Semi-Stranded On An Island

As a vegetarian and an almost vegan, it was an experience being semi-stranded on a so-called island with practically my only access to food being the daily vegetable trucks.  There was a small grocery store a mile away but I very rarely went there and hardly bought anything.  I went to a large super market in the city just once in two months and only spent 92 pesos (less than 7 dollars).

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I had brought down a large supply of five different kinds of nuts, quinoa, barley, almond flour, flax seed, flax meal, buckwheat groats,dried black-eyed peas, 4 pounds of frozen blueberries, coconut oil, agave and maple syrups, Stevia, 8 bottles of seasoned rice vinegar that was not enough, cooking wines, black olives, capers, black rice, oatmeal, hemp seed, sunflower seeds, dried apricots, dates, chia seeds, tofu, spices, several bags of frozen mushrooms, a couple of bags of frozen spinach, one of peas, and a huge bag of frozen broccoli/cauliflower/carrots that I really didn’t need.  There are a few more items but basically this is what I used the most of.  As a vegetarian I should be eating beans but never opened a single can of what I brought.

I actually brought way too much as we will be returning with about 1/2 of everything.  In the non-vegan department I brought two pounds of butter which I used the last of this morning and I did buy eggs from the veggie truck.  For beverages I brought a case of hot and spicy vegetable juice, a case of apple ale, and a pound of special order Earl Grey loose leaf tea.

What kitchen appliances did I bring?  A crockpot, food processor with citrus juicer attachment, high speed blender, dehydrator, small juicer, and a toaster.  I also brought a coffee grinder for nuts but ended up having a coffee craving that lasted a week, so that got some extra use.  I did not have a coffee pot but someone in the park picked up a French Press and coffee beans for me.  Steve must have his coffee so that is now getting more use.  Technically not an appliance, I brought our big canister Doulton water filter which was indispensible as I never bought bottled water once.

What did I prepare?  A couple of times I made a big pot of throw-everything-in soup (barley, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, onions, veggie soup base, etc.) which I then froze into smaller containers.

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Twice I made a couple of trays of veggie burgers in the dehydrator which I then froze into sandwich bags.  No recipe but I shredded carrots in the food processor, and added them to sautéed mushrooms and onions, along with oatmeal, flax meal, sunflower seeds, spices, and whatever else sounded good and was necessary to achieve the right consistency.

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I made juice often using oranges from the veggie truck and am so glad this food processor has the citrus juicer attachment. 

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I made a lot of tomato salads with onions, cilantro, rice vinegar, and Stevia. Also cucumber salad the Austrian way where you slice cucumbers very very thin, put salt on them and let them sit for at least an hour. Pour off most but not all of the water, add season gourmet rice vinegar, Stevia, garlic.  Add oil if you like but in a lesser amount than the vinegar.    The veggie truck only sold iceberg lettuce and every now and then romaine lettuce so I didn’t eat a lot of green leafy vegetables which I have missed.

I made my own bread with oatmeal, sunflower seeds, ground psyllium husk, nuts, coconut oil, flax seeds and a few other ingredients.  This is the only bread that I make these days because it is so good and unbelievably easy.  You don’t even need a bowl……just mix it in an ungreased teflon loaf pan.  It includes no flour, no yeast, just pure nutrition.  And now I just looked and can’t find the recipe on the web anymore.   Note:  After I posted this, I received an email from my friend Tessa who knew exactly where to find this recipe on the web:  http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/02/the-life-changing-loaf-of-bread/ 

Dessert consisted of the same two things over and over:  Chia pudding made with homemade almond milk, chia seeds, and agave syrup.  Or rum balls made with dates, nuts, almond flour, rum, and coconut.  Both are no cook – no bake.  Speaking of almond milk, try making it from scratch one time……cheap and so much tastier than store bought. Make with four cups of water, 1/2 cup almonds, 1 TB of vanilla, 1/4 cup or less of agave syrup, blend in a high speed blender and then strain through a mylk bag.

Since cauliflower is so inexpensive here I ate a lot of it.  I cut it into small florets, tossed it with some melted butter and salt, and roasted it.  The other thing I made often is carrots because the carrots in Mexico are so fresh, tender, and sweet………..absolutely no comparison to carrots in the U.S.  I made fruit salad often from pineapple, melon, oranges, and occasionally strawberries. Breakfast was alternated between an egg and my bread or oatmeal with blueberries, dried apricot, nuts, and almond milk.

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All this cost about four dollars and that includes the eggs and avocado.

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So on our last day on the island we waited to leave until the veggie truck came, which is temporarily smaller because the regular truck is broken.  What I wouldn’t give to have a produce truck drive through our neighborhood each day in Colorado.  Maybe it’s not cost effective with all the licenses, inspections, regulations, and permissions required in the “land of free enterprise?”

Afterwards, we made the slow drive down the gravel road towards our next destination which by the way, ALSO has a veggie truck that comes through the park. 


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