Boating Recipes

In what could be argued as the quintessential boat project are the tasty dishes that come out of a galley. What makes a recipe boat-worthy is one that can be cooked onboard with only the basic facilities most cruisers have; the gas/electric stove and mighty microwave. In addition, although fresh ingredients make for the most tasty dishes, we all realize that when provisioning, many of the canned or non-perishable variety of foodstuffs are neccesary. In that regard, all of the recipes shown here can be made without an oven; just a bit of heat from the stove or microwave. Emphasis is also placed on recipes requiring a minimum of refrigerated items, as well as those that generate a minimum of waste or garbage that has to be disposed of. Lastly, most modern cruisers have nice upholstered vinyl headliners, and you won't want to get it all greasy by cooking, so the recipes also have low grease content.

Al's Famous Boat Chili

There is chili, and there is chili. Regardless of what you classify as chili (i.e. some say you cannot have any tomatoes), the chili I prefer has a little bit of everything. I am a firm believer in no two chilis can be quite the same, so you should experiment a bit as to what you like. And there is nothing wrong with simply cleaning out the 'fridge on chili day. I have tried everything from beer to brown sugar in my chili.

The chili I now prefer is mild, only a bit on the spicy side.

OK, so here goes... this is my boat chili.


Chorizo is a Mexican sausage, and is the secret ingredient if there ever was one. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE OR SKIP THIS INGREDIENT. This chili will simply not be the same without the Chorizo. You can get it in Mild, Original, Beef, and Super Picante varieties. The different varieties are a new thing, and I have tried only Original and Mild. In the mid-west, it is usually available at most grocery stores. If you have difficulty identifying Chorizo, one common brand is "El Popular"; here is their Web Site: El Popular Chorizo


There are no secrets here. I usually start by cubing the beef to maybe 1/8" squares, but it is preferable to ground beef as it results in a slight chewey texture, something a bit unique. OK, if you are lazy, you can use ground beef, but you will like the other beef better, and you won't be ruining your headliner, not to mention not having to dispose of hamburger grease. Brown the beef cubes (or ground beef if you must), then add both Chorizo sausage sticks. If you are going to use chili mix, add it now. But I have found the Chorizo provides all of the spice flavoring you need, so try it without the chili mix.

The Tomato soup may seem a bit unusual, but we were out of tomato paste one day and my wife suggested using Tomato soup. We figured, why not. And to our delight, the soup gave the chili an exciting but unusual flavor. Try it.

After the meat has browned, throw in the chopped onion, the beans and the tomatoes. One note: Do not drain any of the vegetables; just throw in the juice and all. If you do this, you will not need to add any water, and you won't have to dispose of the juices. Add the tomato paste, and green chili if you are using it, and any other ingredients you might want at this time.

Simmer until done.


We like to serve chili with a garnish of sour cream and shreeded cheese, but these are optional, depending on how much room you have in your galley's fridge.


It has also been said that leftover Boat Chili makes for good Barnacle remover. I cannot attest to that as we never have any leftover.

Al's Low Carbohydrate Manicotti

Second in my boat recipe series is a different twist on Manicotti. It is a bit different, but has a unique taste, and the good news, its a low carbohydrate alternative, with only 6 digestible carbohydrates per 12oz serving. There is some controversy as to what a digestible carb is, so if you are hyperglycemic or diabetic, you may want to skip this recipe.


If I counted correctly, the entire batch contains about 40 grams of carbohydrates. There is some fat content, so this is a meal you should eat "occasionally" if you are concerned about your fat intake.

OK, Chorizo is a Mexican sausage, and we're making an Italian dish. But trust me, the flavors blend well, and provides a unique taste. If you notice, I don't use as much Chorizo as I did for the chili, as we're going for the Mexican flavor there.


Brown the ground beef, then drain. Add the Chorizo and fully cook. In the mean time, boil a pot of water and cook the Rigate pasta.

After the meat has browned, throw in the pepperoni and Marinara sauce. Simmer until done.

When the pasta is done, combine it with the meat and sauce, then top with Mozzarella.

Makes 6 12oz servings.