In November 2015, Shawn + I traveled along the shoreline of Newfoundland for 3 weeks. Newfoundland is a coastal region along the Atlantic, northeast of Maine and Nova Scotia. Much like Cape Cod, the climate is mild and ever-changing. It is famous for its vast landscapes and endless natural beauty. I had a blast posting our new food experiences through social media while traveling off the grid.
I am excited to share this experience with my readers as a real-life example of how to cook and eat intuitively with the materials around you. I packed a drawer full of supplies (see the picture below for an example of what I brought) and was limited only by my creativity. In addition to these staple foods, I sought out local food sources and harvested wild ingredients. The possibilities of edible plants found in Newfoundland include lots of wild berries, like cranberries, blueberries + partridge berries, several varieties of mint and much more.
I did most of my cooking in a cast iron pot and skillet, using a fire as well as a propane burner. I hope this will inspire you to embrace the resourcefulness wherever you are and find intuitive cooking to be an enjoyable process. Sometimes the best method is the simplest method!
After harvesting blueberries for hours on end, I could incorporate them into our morning routine as much as I wanted. Below are some of our breakfasts you can use as inspiration.
- Lots of Blueberries (use your intuition)
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon + Nutmeg mix
- 1 cup of Coconut Milk
- 2 TB Coconut Oil
- Drizzle of Maple Syrup
- Mix chia seeds, baking powder, cinnamon + nutmeg and buckwheat flour in a small mixing bowl. Then, mix in coconut milk + blueberries. Melt coconut oil in a skillet, then drop 2 TB of batter into the pan. Let brown on one side, then flip. Drizzle with maple syrup.
- 2 slices of Sourdough Bread, sliced in half
- 2 TB ChiaSeeds
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 cup CoconutMilk
- 1 TB CoconutOil
- 1 TB MapleSyrup
- 1/2 cup Blueberries
- Mix chia seeds, cinnamon + coconut milk in a small bowl. Melt coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Dip each slice of rye front and back into the mix, then place into skillet. Cook until crisp, then flip to repeat on the opposite side. Add maple syrup + 1/2 cup berries.
- 5 tsp Hibiscus Petals
- 1/2 gallon Fresh Spring Water
- Simply let sit out on a sunny day until tea is a desired taste. It takes between 2 - 4 hours. You can use a reusable tea bag or strain the petals after the tea has brewed.
Before traveling, we harvested everything we could in our garden to bring with us. We were able to take some peppers, eggplant and kale.
- 2 cups of canned Organic Garbanzo Beans, rinsed
- 1 Red Bell Peppers
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Delicata Squash
- 2 Potatoes
- 1/2 Onions
- 1 cup Yellow Beans
- 1 cup Eggplant
- Parsley for garnish
- Basil for garnish
- 1 can of Organic Coconut Milk
- 2 heaping spoons of Curry
- 2 heaping spoons of Coconut Oil
- 1 cup of Sweet Brown Rice
- Cook rice in 2 cups of water until tender. Saute all vegetables in coconut oil until tender, then add coconut milk, curry and beans. Top with parsley + basil.
Sunshine Squash Hot + Sweet Soup (wing it!)
Guide: Sweet Brown Rice, Sunshine Squash, Delicata Squash, Balsamic Sweet Peppers, Parsley, Bok Choy, Basil, Vegetable Broth, White Beans, Bragg’s, Coconut Oil.
- 1 TB Bragg's Amino Acids
- 2 TB Olive Oil
- 1 Salmon Steak
- 1 TB Coconut Oil
- 2 TB Raw Honey
- 1/2 tsp Bragg's Amino Acids
- 1/2 cup Partridge Berries
- dash of turmeric
- dash of arrowroot for thickening
- Pan-sear over medium heat in Olive Oil with Bragg’s Aminos until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. In a small pan, heat honey, Bragg's and berries over medium-low heat until sauce consistency. Then, top salmon with sauce.
