The Fuss about Food
Catering. Yes or No?
Over the years the safari and touring industry have brainwashed normal everyday campers, in to believing that touring through Africa requires you to be catered for. You can see this from the amount of time spent on TV safari programs, on the preparation of food.
Cooking whilst camping is in the DNA of many South African weekend campers. The “potjie” on Saturday with a glass of wine. What could be better?
Well what could be better is to have your meal ready soon after arriving in camp. More time to relax, download your photos of the day, editing or just enjoying the sunset.That is why guests look at the catered option on tour.
But with catering comes other issues:
- Our dietary requirements are different from person to person and your body might not enjoy what it is presented with. Not feeling well due to a dieet you are not used to can cause problems.
- To be able to present a meal at night, your traveling day might be shortened to accommodate the extra time required for cooking.
- You are paying for food based on the nutritional views of the tour cook.
- Expect fillers like bread, potatoes, rice, pastas….
The Bluerhino way
I have been a fussy eater my whole life, and when I adopted the Ketogenic diet, it meant that the normal “fillers” ( rice, potatoes, pasta and bread ) offered by touring companies was just not going to cut it. I needed low carbohydrates and higher, good quality fat. No tour opperator could help me with this. Ingredients are more expensive and there are a few people that does KETO. So, sorry.
The solution is to do your own food, obviously. Fortunately Botswana and its food restrictions have sent me down a path at this point where I have figured out how to do healthy meals that is safe to take across the border.
The answer: Take pre-cooked meals.
Basically when you have your favourite meal at home, lasagne, beef stroganoff, curry and rice, stew or whatever, just make a double portion and freeze the extra.
I have taken this to the next level and I weigh my portions to know exactly that my meals in the evening is healthy and enough. no left overs and no overeating. A bit of biltong or dry wors, peanuts or nuts, can help on the days that I need a bit more.
How do I do it?
Basically, I take my cooked meals and freeze them in a foil container or a strong plastic bag.
When I pack for a tour I literally take out as many meals as I have evenings on the tour and my food is pretty much packed.
On tour, in the morning I take out the meal that I feel like for the day, I pack it in an airtight container so that there would be no spillage if the container falls over. That night I heat a cast iron pot on the gas or fire and “bake” my foil dish in the Dutch oven untill hot. About 5 minutes gas and 15 minutes rest. Job done, food is ready.
- I know it is enough and I don’t overeat.
- I know there will be no leftovers to deal with
- The foil tin goes in to the rubbish. No clean up.
- I enjoyed a meal that I know my body appreciates.
- I am the master of my own choices as to how healthy I want to eat.
The meals that I have done in this way:
- Chicken alla king in a foil pan
- Beef stroganof in a foil pan
- Beef lasagne in a foil pan
- Vegetable lasagne in a foil pan
- Oxtail in a foil pan
- Oven roast vegetables in a foil pan
- Curry dishes in a foil pan
- Various soups in soup bags
- Lamb roast and vegetables in a foil pan
- Butternut, spinach and feta dish as a side for a braai night.
- Soutzoukakia, Greek meat balls