Eat to Live – NOT!

So yesterday I was thinking about food. Specifically, how am I going to sustain life (my life!) while in the Peace Corps. I thought about electricity. It is possible (likely) I will not have electricity; if that’s the case I won’t have a stove; and if that’s the case I’m screwed. I can’t even imagine how you cook without electricity. I was a Girl Scout but I never learned how to make a good camp fire!

This got me to thinking I will probably cook fresh food daily, possibly on a meal-by-meal basis. If that’s the case, and I don’t have electricity, I probably won’t have a refrigerator. And if I don’t have a refrigerator I’ll need to cook foods that won’t perish immediately, i.e., foods that don’t contain meat or dairy which led me to – Legumes! I need to develop a portfolio of legume dishes that are easy and more importantly, tasty! I’ve never been of the “eat to live” ilk. I live to eat, no two ways about it so this is where I am asking for your help. If you have any legume or vegetarian recipes you’d like to share I would love to receive them. I like spicy foods and will eat just about anything. Oh, and one more thing, do you think there are cookbooks designed specifically for “Cooking on a hot plate”? I met with my recruiter last week and although she had electricity where she served, she didn’t have a stove and used a hot plate to cook. Thanks for your help!

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6 Responses to Eat to Live – NOT!

  1. Jennifer says:

    Depending on which country you go to, you might have a computer in your apartment, a microwave, a hot plate, or a gas stove. For PC I’ve served in Guinea, Burkina Faso and China. I never ever cooked over a live fire. Once when my bf visited in Africa, he built a BBQ which was cool. Also, all the PC countries I served in had PC cookbooks that were specific for each country’s ingredients.

  2. Hi Mary!

    I’m kind of in the same boat in the that I definitely live to eat! Depending on where you’re going, you may have sort of a gas camp stove, which are great because its just like a stove top.

    There are a lot of great Indian “dal” (some variety of lentil or legume) dishes that would use ingredients that might be readily available most places, like garlic, tomatoes, onion, etc. One to look up might be khichdi (or khichri in some spellings) which is a mix of rice and lentils made in one pot, so you get your starch and protein together. Another would be Middle Eastern dishes like bessara or ful medames. Both of these are kind of pureed or mashed chickpeas or fava seasoned with chicken broth, onion, lemon juice and cumin. For the chicken broth, you will have Maggi cubes wherever you go (I’m pretty sure anyways – Maggi is literally everywhere from Mexico to Cameroon to Asia).

    Depending on where I go though, I will DEFINITELY be bringing some harder-to-find spices with me like Chinese five-spice, Spanish paprika and garam masala.

    Feel free to email me at!

    • Mary Trotter says:

      Wow, you got me really excited about the prospect of a gas camp stove! 🙂

      Thank you so much for all the great information!! I actually went online this weekend & came across “dal” so hopefully I’ll perfect a dish or two before I leave.

  3. Cindy says:


    Try . They have great recipes and ideas!

    Much love and grace on your journey my Friend! Cindy

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