Menu monotony can set in when making meals to take to the field. It becomes a chore trying to make meals interesting, satisfying and nutritious. We often overlook the simplest ideas.
Hot food is appreciated but on a sweltering summer day, a cold meal may be better. Make it hearty and prepare a bagged treat of cookies, popcorn or fruit for the combine or truck.
Follow Canada’s Food Guide. Serve good quality carbohydrates such as whole grains, lentils and beans and choose proteins such as fish, eggs, beef and chicken.
Hydration is important so have lots of water and prepared beverages on hand.
Keep a plastic tub filled with the things you need for field meals such as salt and pepper, ketchup, napkins, plates and cutlery.
When fieldwork involves fertilizer, chemicals and treated or inoculated seed, take precautions to reduce the risk of accidental contamination of food, dishes or clothing. Take liquid soap, a jug of hot water and paper towels to the field for hand washing or bring wet towelettes.
Remove coveralls and protective clothing before eating. Keep dishes, serving utensils, food and beverages covered to avoid contamination from drifting spray or dust.
Avoid keeping food lukewarm. This temperature promotes the growth of bacteria and can cause illness. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
Hot food can be kept hot by wrapping in towels or several sheets of newsprint.
A cooler can be heated by pouring in boiling water. Let it sit for 15 minutes and drain. Add food and cover immediately.
A meal can be cooked in a crock pot, unplugged and taken to the field. Cold foods are best kept in a cooler with cold packs or ice.
Encourage workers to stop and take a break rather than eat the meal on the run while operating equipment. Lay a heavy disposable or washable protective cover over the eating area, or use paper grocery bags as inexpensive, disposable placemats.
Cold Sweet Tea
Fill a two cup (500 mL) canning jar halfway with ice and top with sweet tea. Cap with jar top and ring.
- 5 tea bags
- 1 – 10 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed 295 mL
- 1 c. sugar 250 mL
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract 3 mL
- 6 c. water 1.5 L
- sliced lemons, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, bring six cups (1.5 L) water to a boil. Add tea bags, remove from heat, and let steep for 20 minutes. Discard tea bags. In a pitcher or bowl, combine tea, lemonade concentrate, sugar, almond extract, and enough water to make a litre. Stir. Garnish with sliced lemons, if desired. Serves eight.
- 1/2 lb. ground dark roast coffee 225 g
- 16 c. boiling water 3.75 L
- half and half cream
- 2-3 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk per serving 30-45 mL
In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.
Strain coffee mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard grounds. Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed.
To assemble, pack a jar full of ice cubes. Fill two-thirds full with coffee liquid. Add splash of half and half cream and two to three tablespoons (30-45 mL) sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine. Taste and adjust as needed.
Chicken Breast on a Bun
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- lemon & pepper seasoning
- sliced or shredded cheese, any type you like
- hamburger buns
Slice chicken breast in half horizontally for faster cooking. Cut package of bacon to make half length pieces and cook over medium heat until almost crispy. Drain on paper towels. Discard all but two tablespoons (30 mL) of the bacon fat.
Generously season both sides of chicken breasts with lemon and pepper seasoning. Over medium heat, cook one side of chicken breast for about four minutes or until edges are opaque. Turn over.
Place slices of bacon on the cooked side of the chicken breast and top with cheese. Cover for a few minutes to finish cooking the chicken and melt the cheese.
Place one piece of chicken breast in each bun. Add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, condiments of your choice or leave it plain. Wrap in foil and keep warm until served.
Curried Quinoa Salad with Mango
- 1 c. quinoa 250 mL
- 1/2 c. oil 125 mL
- 1/4 c. white wine vinegar 60 mL
- 2 tbsp. mango chutney 30 mL
- 1 tbsp. curry powder 15 mL
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard 3 mL
- 1 chopped peeled mango
- 1 chopped unpeeled English cucumber
- 1/2 c. chopped green onions, divided 125 mL
Cook quinoa in medium pot of boiling salted water over medium heat until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain well, cool. Transfer to medium bowl. Meanwhile, whisk oil and next four ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
Add chopped mango, cucumber, 1/4 c. (60 mL) green onions and dressing to quinoa. Toss to coat. Garnish with remaining green onions and serve. Makes eight servings.
- 1 c. butter, softened 250 mL
- 2 c. white sugar 500 mL
- 2 c. packed brown sugar 500 mL
- 3 c. peanut butter 750 mL
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. corn syrup 8 mL
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 8 mL
- 4 tsp. baking soda 20 mL
- 9 c. rolled oats 2.25 L
- 1/2 lb. candy coated milk chocolate pieces 225 g
- 1/2 lb. semisweet chocolate chips 225 g
In a large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in eggs, two at a time, stir in corn syrup and vanilla. Mix in baking soda and oats until well blended. Stir in chocolate candies and chocolate chips.
Scoop with a large spoon or small ice cream scoop and place three inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork.
Bake at 350 F (175 C) for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes and transfer to wire racks to cool.
If using a large ice cream scoop, this recipe makes about 30 cookies.
Sarah Galvin is a home economist, teacher and farmers’ market vendor at Swift Current, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. She writes a blog at allourfingersinthepie.blogspot.ca. Contact: [email protected].
Sarah Galvin is a home economist, teacher and farmers’ market vendor at Swift Current, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. She writes a blog at allourfingersinthepie.blogspot.ca. Contact: [email protected]