When you’re living ashore and have had a long day, it’s easy to call out for a pizza or go out for a quick bite. Once you’re away from a marina, you don’t have that option.
We all have those days when we just don’t feel like spending time fixing dinner. Sometimes it’s for a “fun” reason like a hike that took longer than expected or a fantastic snorkeling expedition. More often, it’s because repairs or maintenance took longer that expected . . . or were totally unexpected! You’re frustrated, you’re tired, and you just want something to eat. And there’s no McDonald’s or Domino’s. Once again, you’re on your own. Self-sufficiency in cruising takes many forms.
I can’t make the repairs easier, but I can give you some ideas for quick meals. No, they’re not gourmet, many aren’t a balanced meal, and they’re not what we want to eat every day. But then, fast food and pizza aren’t gourmet or balanced either.
Keep a List
I found it really helpful to keep a list of ideas for “meals in a hurry” on a note card stuck in with my cookbooks. At the end of a long day — say 10 pm after tearing apart the lazarette and standing on my head to help Dave find the fuel leak in the diesel — I just didn’t have the energy to come up with an idea for food. I could just look at my list, pick something out and fix it in about 5 minutes. Perfect!
I always keep several types of canned meat on hand. Canned meat doesn’t need refrigeration (great if your electrical system goes down and the refrigerator is off) and is pre-cooked, making it fast to use. Thus many of my ideas use canned meats of various types. Check out my canned meat tips and canned meat meal ideas — most are fairly quick to make, although not all meet the 5-minute requirement I have for my list.
5-Minute Meal Ideas
- Leftovers (great if you have some . . . but we never seemed to when we needed them)
- Sandwiches from any of the canned meats — tuna, ham salad and roast beef are particularly good.
- Crackers, cheese and fruit.
- Mix a can of mixed veggies and a can of chicken (include the liquid) into chicken ramen noodles.
- Scrambled eggs with whatever cooked meat, cheese or veggies (onion, tomatoes, or mushrooms for starters) mixed in.
- Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.
- Sauté a can of hash with some onions and a healthy dose of black pepper — crack an egg over the top if you feel like it.
- Peanut butter on celery or carrots or with crackers.
What are your go-to fast meals? Add them in the comments below to help others!