Though we don't have a standard fridge, oven or classic kitchen, we eat fairly common foods but have to be creative in the ways we prepare and store them. This list doesn't necessarily contain the bulk of our diets, as we eat a wide variety of tasty foods, rather, this is a list of basic elements we always have on hand that make up the meals we eat on a daily basis.
Quick, cheap and high satiety index with low calories, meaning an apple can tide us over when we’re hungry without packing us full of calories. For an added boost when I am in need of calories, apples are especially great dipped in peanut or almond butter. Apples are excellent travel fruits too, firm and easy to keep in a backpack or jacket pocket and last a long time without being refrigerated. When I’m craving a snack, unsure if I’m hungry or simply bored I always come back to the following principle: “if you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.”
The base of nearly all our evening meals as well as part of Kamp’s food (I make his food every evening). We switch it up between organic brown rice and organic white rice, but the key for both is rinsing the rice. Because I don’t have a sink with with an infinite supply of water, I pour my measured cup of rice into a bowl with equal water, stir it around and gently pour out the water into a strainer to catch any rice granuals that try to sneak out. I repeat this step three times and then cook my rice according to the directions. It comes out perfect every time. Pro tip: if you can cook your rice over a fire or wood burning cook stove, you’ll never have it any other way.
Fast, delicious calories at a very low cost. Barron eats loaded peanut butter sandwiches near daily for quick body fuel, I eat it on my apples, bananas, dates and in homemade salad dressings and Kamp loves it as a simple treat. At the store I look for organic peanut butters with no added sugar, (big brand, low quality peanut butter doesn’t cut it) and always, always crunchy or freshly ground. Most peanut butter manufacturers use palm oil in their lists of ingredients to prevent the natural separation of oils. I do not mind stirring my peanut butter and after reading up on the harmful effects of Oil Palm Tree deforestation, I prefer to stir my PB and choose to never buy butters with palm oil.
High in fat and loaded with anti oxidants. I use olive oil daily as a base for all of my salad dressings, drizzled on some avocado toast, on top of rice or simply plain with a little salt and pepper on a piece of freshly baked bread. Olive oil has a tendency to break down and become carcinogenic at high heats, so for sautés and stir fries I prefer to use coconut oil.
My cooking oil of choice. It is full of healthy fats and is not only a great internal food for both us and Kamp, it also works phenomenally as a skin moisturizer and even a low (2-8)SPF sunscreen. In a pinch with it’s antibacterial properties, it can be used as a deodorant. For gum health and tooth whitening, I’ll gargle a spoonful of Coconut oil for 15 minutes 1-2 times a week. Kamp has been struggling with seasonal allergies, scratching his eyes raw. Every day we rub his eyes with a little coconut oil to prevent them from drying out.
I try not to go a single day without at least one serving of greens. Simple kale salads are my current favorite (kale, olive oil, lemon juice and sunflower seeds) but I also LOVE a blend of spinach and arugula. Because our only refrigeration system is our ice-less yeti cooler, we can’t keep leaves for more than a few days, requiring us to go to the store regularly to stock up on new produce. SOON we will be back in Colorado trading our hands on the farm for fresh veggies, making trips to the store far fewer.
Not a staple of our diets, but fresh, local honey is something we absolutely always have on hand. It’s a delicious energy boost and supposedly never spoils (we’ve never given it time to go bad, so this fact is still up for debate!). Great for tea, peanut butter sandwiches or eaten alone on a spoon or fingertip.
Cayenne adds a little heat with minimal flavor to any dish. Not only is it great in meals, it has a medicinally warming property, helping with my poor circulation and blood flow. If I’m looking for a bit more tang than cayenne alone can provide, I’ll reach for my trusty chili garlic sriracha. You can find this in the asian food section of most grocery stores, but be warned.. a little goes a LONG way.
Making coffee has become a very meditative morning ritual of mine. I love the way it smells and tastes and making it at home saves nearly $3 a day over buying at a coffee shop (though the investment of a $2-$3 coffee in trade for an office space and day of free wifi is worth it to me). I drink only one cup a day and never later than 12pm so that I’m not awake late into the night. For a quick morning boost, I’ll add a spoonful of coconut oil to my black coffee or make a vegan spicy cayenne cacao latte with our Magic Bullet and Goal Zero Battery.
NUTS AND SEEDS
The easiest, most power packed snacks and toppings that require minimal to no refrigeration. A simple handful of almonds will curb an appetite, cashews are a delicious base to homemade trail mix, chopped peanuts on asian noodles or Sunflower seeds on a salad give satisfying crunch and chia seeds + flaxseeds are easy sources of omegas, fiber and protein that can be sneakily slipped into nearly everything without added flavor.
What are your staple food items? I'm genuinely curious, as I love switching up what I eat to keep my food life exciting. Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at ElsaRhae@gmail.com.