Exploring the aisles of the local supermarket, I am always astonished to see the variety of canned and boxed foods that are available nowadays. And since I like a good challenge from time to time, I decided I would try to create meal options for kayakers that all come from a can. Because, like it or not, cans come in very handy for paddlers who plan a multi-day trip in the wilderness. They can add a bit of weight and bulk, but it’s the safest food option after more than a few days of paddling without any corner store in sight. Often, it’s almost the only option available.
Granted, creating an entire meal out of canned goods will never be as delicious and special as something made from fresh ingredients. And almost all vegetables are a big problem because, except for tomatoes and corn, they are usually mushy. But when you are at this stage in your kayak or canoe trip, you’re looking more for a nutritious meal than for gastronomy.
Meals from a can are also interesting when you set camp too late and are very tired from a long day in your boat or when the weather is not cooperative. No question, they are the quickest fix. Even if you plan only a short weekender, it is also a very good idea to carry some canned goods, just in case your fresh supply gets lost or spoiled; it has happened to me, when my husband forgot to hang our supply of fruits, vegetables and cheese high in a tree. We were camping in bear country, so you can imagine that this mistake could have had serious consequences for us if I hadn’t also packed canned goods like mackerel, smoked oysters and camembert cheese…
Important rules to follow
If you want to make sure that your mix and match of cans and dry foods will provide you with sufficient proteins, carbs and calories for a meal without loading you down with bad fats, follow these basic principles.
Here are my suggestions for meals created exclusively from a can, with a little help from a few dry foods.
A soup from a can
The most satisfying camp meal for me is always a steaming bowl of soup. So I created these recipes that would satisfy that hunger even after all the fresh items have been eaten.
Indian lentil soup (4 portions)
Put all ingredients in a pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until rice is cooked.
Extra chunky chicken noodle soup (4 portions)
Put all ingredients in a pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until hot.
Shrimp bisque (4 portions)
Put all ingredients in a pot. Cover and cook over low heat until hot.
Moroccan stew (2 portions)
Put all ingredients in a pot, except couscous, water and olive oil. Cover and cook until hot. In the meantime, bring water to a boil in another pot. Add olive oil, salt and couscous. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for five minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork. When stew is hot, serve over couscous
Antipasto platter-as-a-meal (4 portions)
|White Bean Dip
(2 portions)||The Platter|
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