Energy Loaf

We both get seasick from time to time. Often for me (Lucas) it’s at the start of a race after we’ve been exerting a lot of energy running around keeping up with the fully crewed boats. This loaf is a life-saver. Loads of energy in it, and also caffeine.

A friend gave us a container of this for the first Brisbane to Gladstone that we did, and it has become a race staple. Ginger, dates, nuts, chia, coffee. What more could you want? Keep a container in the cockpit or the pantry during the race and you’ll always have something to snack on. Just remember to keep liquids up as well with seasickness.


  • 2 cups pitted dates, chopped and tightly packed
  • 1 cup strong coffee (sweetened if desired)
  • 84g salted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 160ml water
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • baking powder
  • 1-2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts (pecan/macadamia/pecan/walnut – whatever you have)
  • 1 cup naked ginger


Place dates in a saucepan with coffee and butter and bring gently
to boil and simmer for about 8 minutes until dates soften and mixture thickens – set aside to cool.

Add the chia seeds to the water. This should become like jelly when it sits for a while. While sitting and setting, beat the eggs and then combine the jelly-like chia seeds with them.

Add the cooled date mixture to the egg and chia mix – combine well.

Combine the flour with the spices. Sift if you want, but I don’t bother.

Sift the dry flour mixture into the egg, chia and date mix and combine well.

Add the almond meal and mix well and then add the nuts and ginger. I keep the ginger really chunky.

Grease and line a cake tin or loaf tin and bake in a fan forced oven at 150 degrees for around 50 minutes to an hour. The cake is cooked when the middle of it feels firm to touch.

Chicken grilling on the barbecue

Moroccan-ish Chicken

We love herbs and spices. Any sort and in any combination. Simple flavours have their place for refined eating, but meals full of big, bold and full of flavour can knock you off your seat. This is in between. And what’s more, you can easily alter the amount of spice to suit your mood.

When I made this one, it was so much milder than the time before, but the chicken was still tender, juicy and delicious. Next time will probably involve the addition of chilli. But the flavours are fairly standard, and this whole meal can be made out of things that are usually in the pantry and the freezer.


  • 2tsp Paprika
  • 1tsp Turmeric
  • 2tsp Ground ginger
  • 2tsp Coriander
  • 3tbs Olive oil
  • 3tbs Lemon juice
  • 3-6 chicken thighs


You want easy? This is it.

Grind up any seeds that you might have as the whole spice, and then combine all the spices with the lemon juice and oil, and then marinate the chicken thighs. Use a dish that won’t stain with the paprika or turmeric, such as porcelain.

Let them sit for a few hours or overnight, but if you don’t have time, the flavour is still nice after just 20 minutes. I like to poke the chicken thighs with a fork to let the flavour really get in.

That’s it. We had them with some simple roasted veggies.

An Arabic Feast – Part 3: Main Players

Part 3 from our metho correspondent, Stephen.

So now I needed a couple of heroes. In keeping with the Arabic theme I went for falafels, a good vegetarian option, though with a difference. Let’s make them more like chick pea patties than anything resembling what you could identify as falafel.

I also wanted to do some poaching and thought about meatballs, but finally went with lemon chicken, but with a twist. I decided on a kind of cevap style sausage. Continue reading “An Arabic Feast – Part 3: Main Players”

An Arabic Feast – Part 2: Salads

Another post from our metho-correspondent, Stephen.

It’s best not to have too much heat in a small galley on hot humid days so I thought I’d go for a few salads. I imagined vegetarians would be ok with that sort of thing. One thing I like to do with salads is add fruit, and I love peaches at when they’re in season.  Peach salad goes particularly well with seafood, I think, especially the prawns which come off the boats a few fingers along, though I’m not doing seafood today.

Continue reading “An Arabic Feast – Part 2: Salads”

2017 Brisbane to Gladstone

As part of the 69th Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race in 2017, the Queensland Cruising Yacht Club made some videos called “From the Helm.”

Trev was asked to speak about the race and about doing it shorthanded.

Lamb shank risotto. Not really.

We had a couple of lamb shanks that needed cooking, and the intention was to make a lamb ragout to have with parpadelle. But had to alter that plan on the fly…

This works just as well for any more robust/tougher cut of meat, like beef shin, or chuck steak. My plan was to have it with pasta, but we ended up planning to head out to sea sooner than anticipated, and so we didn’t want to be boiling water in rolly seas, and needed this to be edible cold or hot. It certainly is NOT a real risotto, but it is reminiscent of one. Just not creamy – it’s more like a stew mixed in with rice so that there wasn’t too much liquid.


