Cooking on the Road

We cooked and ate really well on our road trip with a constant supply of fresh fruits and veggies. Aside from when we were with friends & family, were driving on the road, or were at a destination like Savannah, we cooked. Our repertoire consists of a few main dishes for each meal with some variations.

The Setup

This isn't your backpacker's kitchen. We have a 3.7cu ft refrigerator which easily keeps 2 people x 3 days of meals. We opted against a stove built into the van so we have the option to set up table near friends in a campground or to cook in the van if it's really cold. Our main supplies are a cast iron dutch oven with a long handle, a cheap nonstick pot for cooking rice, and a larger pot with strainer to boil pasta or steam veggies.

We love cooking with cast iron: once seasoned, there's virtually no cleanup, just wipe it down and re-oil, plus it's cheap and you can't beat the free shipping on Amazon. I highly suggest breaking in new cast iron at home to get it nice and seasoned smooth before taking on the road or you'll be hating yourself even more doing dishes.
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Hanging basket for fruits and veggies. Kale keeps for days without needing refrigeration!
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Breakfast

We've got 3 main breakfast meals.

We need sending power meal: english muffins toasted on cast iron, Canadian bacon, fried eggs, fresh spinach. Always have a bottle of Sriracha and my favorite, Tapatio, on hand. vanlife cooking recipe ideas

Variations: real bacon, the loaf of bread you have for lunch (marble rye!). Occasionally we'll do a breakfast scramble with leftover meat and veggies.
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I feel fat but still want hot food meal: cream of rice (our favorite) or cream of wheat, fresh fruit, nuts or trail mix. vanlife cooking recipe ideas

Variation: oatmeal, honey drizzled on top. Mangoes and berries turned into apples and pears as the winter went on.
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No cook meals: english muffins, peanut butter, jelly, bananas. vanlife cooking recipe ideas Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, trail mix.
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Lunch

We ate dinner leftovers, or for climbing days, sandwiches. Our faves: rye bread, soft cheese like brie (get a log for easy cutting at the crag), black forest ham or salami, spinach/arugula/cilantro or whatever greens you got for the week.
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Dinner

The meat, veggie, and starch meal: sausage, steak, or thin cut pork cutlets; kale, precooked beets, asparagus, or broccoli(ni); small potatoes or the 5-minute Far East couscous packages. vanlife cooking recipe ideas vanlife cooking recipe ideas

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The stir-fry meal: chicken tenders, cilantro, orange or general tsao sauce, onions, bamboo shoots and baby corn (surprisingly easy to find LaChoy brand in every Asian aisle across country), bell pepper, mushrooms (ideally oyster), ramen noodles or mixed grain rice. vanlife cooking recipe ideas vanlife cooking recipe ideas vanlife cooking recipe ideas vanlife cooking recipe ideas

The Slop meal: box of mac & cheese, half a bag of frozen veggies, canned tuna or ground meat, can of cream of mushroom. vanlife cooking recipe ideas

The pasta meal: tortellini/ravioli, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, kale, spaghetti sauce, ground meat, reconstituted minced garlic, mix in a cup of whatever wine you have open. Can substitute gnocchi but it doesn't keep as well for leftovers. vanlife cooking recipe ideas vanlife cooking recipe ideas

Adventuresome meals: We really wanted to a day-long stew in a fire pit but were so busy we didn't have a single full day to watch it! We did a quick one in charcoal for Christmas.

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We also did roasted butternut squash and steaks on a fire.
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Sharing meals and recipes with friends!
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