Camp cooking by the Murray @ Loveday 4x4 Adventure Park

Travel Tucker : 9 Great Camping Staples

While it’s alright to have a packet of chips and a few biscuits here and there, if you’re going on a road trip or a camping holiday, you can’t rely on junk food to keep you going. Here is a list of food staples that are cheap, healthy and easy to prepare.

 

Tinned tuna and chicken

Get your daily dose of protein from a can!  Tinned fish and meat has a long shelf life and taste great on crackers, in sandwiches and salads, and even in soups and stews.  If you’re game, try SPAM – it’s really not that bad.  We have experimented with a few recipes – Turkey Burgers, Bacon Carbonarra

 

SPAM Bacon Carbonara

 

Eggs

Eggs are little portioned nuggets of nutrients that are cheap, delicious, versatile and easy to prepare. Scramble eggs for breakfast, fry them on a BBQ for sandwiches and burgers or hard boil for snacks.

 

Breakfast in Port Campbell - featuring Dave's egg boat.

 

Peanut Butter

A great energy and nutrient dense food that is rich in monounsaturated fat, which is good for your heart, and the B vitamins help your body release energy.  It can be added to curries, spread on your flatbread with some cheese or banana, or spooned straight from the jar into the mouth for a quick and easy snack.

 

Cookie Dough - peanut butter

 

Oats

One of the most popular breakfast options for a reason – oats taste great, are easy to prepare and support a healthy heart.  Simply cook them in a billy with water or milk, or prepare Overnight Oats.

 

Yes, oats contain gluten, which may not be great for people with celiac disease, but they can be replaced by other grains like rice, quinoa or buckwheat.

 

Rice

A great source of gluten-free energy, rice is easy to prepare, goes with most things and can be stored for up to 3 days.  While white rice is quicker to cook, brown rice is the healthier option because it hasn’t been stripped of its vitamins and minerals.

 

Once the rice is cooked, you can mix it with anything you want: tuna and soy sauce, diced vegetables and chicken pieces, yoghurt and fruit, or olives, parsley and a lemon vinaigrette dressing. Or you can make some yummy rice pudding

 

Rice Fruit Slice

 

Carrots

Packed with antioxidants and fibre, carrots are a great choice for any camper.  They last for a while in the car fridge and can be added to soups and stews, grated in sandwiches and salads, or eaten on their own as a quick snack.  Increase their crispness by putting a paper towel in the bag to absorb moisture.

 

Flatbread

Instead of lugging around a loaf of spongy bread that takes up heaps of space and is easily squished, get flatbread.  It takes up minimal space and comes in a zip-lock pouch for freshness.  For the carb-conscious, try nori sheets or cabbage leaves.

 

Cloncurry

 

Apples & Oranges

Fruit is a great option for a mid morning or afternoon snack.  Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit come in a wrapper (peel) and contain vitamin C, while apples and pears will contribute to your fibre intake.  Plus, fruit tastes awesome and can be added to desserts and salads to spice things up.

 

Herbs & Spices

Add flavour to your meals with herbs and spices.  Dried herbs like thyme and rosemary are just as good as the fresh stuff and can be sprinkled on chicken or lamb chops.  Cinnamon is great with oats while cumin and paprika will add character to any meat dish, like Meat Biscuits!  If you’re not confident with mixing spices, then get pre-made blends like bush spices, Italian herbs or Moroccan seasoning.

 

Meat biscuits in a laco with sweet potato

 

So that’s our list of camping staples.  We always try to mix things up when it comes to food – sometimes we’ll get bananas instead of apples, but we find they get bruised really easily in the back of the troopy. Other times, we’ll swap rice for beans or lentils, but Dave’s not a huge fan of legumes.  What are your camping staples? Do you have any favourites to add to the list?

 

 

Daly Waters Historic Pub

Eating Out : Daly Waters Historic Pub, NT

Daly Waters Historic Pub

 

It was about 7:30am and our tummies were grumbling.  We had just hit the T-intersection of the Carpentaria Highway with the Stuart Highway, and Daly Waters Historic Pub was just around the corner.