  • 2 Lamb shanks
  • oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Oregano, thyme or any other flavourful herb
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 125ml white wine
  • 500ml stock – chicken or vege
  • 1 cup brown rice


This was kind of made up on the fly, and I don’t have exact details, but the principles are here.

Cook shanks in a little oil until they’re well browned.

Set aside, reduce heat and then saute the carrots, onion and celery until softened. Add garlic too if you want. Looking at these photos, that’s what I did too!

Once softened, mix in the tomato paste, white wine and herbs. Cook the wine off. I don’t bother salting this dish as instant stock is pretty salty already, but do add some pepper at this time.

If you are using an ovenproof dish, return the shanks and add the stock and some additional water if needed to cover the meat. If you need to, transfer everything to an ovenproof dish and then put in the oven at 150 degrees for about 3 hours. This works well on the boat, as our oven is not really that hot to start with!

When the meat is falling off the shanks, remove the bones, and cut the meat roughly. Add it back to the pan with the rice. Add more stock or water if needed to have enough for the rice to soak up/cook in. about two cups of liquid to a cup of brown rice. This is what I think I would do normally, but since it has been some time since I took the photos, I’m a little confused. It looks like I must have strained the veggies and meat, and cooked the rice in the remaining liquid on the stove. Either way it should still work!

Once cooked, this dish is pretty good in the fridge until ready to eat.

Tomato and Prosciutto Tartlets

Quiches or tartlets are a great hand-to-mouth food that is perfect on the rail for an inshore race. You can have them made already, in the fridge, or icebox (or even just a coolbag stashed away somewhere), and have them cold on a hot day, or warm them up for the railmeat to enjoy! These ones are simple, and most people will love them. And they’re easy to make vege-friendly. 

Continue reading “Tomato and Prosciutto Tartlets”

An Arabic Feast – Part 1: Dips

The first part of this mini-series by our metho-correspondent, Stephen.

Sitting in the marina at Mooloolaba on a 27 foot Spacesailer in summer wondering what to do for a family of four coming for dinner – two adults, two teenagers (one a vegetarian) – and thinking about  the challenge of how to satisfy all tastes without resorting to the good ol’ barbecue. Just me and Maxie, a two burner kero stove, and Oskar, the food processor. Continue reading “An Arabic Feast – Part 1: Dips”

Chijimi, or Buchimgae

When I lived in Japan I loved this dish on the few times I went to Korea Town in Tsuruhashi, Osaka. And when I saw garlic chives at the market, I thought immediately that this would be great on the boat.

I know that in Japan they were called Chijimi, which translates into Korean as buchimgae, known in the western world as Korean Pancakes. Jeon is a type of buchimgae, and buchu means garlic chives; so buchujeon is a garlic chive Korean pancake.

They are so simple to make and you can enjoy these pancakes at happy hour with a really cold beer, or serve them up for a breakfast after a big night with friends. . And you can use up whatever left overs are around. Seafood, meat and veges all work in this dish, but plain is still delicious.

I did search through a few korean pancake recipes on various blogs and websites, and decided that the one on JinJoo’s site looked like it would reproduce the pancake I remember in Japan. Check out her blog for some great Korean recipes.


  • 200g Garlic chives, chopped into inch-long pieces
  • 1 1/2 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Vegetable oil


Simple. Just whisk together the egg, flour, salt and water until smooth. The batter should be slightly thinner than pouring cream consistency. You might need to add more water to get there. Jinjoo also adds a little sugar as well, but I don’t think it needs it.

Add the batter to the chives. The mix should be really heavy with chives – about twice as many chives to the amount of batter. If you have batter left over, chop up more chives – no matter how many pancakes you make, they will be eaten! This is your chance to add more ingredients. Shredded carrot, zucchini, squid, thinly sliced beef, etc.

Heat up the oil in the fying pan and ladle in a scoop of the mix. Spread it thinly, and cook until it is a little crispy. Flip it and do the same. The second side won’t take as long.

Serve it up while hot, with a soy and vinegar dipping sauce. Jinjoo has one on her site, but there are plenty of others around. A starting point is soy sauce and vinegar at 2:1 ratio. Then add to your hearts delight. ground sesame, fresh chilli, spring onion, chilli oil, ginger, etc. Rice wine vinegar works best in my opinion.

We have some plans to tart this up and make it more of a meal, so stay tuned for that in the future.