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Campsite Sausages & Mash

Posted August 2nd, 2011

A big bowl of mashed potatoes, topped with sausages and gravy goes right at the top of our ‘comfort foods’ list.

We have this meal at home a lot, but had never considered making it on a bicycle tour, until Liz from the BikeAbout website shared her camping version of this tasty meal.

Bangers & Mash on the campstove!

It’s a little more complicated than making a pot full of pasta but we think the extra effort is worth it. To make this recipe, you’ll need 2 pots, or 1 pot and a frying pan. It will go faster if you also have two stoves (although you can make it on one stove with a little pot juggling), so this is the perfect recipe to scale up and make for a group. The ingredients given here make enough for 2 hungry cyclists.

Ingredients:

4 sausages (the best quality you can find)
4-8 potatoes (depends on the size of the potatoes)
1 leek, sliced and well washed
1 red pepper, sliced
8-10 button mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 stock cube
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 stem rosemary (optional)
1 slosh red wine (optional)
1 spoonful butter (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste

*The optional ingredients add a lot of flavour, but aren’t strictly necessary. Also, you can vary the vegetables here (leek, red pepper, mushrooms) according to what you have on hand. Liz suggests adding an apple for sweetness.

Directions:

1. Peel and chop the potatoes into small pieces. Wash them, and then put them in a pot with water. Put on the stove and cook until the potatoes are tender.

2. Meanwhile, chop the leek, red pepper, mushrooms and onion.

Ingredients for the Bangers & Mash gravy

3. When the potatoes are cooked, take the pot off the stove but don’t drain it. The water will keep the potatoes warm, until the rest of the meal is ready.

4. Put the chopped vegetables in your second pot or frying pan, along with any herbs you are using. Saute in a bit of oil until they are cooked. Set aside in a bowl.

5. Put the sausages in the same pot and brown them on all sides. You may need to turn the stove down, or hold it above the heat if you have a stove that doesn’t simmer well.

6. Return the vegetables to the pot with about 1/2 cup of water. Add the stock cube, and any additional seasonings you have, such as rosemary, a bay leaf or red wine. Cook until the sausages are done. Take off the stove and set aside.

7. Drain the potatoes and mash them with a fork. Add butter, salt and pepper if you have it.

8. Put the potatoes in a bowl. Pile the sausages, vegetables and cooking juices on top. Enjoy!

“This takes a little time and uses more fuel than some dishes but it is really filling and tasty after a long bike ride,” says Liz. We’d have to agree. Delicious!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Liz & Chris’ great website, all about their long bike tour from New Zealand to England.

Posted in Food

A Free Bicycle Touring Cookbook (from 1979)

Posted July 27th, 2011

Bicycle Tourists CookbookLooking for some meal ideas while you’re bike touring? The Adventure Cycling Association has just released an electronic version of a cookbook that they originally published back in 1979.

The Bicycle Tourist’s Cookbook is freely available as a downloadable PDF, and it’s interesting as well as practical, if a bit dated (apparently they used a lot of hamburger and jello in the 70s!).

There are hints on proportions (note that the book was aimed at groups of cyclists, so all recipes serve 10 people!), nutrition and how to carry tricky things, like sticky jars of honey.

We particularly enjoyed the advice given on one of the opening pages of the cookbook; a quote from one of the first bicycle tourists, the Frenchman Paul de Vivie, better known as Velocio:

Eat before you are hungry
Drink before you are thirsty
Rest before you are tired
Cover up before you are cold
Peel off before you are hot
Don’t drink or smoke on tour
Never ride just to prove yourself
-Paul de Vivie

This post on the Adventure Cycling Association blog, tells a little more about why they’ve released the cookbook, and also links to another manual on leading a bike tour from 1975.

Posted in Books, Food

A Bike Touring Feast: Our 3-Course Gourmet Camping Meal

Posted July 20th, 2011

There’s just something wonderful about a good meal at the end of a long day in the saddle, and although any food tastes good when you’re hungry, it’s fun to go all-out once in a while.

Last weekend, we did just that. Together with some friends, we each took responsibility for a dish and between us, we turned out some truly fantastic camp food. The best part is that it’s all so flexible. This meal is vegetarian, but could easily have meat if you prefer, and most of the ingredients should be available in most countries, or easily substituted.

First up: corn fritters with sweet chilli sauce, and served over a salad (this was our dish). Just mix a 300g can of corn (drained) with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup grated cheese. Fry with a little oil in a non-stick pan (a small non-stick frying pan and spatula are part of our standard bike-touring kitchen).

Corn Fritters

Serve over salad, with a bit of Thai sweet chili sauce.

Corn Fritters

Next, Simone & Trevor got chopping and working on the main course. They had a good selection of vegetables: onions, green beans, red and yellow peppers and carrots.

Simone; the happy chef

Simone tipped a bit of coconut milk and Thai green curry paste into one pot and stirred, adding the vegetables a bit at a time.

Thai and Sweet 'n' Sour Curry

She saved some vegetables for a second main dish: a sweet ‘n’ sour vegetable mixture. To this dish, she added a can of pineapple as well as the vegetables, and a bottle of sweet ‘n’ sour sauce.

Thai and Sweet 'n' Sour Curry

This was all served over rice, and was fantastic!

Curry & Sweet 'n' Sour

After all this goodness, we barely had any room left but we still had desert! Alicia made this course. She picked a sweet number with coconut milk, sugar, bananas and lychees. It’s really simple. You just heat the coconut milk with a bit of sugar (brown sugar is nice).

Alicia cooking Bananas and lychees in coconut milk

Then add in some chopped bananas and a drained can of lychees.

Bananas and lychees in coconut milk!

It was super sweet, and would be a great energy-booster and warming desert on a chilly autumn night. We enjoyed it in the summer too, but it would be especially nice in cooler temperatures.

What great bike touring meals have you made? We’d love to see your recipes and ideas for going beyond the typical pasta and tomato sauce that fuels so many cyclists.

Making Pizza On A Bike Tour

Posted September 21st, 2010

We love pizza – even more so when we’re bike touring (something about that craving for carbs). But pizza isn’t available in all countries, and you may not want to blow the budget either in a restaurant.

The solution? Make it yourself!

It’s a little more work than the typical cycling meal of pasta and sauce, but not that much more effort and extremely tasty. Here’s a video we did, to show how it’s done – no backpackers oven needed!

*You may need to turn the sound up to hear Friedel. Sorry about that – we are still video amateurs!

Posted in Food, Video

Coffee While Camping: The Perfect Cuppa?

Posted August 4th, 2010

DSC_2974.JPGA great cup of coffee is something we really look forward to in the morning, whether we’re at home or bike touring.

Sadly, most of our attempts at making great coffee while camping haven’t been that successful.

But now, we think we’ve found a great method, and it’s much simpler than we ever expected!

Read on to find out how we’re currently making the Perfect Camping Coffee with just a pot, some coffee and a stove.

Making The Perfect Camp Coffee is the latest article to be added to our Bike Touring Resources section.