Whether you’re after the feel of gentle ripples washing against your kayak or you prefer the more powerful swell and rapids for that adrenaline rush, lunch time is the perfect break to refuel and soak up some sunshine.

Unless you’ve kitted out your kayak to include a fridge that’s light enough to not take away the fun of the sport, it’s important to bring food on your adventure that won’t perish in the midday heat. We’ve created some delicious recipes that are not only portable, but also won’t allow you to run the risk of feeling ill after eating high risk foods that should be stored in cool conditions.

And as enjoyable, convenient and delicious as sandwiches can be, sometimes we just want something more delectable and satisfying than two pieces of bread sandwiched together. These recipes will make you want to swap your sandwiches all the time!

by Shannah Hatch, Dream Sails

Roasted Veg and Couscous Salad

Sometimes we simply crave freshness. When you’re out and about, roasted vegetables stay fresh for longer than you would expect!

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be eaten warmed up or at kayak-temperature. The smokiness of the harissa paste shines through the rich flavours of the roasted vegetables which will no doubt leave you scraping the sides of your Tupperware for more.

Couscous is also as easy to prepare as it is to kayak downstream on a leisurely day. Within 30 minutes, you’ll have a filling lunch that will keep your energy levels high for an afternoon of kayaking delight.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 red pepper

1 courgette

1 onion

1tbsp olive oil

2/3 cup dry couscous

½ vegetable stock cube

2tsp harissa pasta

1tbsp pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

  1. Deseed the pepper and cut into squares with the courgette and onion. Place on a baking tray and drizzle over the oil.
  2. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast in a preheated oven at 180°c for 20 minutes or until tender.
  3. Boil a kettle and dissolve the stock cube in the hot water.
  4. Place the couscous in a bowl and add enough vegetable stock to cover the grains. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and allow the water to be absorbed into the couscous. Once absorbed, use a fork to fluff the couscous, repeating the process with a little more stock if needed.
  5. Stir the harissa paste into the couscous and add the roasted vegetables and pumpkin seeds.
  6. Store in an air-tight container and eat by the following day.

Pesto Edamame Pasta

If you haven’t tried edamame beans before, know that you’ll want to swap regular petit pois for edamame all the time! These green beans are hearty and full in both flavour and texture, adding an extra depth of colour to your packed lunch to brighten up any clouds that might appear throughout your first few hours of kayaking.

But don’t be fooled in thinking that the edamame bean is just a colourful addition to your food. These beans are packed with protein, and the pine nuts provide healthy fats to boost your energy levels.

What’s more, this pasta recipe can sit in your kayak all day long and it’ll still be edible and taste delicious when you decide to finally have a break from your day’s adventures.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

½ -1 cup dried pasta

1tsp olive oil

2 spring onions

2tbsp pesto

¼ cup edamame beans

1tbsp pine nuts

Instructions:

  1. Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain the water and place in a bowl with the olive oil.
  2. Finely slice the spring onions and stir into the pasta with the pesto, edamame beans and sunflower seeds.
  3. Store in an air-tight container and serve within 2 days.

Falafel Wraps

Whilst we’ve included recipes that don’t utilise perishable and high-risk foods that could make your kayaking adventures take a turn for the worse, we’re lovers of all things feta cheese – how could we not include this creamy ingredient in at least one of our recipes?

This recipe is perfect if you’re planning to kayak on a cooler day or stop for some food in a couple of hours. If you’re like us and super keen to tuck into these protein-packed, mess-free tortillas later on into your kayaking tour, pack a portable ice pack to help keep your food cool for longer.

Tip: wrap these tortillas in tinfoil to retain their warmth for just a bit longer.

Makes 2 tortilla wraps

Ingredients:

2 large tortillas

6 falafel pieces

1tbsp sweet chilli sauce

½ pack feta cheese

½ small bunch of fresh coriander, or ¼tsp dried

2 spring onions

Instructions:

    1. Finely slice the spring onions and roughly chop the fresh coriander, if using.
    2. Divide the falafel, spring onions, coriander and feta cheese between both tortillas.
    3. Top with the sweet chilli sauce and a good grind of pepper.
    4. Wrap in tinfoil and eat on the same day.

Avocado and Apple Pitta Breads

Your first thoughts might be those of dismay, we understand. Apple and avocado in a pitta bread?! Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Pitta breads are a perfect, self-portable pocket method to transport your lunch – who needs a container? Alright, we do advise bringing a container to prevent the water getting into your food when you take on the rapids.

This recipe makes 4 pitta breads but can easily be upscaled to cater for more kayakers. Feeling extra hungry? Pack a couple of spare pitta breads to nibble on as a snack.

Makes 4 pitta breads

Ingredients:

4 pitta breads

1 avocado

1 apple

2tbsp walnuts

1tbsp mustard

½tsp lemon juice

A pinch of chilli flakes

Instructions:

  1. Begin to prepare the filling by slicing the apple into thin slices and dicing or mashing the avocado, whichever texture you prefer. Mix the lemon juice with seasoning to taste and gently pour over the avocado and apple.
  2. Open up the pitta breads and divide the mustard evenly between each pitta bread.
  3. Place the avocado and apple mix into the pitta breads along with the walnuts and a pinch of chilli flakes.
  4. Store in an air-tight container and eat on the same day.

Mango Bean Salad

Mango is another ingredient that freshens up any day! We love the sweetness that the mango brings out in this recipe, contrasting the tangy flavour of the balsamic vinegar.

Once again, this is an easy one to upscale if you’re a party of 2 or more hitting the water. The best thing about this recipe? It can sit in the sun all day long and it’ll taste better than when you put it together. That’s right, the flavours will mix together and marinade whilst you’re enjoying your time on the water. Without any extra effort on your part, you’ll have a delicious, fruity and enjoyable lunch that’s filled with protein to help with your recovery when you finish kayaking for the day.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

½ tin of canned black beans

½ mango

¼ small tin of canned sweetcorn

6 cherry tomatoes

¼ onion

A drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Drain the black beans and place in a small bowl.
  2. Dice the mango and onion, and halve the tomatoes.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and store in an air-tight container for up to 2 days.