Meal Planning & Recipes on your Houseboating Vacation

Before you start your houseboat vacation you will want to plan out your meals for each day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Most likely you will have limited access to grocery stores to pick up items so it will be important to make a list and think about all the ingredients you will need. If you are sharing meals and preparation with others be sure to share the meal plans to avoid any duplication of meals and ingredients.

Here are some tips to help prepare for your houseboat vacation

  • Space will be limited so bring just what you need.
  • Keep meals simple, tasty and fun
  • Take advantage to BBQ
  • Prepare some meals and ingredients ahead of time. For example if you need a number of spices for one dish pre-measure them at home and place in a labelled small zip lock bag
  • Pre-marinate meats and freeze
  • Rather than bring spice jars, pre-measure what you will need and combine in small zip lock bags ready to use.
  • Prepare desserts ahead of time
  • Pasta salads are a tasty option that can be prepared ahead of time and stored in zip lock bags
  • Enjoy pancakes? Bring pancake mix that only requires water added to avoid bring extra milk and eggs
    Take smaller sizes of condiments
    Make a list of everything you will need

Looking for some great recipe ideas? Check these delicious recipes.

Orzo Salad

This orzo salad is excellent that can be prepared ahead of time and brought is a zip lock bag or plastic container. It can be stored for a few days and is simple, delicious and always a favourite.


  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 16oz orzo pasta
  • 1 ½ tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 12oz feta cheese
  • 10oz fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add the orzo pasta, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente.
  3. Drain well, and pour the orzo into a bowl
  4. Toss with the butter to keep it from sticking; set aside
  5. While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  6. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the garlic softens and the aroma mellows, about 2 minutes. Careful not to burn the garlic as it will become bitter.
  7. Stir in the basil, thyme, red pepper flakes, and pine nuts.
  8. Cook and stir until the pine nuts have toasted to a light golden brown.
  9. Stir the pine nut mixture into the orzo and add the olives, feta cheese, spinach, and lemon juice.
  10. Enjoy!

Hoisin Chicken Wings or Thighs

Whether using chicken wings or chicken thighs these are always a hit. These can be prepared and frozen in a zip lock bag ahead of time or if you prefer simply prepare the marinade at home and bring along and marinade later.


  • 1 & 1/2 lbs chicken wings or thighs
  • 1 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¾ cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp. toasted sesame seeds


  1. In a large bowl add all marinade ingredients and mix well
  2. Remove about ½ cup of the marinade to small bowl to be used as a glaze when the chicken comes off the BBQ
  3. Place chicken in a zip lock bag and add remaining marinade and toss to cover well. A bowl can be used also.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or longer.
  5. Prepare the BBQ for medium heat and grease the grills to prevent chicken from sticking.
  6. BBQ the chicken over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible for about 10 minutes turning once.
  7. Once chicken is cooked removed from grill and place in a bowl.
  8. Add 1/2 cup marinade that was set aside earlier, gently heated
  9. Add half of the sesame seeds
  10. Gently toss wings in marinade and sesame seeds
  11. Place on a platter and top with remaining sesame seeds

Almond Parsley Pilaf Rice

This is a tasty simple rice recipe that is easy to make. Just bring the pre-measured ingredients with you to save time and space.


  • 1 ½ tbsp. butter
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups rice (basmati preferred)
  • 3 pieces lemon peel
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup almond slivers
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • Lemon juice, 1 lemon


  1. Melt the butter on low-medium heat in a sauce pan and when melted
  2. Add the sliced shallots (or finely chopped onion) and sliced garlic for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and stir for 1 or 2 minutes so the rice is heated a little and absorbs some of the butter
  4. Add the chicken stock, lemon peel and bay leaf and put a lid on the sauce pan, let the stock boil then reduce to low heat for 15 minutes. Be sure to stir often to make sure the rice doesn’t stick and burn to the bottom of the sauce pan.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes
  6. Add the chopped parsley, pinch of salt, juice from 1 lemon and toasted almond slivers.
  7. Mix and serve

Other Recipe Ideas

Greek Couscous Salad

Arugula Walnut Salad with Goat Cheese

Piri Piri Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Marinated Dry Rub Pork Tenderloin

Chicken Souvlaki

Korean BBQ Chicken

Chicken Skewers with Mustard, Thyme and Ginger Sauce

Apple Celery Salad with Hazelnuts and Dill

Arugula Cucumber Salad

Moroccan Spiced Bulghar Salad

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

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