Galley Time

 **LAST UPDATED (September 21, 2015)

Our new herb garden aboard Sound Discovery: mint, basil and rosemary.
Eating on a sailboat (or any boat, for that matter) can be tricky, and frustrating to cooks who are used to their parents’ really nice kitchens… but our days are really centralized around one or two meals, so why not write about it! Prep, cooking and clean-up all take significant effort since we have a small fresh water supply and can’t waste too much hot water doing dishes. Our fridge is also powered by the motor, so when the motor is running, the fridge is running. However, at night, when we’re not motoring, we have to plan carefully our time opening and closing the fridge. That being said: have fun reading and please, send up your easy-to-prep/clean recipes!

 September 21st, 2015: Published!

I recently had my first small food article published in the August Issue of Cruising World Magazine. I wrote the article while sitting in Caleta San Juanico last spring and edited it down during our drive back to that states from Guaymas. Check out the link below to see the online version of the article on the Cruising World Website. Hoping to write much more this fall and beef up the blog with many more adventures outside the Sea of Cortez. Until then, enjoy my little tid-bit about beets:

Learning how to milk goats with Jose.

March 12th, 2015
From Caleta San Juanico

What does fresh garden beets, green onions and hand-made goat cheese mean on our boat? A BOMB roasted beet salad! While anchored in San Juanico (also known as San Basillio to the non-gringos) we had the pleasure of meeting a local worker, José, who lived just a kilometer from the beach and started a beautiful vegetable garden. Within the past year, José has been growing vegetables and herbs as fast as the cruisers can deliver him pesos. Also, did I mention he makes fresh goat cheese? To read some fun stories of our farming experiences with José, check out the main blog page, but for now, enjoy my Roasted Beet Salad recipe—inspired by my cheese-making and vegetable picking in San Juanico:

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

You’ll Need:
3 large beets
Fresh Goat Cheese (If you can’t get it fresh, find some firm goat cheese at the store)
Green onions
1/3 cup chopped almonds
Rosemary  (fresh from my herb garden onboard!)
Olive oil
Dark green lettuce leaves of your choice (Ex: kale, romaine… We used some of our beet leaves in combination with José’s lettuce)

Roasting beets and rosemary.
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Clean and chop beets into bite-sized cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary to taste. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until tender enough to stick with a fork. Keep the oven on to toast chopped almonds for about 5-10 minutes on a baking sheet. I sprayed the slivered almonds with a little vegetable oil and sprinkled cayenne pepper and cinnamon over the almonds before toasting. Pull the almonds out when they begin to brown slightly, or when you smell a deliciously nutty scent from the oven. When beets are cooled, toss with your preferred amounts of the following: chopped green onions, toasted almonds, crumbled (or cubed) goat cheese, and thinly chopped dark leafy greens. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Chicken Tortilla Soup—with boat ease...

It’s been a little cloudy in the Baja this spring, and the water temperatures have been cooler than normal, so after a couple of dives in our wetsuits, we were ready for some hot soup. Luckily, Clif’s mom gave us form low-sodium Trader Joe’s chicken broth before we left the states, and we had some old tortilla chips sitting on the boat, so I tried to throw together an easy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Results were delicious! Valentinas Mexican hot sauce was a huge plus to the outcome.

You’ll Need:
Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Chicken broth (we used a half of the small box, probably about 4 cups, supplemented with a cup of water)
1 can of shredded chicken breast
1 small can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 can of chopped green chilies
½ onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
Handful of cilantro, minced
2 carrots, sliced
Tortilla chips, remnants in chip bag, or old stale corn tortillas (which you can fry up easily)

In a pot, heat olive oil, and minced garlic until is begins to simmer, add chopped onions and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are soft. Add beans, corn, chilies, chicken and chicken broth. Bring to a low boil. Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and hot sauce all to taste. Add the chopped tomatoes and cilantro after the soup has been simmering together for ten minutes, being back to a boil and then remove from heat. I added tortilla chips both into the soup and as a garnish. It was a perfect post-diving meal!


February 24, 2014

San Evaristo, B.S.C. (Baja Sur California)

Freshly caught fish on the boat provides a whole range of recipes to enjoy while anchoring in picturesque coves along the sea. We were lucky enough to watch a seasoned fisherman and fellow cruiser catch a nice Dorado (aka Mahi Mahi) right out of his inflatable zodiac dinghy, and then offer us the fish! The boys (Clif and Jon) filleted up the fish, taking up six quart-sized ziploc bags.

We saved some good sections of boneless fillets to chop up for Jon’s fresh ceviche. Our new twist: apple cider vinegar. The local store in San Evaristo was out of limes, so we opted for apple cider vinegar to cure the fish, and now we swear by it! We did have one lime left on the boat that we used for flavor, after the fish had already been sitting in the vinegar and strained. We let the fish sit in the vinegar at least 45 minutes to an hour, or until the entire fish chunks were firm and white all the way through. Jon’s quote: “You can’t over do it; you can’t under do it.” We drained off the vinegar and added the following:

Here’s was Jon threw into our Fresh Dorado Ceviche:

-       2 cups diced Dorado (fresh, raw)
-       Apple Cider Vinegar (poured over fish until it’s slightly submerged)
-       Diced tomatoes
Dorado Ceviche
-       Diced white onion
-       Diced jalapeños
-       Freshly squeezed lime (I’d recommend 2 or 3… we only had one)
-       Salt to taste

Other additions/variations that could make your ceviche tasty and unique:

-       Chopped pinapple (yum…)
-       Diced Mango
-       Cilantro (We didn’t have any available on the boat)
-       Rockfish (In case fresh dorado isn’t handy, I’ve made delicious rockfish with the same ingredients).

We look forward to catching more white fish in the future, and plan on stocking up on limes (a serious amount of limes) before any long trip. Between the margaritas, Mexican cervezas and the ceviche… limes go fast.

Puerto Los Gatos, B.C.S

Upon arrival in Puerto Los Gatos, we were greeted by Manuel (in his panga), and his mesh bag of fresh lobster, ready to be sold. He pulled up to our boat and showed us a massive lobster-looking crustacean he called a “cucaracha.” Now, this was no ordinary cucaracha… it was most definitely from the lobster family: with paddles instead of antennas and an absolutely enormous about of meat! Our Dorado green curry, that I had already been preparing for dinner, turned into a vat of delicious seafood curry and I learned how to cook a lobster (a large one at that): a culinary “first” for me.

Sound Discovery Seafood Green Curry

-       Chop assorted vegetables of your liking. I slice one green pepper, chop up small head of broccoli, slice a half of a zucchini, slice onion, mushrooms, fresh green beans.
-       Set all the vegetables aside.

Curry Base:
-       Sauteé 2-3 Tbsp. of green curry paste in a large soup pot (I like Mae Ploy Green Curry Paste) just until spices begin to float into the air;
-       Add 1 can of coconut milk and ½ cup water, Simmer;
-       Add 1 Tbsp. Thai Fish Sauce and 2 Tbsp. of Palm Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
-       Add small chunks of raw fish and boiled lobster and bring to a simmer.
-       Add vegetables: broccoli first, mushrooms last etc… depending on vegetable cook time.
-       Bring entire pot to a simmer for a good 10-15 minutes., or until vegetables are tender.

Serve hot over freshly cooked rice. Jon suggested I add some coconut milk to the rice while it simmered and it was a success. The coconut milk made our brown California rice much creamier and gave it a Thai taste. I also sprinkle a small amount of Siracha Sauce into the curry base before the vegetables are added, just to increase the heat and flavor.

Notes on Boiling Lobster:
I've fallen in love with fresh lobster...

-       Keep lobster alive in sea water as long as possible;
-       Bring sea water to a boil and place full lobsters or the lobster tails into the boiling water;
-       Lobster should boil in the shell NO longer than 15 minutes, depending on the size;
-       Watch the color of the shell for bright reds to indicate readiness;
-       There will be foam that accumulates at the top of the water line, that’s normal!
-       Once you drain the boiling water from the pot, or remove the lobster, be sure to DRAIN the lobster of all hot water. Stretch out the tail and let all water drip out.
-       Cooked lobster tail should easily separate from the main body, pulling all the available meat out with the tail shell;
-       With a pair of kitchen scissors or a serrated knife, cut down the middle-underside of the tail, break apart and pull meat out gently. It should come out of the broken shell in one piece.

Libby’s Margaritas

While in Cabo Pulmo, our friend Libby taught us the most simple and best margarita cocktail recipe. Nothing can beat this mix. You can add fruits and substitute fizzy beverages as you please. (Makes one drink.)

2 limes, squeezed/pressed for juice
1 part El Jimador Tequila
1 part Controy (Mexican Orange Liquor—sub Contreau or Triple Sec in the states)
½ Orange, squeeze for the juice (This is our addition to this mix)
Splash of Mineral water (Sub Pacifico Clara Beer, Fresca or Sprite for bubbly)
Dash of fresh salt

Margarita fixings
Using a juicer (or exprimador—Mexican lime juicer), squeeze limes and orange over ice. Follow with one shot tequila and one shot orange liqueur. Finish off with mineral water and a tiny amount of salt.

Sarah’s 1:1:1 Cobbler

I haven’t been baking a ton on the boat, mostly because of the mess it creates in such a small space. However, I have made an easy Canned Peach Cobbler from time to time, if we’re craving a warm, baked dessert. Sarah Connaro taught me the 1:1:1 cobbler recipe, which she layered on top of berries.

1 part flour
1 part sugar
1 part milk
1 Tsp. Baking Powder (for every ½ cup flour)
1 can of peaches, sliced and drained.

I have used both our pyrex baking dish and deep fiestaware bowls to make this cobbler. Drain/slice peaches and pour into greased dish. Lightly mix together dry ingredients in separate bowl and slowly fold in milk, until just combined. Add cinnamon and spices to batter.

Bake at 325 F until batter is golden brown. (Takes our little oven about 45-mins)

Fresh Pico de Gallo

Little translated it means “beak/peck of the rooster.” It is a Sea of Cortez cruising specialty. No matter what little tienda (shop), we can always find the ingredients for pico. Serve with chips or as a side salad for any dish. (Note the similarity between pico and ceviche. It’s essentially the same thing, without seafood, and used more commonly on tacos.)

4 diced tomatoes
1 diced onion
½ cup of minced cilantro
1 or 2 diced jalapeños
2 fresh limes (squeezed for juice)
Salt for flavor


Dec. 1st, 2013
Our Mexican Galley (without a fridge).
Huevos Rancheros (the real stuff...)
Traveling in another country always changes ones diet, especially when you’re shopping at local markets and making your own food. Our boat is still without a working fridge, so we’ve had the extra challenge of storing food without refrigeration. This actually hasn’t been as much of a problem since we’ve arrived in Mexico, since they don’t refrigerate that much either. All of our eggs have been farm fresh, non-refrigerated, which last much longer than our eggs in the U.S. Not having the fridge just eliminates most dairy products, raw meats and saving leftovers. All that being said, I actually think with eat healthier and save more food because of it. We are very conscious about the groceries we purchase, making sure we can use them up before anything goes bad. We buy fruits and vegetables that can last and use them up quickly.

I love shopping in the little communitaría tiendas (community markets), in the small villages we have passed through. Our food that we cook in our galley is very much dictated by what is in these small stores. An average Baja grocery run includes:

-       fresh eggs

-       fresh flour tortillas

-       avocados

-       onions

-       potatoes

-       green peppers

-       pears (they’re showing up more than any other fruit currently)

-       canned salsa varieties

-       lots of little limes

-       Tecate (the only beer that we have been able to buy)

On the boat, we have ample dry stores of brown rice, black beans, more potatoes, canned chicken, canned tomatoes, canned corn, and rolled oats. I purchased some veggies in San Diego that have lasted a long time, including a head of cauliflower, zucchinis, cabbage and mini carrots. Dad is in love with the fresh flour tortillas that we have found everywhere. We’ve incorporated them into at least one meal a day. We also find ways to incorporate avocado into meals, since they are in ample supply.

Several times we have made big batches of rice, beans, salsa, and zucchini, cooked all together to make some yummy burrito fixings. Dad made some awesome quesadillas with black beans, corn and cheese the other day that were to die for. I had dabbled in making different variations of Huevos Rancheros (tortillas and scrambled eggs topped off with ranchero salsa) in the morning time with our fresh eggs.

Essentially, what we’ve found is that it is much easy to cook the dishes of the country (or region) you’re in at the time. The food is always fresh, we get to expand our cooking skills and transform our galley into a little Mexican cantina.


September, 2013
This first little tid-bit is mostly for Clairen…

We haven’t had to make much of a transition as far as preparing food in the galley. Since we moved onto the boat last winter, learning how to cook in a tiny space and what utensils/foods to use has been a gradual process. We do have one breakfast favorite that has surfaced in the last couple of days…

Sound Discovery’s “Bacon Breakfast Sando” (ooooooo…)
In Bend, OR, there is a bakery that serves these incredible breakfast sandwiches on freshly baked croissants (Travis Smith… if you’re somehow randomly reading this, why you haven’t jumped on the fresh croissant breakfast sandwiches, I do not know). Anyway, since we do not have fresh baked croissants in the morning, we sub a toasted English muffin, and it’s still pretty darn good.

Toasted English muffin
Bacon (two slices)
A fried/steamed egg
Sliced Avocado
Pesto (spread over both sides of the English muffin)
Tapatio hot sauce (the staple of all of our galley meals)

Make into a sandwich… and eat for a late breakfast, brunch, or linner.

Gallo Pinto

When Clif lived in Costa Rica, he ate Gallo Pinto every morning, served by his host mother. Gallo Pinto (literally translated: painted rooster) traditionally consists of beans, rice and slow-cooked pork, served with corn tortillas. We have adapted this meal to our food selection and LOVE it.

1 cup. Brown rice
1 can black pinto beans
1 can Chicken Breast (shredded)
Shredded pepper jack cheese (to your taste)
Avocado (sliced or diced)
Corn tortillas

After cooking the rice, keep the stovetop on low and mix in beans and chicken until everything is hot. Melt cheese into mixture. Heat up corn tortillas in a frying pan and serve with sliced avocado on top!

Clif’s Chicken and Broccoli

Clif made this “hot-dish” the other night for dinner and it tasted incredible. It could have been because it was the first time we had used any cheese in any of our meals, but it’s still an easy staple.

1 can Chicken Breast (shredded)
1 cup brown rice cooked
1 head of broccoli, cut and steamed
Shredded pepper jack cheese
Splash of cream
Lots of Sriracha Sauce (yes, please)

Mix that all together, heat it up and eat that heavenly goodness by a fireplace, or on a comfy sofa, or sitting on the deck of your boat, like we did.

Huevos Sound Discovery

We love eggs, and we love any sort of veggie/meat skillet options that we can come up with. After having a taco meal one night, I made this skillet the next morning with the leftovers.

I sautéed up some garlic, chopped onions, and a fresh diced green pepper. Then added the leftover dinner mixture of black beans, diced can tomatoes, and corn. Through in a couple of eggs and whallah! Huevos a la Sound Discovery! Served with corn tortillas, sliced avocado and Tapatio.

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