One Pot Meal Recipes for camping on a motorcycle
Understandably, when you are touring on two wheels, space on the bike for all the gear is precious. Everything has to fit tight and balanced. After our first major tour, Judy and I decided it was time to list what we truly needed, which brought us to simplifying our culinary requirements and creating "one pot meals." So we borrowed recipes from our Grandmothers, Moms and anybody else we could bribe.
We were told and it was proven, that a pot can also double as a frying pan when required. Because it was just us two riding and eating, we decided on a small 2 quart (1.9 liter) stainless steel "pot" with lid . Carefully used on a one burner propane stove. Cooking utensils consist of a small pairing knife, a small 6" x 6" plastic wall tile for a cutting board and one wide short handled stainless steel spoon for stirring. A plastic, 1 cup measuring cup is handy to have along. The pot can also serve as your sink for washing the dishes. For dishes we use the thick mel-mac saucer plates and our old travel coffee mugs for cups. And we include a small basket & filter type four cup coffee pot. (Used to heat the dish water too.) Anything that will fit inside the pot goes there, with the other items, outside the pot. But everything goes into a nylon bag, tied very tight. See Andrea's article on how to pack your bike, for ideas of how to pack the "pot" bag.
Buy your food for the evening meal not any sooner then an hour before arriving at your camp ground. Buy fresh bulk vegetables, so you can limit your quantity, with better flavor. Your meat should be purchased at the same time. You won't have a lot of groceries, so finding a place for the shopping bag to ride on the bike, shouldn't be to difficult. Judy usually just hangs onto the bag, since we try to shop close to the campground.
A tip: Plan ahead and measure out those dry ingredients you will need, before leaving on your tour. Place the contents in a small, labeled plastic bag. A marking pen can identify the mixture of ingredients in the bag. For example, you wouldn't need a whole box of rice, but just 1 cup for one meal or 1/2 cup of macaroni, instead of a whole package.
We keep our seasoning simple. But sometimes a meal requires a few extra spices, which can be mixed before leaving home and placed in a plastic bag. Our basic store of seasoning consists of cooking oil (in a tiny plastic bottle), salt, pepper and Lawry's seasoning salt, in small bottles. If you add a few drops of oil to the pot and then wipe the pot with that oil, a small amount of oil will go a long way. Or if you need a tablespoon, measuring from a small bottle is easy.
My favorite one pot, two people recipe was handed down to me from my father when as a little kid, we would take fishing trips in Dad's old work car. He called his famous camping meal, "Pork Chop Delight."
Pork Chop Delight
Brown but do not fully cook, two pork chops in the bottom of the pot. After lightly browning, remove the chops and grease from the pot and set aside. Next, layer fresh green beans in the bottom of the pot. Add a layer of thick sliced potatoes (two medium sized) over the green beans. Add a thin layer of onion over the potatoes. Buy a very small onion for this. You don't want to add to much onion, or otherwise the whole meal will taste like onion and kill the pork chop flavor. I don't add carrots to this, because it seems carrots neutralize the flavor. Add water up to the top of the potatoes. Lay the pork chops on the very top, pour on the saved grease, sprinkle spices to taste and cover with the pot's lid. Bring your heat up slowly to where the water is just barely boiling and let simmer. Gently wiggle the green beans from time to time to make sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. In about 20 minutes, poke the potatoes. If they are soft, then it's time to eat. (Note cooking times always vary with the altitude.)
One time we had camped in a primitive site about 90 meters from an older couple so that we would not wake them in the morning when we left. As the pork chops simmered atop the veggies, a wonderful aroma was produced. The elderly couple soon appeared and was surprised that we had enough room on the 850 Yamaha, to carry cooking stuff to produce such a fine meal. We gave them the recipe.
Grandma Williams' Goulash
Judy's mother, Grandma Williams, seldom made a single course meal. But she did whip up her goulash from time to time.
In addition to the pot, you'll need another container to hold the pre-cooked elbow or shell macaroni. (About 1/2 - 3/4 cup of dry macaroni should be enough.)
For the basic mixture, you'll need 1/2 pound of fresh ground beef, small onion chopped, small tomato chunked, a 6 ounce can of tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon of Lawry's salt, and regular salt & pepper to taste. We like to use Italian tomato paste for extra zip in flavor.
Pre-cook the elbow macaroni and remove from the pot. Rinse and wipe out remaining starch. Add a small amount of oil to the bottom of the pot and brown the ground beef and crumble it as it cooks. Drain off any grease, lower the temperature a little and add all the ingredients, except the tomato paste. Stir and cook the pots ingredients for a few minutes. Then add a cup of water and dissolve the tomato paste. Cook this for about five minutes. Add the macaroni and bring the temperature up, while you continue to stir occasionally. Heat the entire mixture until it is hot and to the thickness you like.
My own mother, makes a similar goulash, but substitutes V-8 juice for the tomato paste and doesn't add the cup of water. We like both versions, but the tomato paste comes in a much smaller can. My late great Auntie Ann, used to add about 1/2 cup of chopped green peppers.
Hearty Steak Stew
This recipe was clipped from a newspaper 30 years or so ago. We had to reduce the original recipe to fit one pot cooking, but it still turned out to be pretty good.
1 pound of round steak, cubed, rinsed and drained.
1 tablespoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/2 package of beef stew seasoning mix. (Found in the aisle where gravy mixes are located)
Premix all the salts & pepper before leaving home, but keep the package of beef stew seasoning separate from the rest of the spices.
2 cups of water
1/4 cup of chunked celery (1-2 stalks)
1/4 cup of chunked onion
1/2 cup of chunked fresh green beans (About 5-6 large pods)
1 cup of chunked potatoes (1 large or two small spuds)
1/2 cup of chopped carrots (1-2 carrots)
Oil the pot. Add the seasoning salts to the meat and brown. Next add the stew seasoning mix and coat the meat well. Add the water and the rest of the ingredients. Cover the pan and simmer for about one hour. Lightly stir occasionally.
The trick to all of this is convincing the produce manager to sell you the tiny quantities of fresh vegetables. When you explain your on a motorcycle and doing one pot cooking, they usually will relinquish. Once we even got the celery and carrots for free.
Andrea's Canadian Touring Note: single vegetables and smaller quantities seem to be easier to purchase shopping in Canada - Look for bulk food stores or sections in grocery or health food stores where you can buy suitable quantities of spices, pasta, rice etc. for your packing or one-pot meal needs.