I am sure you have followed the storm this weekend on the TV, or you’ve heard about it thru someone; My Mom called me at 6AM wondering if we were under the storm, and she lives in France!!!… We are all connected! We are traveling around the world faster and farther than ever before…. That brings us to this month’s topic: FOOD AND TRAVELING!
Like Liliane and me, you must have noticed that there is just not much to eat out there — at least healthy — the fast food industries have colonized our highways, our airports, our planes, our cities, our towns, schools, hospitals ETC… they are running our nations to sickness, diseases and DEATH…. this is a BIG topic, but we will just concern ourselves for now about some of the solutions that we found for ourselves. We will start with camping this week.
I talked about the storm this past weekend because just a week ago we were camping on the coast of Georgia in a charming little town outside of Savannah named Tybee Island, just before the hurricane. We have a little 3 person tent, a canopy to protect us from mosquitoes and to cover our equipment. We have been camping for three years and we have been lucky enough not to get any storm, until this time… this was just a big storm and lasted just about a half hour. We do not have any picture from this, but at one point the wind and rain were falling so hard we thought everything was going to blow away and our vacation was going to be ruined. We were both holding on to the tarp so it would not blow away. We just had enough time to put everything on the table because a small river was forming under our feet…We made it, the sun came back, the river quickly dried out, within a couple days everything was back to normal and life was running as usual. One thing is sure is that we have witnessed one more time how terrifying mother nature can be and we have to be ready!!!… compared to what was to come, it was nothing!
Ready.. that’s the key word also when it comes to food when you are traveling, camping or just going to visit your family across country. We spend more time preparing our food supply than anything else when we go away. No matter how charming little Tybee is, there is nowhere for us to eat and we can barely buy any supply. More people get sick while traveling than they do staying home, because they are not prepared, and when you are hungry you would just eat about anything…An article from John Hopkins University recently highlighted how people who travel much get more sick than others (diabetes, heart problems etc.) and they attributed it in great part to the poor quality of food while traveling. (Da!)
Liliane: In my practice, so many people come back sick after traveling (same after holidays!) They do well, get better and heal from whatever…go on a trip and we have to start again! sooo…it is worth exploring and sharing tips and options!
Here are a few tips about our experience and what we like to take with us;
– We use 2 big coolers and a small one for day trips, it is tedious as you have to replace the ice once a day, we do it in the morning after breakfast,we have not found a dry solution yet as water leaks out of a double zip log bag, but it helps quite a lot.
– Make sure all your food is well packed in good waterproof containers or water will get into it and ruin it. Now the kind of camping we do is not wild camping, we have running water and electricity available to us as it makes life easier. Even with all the equipment we have, grill, pots and pan, 2 burner gas stoves, cutting boards and knifes….everything is more difficult and takes longer to prepare, and we do not want to spend a lot of time cooking and preparing food. We would rather enjoy the beach or bicycling. I always make sure we have 2,3 days supply of prepared food with us (roasted seeds, grain, quinoa, tofu or tempeh salad, pesto…some recipes to come!) so we do not have anything to cook for the first 2 days as it gives us a chance to get into a rhythm.
I always fix a dozen sushi rolls, that will be eaten on the road and the first day of camp. I know what you are going to say: “whoa! I’ve never made sushi, it’s too complicated!” but in reality it is very easy to make them, delicious, nutritious and the variety is endless. And they are as easy if not easier to eat than sandwiches.
QUICK RECIPE FOR SUSHI:
First you need rice, and any good organic rice will do, short grain, long grain, brown, white, black, red etc… you do not need sushi rice but you can if you want, quinoa, millet, but our choice is mostly brown rice with hato mugi. It is truly a delicious combination, with just a hint of sweetness.
For 12 to15 rolls use 2 cups of brown rice to one cup of hato mugi, soak the rice over night, rinse and put in a pan with 6 fresh cups of water. you can cut the recipe if you want, but always use double amount of water. I never cook one cup of rice.
Bring to a boil, add a pinch of salt, cover, simmer for about 50 min. or till all water has evaporated.
Remove the pan from the heat, let sit for a half hour;
Place the rice in a bowl and stir till all the steam is gone (you can use a fan to help the process). Your rice should be tender and sticky.
Cover with a damp cloth and reserve till ready to use.
My favorite toppings are tempeh, avocado, carrots and raw sauerkraut. Make sure your vegetables are cut in thin strips so you can put more variety. Parboil the carrots or harder veggies for just a minute or so in boiling water.
When you are ready to roll, make sure you have everything on hand: rice, cut veggies, ume paste, tahini, mat, nori and a bowl of water with some dry towels. If some of those ingredients are foreign to you, stop by our little store and we will help you recognize what you need. Sushi mats are important, as you want your roll to be tight so nothing falls out when you eat it. (Joane Kushi runs regular wonderful classes on sushi making. I will keep you posted on her classes. You can also have me come to your house, invite some friends and we will have a sushi party!!!
The scary part– or at least the most intimidating — is the rolling, but this is how you do it:
Place your nori sheet shiny side down on the mat, wet your hand to grab the rice so it does not stick, and flatten it in the middle of your nori sheet. I leave plenty of space on each side, so when I roll it will not run out. I put a good half cup of rice per roll, maybe a little more as I like my rolls plump and juicy!
On top and in the middle of that I spread about 1-2 tsp of ume and tahini. (be careful ume is very salty)!
Place a small amount of each topping on top of each other. Now dry your hands, fold the side in front of you over to the other side, covering the toppings so you can pull toward you to make it tight. Then continue rolling till you reach the end, making sure that you are not rolling the mat with it!! Wet your nori on the outer edge to make it stick, ET VOILA!!!!
I generally roll them individually in plastic wrap and have them in an air tight container. Always nice and easy to eat when you are on the road. Some people keep them in a paper bag, so they can breathe and save longer if you do not have a cooler with you. I also roll noodles sometimes instead of rice. It is a little more messy, but quite delicious as well.
You can also make rice balls, they are easier than rolls to make; just cook your rice as above, cut your nori sheet into 4 squares (makes two balls), place a hand full of rice between your hands, shape it into a nice round ball, put an ume plum or pickle in the center, place it on top of one square of nori, fold the borders against the rice, place the other sheet on top of it in opposite way so they fit perfectly together when they are rolled. Gently shape into a ball. The nori should be sticking easily to the rice.
Next week we will continue our forum with more recipes and also Liliane ‘s traveling kit that we do not go anywhere without… give us your feedback, questions, share your experience and tips with others, join the community and remember that we are all connected!!!
Liliane et Didier
PS. If you want to see a demonstration of sushi making, there are several demos on the web. Just adapt the content as they either demonstrate with fish, with white rice or sugar. In the meantime, we are working on our own online demo videos. Stay tuned!
I will use this opportunity to introduce my new business, a Personal Chef Service, starting today!!! Just click on Changing Seasons at the top of the page. All the info is there.