 

Daly Waters was named by John McDouall Stuart in 1862, after he discovered fresh water in the area.  Refreshing his expedition party here finally lead to his first successful expedition across the continent.  Daly Waters ended up being an important landmark for cattle drovers, who would water their stock before crossing the Murranji Stock Route.  In 1930, a local tin miner and his wife opened a store in Daly Waters to service travellers, settlers and drovers, and after the pub was given a jug licence in 1938, it has continued to water travellers, settlers and drovers ever since.

 

This award-winning pub is famous for the memorabilia that hangs on the walls… and ceilings, and support posts, EVERYWHERE, and anything from money, undies, hats, licences, passports, business cards, bras, shirts, tools, bottles, thongs, passport photos, flags, police patches.  You name it, it’s hanging somewhere!  They serve their world famous beef and barra every night during the dry season and Happy Hour from 5-6pm offers really cheap drinks, like $3.50 for a pot of Coopers or VB.  We were a little bummed that we were there in the morning, not in the afternoon but still sat down for some breakfast.

 

 

 

Dave ordered the croissants with ham and Swiss cheese for $10.50, and they were two medium sized croissants that were generously filled with ham and full flavoured cheese.  Juz got the breakfast wrap filled with egg, tomato, cheese, onion, spinach, and hash brown for $11.  The wrap bread was fantastic and everything was fresh and delicious.  It was a great feed.

 

Daly Waters Historic Pub Daly Waters Historic Pub

 

Over the road was a souvenir shop and book exchange that is owned by the pub.  We swapped some books at the exchange and had a chat with the man behind the table before heading back to the Troopy.  We bumped into a Scottish couple who were travelling in a decked out Delica.  They have always been travellers, even from a young age, and they highly recommended that we visit Tasmania, as it is just like a little Scotland.

 

Daly Waters Historic Pub

 

On our way back to the Stuart Highway, we passed the Stuart Tree, a dead tree stump marked with an ‘S’ by one of John McDouall Stuart’s party.  We met another traveller there – Vincent, who is riding his bike across Australia.  We were inspired by him and his warm and open nature.  Here’s a picture of one of our great Aussie legends.

 

Daly Waters Historic Pub

 

FYI – diesel at Daly Waters was $1.95.  If you want the cheaper stuff, fill up at the Hi Way Inn.  It’s a few minutes away at the intersection of Stuart Highway and Carpentaria Highway and the diesel was $1.82 when we visited.

 

Daly Waters Historic Pub

 

Meals are available from 7am to 8:30pm.

Phone: 08 8975 9927

Email: dalywaterspub@bigpond.com

Website: http://www.dalywaterspub.com/

 

Daly Waters Historic Pub

 

veg

Travel Tucker : Cheap & Healthy Foods

junk

 

One of the best parts about camping is being outdoors – the trees, the grass, the fresh air – it brings you closer to nature, as they say.  Unfortunately, all of the goodness of the great outdoors can be ruined by some poor choices at the supermarket.

 

There have been too many occasions when processed foods in brightly coloured packaging are chosen over fresher, healthier options.  Sure, they might keep better without refrigeration but they’re full of weird ingredients, the packaging creates rubbish and I don’t know about you but they always make me really thirsty.

 

We’ve found that fresh whole foods are better, not only in helping us feel energised, but for our pockets as well.  So, without any further ado, here is our list of foods for the healthy camper who doesn’t want to break the bank.

 

 

apples

 

Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, they say – but how? These mysteriously super heroic fruits contain two main nutrients – fibre and vitamin C.  Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant that boosts immunity and decreases the oxidation of important fats within the membranes of our cells.

 

We all know that fibre is pretty important but there is one form of fibre in apples called pectin, which plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure, blood sugar levels and reduces the ‘bad’ cholesterol in blood.  Pectin, and the other forms of fibre in apples also help to maintain a healthy digestive system.

 

Apples can be as cheap as $2 a kilo and are delicious on their own, baked in foil on the fire with some cinnamon, smeared with peanut butter or sliced into a salad.

