works best for melty, stringy quesadillas)
shred cheese into long, thin strings
cilantro and lime
fresh tomato + onion
Add 2 tbsp of oil to your pot on a low burn. Add onions, corn and bell pepper. Saute on low for five minutes. Add tomato and garlic, cook on low for another couple of minutes. Scoop contents into bowl, set aside. Oil pan, rest your corn tortilla into the pan, flip a few times to heat, then add cheese to the tortilla. When cheese begins to melt, scoop cooked vegetables, cilantro and a squeeze of lime over cheese and add top tortilla. Flip as necessary until cheese is fully melted. Be careful not to let them burn. Repeat!