- 1 cup Whole Blue Lentils
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
- 1 cup Yellow Beans
- 1 Zucchini
- 1 Asian Eggplant
- 1/2 Onion, chopped
- Parsley to garnish
- Basil to garnish
- Swiss Chard, chopped to garnish
- 4 cups Vegetable Broth
- 2 TB Red Palm Oil
- 2 TB Bragg’s Aminos
- 1/4 cup Safflowers
- 2 TB Cumin
- Saute onion in 1 TB red palm oil, then add all vegetables until slightly tender over medium heat. Add broth, aminos, spices + lentils, then simmer until lentils are tender. Garnish with basil, parsley + swiss chard.
- NOTE: these safflowers are not spicy like threads of saffron. They have a sweeter taste and a floral scent to them.
Before we were heading over to our friend Glen’s house for me to prepare our Salmon feast, I harvested a huge bowl of wild partridge berries to use throughout the meal (salmon glaze, millet dish & a berry crisp). Glen shared that his mother used these berries in her well known, Partridge Berry Pudding. It is definitely a more tart tasting berry compared to the native blueberry. It almost reminds me of a smaller cranberry and often grows in similar locations.
The potatoes + carrots were grown in a local’s garden that was shared with us for this meal. Bob, the grower, experienced a huge variation in the size of his potatoes + carrots from year to year. I have to say that they were the sweetest carrots I’ve had compared to during a summer season. The growers here did experience a abnormally cold July, which affected this year’s crops. However, may be the reason for a sweeter carrot.
Partridge + Blueberry Crisp – (wing it!)
Partridge Berries, Blueberries, Raw Honey…. and for the topping…Oats, Chia seeds, Maple Syrup + Cinnamon & Nutmeg Mix.
Basil, Gorgonzola + Tomato Grilled Cheese (wing it!)
Sourdough Bread, 2 TB Gorgonzola Cheese, 2 Slices of Heirloom Tomato + 4 Basil Leaves grilled in a cast iron skillet with red palm oil.
Cumin Potato Egg Scramble
Peppers, Onions, Potatoes, Cumin, Eggs, Coconut Milk scrambled in a cast iron skillet – A definite one skillet comforting breakfast when the wind is howling. NOTE: I found it challenging to find local farm fresh eggs at first. However, after asking around I was able to find a local grower that uses all sides of his yard for growing and also had a pristine chicken coop. Score!
Garden Vegetable Chili
Guide: 1 large jar Web of Life Heirloom Tomatoes, 1/2 jar of Appalachian Naturals Salsa, 2 TB Nobska Farms Hot Sauce, dash Cayenne Pepper, 1 tsp Cumin, Vegetable Broth, 2 heaping spoons of Red Palm Oil, Red, Yellow, Green & Purple Peppers, Yellow Beans, Onions, Delicata Squash, Potatoes, Carrots, Kidney, White + Black Beans
Newfoundland Crab season is in the Spring, however we were so excited to be gifted some that was harvested in season from our local friends. I steamed the thawed crab over the fire in a cast iron skillet. I used a tiny bit of water, hoping not to lose any of its sweet flavor. It was served with the leftover roasted roots, partridge berry millet that was soon turned into another curry flavored side. I added a can of organic coconut milk, 1 TB Coconut Oil & 1 heaping spoon of curry. This is a great strategic addition to a range of leftovers when camping.
Cod Season is in the Summer months. According to one of my interviews, there are three different licenses Newfoundlanders can carry. They vary in the quota they are allowed to harvest per year. One of the fishermen we spent time with has the lower amount in pounds allowed, however is able to make a living as a fisherman with taking on several part-time work over the years at a local nickel factory and electrical jobs in his area.
Moose hunting season was open during our visit. As we drove in line for the ferry to cross over the ocean into Newfoundland, we saw several hunters in their travels with huge refrigerator systems in the back of their trucks. We were given some local moose meat that was made into sausages and some that was jarred from the beginning of the season. Moose seems to be a sustainable part of the food system, where there are an abundance of these animals around Newfoundland. According to one of the highway signs, there were over 600 car accidents involving moose over the course of last year and over 20 deaths.
