I delight in efficient galley gadgets, so I’d like to introduce you to Morgan’s review of onboard essentials plus some great recipes she’s eager to share. A few years ago, she and her husband downsized, sold their home in Colorado, and moved aboard a 38-foot catamaran with their cat. They’re now cruising the US east coast while learning to live an alternative lifestyle on the water. To follow Morgan’s adventures, sail to www.sailingonthesunnyside.com.

Morgan and her husband Ross

Making meals aboard is challenging in a small space, especially when you factor in managing heat and steam, and being conscious of water and propane usage. These hurdles of cooking aboard mean being selective about what items are in the galley, so our essentials are based on quality, ease of use, storage, and conservation of resources.


With the amount of time spent in the galley, high-quality cookware is imperative. We love the sets offered by Magma made with small space dwellers in mind. Their cookware is 18/10 marine-grade stainless steel with triple clad bottoms for even heat distribution. Being oven safe and induction compatible means they are adaptable for most galleys. After use, remove the handle and the pots can nest for storing in a small space.


Silicone baking mats are a staple in our galley. They distribute heat in the oven, are incredibly non-stick, and flexible for easy storage. No more oil or parchment paper, and cleanup is easy too. We use silicone mats to roast vegetables, create granola and now for baking pizza with a perfect crust. They’re also a nice companion for working with dough. The Silpat brand mats come in a variety of sizes perfect for small ovens.

Video: Making Pizza from Scratch


We rely on containers to have a good seal to keep foods fresh, prevent leaks, and still be easy to clean. We like the OXO Good Grips Smart Seal set with locking tabs on each side. The removable silicone lining on the lid makes it easy to clean. They’re also freezer safe helping to eliminate plastic bags; perfect for freezing homemade broth or pesto.


One of the first things we tackled when we moved aboard was how to be more sustainable. Sourcing and storing paper towels was zero fun so we switched to reusable paper towels thus reducing trash and increasing storage space. They even double as casual dinner napkins. Our towels are 100% cotton with colorful trim to brighten up the galley. We sourced them from Dot & Army, a small, online shop.


The VeggiChop by Chef’n is our all-time favorite gadget. For boats that are conservative with power, it offers the convenience of a food processor with no sacrifice to the battery bank. Add roughly chopped vegetables to the container, put on the lid, and pull the cord to spin the blades. It’s completely main-powered and durable (we’ve had ours for over a decade). It makes chopping a load of vegetables for soups, curries, and other veggie-heavy meals a breeze. We also use it to chop nuts, blend guacamole, and whip up a pesto.


An immersion blender is a jack-of-all-trades. Use it to blend soups, chili, sauces, and smoothies. It does the work of a blender while fitting in a small space. Plus, it’s easier to clean. It’s flexible enough to stick in a pot of soup or in a jar for blending our favorite jalapeno and cilantro hummus.


A thermal cooker is the ultimate tool for reducing heat and steam and saving on propane. It limits cook time with the stove or oven by using an insulated outer container to lock in heat once your food has come to a boil. Like a slow cooker, it will also keep food hot but without overcooking. Use a thermal cooker to cook dried beans, rice, chili, soup, potatoes, casseroles, and even cakes! It’s also our go-to for making homemade vegetable broth.


1 15 oz. can chickpeas – drained 

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup tahini

2 tablespoons water

3 cloves garlic – chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 cup cilantro (lightly packed)

½ to 1 whole roughly chopped jalapeno – seeds removed. Add your desired amount of jalapeno. We keep dehydrated jalapeno on hand and use 2-3 tbsp. 

Combine ingredients in a blender and process. I use a mason jar and immersion blender. Add more water if consistency is too thick. Blend until smooth and adjust seasonings to taste. 

For a healthy wrap, spread hummus on a tortilla with any combination of rice, black beans, spinach, cucumber, shredded carrot, and avocado. 


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 whole onion – chopped

3 cloves garlic – minced

1-gallon bag of vegetable scraps (onion skins, carrot peels, celery, etc.)

12-15 cups water – use a lower amount of water if you want a more potent broth

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon peppercorns

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast or a Parmesan rind

fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley) – I add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme from our cockpit garden.

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until starting to brown. Add veggie scraps, water, herbs and seasonings. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from stove and place in outer pot of cooker for 3 hours or simmer on stove simmer for one hour. Let cool and strain with a cheesecloth. Use broth within 6 days in your favorite chilis and soups or freeze for later use.


3 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups walnuts or almonds (or mixture)

1/2 cup pepitas

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil, olive oil or canola

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup dried apricots – chopped

Heat oven to 325°F. In a bowl combine nuts, seeds, and spices. In large bowl whisk together oil, syrup, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until coated. Spread evenly on a baking pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Halfway through stir in the coconut. Allow granola to cool and add apricots. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


1/3 cup almonds (or walnuts)

1 1/2 cups fresh basil (packed)

1/2 cup fresh mint (packed)

1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon sea salt

4 twists of fresh black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toast nuts and seeds in a pan for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Combine all ingredients except the oil in a food processor or hand-powered chopper. Blend ingredients, stopping frequently to add a small amount of olive oil. Continue blending while adding oil until well incorporated. Store pesto up to 1 week in the fridge or freeze for later.

Add pesto to fish, chicken, pizza, or pasta. We toss this pesto with squash, bell pepper, tomato, and linguine for a fresh, flavorful dish.