On a boat — particularly if you’re cruising full time, away from towns and things like restaurants — sometimes you just need a quick meal. It’s been a long day and you just want to eat and fall into bed. Occasionally it’s because it’s been a great day but, unfortunately, more often it’s because a half-hour repair turned into a series of eight related jobs. And there is no take out in sight.
A few weeks ago, I came across a great new option for just such occasions. Old El Paso has a new product called “Tortilla Stuffers” and it’s pretty good. Admittedly, it’s not like a fresh home-cooked meal, but it’s a lot better than some other meal options we’ve tried.
- No refrigeration needed unless you have leftovers.
- Two-year shelf life.
- Right size for two people (yes, I know the package says it contains 5 servings).
- Meat is included — there are both beef and chicken versions.
- Package says to microwave but you can also heat up on the stove — or even eat cold, as it’s all cooked.
- It only takes a couple of minutes to heat it up.
- No water needed, either.
- Don’t even need a can opener.
- Ideally, you wrap it in a tortilla (similar to a burrito). But it’s also good on it’s own.
- Dave and I like spicy food and we drizzle a little salsa over the top for extra flavor. We’ve tried both the beef and chicken and like both.
- The Tortilla Stuffers are somewhat high in sodium, so you don’t want it as an everyday item. But in a pinch, it works well.
Not only are the Tortilla Stuffers a good quick meal, it’s also a good choice as emergency rations. Just keep a few packages on hand in the back of a locker in case something happens and you’re out a day or two longer than anticipated. With the long shelf life, no refrigeration or water needed, and can be eaten without being heated up, you’ll still be able to eat even if all systems go down or the weather turns too rough to prepare conventional meals.
They’d also be good as ditch bag provisions as the pouches are airtight, won’t rust and you don’t need a can opener.
One of the “Quick Reference Lists” that Jan and I included in The Boat Galley Cookbook was a list of quickie meals (page 85), but this beats all of them for speed and simplicity in a nasty situation — not to mention the shelf life.
Know of any other good options that don’t require refrigeration, cooking or water and work well as emergency rations? Leave a note in the comments, please — I’m always looking for new options!