I opened with one of the saddest-looking sandwiches of all time, but i kind of love it. It's a tortilla with peanuts and corn nuts inside, and some Tajin (salt, chili, sour/acid seasoning mix) on top. People who know these ingredients are probably retching, but if you think about it, you all eat flavored peanuts and corn nuts all the time, so why not burrito-fy them to keep your hands clean?
For those who don't know what a "corn nut" is, it's not a nut. It's a marketing invention of someone in America who decided that something similar to unpopped kernels of popcorn should be sold as a snack by themselves. They are very hard, very crispy, not especially nutritious, but somehow you can't stop eating them. When you love popcorn (like i do) then it's an efficient alternative on a bike, because popped popcorn takes up a ridiculous amount of space.
Is this sandwich dry? Yes. Very. That's why i have water.
Next up, a sandwich with lots of veges from that marvellous farm i found in Alberta that sold me a bag of carrots and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers straight off the vine. Also in there is peanuts, pumpkin seeds, Tajin and "Country Pepper" (a seasoning mix i picked from a fruit stand in the Similkameen - it's cracked pepper, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion and perhaps some other stuff).
I never buy these sorts of seasoning mixes normally because i like to put my own spices, but when space is limited you can't bring fresh chilis and limes and all the rest. I figured a "spiked" salt (Tajin) and a "spiked" pepper would give me enough of a flavor hit that i wouldn't miss cooking so much. Speaking of "spike", there is some hippie seasoning called Spike that my mom used to put on sandwiches. I would've bought some of that too, but it's in a glass bottle which is way too heavy and bulky to put on a bike. I might buy some when i finish one of these existing seasoning mixes so i can transfer it into one of the empty plastic containers.
Next up is my standard breakfast. I fill up my mug about 2/3 full with quick oats, then some dried fruit or nuts and add water. Here we have dried apples with cinnamon from a fruit stand in the Okanagan, walnuts and banana chips from the bulk section of Save-on-Foods and dried apricot pieces from a prairie grocery store (baking section).
Here is another stuck in the prairies concoction. I also found dessicated coconut in the baking section, and bought it as an emergency filler. So cucumber, tomato, carrot and peanut sandwich, with coconut and seasoning mixes on the top. It's not bad. The main problem with dessicated coconut is that it falls all over the fucking place, so you end up with coconut everywhere.
Ah, it's time for some gas station food. You see, when i started this journey, i brought with me a jar of all natural peanut butter. That is 100% peanuts, no salt, no sugar, no stabilizer. I figured this was the most efficient packing of peanuts, because they were already squished into a paste and easy to put into a sandwich. Unfortunately the smaller the towns got, the less likely they had any natural peanut butter in stock, and i don't like American peanut butter because it is packed with sugar and almost tastes like candy. Peanut butter in other countries is not a sweet spread, it's a savory spread. I will never understand sweet peanut butter. Anyway, i switched from peanut butter to just plain peanuts. But then i had a new problem of not being able to find unsalted peanuts in the even smaller towns. So, in a fit of despair, with my Ursack running low, and literally the only place to buy food was a gas station, i ended up with sweet peanut butter. This is peanut butter with pumpkin seeds and seasoning. Can't remember where i found the pumpkin seeds.
Finally, peanut butter with sunflower seeds (from the baking section) and tomato.
One thing i didn't get to show you is one of these prairie co-ops they must've had a Filipino farmer, because there was a bag of Filipino banana chips, which are cut much thinner than the ones we get in the west. Obviously i had to try them, and they are fucking delicious. They're not as hard and crunchy as the ones we are used to, and they have a stronger banana flavor. I made an Elvis Presley sandwich with them and some peanut butter that was bomb as hell. Sweet peanut butter isn't all that bad when you embrace it for what it is. Sadly, i have not found them again.
So that's my general Ursack eating. The basic idea is porridge for breakfast and peanut (butter) sandwich for lunch/dinner. But both are augmented with whatever fruits, vegetables or nuts/seeds i can find - either dried or fresh. For snacks during the day i have Lärabars when i find them, or fruit. I buy more fruit now that i am out of bear country. I also buy baked snacks like muffins and other treats when i find local/homemade ones, but i'll include some of that on my upcoming prairie food post.