We’ve just coming to the end of 8 weeks on the road (20,000 kms) and we’re halfway into our 4 month trip! Apparently what we are doing is called the Giant Loop and Lonely Planet suggests giving yourself 4 weeks to do it – that’s crazy! I’m happy with our speed, and at least we don’t spend every day in the car. I love seeing Australia, but not from the front seat of a car or pulling into suggested lookouts…we want to get into a place and run, walk and bike around it. That was one of the reasons we chose to do some travelling now, when we are feeling fit and healthy and capable of taking on whatever we fancy ‘on the road’. Of course the slightly tricky bit is, not to come back unhealthy, bloated, sluggish and overweight because of what we put in our mouth, which brings me onto what we’ve been ‘cooking up’ on our road trip.
We have managed to make our own meals about 90% of the time and this is working well for our waistline and our bank balance! Restaurants in Australia, especially in WA, are expensive. We don’t have a fridge, just an esky with a bag of ice, so we don’t buy much dairy or fresh fish etc. so when you visit friends and they feed you fresh Spanish Mackerel caught the previous day, it tastes amazing! Thanks to Bea and Dan (Mitchell) for sharing the fish and their home with us and also to Jackson, who caught it.
So what’s in the pantry?? This is a list of what we are stocking in our ‘pantry’ (esky & cooly bags!) to make up our healthy concoctions:
Tahini: perfect on toast with banana for breakfast; a binder in our vegie burgers; great to make a salad dressing or homemade hummus with.
Vegemite: on toast, of course, and Jack’s fave which is: toast with garlic infused olive oil, a drizzle of hot chilli sauce and then vegemite. It’s actually pretty good and I think he’s onto something or maybe it’s because when you are camping most things taste good!
Sea salt and black pepper.
Tamari (wheat free organic soy sauce): for stir frys and healthy baked beans
Brown rice syrup: incase we stay in a cabin and I make up bliss balls or for healthy baked or chilli beans
Almond meal: for coating burgers or homemade chips
Coconut oil, Garlic infused olive oil, normal olive oil. We put the olive oil on toast and on salads; we cook with coconut oil because it can handle a high heat and it’s healthy.
Carmens fruit-free muesli bars(green box/wrappers): these are the healthiest muesli bars available in most Coles and IGAs. We take them on hikes, bike rides etc. They have glucose in them, which is easier to process than fructose.
Cobbs organic popcorn (salt): You can buy a pack of 6 x small bags which are great for a savoury snack when you are craving salt.
La Zuppa soups: Minestrone, Moroccan chickpea, pumpkin. Healthy soups, ready in minutes and you can add veggies to them such as chopped broccoli, grated zucchini, or crumbled feta.
Ready-made Quinoa and brown rice packets: stir fry for 5 mins with veggies.
Tins of tuna: for stir fries, sandwiches, salads and homemade burgers
Fresh salad and veggies: Spinach, rocket, kale, broccoli, carrots, onions, zucchini, asparagus, cucumber, tomatoes, capsicum and we use at least 1 avocado per day. We try to eat greens with every meal if possible, balance up the acidic (coffee, alcohol, tuna, bread, eggs) with some alkaline!
Potatoes: perfect for boiling up and adding to salads, or boiling up and slicing and coating in almond meal before frying in olive oil.
Tins of legumes: cannellini beans, chickpeas, lentils, four bean mix, butter beans. We make bean burgers and add tuna, chopped onion, grated carrot or zucchini etc. We make lentil salad or healthy baked beans or chilli beans. We fry the chickpeas in curry powder and add to salads. We mash the chickpeas with tahina, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a chunky hummus.
Tins of mixed tomatoes for healthy chilli beans.
Fruit: bananas, mandarins, apples, pears – anything hardy which is in season and not too expensive (we’ve seen apples that are $10 per kilo!)
Mixed raw nuts for snacks: we keep a container of these on hand for healthy snacks. The cashews always seem to get eaten first!
