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Sprout and about

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Do you sprout when out and about in your van? Here, guest blog post author Janey de Nordwall explains why and how she decided to sprout while on the road.

Janey holding her cat in front of her campervan


After 25 wonderful years in the film and advertising industry, as a BAFTA-winning Producer and Managing Director, I finally had enough of all the stress and noise and decided to give the whole lot up! It was both liberating and terrifying, especially as I had no clear plan of action in mind. I packed my bags, my spirited cat called Kenny and fired up my 1970s VW campervan called Charlie and we headed north for a journey that changed my life. So much so, I wrote a book called FROM A WONKY PATH TO AN OPEN ROAD.

The book

My new book (available on Amazon in print and on Kindle) is my memoir and travelogue of my journey, where eating and cooking played a deliciously important role.

Here’s a food-related excerpt from Chapter Two: So, How Do You Prep For A Road Trip?

Apart from capers I eat everything and I’m as healthy as I can be when I’m out and about but I’m not a happy cook in the kitchen when home alone. I find it especially hard to motivate myself to cook for one and many a time I have settled down after a hard day’s work to a packet of Twiglets and a crumpet, washed down with a glass of wine. No guilt. But I really wanted to eat well whilst away on my travels.  A dear friend of mine, concerned about my Twiglet habit, felt that I would need more fresh produce in me and told me how easy it was to sprout beans. “Great idea! I’ll do that!” I had no idea what she was talking about. Luckily, a couple of days before I left, we arranged to meet and she talked me through how to sprout mung beans, buck wheat, chickpeas and alfalfa in recycled takeaway containers. She brought me a selection of these dried goods complete with written instructions and a selection of other magical essentials to pep up my dinners: roasted seeds and nuts, a balsamic spray, soy sauce, honey and pul biber. She said all I needed was some fresh Scottish salmon and I could prepare a meal fit for a queen. I had to trust her on that one!

What’s it all a-sprout?

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d share one of my favourite dishes du jour together with The Art of Sprouting Beans in a Van!  Now, I love a bit of kit and my van kitchen is made up of some wonderfully indulgent branded stoves, knives, utensils and gadgets but… I also love a bit of upcycling and sprouting does not need anything fancy or expensive. Here’s how to add a wonderful source of protein to any meal with added crunch along the way.

  1. Rinse 5 tablespoons of good quality mung beans in water until the water runs clear.
  2. Cover with twice as much water and cover with secure fitting lid.
  3. Leave in a dark cupboard for 2 nights.

4. Rinse the water every morning until it runs clear. This is very important.

5. The beans will double in size over two days.

6. Drain off all the water.

7. Split the beans into two containers to give them room to sprout.

8. Cover both containers with lids with holes. As you can see the holes don’t need to be perfect!!

9. Leave the containers in a dark place for another two days but give them a shake each morning.

10. Once they have sprouted they are ready to eat.

11. To serve, season with salt and pepper and with spray with a light balsamic oil or drizzle with a some of truffle oil.

12. This can accompany anything and everything – it did for me!

Have you read Janey’s book? Comment below to let us know what you think and where she should go adventuring next.

Janey really enjoyed cooking when on the road, see her recipe for Cheesy Tomato Risotto here!

If you would like to write a guest post for us email us at hello@vanlifeeats.com

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