Sunday, February 25, 2018

Fast and Better Boat Foods

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 


fast foodsA day (or a week) that finds you stressed and overwhelmed seems worth it when you know that you will soon be out on your boat, basking in the sun.  Of course, hectic days may mean  that a last-minute scramble to pick up food to bring along leads to poor choices — unless you plan ahead. To make things easier, I’ve compiled some go-tips to make faster and healthier food choices.

Think small: bite-sized choices are fun and easy to nosh on while on the boat.  Pre-cut fruit and veggie platters to serve with low-fat dips, and bring along baked chips, popcorn, nuts, snack bars, fruit rolls, cookies, and crackers.  Buy individually wrapped sandwiches and wraps cut into quarters (ask for that at the deli); pasta, rice, barley, kasha, and tabouli salads are also available at many take-out spots.Some restaurants you pass on the way to the boat may have tasty fast food 44options that work well, such as chicken or hummus wraps, grilled fish heroes, and sushi (even available at supermarkets) in fish as well as vegetarian versions.

Look for salads with fresh tuna, shrimp, chicken, or salmon; keep away from fried items and mayo-based salads, opting for a light dressing instead. How about chili, stuffed potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs? Sandwich choices include cheese, grilled veggies, turkey, ham, baked tofu, and roast beef. Think about toppings such as salsa or guacamole (good on sandwiches or served with baked chips or rice cakes).   If you are having a group join you on the boat, consider calling a restaurant to make you up a platter with salads and sandwiches that you can pick up before boarding.  If you’re heading out early, bagel stores will make up platters — don’t forget the coffee, tea, and juice.When you really find yourself pressed for time, pick up multigrain bread at a convenience store or supermarket, and grab easy fillings like sliced meats, cheeses, and tofu, and toppings such as flavored cream cheese, peanut butter, and foods2

If you plan a stop on the shore to grill your foods,choices from the freezer are ideal for grab-and-go.  Buy frozen marinated fish in single-serve pieces.  Keep individually wrapped veggie, turkey, chicken and beef burgers in your freezer.  Prepare chicken, shrimp, tuna, and beef kabobs with onions and peppers and freeze them (pre-soak wooden kabob sticks so food doesn’t stick to the skewer).  The day of your trip, remove thekabobs from the freezer and add additional items to the ends of the skewers to finish them off,such astofu, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, and pineapple cubes. Place the skewers in a seal able plastic bag with some low-fat salad dressing.Let the kabobs marinate in the refrigerator or in a cooler until you are ready to cook grill, broil, or bake them. They are delicious every way. 

No time for that much preparation? Pick up pre-cut onions, sliced carrots, cherry tomatoes,and sliced mushrooms and put them on a piece of aluminum foil with your choice of tofu, tempeh, fish, shrimp, chicken, or other protein (cut into fast foods3two-inch pieces), sprinkle with garlic or onion powder, sea salt, herbs, and a bit of olive oil, and then seal the foil closed.  When ready to cook, put aluminum packet in the toaster oven or on a grill for about 30 minutes, open (be careful of the steam), and serve.  Yum!

When it comes to transporting homemade or store-bought food, keep it safe until you are ready to eat it. If you don’t have a refrigerator and freezer aboard, be sure to have plenty of ice, coolers, hand wipes, separate cutting boards, and clean storage containers.(Anything moist, even grain-based salads or high-protein items, can lead to food-borne illness if not stored properly.)

Keep staples, including paper goods, forks, knives, spoons, cups, plastic containers, and garbage bags,on the boat. This way, if you forget something when rushing to pick up your fast food, you will still have the means to leisurely enjoy it while relaxing away from the shore.

Marlisa Brown MS, RD, CDE, CDN, is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Chef, and author of Gluten-Free, Hassle-Free and Easy, Gluten-Free.  She is also president of Total Wellness Inc., a private nutritional consulting company.  For more information about gluten-free diets or Marlisa Brown, go to and

 By Marlisa Brown

The author shares some sample menus

If you find that all your non-boat time is frenzied, take a short break to work up go-to menus so you have healthful, fresh, and balanced choices for your family and friends. For quick and delicious dining, I suggest:

§  Shrimp pineapple kabobs (prepared ahead of time and cooked on the boat) with Greek salad picked up at the diner.

§  Grilled vegetable platter with mozzarella balls (picked up at an Italian deli) with whole grain bread on the side.

§  Grilled chicken with honey mustard (from the deli) with sweet potatoes (baked ahead of time).

§  Hummus wraps (picked up at the deli), with a pre-made side salad and pre-cut fruit.

§  Tuna or chicken salad wraps,served with a mixed salad.

§  Pre-grilled veggie burgers on multigrain rolls with pre-purchased guacamole.

The choices are endless! Just remember to plan ahead, be creative, make healthier choices, and find the favorites that are the easiest for you.


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