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The Two Captains



Volume XXVI - Vegetarian Dishes

At anchor in Baie Anajo, on the north side of Nuku Hiva, a few days after scoring big at the 4 am Saturday veggie "market", we hosted a potluck bookswap aboard Tackless II attended by Mike and Mary of Danseuse de la Mer, Greg and Sujata of Majii Rey, and Joe and Julie of Apogee. Since two of the four boats kept a meatless diet, the potluck was necessarily vegetarian.

It is surprising how many cruisers are vegetarians. If you think of vegetarians as people who eat a lot of, well, vegetables, then the cruising life with long passages and uncertain markets might seem to be unsympathetic to their dietary needs. But, of course, when you expand your consideration to beans and rice, which store well without refrigeration, add in some pasta, potatoes and canned tomatoes, and of course, if you include fish in your regime particularly if you can catch them then you are not only pretty well set up but eating quite healthfully as well.

Plus, if man can live on bread alone, then man will survive in French Polynesia. Every morning, on nearly every island no matter how small, fresh French baguettes pop from ovens all over the country, (if they aren’t big enough for a baker, but big enough for a store, then baguettes are flown in frozen!) At 40 cents apiece, the days are usually gone before noon. One of the hardest adjustments the Two Captains had to make to the Polynesian lifestyle was putting shopping first on the day’s agenda. Over and over, wed finish our boat chores and get ashore just as the stores shut down for their two-hour midday break, the last baguette sold receding in the distance. If we hadn’t had friends who bought baguettes by the armload and then shared we might have made it to Tahiti before we’d had our first baguette.

And that would not have been a bad thing. Baguettes are addictive. You can be very French and eat them for breakfast spread with New Zealand butter or French jam (or both). For lunch you can fill them with sandwich stuff, which ninety percent of the time would be ham or cheese (or both), until you get to Tahiti where suddenly you can get exotic fillings like, I kid you not, hamburger and French fries or chop suey! yes, in the baguette. Our experience is that baguettes go straight to the hips.

There was no bread at the potluck!

Here are some of the different ideas that made the rounds:

Apogee’s Shepherd Pie

Joe says, "I never cook from recipes. It’s too challenging for me." As we say in OZ (Australia) "most of us would rather risk catastrophe than read the instructions."

  • Soak TVP or Soya mince in a bowl with Worcestershire sauce, 2 bouillon cubes, hot water and let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Saut minced onion, garlic, green pepper, slivered carrots, diced eggplant or combination thereof. After 2-3 minutes, add fresh or tinned mushrooms, herbs of choice, S&P to taste and 1 tablespoon of flour.
  • Add TVP to the pan, along with a teaspoon of hot sauce and a splash of white wine (both optional) Cook down until juicy but not wet.
  • Prepare mashed potatoes either real of from flakes.
  • Spread TVP mince in a greased casserole. Spread mashed potatoes on top. Brush the top with melted butter, sprinkle with parsley or paprika and bake in hot oven 20-30 minutes until topping is firm and lightly browned.

Sujata’s Potatoes

  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 1 tsp tumeric salt
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 ts cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/3 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
  • Boil the potatoes with their skins n with the turmeric powder and salt to taste for 5 minutes. Drain & Cool, then peel the skins. Cut into chips or chunks.
  • Heat the oil in a wok with the coriander and cayenne powders. Let the spices heat up with oil over very low heat. As soon as the oil is hot add the potatoes and stir well.
  • Cover with a lid and leave to cook for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When almost done, toss the potatoes with the garam masala powder. When ready to serve sprinkle wit the mango powder, and toss once.

T2’s Chinese Cole Slaw

  • 1 cup green cabbage , shredded
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, julienned
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 envelope Ramen seasoning
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 package Ramen soup, baked, broken and toasted
  • 1/4 sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toaste
  • Combine vegies in salad bowl. (Note: amount of vegies approximated. Use judgment.
  • Mix together vinegar, oil, soy sauce, ramen seasoning packet for dressing. Combine with vegies and refrigerate.
  • Toast broken ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds in pan. Add to salad just before serving.



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