 

 

carrots

 

Carrots

At around $1.50 for a kilo, carrots are an awesome snack, especially when dunked in some yummy dips or salsa.  Put grated carrot in your sandwiches, salads or stews or make carrot noodles with a julienne slicer.

 

Carrots are a great source of vitamin A, which is great for eyesight and strengthening the immune system.  They also contain biotin, a relatively new essential nutrient that supports healthy metabolism, blood sugar levels and skin health.

 

 

zucchini

 

Zucchini

The price of zucchini can vary but you’re looking at around $5 a kilo in major cities.  Because of the soft, delicate flavour of zucchini, they can be eaten raw, steamed, fried, grilled or BBQed, or grated for stews and soups.  Juz likes to slice them up and use them like a cracker, or she makes zoodles with her julienne slicer.

 

Apart from being full of fibre and antioxidants, Zucchini contains a decent amount of copper, which plays a role in energy production when paired with iron, bone and tissue integrity, and the effectiveness of antioxidants in the body.

 

 

sweet potato

 

Sweet potatoes

Chockablock full of vitamin A and vitamin C, sweet potatoes protect you against free radicals as well as supporting your immune system and vision.  They keep well if kept dry, taste amazing mashed, baked in foil or grilled on a BBQ, and are only $4 a kilo.

 

 

brown rice

 

Brown rice

The difference between brown rice and white rice is more than just colour.  White rice is stripped of all the healthy bits to create a product that has a longer shelf life and minimal nutrients. Brown rice has everything that white rice has and more, such as vitamin B1, B3 and B6, manganese, fibre, and other awesome stuff that helps to provide the body with energy and protection against diseases like diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and more!

 

While brown rice takes around 50 minutes to prepare, it tastes better and is better for you, but if convenience is your vice, then stick to the white stuff.

 

 

oats

 

Oats

The ultimate breakfast food and only $2 a kilo.  Oats are low GI and full of manganese, which is great for stabilising blood sugar levels, bone production and healthy skin.  Oats also contain a particular type of fibre that helps to lower cholesterol.

 

Our favourite recipe is Overnight Oats because it’s simple and fuss-free.  You can also boil them and add in some egg, cheese and bacon for a savoury treat.

 

 

eggs

 

Eggs

A supercheap source of easily digestible protein, but don’t discard the yolk!  There are some excellent nutrients in the yellow stuff, including choline, which is really important for the structure of cells and nervous system support.

 

Fry them over the campfire for breakfast or boil them in the billy for a snack later on.  You can cut up the hardboiled eggs and mix with mayonnaise and onion for a delicious sandwich filler, or smear with peanut butter for a kooky bite.

 

 

tuna

 

Tinned tuna/chicken

A cheap and versatile protein that also features healthy omega-3 fats and selenium, a mineral that supports healthy thyroid function!  Single serves can range from $10-$30 a kilo, but if you’re on a serious budget, buy one of the big tins and you have four serves at around $8 a kilo.

 

Combine tuna with onion and mayonnaise for an awesome sandwich filler, or spread on toast and melt some cheese on top for a delicious treat. Tinned chicken is great for salads, soups and stews.

 

 

mince

 

Minced meat

Ranging from $5-$12 a kilo, minced meat is not only relatively cheap but also seriously versatile.  You can make stews, burgers, meatloaf, curries and heaps of other stuff with this malleable meat.  If you’re on a serious budget, opt for fatty meats – they are usually cheaper and tastier than lean meats, but if you’re watching your fat intake, then there are always lean options available.

 

Apart from being one of the best sources of essential nutrients iron and zinc, animal proteins contain other vitamins and minerals that plant sources rarely supply, such as vitamin B12 for healthy brain function, creatine for strength and muscle mass, carnosine for protection against degenerative processes and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) for healthy brain function.  Check out this great ad from 2010 with Sam Neill.