Local Moose Sausage + Potatoes in a cast iron skillet with a spoonful of olive oil and a teaspoon of my go to Red Door Seasoning. The moose sausage was surprisingly tasty with a little bit of spice to it and reminded me of venison.
A local retired couple, Bob & Marg, spend a lot of their time pickling beets, making apple butter + canning moose + even seal. They shared several of their products with us to use throughout our trip including a bottle of Apple Wine, which I was warned to drink slowly (It’s not your average wine in the liquor store).
A local favorite dish is called, Cooked Dinner or Jigg’s Dinner. Similar to our New England “Boiled Dinner” around St. Patrick’s Day, they use their traditional vegetables, cabbage, carrots, turnips and potatoes. The meal is started with a portion of salted beef that is purchased in a bucket. Typically, it is started at 8am in the morning by simmering the salted beef in a pot of water. The first pot of water is dumped and a second is used to continue the flavor process with less sodium concentrated. After a couple hours, the vegetables are then added to the pot to absorb the flavor and cook for a few hours. The next step is adding split peas, which is called pea pudding. It is often served with some type of meat, such as chicken, beef or pork and lots of gravy.
Below is a blueberry duff, which is a type of steamed pudding, boiled in a cotton bag in the same pot with the vegetables and salt beef in traditional Newfoundland Jigg’s Dinner.
Seabuckthorne is a berry that has been known for its rich source of antioxidants. A local was given a batch to freeze and add to his morning smoothies. These beautiful yellow berries are pretty tart, but a small and juicy.
There are several fruit trees that have grown well here in Newfoundland. A local’s father has developed quite an interest in caring for his fruit trees, including apple, plum and pear trees.
A spontaneous shoreline rock excursion lead us to an insanely delicious meal for dinner. One of my favorites for sure. We searched in each crevasse in the pools of salt water at low tide. The time Shawn doesn’t surf in this area, due to the reef being dangerously exposed. We found adorable starfish and edible sea urchins, snails and mussels.
Escargot is a great protein that can be harvested and prepared in minutes. Although you can eat them raw, I prefer to steam them, then simply pull the meat out with anything the size of a toothpick.
We filled our basket with an abundance of protein while tiring ourselves out, jumping from rock to rock. I made a delicious local cabbage salad with radishes from home, added a quartered artichoke hearts, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, then topped it with our steamed sea urchin, mussels and escargot with a balsamic dressing.
- 1 cup cabbage, shredded
- 1 radishes, sliced
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
- dash sea salt
- dash ground pepper
- 1/2 cup mussels + escargot, steamed
- 2 TB Balsamic Dressing
- Prepare a salad style bowl using all of the above ingredients. Top with mussels + escargot for protein.
During an off-trail adventure, we ran into a blackberry patch, which was the perfect afternoon snack to load up.
A near by running river and fresh water pool has been our go to spot for cleaning up throughout the camping trip. During my several minutes of convincing myself to dive in, I spotted a raspberry patch on the side of the pool.
Cumin Cabbage + Carrots with Raisins over Spaghetti Squash
1 can of Organic Coconut Milk + 4 TB Cumin, Carrots, Cabbage, 3 TB Organic Raisins, 1 TB Turmeric, dash of Sea Salt, 1 TB Bragg’s Aminos, 1 cup Millet, 2 Potatoes, 1 cup Sunshine Squash, 2 Onions, 2 cups Vegetable Broth.
Sautéed Beets + Artichokes on Toast
Simple Cabbage Salad (wing it!)
Guide: purple cabbage, carrots, onion, beans, olive oil, spices, herbs + a local relish!
We couldn’t go the trip without a classic PB + J! (local jam + natural PB)
Thank you for following!