Feral foodies

This is where it gets real with staying nourished on the road. I know it’s yawn-inducing but I try to eat healthy food and drink water in ridiculous quantities. But there are bakeries in every town and my car slows and, sometimes, stops. Even better if the coffee is good.

On my travels I use local produce when I can. And I improvise, which is where the getting real part comes in. When the grocery store is a tiny shop perched on the corner of a dusty road, the tomatoes may be weeks old. If they’re on the shelf at all. And the prices in remote parts of Straya make my eyes water.

Cooking has always been a source of fun for me and when travelling overseas, I have rolled up to local cooking classes. Complete with skillets, blenders, and an endless supply of wattage. At the moment, it’s a luxury to have the use of an oven ‘tho that would usually be for pizza. I’ve carted around a ricer since early this year and it’s yet to see some use.

I use the gas and as few tools as possible as short of towing a dishwasher behind the car, I’m the bunny who has to do the washing up.

But here’s the interesting bit, eh?

The food I’ve created on the road has been delicious, easy, and nutritious. That’s what this page is about. Here are some of my favourite travel-friendly dishes. A few recipes with photos, and cooking tips.

Spice it up!

I have limited space for herbs and spices in my little plastic storage box. These are my top picks for travel:

  • Sumac, my go-to spice for cheese, potatoes, chicken, grilled fish and roasted veges
  • Oregano, the most versatile herb here
  • Fresh basil, I keep it in a plastic bag and water every few days
  • Fresh nutmeg, keep in a zippy bag and grate what you need
  • Rock salt and cracked black pepper
  • A bit of brown sugar, and a lemon (or some juice)

How to make an emergency pizza

In my family we call a throw-down pizza by another name (dooly, and I can’t recall how we came up with that), however I’ve done some research and the word has a few different meanings and none of them useful. So, have re-branded this emergency, messy, or whatever’s in the fridge pizza.

This is the tastiest meal you can make after a long road trip or day out on the bush trails. Although a griller is useful to toss it under, you can use a frying pan on the stovetop, or a BBQ. You can even make it in advance and store in the fridge.

Let’s get started on the emergency pizza.

Grab one piece of round pita bread or two wraps. If using wraps which are thinner, brush one with olive oil and sprinkle on some grated cheese. Place the second wrap on top of the oiled wrap. The steps are now the same for whatever type of pizza base you’re using.

Trickle olive oil over the base. I use my fingers to spread it out to the edges. Dry edges will burn, and you them want them to be sticky and yummy. Grind on black pepper and salt. Add a pinch of dried oregano. Your pizza base is good to go!

Some of my favourite toppings are sliced tomatoes (make sure they’re not watery or dry on paper towel), sliced red onion, mushrooms, pitted black olives, artichokes (these will need to be well-drained), and anchovies. You can use whatever you like or have on a kitchen shelf.

Another delicious combination is sliced potatoes and mushrooms with a pinch of rosemary. Omit the oregano on this pizza. Spice it up with a couple of anchovies or black olives.

Prawns and sliced avocado pizza is great at the beach, washed down with a glass of chardy.

If you’re using meat, either pre-grill or slice it really thinly.

Spread grated cheese over the pizza. I prefer to use a mix of mozzarella and at least one other cheese that melts well, such as cheddar. It’s your pick. A trick with pizza is to leave a perimeter of unmelted cheese around the outside edge. As the cheese melts it will spread out to the edge but won’t drip on to your tray or griller.

Do NOT overload the cheese – none of the other toppings will cook.

I place my prepped pizza on a piece of kitchen foil as it doubles as serving plate. This really is the lazy way as there’s nothing to wash up but a slicing knife. Stick it under the griller, or cook by your preferred method. I need to turn it a couple of times during cooking under my griller.

When the cheese has melted and is a gooey golden brown, the pizza is ready to eat. Chop into serving slices with kitchen scissors.

This pizza should be ready to eat within 10 minutes or you’re over-thinking it. A bit of trial and error will finesse your emergency pizza technique.