 

 

Healthy-Mc-Donalds-food

 

Pulp Kitchen

Eating Out : Pulp Kitchen, Palmerston NT

Pulp Kitchen

After a successful morning of op shopping, our tummies were grumbling so we made our way to Pulp Kitchen in Palmerston for a feed.  We had driven past this place a few times and really liked their image.  Following their play on the Pulp Fiction theme, they have Jules and Vincent stenciled on the walls inside and outside of the building holding ketchup and mustard guns.  It gives the place a trendy look, and was one of the reasons why we wanted to try the place out.

 

Inside, there’s a huge open kitchen with heaps of staff and there’s plenty of seating inside and out.  The menu consists mainly of burgers and breakfast, but you can also get fish and chips, gyros and milkshakes.

 

We started off by ordering coffee.  Dave’s macchiato was strong, smooth and chocolaty and a little bit of sugar really set it off.  It had just the right amount of milk but was served so hot that Dave had to let it sit before he could drink it.  Juz’s Soy Latte was weak and the foam was really bubbly.  It wasn’t impressive at all and her expectations for the food plummeted.

 

 

Dave got the Ahhh-Yummm Burger, which consisted of slow cooked beef, coleslaw, Swiss cheese and pickles on a fresh focaccia bun.  The beef was super sweet and tasted great but was so juicy that the bottom bun got soggy so Dave left it on his plate – well, it wasn’t really a plate, it was served in a cardboard tray.  Regardless of the crockery and sogginess, Juz felt a little pang of food envy.

 

We got some chips to share and they were also served in a cardboard tray but this was apt.  The chips were well cooked and seasoned with chicken salt.  We tried to add a bit more salt but the shaker’s contents had fused from the humidity and nothing would come out.

 

Juz’s Eggs Benedict was awesome.  A big slice of toasted bread topped with juicy ham-off-the-bone, two perfectly poached eggs and tonnes of smooth, creamy hollandaise sauce with just the right amount of tang.  Everything was delicious and the plate was almost clean when she finished.

 

We didn’t quite know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised with the quality and value of Pulp Kitchen.  The staff genuinely want to please customers and produce great food and drinks. If we’re in Palmerston during breakfast or second breakfast time again, we will definitely visit Pulp Kitchen again.
Pulp Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Roma Bar

Eating Out : Roma Bar, Darwin NT

Roma Bar

We had heard mixed reviews about breakfast at Roma Bar but after we heard that they do thick cut ham on their eggs benedict, we had to give it a try.  From the outside, the place looks like it might be a bit daggy and run down but surprise, surprise, it was actually quite trendy.

 

They had an outside eating area with tables that overlooked the street, as well as a big bench made of polished wood that had been roughly cut.  It was bright and spacious inside the café, with another gorgeous wooden table surrounded by stools.  The chick behind the counter was exceptionally friendly and energetic.  We ordered two coffees and two eggs benedicts, and took our number to a table outside.

 

Roma Bar

 

Before long, our coffee arrived.  Dave’s macchiato was cascading and had clear layers of froth, milk and dark coffee.  Juz’s latte looked nice and strong, and the soy milk was frothed really well.  Both were deliciously smooth without any bitter or burnt taste.  Considering that we didn’t specifically ask for strong coffee but we got it anyway, we knew we were at a quality establishment.

 

Roma Bar

 

Our breakfast arrived shortly afterwards.  Two muffins topped with wilted spinach, ham cut straight off the bone and poached egg with a dishlette of hollandaise on the side.  This was unusual, and after we tasted the hollandaise, we understood why.  The sauce was really thick and packed with a super tangy punch, so the side serve gives the diner an opportunity to add tang to taste.  We loved the tang and the dishlettes were empty at the end of our meal.

 

Roma Bar

 

We really enjoyed our breakfast at Roma Bar.  The staff were super friendly, the coffee was magnificent and the thick ham on the eggs benedict is a great way to stand out from the crowd.  We will definitely go back again, perhaps to try the Indian breakfast of dahl, yoghurt and roti, or the flamenco breakfast.

 

9-11 Cavanagh Street, Darwin

Phone: (08) 8981 6729

http://www.romabar.com.au/
Roma Bar on Urbanspoon