Meals are a big deal when you're cruising (land or sea.) Some days, there's not much else to look forward to. Now that we land-cruise on Clemmie, we enjoy cooking much more once again and eat out less than when we were on the boat.
Our preference is to make dishes largely from scratch. When we can, we use organic products. We shop for veggies frequently, preferring local produce. One of us is a pretty good cook (two decades of cooking for a family instilled it in her bones), and the other--while lacking experience, does enjoy cooking. But we found, now, that sometimes our waistbands get pretty tight--or worse, didn't fit. So in July, 2006, we tried to modified the meal approach and combining food differently. For health reasons, we try to eat 7-8 servings of fruit/veggies each day. When we do that, we find we eat less of the starchy stuff, and our waistbands and intestines appreciate it.
When we lived on the boat, cooking was constrained by factors that didn't come into play at home. These were: (1) the food items available in the local markets; (2) the sea state at the time of cooking; (3) fuel consumption; and (4) the dishwashing capacity of a boat. Even if all desired ingredients were at hand, cooking on a passage was often uncomfortable. And, at anchor the environmental issues associated with cleaning up came into play. Therefore, we found that we usually aimed to cook quickly for comfort, to minimize the amount of fuel (in our case propane) consumed and heat produced, and to reduce the number of pots and dishes used. Despite this, meals were still important and we (tried to) aim for variety, appeal, and nutritional balance. For many of the recipes we followed on the boat, we substituted some prepared items for those made from scratch, used canned meat instead of fresh, used a single pot when we could, and had a few tricks to save on fuel. If we opened a can and didn't finish it, we put the left-overs (still in the can) in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator until it got used up (or tossed out).
On many boats, the female is a galley slave. The same is true on RV's. That wouldn't work for us--there'd be a mutiny in short order. Instead, we take turns being responsible for each evening's meal--and, since in our home whoever cooks also cleans up, this means we each get alternative days "off" from galley duty. We like this arrangement a lot. Breakfast and lunch are more ad hoc.
This page provides links to some of our favorite boating and non-boating recipes, hints for cruising provisions and fuel conservation, and ideas about combining foods, etc.
They are as sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing"