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  • Caravan cooking: Five simple winter warmers you can rustle up on your gas stove

    Whether you’re braving the bad weather in your motorhome, narrowboat or tent, it can be too easy to rely on packets of crisps and cheese sandwiches to sustain yourself rather than face the trials of a rickety gas stove.

    But we’re here to help for the Sail and Trail team is well versed in the art of filling the tummies of hungry campers and sailors!

    Here are some of our favourites:

    (All the recipes can be cooked in one pan, serve four and won’t break the budget).

    1)   Sausage Cassoulet

    After a day battling the elements, nothing is more welcome that this delicious hearty cassoulet.

    Cook the sausages, onion and garlic (if you have some) in a splash of oil over a low heat. When they’re looking nice and golden add the sliced carrot and cook for a further five minutes before adding the tomatoes, beans and stock cube.

    Leave to simmer for between half an hour to two hours depending on how thick you want your cassoulet to be. Serve with crusty bread and any herbs you have lying around.

    Ingredients: A packet of sausages, 1 stock cube, 1 tin of tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 tin of baked beans,

    Optional Ingredients: Mushrooms, green beans, any other vegetables you want to throw in, garlic

    Top Tip: Swap the sausages for meatballs and the bread for baguettes to make meatball subs.


    2)   Spaghetti Carbonara

    Despite sounding and looking fancy this carbonara dish is super simple to make and (most important) is filling and warming.

    All you need to do is grate your cheese (or cut it up into small pieces) and mix with the eggs and chopped garlic.

    Cook your pasta in salted water, then drain the water out leaving the pasta in the pan and off the heat.  Add your cheesy mixture to the pasta, stirring well so it is all covered, then add the cut up ham (and thinly sliced mushrooms if you want) and simmer over a low heat until it is all piping hot.

    Add as much water (or milk / cream) as needed to give the dish a ‘saucey’ feel. Serve with any leftover cheese you might have and a smug grin.

    Ingredients: 100g ham, 100g cheese, 3 large eggs, 350g pasta, 2 peeled garlic cloves

    Optional Ingredients: splash of milk/ cream, handful of mushrooms


    3)   One Pot Pilaf

    Fancy a curry, but the takeaway won’t deliver to your pitch or mooring? Well why not rustle one up yourself?

    Simply fry the onion and chicken until cooked, then add the curry paste. Add the stock cube, vegetables, rice and about 3 mugs of water. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and you’re all done –no reason to give up your Friday night Indian, just because you’re on a narrowboat!

    Ingredients:  1 packet of chicken or turkey breasts or thighs cut into small pieces, 2 large onions, 2 tbsp curry paste, 1 stock cube, vegetables you have to hand, 200g rice.

    4)   Gloopy Mediterranean Couscous

    While couscous may conjure up images of summer picnics this staple dish is not only super warming and healthy, it’s also perfect for lunch or dinner as it takes just minutes to whip up.

    Prepare your couscous in a bowl and leave to one side and while it is fluffing up fry your onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic and whatever other vegetables in plenty of oil in your pan.

    When cooked and to the couscous and serve; ta da!

    Ingredients:  200g couscous, vegetable or olive oil, 2 onions, 4 garlic cloves, 1 carrot, 4 salad tomatoes,

    Optional ingredients: Feta, 1 stock cube, bell pepper, mushrooms

    Top Tip: If you are using a stock cube for your couscous then save a little to sprinkle over the vegetables while they are cooking


    5)   Stewed Spicy Apples

    A real nursery favourite, stewed apples makes a timeless winter pudding. Simply peel and cut your apples, bung in the pan with the sugar, spices and water, and cook until the apples soften.

    If you have any other bits of fruit dried or fresh lying around you can always add this too.

    Serve with some ice cream or regular cream.

    Ingredients:  500g apples, 50g sugar, mixed spice or similar, ½ cup water

    Optional Ingredients:  Sultanas, berries, pears Do you have any favourites you rely on when it get's cold? We'd love to hear them. Tweet us @sail_trail

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