Eggs: poached eggs on toast (it’s only taken 8 weeks to master poached eggs using camp stove!); omelettes which we cut into strips and have with a stirfry; hard boiled eggs for tuna salad with baked potatoes; baked eggs with chilli beans
Seeds: sunflower and pumpkin for salads; sesame for coating burgers
Bread: sourdough if possible, or Burgen rye.
Rye Mountain bread: our fave wraps (smoked salmon, avo and spinach; banana and tahina wraps; tuna with olive oil, soy sauce and chopped red onion and rocket)
Goats milk feta or soft goats cheese: for salads, on toast, in soup, or on eggs
Uncle Tobys Weet-a-bix (no sugar J) with milk and banana for quick breakfast
Oats: porridge with full cream milk, banana and cinnamon
Mary’s crackers: healthy gluten free crackers made with seeds and quinoa for hummus.
Ryvitas: with goats cheese and sliced tomatoes or spread with avocado, salt and pepper for snacks.
Below are some of our favourite recipes on the road.
Healthy chilli beans with baked eggs on toast
Slice an onion and pop in a pot with coconut oil. Add a teaspoon of chilli powder. Stirfry until soft. Pop a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of cannellini beans into the same pan. Keep it on a low heat. Add salt, pepper and a big splash of Tamari soy sauce and a Tbsp of maple syrup. Let it bubble for 5 to 10 mins. Make four holes in the bean/tomato mixture and crack 4 eggs into the holes. Pop the lid on and turn up the heat slightly. Let the eggs bake for 3 to 5 mins.
Prepare some dark rye or sour dough bread with drizzles of olive oil. Once the whites on the eggs are set, pour mixture over the bread and bon appetite!
Grab a big pot and mash 1 tin of cannellini beans and 1 tin of chickpeas with 2 Tbsp of tahina or peanut butter. Grate 1 carrot and 1 chopped onion and fry gently in coconut oil with 1 Tbsp of soy sauce until soft. Add carrot and onion mixture to the beans and tahina. Mash some more (add a bit of water if too dry) until really chunky. Add a tin of tuna (185grams) and mix in well.
Form mixture into small patties. Coat the patties in almond meal and sesame seeds. This should make around 15 patties. Fry gently on both sides for 2 to 3 mins in coconut oil.
Serve with big green salad or on a slice of bread with sliced tomatoes, avocado and spinach leaves.
Rice with egg omelette
Grab a bag of ready-made stir fry and a packet of quick brown rice and quinoa, and stir-fry together for 8 mins. Empty into a bowl. Mix 5 eggs together and coat a frying pan with the egg mixture. When it’s set, fold into a pancake and cut into thin strips. Empty the rice and veggie mix back into frying pan for 2 mins to reheat and mix through the egg strips. Serve on a bed of spinach, & we like to add a dollop of hummus or hot chilli sauce.
Jules & Jack, hot chips!!
Boil 4 large potatoes for 10 mins until soft but not falling apart. Slice the potatoes into thin slices and then fry them in coconut oil (about 3 Tbsp) in a frying pan. Add salt, pepper, chilli flakes or Italian spices to potatoes. Shallow fry for around 5 mins each side. Nice to get a good dose of healthy grease! We use white potatoes or sweet potatoes. Serve with a big tuna salad or just on their own……… with cold beer onside!
La Zuppa soup special with tuna on toast
La Zuppa packaged soups are the healthiest soups we can find on the supermarket shelves. They are made up of veggies, potato, beans and water. No added sugars, thickeners etc.
1 large La Zuppa of Minestrone (serves 2); 1 small container of Minestrone (serves 1)
Pour the soup into a pan and heat gently for 5 to 8 minutes. Add some chopped broccoli, grated zucchini.
Toast some sourdough bread on your stove, if you have the facility, or just plain bread.
Mix 1 tin of tuna with olive oil, chilli flakes, turmeric, salt, pepper, a splash of wheat free soy sauce and spread over toasted bread. Serve with a bowl of soup topped with spinach leaves or rocket and crumbled feta.